Sunday, September 24, 2017

1972 – Gardner tires; O’Conner wins Santa Fe Clay Track National




Hinsdale, Ill. (September 24, 1972) – Chicagoland’s longest single race – the 200-lap National Clay Track Championship – conquered fatigue ridden Arnie Gardner of Geneva, Ill., only 18 laps from the finish, allowing Kankakee, Ill’s., Jim O’Conner to move ahead and win the marathon 100-mile late model stock car championship and the $2,200 prize which accompanied it.
Gardner, who led all but a few of the 182 circuit, suddenly lifted his hand, pulled into the infield and slowly exited his finely-tuned Chevelle, obviously too exhausted to compete the remaining distance.
Until Gardner’s literal collapse, he and Santa Fe point champion Dick Nelson of Chicago, staged a seesaw battle for the top spot that had the near-capacity crowd on its feet, cheering every strategic maneuver.
Gardner and Nelson shadowed each other with Gardner maintaining a car-length lead through most of the distance. Nelson dipped low and inched ahead on lap 40 but when a yellow flag slowed the field a few laps later, Garder got under the clay oval master to regain the front-running position.
Thee parring match continued to lap 10 when again Nelson made his move, dipping quickly to the inside as the pair entered turn #3. He got by Gardner with impressive torque and began to move away slightly.
However, the pro-Nelson rooting section’s hysterical exultations quickly turned to groans when their favorite driver half-spun in a cloud of smoke two laps later and he pulled into the pit area with burned out brake linings.
Meanwhile, Gardner, with fresh breathing space, moved into a commanding position and looked to be the sure winner. By lap 125, he had everyone in the field except O’Conner and Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa.
But just as quickly as Nelson’s mechanical failures had shocked the crowd, Gardner’s physical breakdown on lap 182 came with lightning quick unexpectedness.
As the reluctant Gardner “walked” his car to the pit area, auto racing’s fickle nature had claimed another so-called race victor by snatching another seemingly sure win.
O’Conner, who had driven a smooth and flawless race, put his 1972 Chevell into the lead at that point and held on for the final 18 laps to score the rich victory.
Ironically, it was Nelson who relieved Gardner when the latter exited his car, but too much valuable time had been lost and victory was out of sight. He finished in the fifth spot, three laps off the pace.
Of the 33 cars which started the grueling event on the hard-slick, half-mile clay oval, 20 were still around at the finish.
Fred Horn of Marion, Iowa, brought home his 1970 Plymouth home in second place, one lap behind the winner. Ed Farrell of Clarendon Hills, Ill., was just behind in third in a 1971 Buick. Sanger, running second with two laps left, ran out of gas and settled for fourth in a 1970 Monte Carlo and Don Waldvogel of Lockport, Ill., took fifth in a 1972 Chevelle.
 
Results –
1.     Jim O’Conner, Kankakee, Ill.
2.     Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa
3.     Ed Farrell, Clarendon Hills, Ill.
4.     Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
5.     Don Waldvogel, Lockport, Ill.
6.     Arnie Gardner, Geneva, Ill.
7.     Al Johnson, Justice, Ill.
8.     Ken Widdes, Chicago, Ill.
9.     Dave Mettile, Ottawa, Ill.
10.   Ron Ward of Oak Forest, Ill.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

1978 - Fairmont All-Star 10,000 to Holtkamp




Fairmont, Minn. (September 23, 1978) – The All-Star 10,000 turned into the All-Star 12,000 this past weekend at Fairmont Speedway, as Jim Edgington, track promoter, added extra money to the purse due to the exceptional turn out of both cars and race fans. More than 100 cars took part in the two-day event, including over 60 late models.
Fans turned out in near record number, and saw some of the very best racing in the upper Midwest.
The best was saved for last as Jerry Holtkamp of Williams, Iowa, Dave Bjorge of Austin, Minn., and Bob Hill of Story City, Iowa, staged a three-car race for the checkered flag in the 40-lap late model main event.
Hill started on the pole position and took the lead at the opening green flag and held it for the first 25 circuits. Holtkamp, who owns a couple of feature wins this season at the half-mile track, took the lead away from Hill on lap 26 and then held off a severe challenge from both Hill and Bjorge to take the win. The three drivers were never more than a car length apart for the entire 40 laps.
The only caution flag in the feature occurred on lap 6 when Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa, the season point champion at Fairmont, tried to get by Holtkamp by going to the high side of the track. Unfortunately for Shryock, he got too high on the track and tumbled off between turns one and two.
Shryock restarted at the rear of the field and showed why he’s one of the top late model pilots in the Midwest, passing 24 cars and finishing the evening with a top-five finish. Shryock was easily the fastest car on the track.
Lee Devries from Hollandale, Minn., won the 20-lap street stock feature.
The All-Star drew drivers from six states, drawing competitors from Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Results –

