Saturday, July 30, 2016

Today in Racing History

 
 
 
Indiana's Chuck Gurney won the 40-lap USAC sprint car feature at Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Ill., on July 30, 1982. — Vince Mayer Photo 
 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

1963 - Lorenzen Captures Spectacular Volunteer 500


Fred Lorenzen enjoys a bevy of beauties in victory lane at Bristol
 
 

Bristol, Tenn. (July 28, 1963) - Pole-setting Fred Lorenzen out-horsepowered Richard Petty in the closing laps to take a 3-second victory worth $4,540 in the third annual running of the Volunteer 500 stock car race at International Speedway.
 
Lorenzen, driving a 1963 Ford, and Petty, driving a 1963 Plymouth were the only drivers of the 21 who finished the race to complete the scheduled 500 laps around the slippery half-mile track.

Jim Paschal, also driving a Petty Plymouth finished third. Ford-driving Marvin Panch finished fourth with David Pearson finishing fifth in a '63 Dodge.

Lorenzen, leader of the race three times for a total of 336 laps, took the lead away from Petty on the 320th lap when he beat him out of the pits after both drivers stopped for fuel while a piece of metal was removed from the backstretch under a caution flag.

Perennial favorite Fireball Roberts went out of the race on the 312th lap and was joined on the sidelines by the early leader Junior Johnson, on the 407th lap.

Roberts, spectacular in victory and defeat, entered the first turn too high, skidded into the retaining rail, flipped his car three times, skidded on the roof and came to rest right side up with flames under the hood. Roberts climbed out, dazed - but unhurt - and walked away.

Johnson, victim of mechanical miscues all season long, was stopped after 407 laps by a blown piston and a broken crankshaft. Johnson wound up in 22nd place with Roberts listed 29th in the final rundown.

Lorenzen started in the inside pole position with Roberts alongside and Johnson behind in the second row.

The portly-chicken farmer had said he would lead the race by the second lap – and he did. Lorenzen led the first time past the starter's stand but Johnson pushed his 1963 Chevrolet out front as the three went through the first turn the second time around.

Thirty-three laps later, Ned Jarrett tried to pull his 1963 Ford around Johnson going down the front stretch. Johnson nudged Jarrett with the right front of his car and, when Jarrett's car began to skid, shoved him into the retaining wall, sending Jarrett to the pits.

The caution flag was out for three laps as Jarrett limped around the track.

Nelson Stacy blew a tire entering the first turn on the 48th lap and brought out the second yellow flag while his car was moved and fuel cleared from the track where he slammed into the guard rail high in the turn.

The front-running Johnson lost the lead and the air in his right front tire simultaneously in the second turn on the 12th lap. Lorenzen sailed into the lead as Johnson caromed off the rail and pitted.

Rubber, rosin and other matter on the turn caught Roberts a lap later and gave him a ride along the rail at about the same spot Stacy and Johnson hit it. Roberts straightened his car up coming out of the second turn and continued.

Johnson tried to take the third turn a little too high on the 164th lap after coming out of the pits and spun again before moving down the front stretch.

Paschal, driving one of his best races ever, worked his way up from his 13th starting berth to second by the 210th lap. Two laps later his teammate, Petty, side slipped in the first turn and tapped leader Lorenzen up too high, causing him to spin into the wall. But the alert Lorenzen regained control after grazing the rail and kept his lead.

A piece of exhaust pipe on the track on lap 240 brought out the fourth caution flag. Lorenzen went to the pits for fuel and tires under the caution flag and Paschal was left with the lead - for one lap.

Nauseated by exhaust fumes and heat, Paschal pitted on the next lap for oxygen and Lee Petty took over. But by then Lorenzen was back on the track and easily regained the leader's role.

