Wednesday, December 12, 2018

1982: Two Big Late Model Races at Knoxville




By Lee Ackerman
Knoxville, Iowa - In 1982 the legendary Knoxville Raceway known for sprint car racing hosted two big dirt late model races, one in the spring and one at the end of the year.

The first of these events was held on April 24 & 25, with the running of the Casey’s General Store sponsored event that was labeled “Super Race I”. The purse of over $50,000 paid $12,500 to win the late model feature and $5,000 to win the limited late model show.
 
Freddy Smith of Kings Mountain, North Carolina got things started on the first night by setting a new track record in qualifying of 20.051 seconds. Limited late model heats went to Larry Moore of Dayton, Ohio, Ron Schreiner of Eleva, Wisconsin and Jerry Holtkamp of Williams, Iowa.

The preliminary feature in the limited late models saw Moore take home the win with Don Hoffman of Des Moines, Iowa second followed by Schreiner, Holtkamp and Mike Smith of Ellsworth, Iowa.
Bill Rice of Des Moines, Tom Nesbitt of Thunder Bay, Ontario and Kevin Gundaker of St. Louis picked up late model heat wins. Tom Nesbitt came home the winner in the preliminary late model feature with Dhon Hauserman of Wichita, Kansas, Larry Moore, Rodney Combs of Lost Creek, West Virginia and Freddy Smith rounding out the top five. Boggs would finish seventh.

On Sunday night, Mike Smith beat Don Hoffman in the 5-lap limited late model trophy dash. In the 40-lap, $5,000 to win limited late model feature it was once again Larry Moore taking the win followed by Hoffman, Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa, Holtkamp and Gundaker.

Black Jack Boggs of Grayson, Kentucky held off Rodney Combs to win the late model trophy dash and then came back and once again bested Combs in the 50-lap feature to take home a $12,500 paycheck. Following Boggs and Combs were Kenny Walton of Viola, Iowa, Tom Hearst of Wilton, Iowa, Ray Guss Sr. of Coal Valley, Illinois and Freddy Smith.

On Saturday, September 4, the late models returned to Knoxville for the Autumn Spectacular. Also, racing were limited late models and street stocks. Billy Moyer, Jr. of Des Moines blistered the famous half-mile as he set a new late model qualifying time of 19.718 second just two seconds off the track record for 410 sprint cars.

Rich Beebe of Overland Park, Kansas won the first heat over Moyer and Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo. Fred Strube of Peoria, Illinois won the second heat followed by Roger Chambers of Yates City, Kansas and Joe Kosiski of Omaha.

Sunday’s program was washed out and these races were rescheduled for Sunday, September 12.

A field of 27 late models, 21 limited late models and 21 street stocks returned to Knoxville for the rescheduled final night of racing. For most of the 50-lap feature it looked like a run away for Moyer as he built up a quarter lap lead over second place Steve Kosiski of Omaha, but with three laps to go Des Moines’ Don Hoffman ran out of gas bringing out the yellow and allowing Kosiski to close to the back bumper of Moyer.


Kosiski made the most of his new-found fortune and passed Moyer on the last lap to win the event and take home the $4,000 first prize. Following Kosiski and Moyer to the line were Kosiski’s brother Joe Kosiski in third and Rick Beebe finished fourth.

Red Dralle of Evansdale was the apparent winner in the limited late model feature but was found to be 70 pounds light and the win was awarded to Dave Farren of Des Moines with Denny Rosenberg of Grimes getting second and Martin Bennett of Des Moines third. The Street Stock feature found the first three finishers disqualified for having to wide of tires and the win went to fourth place finisher Ted Swartslander of Des Moines.

A crowd of approximately 1,500 fans attended the Sunday event.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Basement Archives #4




August 24-29, 1976



Veteran Roger Regeth of Kimberly, Wis., guided his 1973 Camaro to his sixth late model feature win of the season Tuesday night, August 24, at Leo’s Speedway in Oshkosh, Wis. Regeth, taking hiss charge from his fourth row starting spot, forged ahead of leader Willie Goeden on lap 12 and extended his lead a few feet every lap to finish with a five-car-length lead at the checkers. Goeden, Jerry Smith, Dave Conger and Roger VanRoy rounded out the top five.



