Pete Parker toasts his victory at Granite City while Miss NDRA, Eva Taylor, presents the checkered flag. - Jim Vercauteren Photo
Granite City, Ill. (June 27, 1981) – Pete Parker collected the richest jewel of his late model racing career Saturday night at Tri-City Speedway as the Kaukauna, Wis., lead foot captured the National Dirt Racing Association (NDRA) Schlitz 100 in impressive fashion. The performance netted Parker $5,000.
Starting fifth in the 24-car grid, Parker worked the lower groove to perfection as he kept the Tri-City Buggy sponsored Camaro in the top five all night.
Parker went to the inside of leader Kevin Gundaker, as the duo battled side-by-side down the back straight of lap 68 and had a two-foot advantage at the flag tower. Gundaker charged hard into turn three the following trip around the half-mile clay oval, but Parker had the correct setup and opened up a two-car-length margin to conclude lap 69.
Gundaker fell off Parker’s scorching pace in the laps to follow and was three seconds behind when the red flag waved for the mandatory gas stop at lap 80.
Gundaker returned to his pit area position for the refueling and was forced to restart at the rear of the field as all cars were stopped on the frontstretch.
Parker took the race’s final green flag and immediately went to his low groove strategy and opened up a six-length cushion over current NDRA point leader Buck Simmons of Baldwin, Ga.
Simmons had no more luck than Gundaker in reeling in the blazing Parker, who clearly had the fastest car on the track in the last half of the 50-mile trek.
Simmons was credited with second place followed by teammate Larry Moore, Don Seaborn, Freddie Smith, Gundaker and Ken Walton.
1. Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
2. Buck Simmons, Baldwin, Ga.
3. Larry Moore, Ocala, Fla.
4. Don Seaborn, Dayton, Ohio
5. Freddie Smith, Kings Mountain, N.C.
6. Kevin Gundaker, St. Louis, Mo.
7. Ken Walton, Viola, Iowa
8. Mike Munion, Oblong, Ill.
9. Steve Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
10. Larry McDaniels, Wichita, Kan.
11. Terry Messenger, Robinson, Ill.
12. Garry Porter, St. Charles, Mo.
13. Joe Merryfield, Des Moines, Iowa
14. Don Hoffman, De Moines, Iowa
15. Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
16. Doug McCammon, Peoria, Ill.
17. Jerry Inmon, Bruce, Miss.
18. Alan Russell, Marietta, Ohio
19. Les Duellman, Fountain City, Wis.
20. Ira Bastin, Solsberry, Ind.
21. Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
22. Jack Boggs, Webbville, Ky.
23. John Provenzano, Glen Ellyn, Ill.
24. W.T. Harris, Boonville, Ind.