1.    Jerry Holtkamp, Williams, Iowa
2.    Dave Bjorge, Austin, Minn.
3.    Bob Hill, Story City, Iowa
4.    Gary Crawford, Independence, Iowa
5.    Bob Shryock, Estherville, Iowa
6.    Darrell Sells, Waverly, Iowa
7.    Ted Zieman, Mason City, Iowa
8.    Arnie Braland, Boone, Iowa
9.    Jack Harder, St. Paul, Minn.
10.   Terry Hanson, Owatonna, Minn.

Friday, September 22, 2017

1968 – Nashville Sprint Win to Richert


Jerry Richert is congratulated by promoter Al Sweeney after winning the 30-lap IMCA sprint car feature at Nashville.  


Nashville, Tenn. (September 22, 1968) – Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., was the most excited person at the Tennessee State Fair after winning the 30-lap IMCA sprint car feature event on Sunday afternoon.
Richert, who has already clinched the IMCA sprint car national championship, said, “I’ve been trying for 10 years to win on a banked track and it feels wonderful.
Richert revealed that the car he drove set a record for 30 laps two years ago when it was driven by Don “Scratch” Daniels.
“Scratch told me I could win with it, but I didn’t think I could do it. I can’t believe it,” said Richert, who has been driving race cars since 1951.
Finishing second was Don Nordhorn of Mitchell, Ind., Saturday night’s feature winner, while Tom York of South Bend, Ind., was third. Ray Wright of Elkhart, Ind., took fourth and Dick Gaines of Mishawaka, Ind., rounded out the top five.
Local favorite, Jimmy Griggs of Donelson, Tenn., ran second most of the feature until encountering mechanical difficulties.
Two of Griggs’ old sprint records were broken in heat races. In the second 8-lap heat race, Dick Gaines won in 2 minutes and 44 seconds breaking Griggs’ old mark of 2 minutes and 48 seconds.
In the 5-lap trophy dash, Richert was clocked in 1 minute and 41 seconds beating Griggs’ standard of 1 minute and 42 seconds.
One of the hard luck drivers at the track was Don Carmichael of Hobart, Ind. Hobart set a new track record in qualifying on Saturday night only to have two cylinders go out on his car. On Sunday afternoon, Carmichael was stricken again when the mag went out.

Results –

Trophy dash – Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
First heat – Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
Second heat – Dick Gaines, Mishawaka, Ind.
Third heat – Eddie Angle, Flora, Ind.
Consolation – Ray Wright, Elkhart, Ind.
Feature –

1.    Jerry Richert
2.    Don Nordhorn, Mitchell, Ind.
3.    Tom York, South Bend, Ind.
4.    Ray Wright
5.    Dick Gaines
6.    Jay Woodside, Kansas City
7.    Claire Lawicki, Madison Heights, Mich.
8.    Ray Duckworth
9.    Doc Dawson, Dayton, Ohio
10.  John Peddle, Madison, Ind.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