 

Results –

 
1. Fred Lorenzen
2. Richard Petty
3. Jim Paschal
4. Marvin Panch
5. David Pearson
6. Joe Weatherly
7. Tiny Lund
8. Darel Dieringer
9. Rex White
10. Tommy Irwin
11. Bobby Isaac
12. Larry Thomas
13. Billy Wade
14. Cale Yarbrough
15. Bobby Johns
16. Neil Castles
17. Ed Livingston
18. Reb Wickersham
19. J. D. McDuffie
20. Worth McMillion
21. Major Melton
22. Junior Johnson
23. Bobby Keck
24. Jack Smith
25. Ned Jarrett
26. Mark Hurley
27. Louis Jones
28. Gene Elliott
29. Fireball Roberts
30. Jimmy Pardue
31. Bunkie Blackburn
32. Buck Baker
33. Curtis Crider
34. Nelson Stacy
35. G. C. Spencer
36. Chuck Buckabee

Sunday, July 24, 2016

1965 - Donnellson IMCA feature to Stott


Ramo Stott
 
 
 
Donnellson, Iowa (July 24, 1965) - Ramo Stott pushed his 1965 Plymouth to a fast victory over Ernie Derr and the rest of the field in the 50-lap feature race of the IMCA late model stock car races at Donnellson's Lee County Fair Saturday night.

Stott, of Keokuk, won the race with a time of 24 minutes and 46 seconds while Derr, also of Keokuk, finished next in his Dodge. Lenny Funk from Otis, Kan., was third.

In the fourth and fastest heat of the night, Stott barely beat Derr with a time of 2 minutes and 23 seconds.

Derr had the lead in the initial lap of the five-lap race, but Stott passed him in the second and stayed ahead. Bob Jusola and Blaine Morrow followed the leaders.

The first heat was a reverse of the fourth, with Derr winning and Stott coming in second. John Mickey ended up third and Lewis Taylor fourth.

Jusola took the second heat, with Funk, Don Hensley, and Thurmond Lovejoy trailing him.

Ole Brua claimed the third heat, as Morrow, Bill Gibson, and Leon Fellers came in behind.

Stott led the pack in the time trials with a 28.80 clocking and Jusola was second with 29.15.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

1969 – Czar at Heidelberg – He Rules with an Iron Hand


Heidelberg Speedway
 
 
 
by Phil Musick
Pittsburgh, Penn. (July 21, 1969) – In fulfilling is role as a czar, Ed Witzberger sometimes looks as out of place as Mamie Eisenhower at a pot party. He eats shrimp cocktail for lunch and wears expensive white-on-white dress shirts, but the air of hustler eludes him and he mostly looks like a new grandfather.

However, in a modest way, Ed Witzberger is a czar; a hard bitten absolute ruler of the district’s only major stock car track and the guy who pulled area auto racing from the doldrums. His policy is simple but effective; “I make all the decisions.”

Owner and operator of Heidelberg Speedway, the district’s major league stock car operation, Witzberger is mentally tough enough to say, “A driver here or there is expendable, but we have to protect the fans.”

In addition to Heidelberg, a half-mile paved oval he calls, “one of the best tracks in the East”, Witzberger also owns a budding goldmine, Pittsburgh Dragway, and the area’s other asphalt track, the quarter-mile Greater Pittsburgh Speedway. “Actually, me and the bank own Greater Pitt,” he remarked.

People involved in stock car racing describe the 54-year-old in terms that range from glowing to unprintable and he admits that he’s “made some enemies over time”. But even those who have denounced him hold Witzberger in respect because he is solely responsible for the recent surge in racing’s popularity in the district.

“He’s the dean in the tri-state,” says Verue Spencer, publisher of Tri-State Auto Racing News and probably the most devoted fan in the area. “He doesn’t just take. He also gives something back to the fans. Some promoters just take the money out with both hands.”

A successful coal operator in the 1940’s, Witzberger took over Heidelberg in 1954 and organized the drivers into the Pittsburgh Drivers Association. The sport had flourished locally ever since.