A light rain fell throughout most of the ‘Furious 50’ late model special Wednesday night, August 25 at Cedarburg (Wis.) Speedway and that was just fine with Al Schill who went faster as the track got wetter, as he scored his first feature win of the season on the 1/3-mile clay oval. With the rain becoming more intense as the laps clicked off, Schill’s Camaro got the bite that it needed and the Franklin, Wis., hot shoe passed race leader Aaron Solsrud of Pewaukee, Wis., on lap 30 to grab the top spot. Once ahead, Schill built up an eight-car-length lead en route to the win. Solsrud fought off Bill Goeden of Kewaskum, Wis., in the waning laps to hod on for second. Despite the threatening weather, the crowd of 3,025 was the largest of the season.



Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., ended the 1976 racing season at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wis., on Thursday night, August 26, the way he started it, by winning the 50-lap late model feature race. Trickle passed Tom Reffner, winner of 13 main events and the late model crown this season, on lap 23 and then using lap traffic to his advantage, skillfully maneuvered through the pack to increase his lead by half a lap at the finish. Reffner, from Rudolph, Wis., settled for second place followed by Mike Miller of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. Marv Marzofka of Nekoosa, Wis., finished fourth and Jim Back of Vesper, Wis., took fifth.

Roger Regeth of Kimberly, Wis., displaying the hard-charging style that has made him a winner on both dirt and asphalt tracks, outdueled Rich Somers of Stevens Point, Wis., in the 20-lap late model feature at Wisconsin International Raceway on Thursday night. A crowd of 2,412 viewed the final Fox River Racing Program of 1976. Regeth passed Tony Strupp of Slinger, Wis., on lap 9 and then fended off Somers for the remaining 11 circuits to seal the victory, winning by three-car-lengths. Somers, Strupp, Bill Goeden of Kewaskum, Wis., and Pete Parker of Kaukauna, Wis., rounded out the top five.

Larry Schuler’s feature win streak came to abrupt halt Friday night, August 27, at the Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Ill., as mechanical misfortune struck at his ‘Junkyard’ Camaro, putting Ray Young of Dolton, Ill., in the winner’s circle at the conclusion of the 25-lap late model feature. Earlier, Schuler’s car would drop a piston in a heat race, sidelining for the rest of the evening. Young drove a masterful race, passing Tom Musgrave of Mundelein, Ill., on the outside groove on lap 19 en route to his 202nd career feature win and his third victory of the season at the 1/3-mile paved oval. Musgrave would hang on for second place while Tom Jones of Northbrook, Ill., would finish third.



Veteran home state driver Bay Darnell passed Terry Ryan of Davenport, Iowa, on lap 79 and cruised to his first USAC stock car victory of the campaign in a 100-mile dirt track race at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds on Saturday, August 28. The win was Darnell’s second of his career, with his other triumph coming at a 100-mile dirt race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds two years ago. Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, was second followed by Paul Feldner of Colgate, Wis., Butch Hartman of South Zanesville, Ohio and Ken Rowley of El Paso, Ill.

Tom Steiner, the handsome 26-year-old bachelor from Orland Park, Ill., wheeled the Bob Steffes Chevy II to victory in the accident-shortened National Alliance of Midget Auto Racing (NAMAR) championship at the Sun Valley Speedway in Anderson, Ind., on Saturday night. Scheduled for 50 laps, the race was halted after 42 laps when Steve Ball of Fort Wayne, Ind., went over the main stretch guard rail and tore down more than 50 feet of the track’s safety fence.

Ed Hoffman of Niles, Ill., drove his Camaro to victory in Saturday night’s 25-lap late model feature race at Illiana Motor Speedway. It was only feature win number two at Illiana this season for Hoffman, who captured track titles here in 1971 and 1973. Hoffman passed Dave Weltmeyer on lap 16 and then wasted no time in putting some ground between himself and the rest of the field en route to the easy win. Defending track champion and current point leader Larry Schuler, who had won 14 of 15 main events at Illiana this season, was sidelined from competition by a blown engine Friday night at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Ill.

Young Stan Fox made a triumphant return to the half-mile Dodge County Fairgrounds in Beaver Dam, Wis., on Saturday night, scoring a clean sweep in the Badger Midget program on Saturday night. Fox started by breaking the two-year-old track record in qualifying with a blistering time of 25.668 seconds breaking the old mark of 26.097 seconds. In the feature, the Janesville, Wis., charger steadily moved through the field and despite three cautions, won handily over Lars Lein of Cambridge, Wis. And Ken Biertzer of West Bend, Wis.