1974 – Eaker grabs rich Olympia 100




Farley, Iowa (September 21, 1974) – Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had a weekend to remember at Farley Speedway. Events leading up to and including the Olympia 100 brought Verlin $3,200 within a 25-hour period.
Activities on the fast-half-mile track began Friday night with timing of 68 late model entries. Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, Iowa, turned the track in 23.82 seconds, giving him the pole position for the 100-lap feature on Saturday.
Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, timed in at 23.88 seconds putting him on the front row with Zwanziger. Little did anyone suspect, at the time, that neither driver would finish the main event.
Sam Reakes of Rockford, Ill., would win the trophy dash as he edged out Karl Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa. Bob Hesse of Waterloo, Iowa, Tom Hughes of Monticello, Iowa, Joe Schaefer of Waterloo, Iowa and George Barton of Ankeny would secure heat wins on Friday night.
Wind and chilly temperatures didn’t keep the true race fans from coming to cheer on their favorite race car drivers on Saturday night.
Veteran driver Tom Hughes of Monticello, Iowa, and Gary Crawford of Independence, Iowa, would claim consolation victories to start Saturday’s program.
When the green dropped on the Olympia 100, it was Curt Hansen taking the lead with Bill Zwanziger falling back into second. Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, Eaker, and Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, were bumper to bumper with the two lead cars during the early laps.
It was here that Eaker would make his move. On lap 16, Zwanziger’s engine would go up in a puff of smoke allowing Eaker to move into second behind the fast running Hansen.
At the quarter mark of the race, the track surface was becoming slick and hard, making passing almost impossible.
On lap 30, a lapped car would force Hansen out of the groove and to the top of the track, allowing Eaker to slide by for the lead. Being the quality driver he is, Verlin would take it from there, never looking back as he led the remaining 70 circuits to claim the $2,500 top prize.
Ed Sanger would take runner-up honors after running a smooth and steady race. Darrell Dake would claim third place, Ken Walton of Cedar Rapids in fourth and Karl Sanger of Waterloo would round out the top five.

Results –

1.     Verlin Eaker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2.     Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
3.     Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4.     Ken Walton, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
5.     Karl Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
6.     Don Hoffman, Des Moines, Iowa
7.     Roger Bruggeman, Dubuque, Iowa
8.     Bill Beckman, Lisbon, Iowa
9.     Sam Reakes, Rockford, Ill.
10.   Em Fretheim, Decorah, Iowa

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

1969 – Big “D” collects Elko $1,000




Elko, Minn. (September 20, 1969) – Dan Prziborowski of Savage, Minn., the Minnesota state racing champion and overall point champion on the Tri-Circuit won the rich Midwest Late Model Championships at Elko Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
Przibowski bested John Ziegler of Madison, Wis., and later on the superb USAC “Rookie of the Year” Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., to seal the victory.
For winning the big 100-lap feature, plus lap money and assorted preliminary races, Prziborowski collected well over $1,500 making his two-weekend total, including last week’s season championships, a whopping $2,500. That boosted the driver’s season totals to well over $12,000.
In order to get his hands on the winner’s check, Prziborowski had to come from his eighth starting position and get ahead of Ziegler, who had led nearly for 50 laps. Meanwhile Trickle, who had not time-trialed on Saturday and started 28th out of 30 cars, had moved up to the front with beautiful driving and was on Prziborowski’s tail.
Trickle moved around Prziborowski on lap 54 and maintained the top spot until lap 88 when Prziborowski slipped inside of Trickle on the north turn after the USAC star momentarily lost control of his car and slid up the track.
From there on it was Prziborowski’s race and he would win by several car lengths at the checkers. Trickle would settle for runner-up honors and go home with $850.
Dick Duerst of McFarland, Wis., finished third and Ron Olson of Bloomington, Minn., a former state titlist, came out of retirement to claim fourth ahead of Marv Marzofka of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., the record breaking driver who won the Minnesota State Fair 300 a week earlier.
Wayne Larson of Bloomington, Minn., the defending Midwest Late Model Championship winner, started on the pole after winning a qualifying heat race but tough luck in the form of an early spinout took away any chances of repeating. 

A total of 7,000 fans turned out for the two-day event.