“The original owners built the track in 1947 and they were in financial trouble when I took over,” says Witzberger. In the last 15 years, Heidelberg has become a nationally-respected race track, but Witzberger claims he “doesn’t know how it came about”.

Hoot Martin, a 20-year veteran of area racing, has a good idea. “I’ve cussed Ed more that anyone at times,” he said. “But he wants better racing and he’s never been afraid to put out the money to get it.”

Four years ago, Witzberger shelled out $600,000 to pave Heidelberg, a move that has drawn the top cars and drivers from the Tri-State area to the half-mile track. It was a wise gamble. “We’re now profitable,” Witzberger explains. “But I have to get 15 grand every time we open the gates or I’m in trouble.”

Safety and fan comfort are the bane of the stubby promoter’s existence, and he’s had some bitter words with drivers whose thinking is, “it could never happen to them”.

“We have to have safety for the race fans,” Witzberger explains, “but the drivers often resist us.” The resistance has often gotten violent and Witzberger says that his full-time safety director Walt Velte “has gotten a fat lip or two and a few black eyes.”

Czars historically don’t take no for an answer and Witzberger is not one to break with tradition. “I never change my mind once I make a decision. Even if I’m wrong, it stands. It has to be that way.”

Heidelberg in the future could be the scene of major races on the Grand National circuit, although Witzberger and officials of NASCAR are friendly enemies.

“I like the NASCAR people,” Witzberger mentioned. “I could bring a NASCAR race here – bring the big-name drivers here tomorrow if I wanted to. But NASCAR wants drivers to pay a year’s membership fee and they also want to raise pit fees. It wouldn’t be worth it to anyone for one race, and that’s what it would be – one race.”

For the present, Witzberger will continue to play Napoleon at Heidelberg, where he plans on making more improvements.

“I’ve never take a dime out of the track. It all goes back into the operation,” he remarked. “Of course, when I retire, I’ll have something.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

1972 - Babb Wins Thursday Night Rain Date at Osky


Johnny Babb
 
 
 
Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 20, 1972) - John Babb of Ottumwa made a clean sweep at the Southern Iowa Speedway here at the fairgrounds Thursday night.

Babb won every race he entered starting with the first 10-lap super stock heat and finishing the evening with the feature win. There was no stopping John as he had his little red #41 Pontiac Firebird out front every lap.

In his second feature win here this season, Babb grabbed the lead at the start from his pole starling position and never relinquished it to take the victory. The wait of one night (because of rain) didn’t dampen the Firebird and John’s spirits any. Joe Merryfield of Des Moines came up from his fifth row starting position to place second. Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids finished third just ahead of Curt Hanson of Dike and Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree.

Following Babb’s extra wide lead in the first heat was McDonough, Dan Clement of Rhodes and George Barton of Ankeny.

Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids, driving the John Moss #1 car, won the second super stock heat. Janey was on Ron Hemsted’s bumper until the very last lap. On the second turn Janey managed to slip under Hemsted when he went a little high to take over the lead and the win. Don Hoffman of Des Moines was third followed by Larry Wasserfort of Waterloo.

The third heat was just like the temperature - hot. Curt Hansen came out on top in that one. It was a bumper to bumper battle all the way with Sanger in the lead and Hansen and Merryfield right in there nipping at Sanger’s bumper. On the white flag lap Hansen overtook Sanger for the victory. Sanger and Merryfield finished second and third as they came across the line side by side. Chris Maurer of Colfax placed fourth.

John Babb set a torrid pace for the field in the Australian pursuit event. With Babb out front and everyone attempting to catch him; not a single car was eliminated from this single file race. At the finish behind Babb were: McDonough, Hoffman and Merryfield.

Red Dralle of Waterloo, after a four-week absence captured the 10-lap semi-main.

Dralle led from wire to wire. John Meyer of Brooklyn and Ron Prymek of Iowa City were second and third respectively. Gary Johnson of Newton held down second spot until the eighth lap came in fourth. Bob McCall of Ottumwa placed fifth with Joe Schaefer of Waterloo and Bob Bonzer of Liscomb following.