In one of the most hotly-contested late model features ever seen at Rice Lake (Wis.) Speedway, Bob Lawrence put down the challenges of the area’s best drivers to walk off with the $650 first prize money in the special 30-lap invitational on Saturday night. It was the Minnesota drivers fourth feature win of the season. Lawrence and Red Steffen of Eau Claire, Wis., ran one-two for most of the feature with neither driver giving an inch. Steffen patiently waited for Lawrence to make a mistake but the St. Croix Beach, Minn., pilot drove flawlessly beating Steffen by mere feet at the finish line. Tom Steuding of Altoona, Wis., finished a bumper behind Steffen for third while Brent Laursen of Cameron, Wis., grabbed fourth and Skip Splittstoesser of Stillwater, Minn., rounded out the top five finishers.
 
 
 
Wayne Lensing of Rockford, Ill., wrapped up late model title with a victory in the 30-lap feature at Rockford Speedway on Saturday night. Lensing had to come from the 20th starting position for the victory. By lap 22 he was in front and charged to the win ahead of second-place finisher Bill Venturini of Chicago and Larry O’Brien of Harvard, Ill.

Don Mack, known as the “Flying Farmer” from East Grand Forks, Minn., picked up his biggest racing paycheck in 17 years of competition as he won the 200-lap Minnesota State Fair open competition sprint car championship Sunday afternoon, August 29. He collected $4,500 in a race which was viewed by 6,256 fans. Mack emerged victorious although Casey Jones of South Bend, Ind., and Marvin Carmen of Union City, Mich., dominated the event on the half-mile paved oval. It was not until after the race was finished and the lap charts had been tallied that Mack had been declared the winner.



Starting only his second USAC Championship Dirt race, Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., scored a narrow victory over Larry Dickson of Marietta, Ohio and Jim McElreath of Arlington, Tex., in Sunday afternoon’s 100-mile race at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds. Jones inherited the top spot on lap 58 when race leader Joe Saldana dropped out with mechanical issues. Jones then clung to a precarious advantage over Dickson and McElreath for the remainder of the race until he was finally able to pull to a five-car length margin in the closing four miles. Dickson edged McElreath for runner-up money with Larry Rice taking fourth and Johnny Parsons in fifth.
 
Bob Geldner took an early lead and went on to victory in the 20-lap Midwest Sprint Association finale at North Starr Speedway in Blaine, Minn., on Sunday night. Only 14 cars were on hand due to the show at the Minnesota State Fair that afternoon. Jerry Richert was runner-up in the feature and Don Mack, winner at the State Fair earlier in the day, was third.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Basement Archives #3


July 7-11, 1995
  
 
 
 
Bob Pierce of Danville, Ill., led the entire 50 laps to win the UMP Summer Nationals event at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway on Friday, July 7. Forty-two late models were on hand, including “The Southern Gentleman” Freddy Smith of Baton Rouge, Lou., who set a new a new track record during qualifying. Bill Frye of Greenbriar, Ark., earned runner-up honors in the main event, followed by Rick Aukland of Fargo, N.D., Tom Rients of Streator, Ill., and Smith.
 
Pro stock point leader Rod Smith of Monmouth, Ill., came from the fourth row to score his fourth win of the season at Mercer County Speedway in Aledo, Ill., on Wednesday night. Jeff Morris of McCausland, Iowa, won his second open-wheel modified feature of the season while Jason Bahrs of Rock Island, Ill., was the pride of the bomber class.
 
Danny Young and Todd Cooney continued dominating their respective divisions at the Iowa State Fair Speedway on Friday night. Young, of Des Moines, raced to his fourth winged sprint car triumph in in six starts, while Cooney, also of Des Moines, won his third consecutive IMCA late model main. Young wheeled around Jerry Crabb of Des Moines on lap 3 and went on to win the 15-lapper with ease while Cooney squirmed past Billy Allen of Des Moines on the final lap to win in a nail-biter. Kendall Sather of Ankeny, Iowa, snared the IMCA modified feature and Glenn Gladson of Des Moines won the IMCA stock car main.
 

Boone McLaughlin of Mediapolis, Iowa, scored his first IMCA late model win of the season during the mid-season championships at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, on Saturday, July 8.  McLaughlin, the late model point leader at the track, broke a streak of “bridesmaid” finishes at the track, having finished in second-place three weeks in a row. In other action, Jody Wood of Donnellson won the IMCA modified feature, Glen Ridgeway of Eldon, Iowa, was the IMCA stock car winner and Bryan Nevins of Des Moines was victorious in the hobby stock class.
 