 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

1976 - Hughes takes US Dirt Track Championship




Champaign, Ill. (September 19, 1976) – It was North versus South on Sunday afternoon at the Champaign Motor Speedway as the first annual United States Dirt Track Championships for late models contested among 45 drivers from 18 states.
When the dust had cleared and the last engine shut down, a pair of Georgia speed merchants had put the final victory squarely in ‘ol Dixie’s corner.
Cigar-smoking Charlie Hughes of Dalton, Ga., dominated the main event from green flag to checker as the 1973 Camaro chauffeur led fellow peach state resident Doug Kenimer across the finish line by a three-second interval.
Hughes jumped to the number one starting position, which he earned with the fastest qualifying time during Friday’s time trials. He seemingly pulled away from the rest of the field at will. Four yellow caution periods closed the competition on the rear bumper of the 35-year-old professional race car driver, but each time the green flag waved again, Hughes would quickly open up a five to six second margin.
Kenimer, who started fifth, secured the runner-up spot on laps 58 when his 1972 Camaro jockeyed inside of Jim O’Conner of Kankakee, Ill. The 16-year, Dahlonega, Ga., veteran was able to close on Hughes when the pair encountered lap traffic but simply could challenge the superior speed of Hughes’ car.
Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, dropped O’Conner to fourth with an inside turn four pass on lap 61 and finished the grind on Kenimer’s bumper. Tom Helfrich of Haubstadt, Ind., edged hi 1973 Camaro around O’Conner’s 1976 Camaro on the white flag lap to take home fourth place money.
The victory for Hughes, worth $4,500, was his 35th feature win of the season in the E.D. Ridley-owned racer.
“I had no trouble at all with the car, the track or the traffic,” the nine-year driving star noted. “I knew there were some pretty fast drivers behind me so I just turned it loose for the whole race and came out on top.”
Hughes’ credentials entering the race were impressive as were those of the of the other 41 starters. The drivers who qualified for the 75-lap main event had a total of 547 feature victories for the 1976 season.
Kenimer’s second place effort netted him $2,300 as the Dixie invaders hauled off with the lion’s share of the $13,500 feature purse.
Iowa drivers picked up 10 of the first 20 finishing positions, yet could only place one in the top five. Sanger pocketed show money of $1,500 and Helfrich collected $1,000 for his fourth-place finish.

Results –

1.    Charlie Hughes, Dalton, Ga.
2.    Doug Kenimer, Dahlonega, Ga.
3.    Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
4.    Tom Helfrich, Haubstadt, Ind.
5.    Jim O’Conner, Kankakee, Ill.
6.    Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
7.    Mike Niffenegger, Kalona, Iowa
8.    Dave Srock, Ramey, Penn.
9.    Don Hoffman, Des Moines
10.   Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, Iowa
11.   Ken Walton, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
12.   Bill Teagarden, Covington, Ky.
13.   Bob Helm, Andalusia, Ill.
14.   Galen Schaefer, Topeka, Kan.
15.   Ferris Collier, Lampe, Mo.
16.   Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
17.   Dan Dickey, Packwood, Iowa
18.   Ken Phillips, Loudon, Tenn.
19.   Ron Jackson, Burlington, Iowa
20.   Gary Webb, Davenport, Iowa

Monday, September 18, 2017

1970 – Mosier takes West Liberty title




West Liberty, Iowa (September 18, 1970) – Mark Mosier of Washington, Iowa, took the lead early from John Moss of Iowa City in the 50-lap Mississippi Valley Speed Club season championship feature and went on to score the victory.
The win moved Mosier into second place in the MVSC standings with 207 points. Moss still leads in the standings, 222.5 points, with only one race to go in Columbus Junction. Pokey West of Westchester, who finished third in the feature, dropped to third in the standings with 201.5.
Earlier in the evening, Mosier was quick qualifier with a 26.68 second timing. Wahlee Brown of Rock Island, Ill., had thee second fastest time of 27.35 seconds and Walt Carney of West Branch turned the half-mile oval in 27.41 seconds.
Mike Brooks of Hartford picked up the win in the trophy dash, Mel Morris of West Liberty grabbed the victory in the first heat, Ron Prymek of Iowa City took heat number two, Bud Darting of Wilton was the winner in heat three and Ron Perdock of Washington picked up the checkered flag in the fourth heat. Byron Buchele of Muscatine won the 15-lap semi-main.
 