Results –

Heat #1 – Johnny Babb, Ottumwa
Heat #2 – Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids
Heat #3 – Curt Hansen, Dike
Australian Pursuit – Johnny Babb
Semi-Main – Red Dralle, Waterloo
Feature –

  1. Johnny Babb
  2. Joe Merryfield
  3. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
  4. Curt Hansen
  5. Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree
  6. Chris Maurer, Colfax
  7. George Barton, Ankeny
  8. Red Dralle
  9. John Meyer, Brooklyn
  10. Larry Wasserfort, Waterloo

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

1969 - Williams wins at Knoxville


'Tiger' Bob Williams
 
 
 
Knoxville, Iowa (July 19, 1969) - Bob Williams came back to Knoxville Saturday night for another super modified feature win to add to his existing list. The Independence, Mo., chauffeur grabbed the lead coming out of the chute to lead the first five laps of the 25-lap race.

Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., took the lead from Williams on the sixth lap and managed to hold off Williams until the last lap. It was a real battle with both drivers giving their all and lead footing the supers all the way.

Bob slipped passed Blundy on the white flag lap to come past the checkers first for the $500 first place money. Blundy finished in a very close second.

Earl Wagner of Pleasantville tried unsuccessfully to catch the leaders and had to settle for third spot.

The 4,168 attending race fans saw an accident-free program with 38 super modifieds competing. Eddie Leavitt of Kansas City started the evening off by setting fast time of 21.80 seconds around the half-mile track.

The evening of racing was designated as "Earl Wagner Night" and Earl lived up to the title in the trophy dash as he won the event ahead of Joe Saldana, Dale McCarty of Kansas City, and Bob Williams. Earl took the lead at the start and was never headed.

Wagner also won the second 10-lap heat race. Earl took the lead from Jon Backland at the beginning of the seventh lap to come home number one. Following Backland in third was Bob Williams, fourth; Burt Sonner of Des Moines and fifth, Jay Woodside.

John Johnson of Independence, Mo., copped the first 10-lap heat race. Johnson led all the way followed by four Lincoln, Neb., drivers; Joe Saldana, Roger Rager, Kenny Gritz and Jan Opperman.

The very tight battle for the third heat ended in a tie for first place for Ron Larson and Dick Sutcliffe. Larson led every lap but Sutcliffe got the edge on him and they came across the finish line side by side in a dead heat. Following were Jerry Blundy, Curt Houge and Lloyd Beckman.

Dale McCarty was the victor of the 10-lap consolation. McCarty led all the way with Eddie Leavitt, Jay Woodside, Jan Opperman and Lloyd Beckman following.

During intermission the "Pleasantville Plumber", Earl Wagner was honored for his racing career at Knoxville. Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City, the 1968 National Super Modified Champion presented Earl's wife, Harriet, with a bouquet of red roses and a corsage to his mother. Earl was presented with a plaque from Marion and Nadine Robinson and all the help and fans by Pleasantville's mayor, who incidentally happens to be Earl's step-father. Wagner and his wife were also given a Rogers Sterling Silver Service set and a clock radio.


Results –

Fast Time: Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo. (21.80)
Trophy Dash, Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
Heat One: John Johnson, Independence, Mo.
Heat Two: Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
Heat Three: (Tie) Ron Larson, White Bear Lake, Minn./Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City
Consolation: Dale McCarty, Kansas City

Feature:
 
1. Bob Williams, Independence, Mo.
2. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
3. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
4. Kenny Gritz, Lincoln, Neb.
5. Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
6. Jon Baclund, Kansas City
7. Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City
8. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
9. Jan Opperman, Lincoln, Neb.
10. John Johnson, Independence, Mo.
11. Ron Larson, White Bear Lake, Minn.
12. Curt Hogue, Boone, Iowa

Sunday, July 17, 2016

1988 - Fair enjoys nervous moment, drives to Pontiac 200 win


Harold Fair - Photo Courtesy of Brian Norton
 
 
 
West Allis, Wis. (July 17, 1988) - For the first 199 laps of Sunday’s Pontiac Excitement 200 at State Fair Park, Harold Fair wasn't the least bit nervous. Then came the final lap.

“The butterflies don’t come until the last lap,” said Fair after edging Joe Shear and Rich Bickle Jr. for his first-ever American Speed Association stock car victory.

“I never get nervous at the beginning of races anymore. On the last lap, it’s much different. All I could think of is getting to that checkered flag.”

Fair had plenty of company in the race to victory lane early in the event as several drivers including pole-sitter Butch Miller and NASCAR stars Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt proved they were capable of running up front.

Miller was the first to fade midway through the event when a right front tire exploded, nearly sending the current point leader and defending ASA champion into the turn two wall. Miller somehow saved the car, but a series of pit stops to repair the damage relegated him to a 10th place finish.

Earnhardt was the next to leave the race, on lap 143, in what turned out to be the most serious incident of the day. Earnhardt, in his first ever ride here, spun entering turn two. Several cars avoided the spinning racer before Dennis Vogel and Buddy Schrock slammed into the defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion. Earnhardt, complaining of a shoulder injury, was checked by emergency track personnel and later released.

With only 50 laps remaining and Miller and Earnhardt out of the race, Fair appeared to have smooth sailing as Wallace was stuck back in the pack after a slow pit stop during the caution period.

Back under green, Wallace quickly showed he had the fastest car on the track, blasting through the field and into the runner-up spot by lap 157. Getting by Fair, however, was something completely different.

“I thought Rusty and I had the fastest cars all day long and I wasn’t very surprised to see him in my mirror near the end of the race,” said Fair.

The large main-straight grandstand crowd came to its feet as Wallace pulled up to Fair’s back bumper as the pair raced down the front stretch on lap 183. Their attention was quickly diverted, however, as Glenn Allen Jr. smacked the wall just behind the leaders, bringing out the final of 12 cautions on the day.

As the pace car picked up the leaders, Wallace ducked into the pits to change a cut right front tire.

The move put Wallace at the back of the pack and only a brilliant charge over the last 13 laps netted the current NASCAR Winston Cup point’s leader seventh place.

NASCAR star Alan Kulwicki was the next in line to test Fair only to have his Ford expire nine laps from the finish. That left Shear and Bickle, who started 33rd and 28th, respectively, to challenge Fair's Pontiac.

“After all that, I looked in my mirror and here comes Joe,” said Fair, who averaged 86.056 mph in scoring his third victory in eight ASA events this season. “I really didn’t know what he had left. Luckily, I still had the best car and my lead held up. I knew I had it won until the last lap.”

Just in time to get a little nervous.

 
Results –

  1. Harold Fair
  2. Joe Shear
  3. Jeff Neal
  4. Scott Hansen
  5. Mike Eddy
  6. Rusty Wallace
  7. Bobby Dotter
  8. Ted Musgrave
  9. Butch Miller
  10. Bob Senneker
  11. Jay Sauter
  12. Kenny Wallace
  13. Darrell Waltrip
  14. Johnny Ziegler
  15. Dave Jackson
  16. Muttly Kurkowksi
  17. Dan Christal
  18. Dave Jensen
  19. Alan Kulwicki
  20. Mark Beinlich