Results –

Fast Time: Mike Mosier, Washington, Iowa – 26.68
Trophy Dash: Mike Brooks, Hartford, Iowa
Heat One: Mel Morris, West Liberty, Iowa
Heat Two: Ron Prymek, Iowa City, Iowa
Heat Three: Bud Darting, Wilton, Iowa
Heat Four: Ron Perdock, Washington, Iowa
Semi-Main: Byron Buchele, Muscatine, Iowa
Feature:

1.    Mike Mosier
2.    John Moss, Iowa City, Iowa
3.    Pokey West, Westchester, Iowa
4.    Bob Helm, Rochester, Iowa
5.    Mel Morris
6.    Bud Darting
7.    Stan Crooks, Letts, Iowa
8.    Mike Brooks
9.    Dan Robertson, Muscatine, Iowa
10.  Byron Buchele

Saturday, September 16, 2017

1961- Dick Hutcherson wins Kansas State Fair opener


Topeka, Kan. (September 16, 1961) - Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa, second ranked stock car driver in the International Motor Contest Association point standings, gained several points on leader Ernie Derr, with a first-place finish in the 15-lap feature event of the opening race program at the Kansas State Fair, Saturday afternoon.

Hutcherson caught the checkered two car lengths ahead of Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan., the unofficial Kansas stock car champion. Derr, also of Keokuk, Iowa, finished third.
 
The stock car program, as usual, presented many minor fender bending "brushes" and a few spin-outs. There were no serious accidents. Competition in all races was keen, and this at least partially made up for the fact that the race program was one of the slowest presented here in years. This was through no fault of drivers, several of whom have been turning half-mile tracks in 26 seconds or less.

Here, because of a very soft, bumpy and "rutty" track, the best time trial was 32.30 seconds, by Lenny Funk. Hutcherson timed at 32.32; Ole Brua at 32.70; Ernie Derr at 32.83; Gerry Harrison at 32.94; Ramo Scott at 32.96. All others were clocked at 33 seconds or slower.

Race officials inspected the track Tuesday and reported it in tip top condition. They were unaware that a maintenance man scoured the track to a depth of about 15-inches Wednesday, and that it not subsequently been "ironed out". The track was so soft that before time trials had been completed, holes 15 inches deep had been gouged at both turns.

Drivers forced to the outside edge of the track reported gear housings were "dragging". Despite the dangerous track drivers went all-out to put on a good show, and if wheel to wheel competition is what it took, they all succeeded.


Results –

1.    Dick Hutcherson
2.    Lenny Funk
3.    Ernie Derr
4.    Ole Brua
5.    Gerry Harrison
6.    Chub Liebe
7.    Jerry McCredie
8.    Mert Williams
9.    Bill Harrison
10.  Newt Bartholomew

Friday, September 15, 2017

1979 – Osborne Tops Paragon 150


Lee Osborne


Paragon, Ind. (September 15, 1979) – Driving a sprint car of his own design, Lee Osborne pulled off his biggest win of the season Saturday, capturing the 17th annual Midwest Outlaw Sprint Car 150-lap Championship.
Starting on the inside of the second row, Osborne trailed Chuck Amati and Bob Kinser for the first 15 laps before getting around Kinser on lap 16 for second place.
Osborne then put the pressure on Amati, finally getting around the “One-Armed Bandit” on lap 45 when a sour engine sent Amati to the sidelines.
Kinser, going for his third Midwest Outlaws victory of his career, would maintain second place but wouldn’t have anything for Osborne, who won by a quarter lap at the checkers.  Ron Dorsett was the only other competitor to finish on the same lap as Osborne and Kinser.
Osborne’s payoff totaled more than $3,500 with extra money coming from Firestone, Weld Wheels, Niebel Race Cars and other contingencies.
Veteran Allen Barr, a three-time winner of the event, flipped his sprinter after brushing another car to bring out the red flag on lap 17. Barr was uninjured and later climbed into Keith Ford’s machine but only ran five laps before parking it.
Hoosier Auto Racing Fan (HARF) president Dann Wonn presented jackets to both Osborne and Kinser following the feature, which was originally rained out on September 1.

Results –

1.   Lee Osborne
2.   Bob Kinser
3.   Ron Dorsett
4.   Frank Hollingsworth
5.   John Krebbs
6.   Al Redman
7.   Leon Gentry
8.   Junior Smalley
9.   Dick Gaines
10. Brad Renshaw
11. Mike Johnson
12. Tony Solomito
13. Randy Kinser
14. Bob Daniels
15. Steve Craft
16. Chuck Amati
17. Ron Fisher
18. Bernie Graybeal
19. John Sharp
20. Danny Smith
21. Keith Ford
22.  Allen Barr