Saturday, July 16, 2016

1996 - Bloomquist claims UMP Summer Nationals win at 34

Scott Bloomquist - Photo Courtesy of Mark Jacobs
 
 
West Burlington, Iowa (July 16, 1996) - Following the $10,000 UMP Late Mode! Summer National Race, Scott Bloomquist was mobbed by several fans.
After downing a Miller Lite, the native of Mooresburg, Tenn., signed autographs while talking to hundreds of fans who had just witnessed him lead the race from start to finish Tuesday night at 34 Raceway.
It wasn't even close.
“As long as I could run my own groove, I was able to do whatever I wanted,” Bloomquist said. “We thought we had the superior car all night.”
The 40-lap feature backed up his claim.
Bloomquist was on the pole for the 20-car feature and took control of the race in the third turn of the first lap around the 3/8-mile oval. For the find part of the race he outdistanced the field by nearly five seconds. But towards the middle of the race, Bloomquist ran into a bit of trouble. His tried to get past a slower group of cars, but was held in check when there was no passing lane. And John Gill, who was running second, was gaining ground.
“Once I got into traffic, I was being a little too cautious,” Bloomquist said. “Once I got past (Jack) Boggs, I was all right.”
But Gill, a native of Mitchell, Ind., did not give up. He caught Bloomquist on the second corner of midway through the race, and nearly took the lead for good, but he, too, was caught in the traffic at the back of the pack.
“We just got held up in the traffic and we couldn't pass him,’ Gill said. “We could've caught him but we had a bent tire rod in the front when we hit a car in traffic. If I started up front, I would have won too.”
With each car mirroring each other as the race dwindled down, Bloomquist was finally able to squeeze between a pair of cars with two laps to go. Gill, however, was unable to drive past a pair of cars and keep pace with Bloomquist, who won the race easily.
“At the end of the race, harder tires were running better,” Bloomquist said.
Gill, though a little disappointed, said he was pleased to finish second. “I had a good race,” he said. “I'd like to have won but we ran well. It was a good, clean race." Billy Moyer placed third overall while Bill Frye was fourth.

Results –
  1. Scott Bloomquist
  2. John Gill
  3. Billy Moyer Jr.
  4. Bill Frye
  5. Don O’Neal
  6. Jimmy Mars
  7. Rick Aukland
  8. Terry Phillips
  9. Johnny Johnson
  10. Steve Russell
  11. Wayne Brooks
  12. Danny Barnhart
  13. Jack Boggs
  14. Bob Pohlman
  15. Rick Egersdorf
  16. Joel Cryderman
  17. Joe Kosiski
  18. Tony Izzo Jr.
  19. Steve Kosiski
  20. Mitch Johnson

Thursday, July 14, 2016

1974 - Somers scores upset; wins Red, White and Blue at WIR


Rich Somers
 
 
 
Kaukauna, Wis. (July 14, 1974) - Rich Somers, a 34- year-old foreman at Copp's Discount Store's warehouse in Stevens Point, scored a major upset at the Wisconsin International Raceway here Sunday afternoon as he wheeled his 1973 Mustang to victory in the second race of the “Red, White and Blue” state championship series before 3,453 fans.

Somers’ victory in the 100-lap main event on WIR’s half-mile paved oval was his first major win in the third annual series. He has competed at the track since 196S and never before captured a win in a long-distance event.

Temperatures of over 90 degrees took its toll during the race as many of the front runners fell by the wayside. Paul Smith of Marquette, Mich., paced the 24-car starting field for the first six laps before giving way to Rockford, Ill. driver John Knaus.

Knaus immediately built up a huge lead and held onto the top spot until the 32nd lap, when he lost control of his 1973 Camaro in the fourth turn, spinning in a cloud of smoke. Jim Back of Vesper, winner of the first race of the series, assumed the lead position after Knaus' spin and appeared to be headed for victory. However, on the 75th lap his 1974 Camaro began to spit and sputter and on the 52nd lap Somers surged into the top spot.

Two yellow flag periods during the final six laps bunched the field up behind Somers. On the 94th lap Larry Detjens of Wausau and Al Schill of Franklin collided in the first turn, resulting in a blown tire to Detjens' 1974 Dodge Challenger. His racer stalled on the backstretch. The green flag was then waved and two laps later Madison's Bob Gunn spun in the fourth turn while attempting to gain second position.

Upon the final restart, Somers was chased to the finish line by Schill and Joe Shear of South Beloit, Ill. Schill was a half car length off the pace and Shear one car length behind Schill. Rounding out the top six were Dave Watson, Beloit, Gunn and Back.

Lee Schuler of Lockport, Ill., grabbed the lead on the sixth lap of the semi-feature and guided his 1970 Chevelle to victory in the 20-lap semi-feature. Janesville's John Speer crossed the finish line second, followed by Tony Strupp of Slinger and Wally Jors of Fond du Lac. Heat race wins went to Bill Retallick of Marshall, Knaus and Jim Sauter of Necedah.

The only serious accident of the afternoon occurred in the second heat race, when Neil Callahan of Merrill and Knaus collided in the first turn. Four other drivers joined the accident with Madison's Ed Hume climbing the outer wall. His car was then hit from the rear by cars driven by Don Leach, Schill and Paul Smith of Marquette, Mich. Hume was able to repair his car in time for the main event although the car's body was badly bent.

Caledonia’s John Reimer paced the 39-car field in time trials when he covered the half-mile oval in 21.61 second with Nielsen Enterprises’ 1973 Camaro.

 
Results –

 
  1. Rich Somers, Stevens Point, Wis.
  2. Al Schill, Franklin, Wis.
  3. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
  4. Dave Watson, Beloit, Wis.
  5. Bob Gunn, Madison, Wis.
  6. Jim Back, Vesper, Wis.
  7. Paul Smith, Marquette, Wis.
  8. Fred Bender, Sun Prairie, Wis.
  9. Bob Abitz, Freedom, Wis.
  10. Vic Carr, Beloit, Wis.
  11. Bill Retallick, Marshall, Wis.
  12. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
  13. Johnny Reimer, Caledonia, Wis.
  14. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
  15. Jack Brewer, Oak Creek, Wis.

Monday, July 11, 2016

1976 - Sanger wins Mid-Season Tunis Title


Ed Sanger
 
 
Waterloo, Iowa (July 11, 1976) - Ed Sanger bolted out ahead of Bill Zwanziger on the first lap and went on to win Sunday night’s mid-season late model stock car championship at Tunis Speedway.

“That early lead is what won it for me,” said Sanger, who had just captured his fifth feature in a week and also his fifth Tunis main event, triumph of the season.

Sanger, the second-leading Tunis late model point-getter going into the evening, started on the outside front row with top point driver Bill Zwanziger on the inside.

“Bill and I were neck and neck out of the second turn on the first lap,” recalled Sanger. “It was the better traction on the high side that let me pull away.”

“With a light car with a heavy engine, you can really tell when you are getting good traction; the car really takes off on you.”

Sanger came out with about a three car length lead on the first backstretch about the same margin he had over runner-up Zwanziger when the 35-lap event ended.

Curt Hansen, who started third, finished in that position. Karl Sanger topped Tom Bartholomew in a hard-fought battle for fourth position. Red Dralle, driving Denny Osborn’s car, placed sixth. Osborn has an injured hand.

Sunday’s win climaxed a $4,000-plus week Sanger indicated. He started it off last Monday night with an $800 feature win at Tunis and followed with victories at Oskaloosa on Wednesday, Lake Superior, Wis., on Thursday, Cedar Rapids on Friday and a second place finish to Hansen on Saturday at Eldon.

John Weers scored a relatively easy sportsmen mid-season title win while Gary Ekuall was declared the roadrunner champion in an accident-shortened race.

 

Results –

First Heat: Mike Krall, Waterloo
Second Heat: D. Arthur Nesteby, Waterloo
Third Heat: Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo
Consolation: Dave Trower, New Hampton
Feature:

  1. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
  2. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
  3. Curt Hansen, Dike
  4. Karl Sanger, Waterloo
  5. Tom Bartolomew
  6. Red Dralle, Evansdale
  7. Jack Mitchell, Cedar Falls
  8. D. Arthur Nesteby
  9. Tom Fitzpatrick, Gilbertville
  10. Jim Patterson, Cedar Falls