Mike Belling of La Crosse, Wis., staked his claim to the NASCAR late model point’s lead after winning his fourth feature of the season on Saturday night at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Belling, in a tie with five-time track champion Kevin Nuttleman of Bangor, Wis., entering the night’s program, took advantage when Nuttleman got bottled up in traffic, and zoomed to the front of the field on lap 20, as the crowd of 4,212 roared its approval. Belling would go on to score the easy win with Brad Powell of La Crosse taking second and Paul Proksch of Stoddard, Wis., in third.
 
 
Splitting his 1995 schedule between NASCAR’s Super Truck Series and the World of Outlaws, Sammy Swindell had competed in only half of the Outlaw’s 48 events. Even so, his flag-to-flag victory at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., on Saturday night was Swindell’s fourth straight series win. Swindell had won two World of Outlaw events at Rocky Mounty Speedway in Denver, Colo., on July 3 and 4 and a preliminary event at Red River the night before, July 7. Swindell raced like the Sammy of old, starting the 30-lap main event on the pole and dominating the 24-car field throughout. When the checkers waved, Swindell won by a full straightaway over younger brother Jeff.
 
Jeff Mitrisin of Oskaloosa and Bobby Greiner Jr., of Norway, Iowa, each won their third features in a row at Greenbelt Speedway in Eldora, Iowa, on Saturday. Mitrisin won a thrilling IMCA modified feature race, racing wheel-to-wheel with Dave Blankenship of Brooklyn, Iowa, throughout the 20-lap affair. Mitrisin finally secured the top spot on the white flag lap, winning by a car length over Blankenship at the checkers. Greiner Jr., the defending track champion, had to work his way through the field from his 10th starting spot but managed to take the lead with only a few laps remaining to post the victory. In other action, J.C. Nehring of Hubbard, Iowa, won the IMCA hobby stock feature, winning handily over J.T. Robinson of De Moines.
 
Veteran Omaha driver Joe Kosiski continued his dominance of the NASCAR late model division at Park Jefferson (S.D.) Speedway on Saturday, winning his fourth feature race of the 1995 season. The win was especially important, since it was mid-season championship night. Kosiski took the lead on lap 9 and breezed to the easy win over Mike Cooper of North Sioux City, Jim Merchant of Sioux City, Mel Zeitner of Bellevue, Neb., and Bruce Ward of Fort Calhoun, Neb. In other action, Loren Reuter of Allen, Neb., won the modified feature and Greg Golden of Sioux City won the street stock contest.
 
 
Bill Frye pulled into the lead exiting the fourth turn on the 38th lap and held the rest of the field at bay to claim the $5,000 first prize in the 50-lap UMP Summer Nationals late model feature at LaSalle Speedway on Sunday, July 9. Frye wrestled the lead away from Rick Aukland, who had led the first 37 laps of the contest. Don Barnhart of North Little Rock, Ark., grabbed third place while Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., took fourth. Jim Curry of Norman, Ind., rounded out the top five. Current UMP national point leader Tony Izzo Jr., of Bridgeview, Ill., struggled to a 14th place finish after starting the evening as the event’s fastest qualifier.
 
Randy Nygaard, Jack Byers, Randy Green and Kent Larson were winners during the “Firecracker Special” at the Clay County Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, on Sunday evening. The event was originally scheduled for July 4 but rain washed out the program. Nygaard, from Sioux Falls, S.D., led the final four laps of the WISSOTA sprint car feature to collect on the $1,200 first prize. Byers, of Spencer, led from start to finish in winning the modified feature while Green, of Granada, Minn., came from his third-row starting position to win the stock car contest. Larson, from Fairmont, Minn., grabbed the lead on lap 2 and went on to win the 12-lap hobby stock “A” main.
 
Mike Pearson of California, Mo., left Double X Speedway $1,000 richer after winning the winged sprint car mid-season championship on Sunday night. After winning the trophy dash, Pearson started on the outside on the front row and didn’t waste anytime in using his advantage by leading from start to finish. In the sportsman feature, Jim Kirchoff of California and Jim Turpin of Jefferson City, Mo., treated the crowd to a side-by-side duel for 15 laps with Kirchoff prevailing.
 
 
 
The Miller Genuine Draft Summer Nationals were held at the West Liberty Raceway on Monday, July 10, with 45 of the nation’s top late model drivers in competition. When it was over, Rick Aukland came away with the $5,000 payday. Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., moved into the lead at the start of the 40-lapper by taking to the high side of the half-mile speedway. Guss’s lead would be short-lived as Bill Frye overtook him on lap 10. Frye went the next 10 circuits until Billy Moyer Jr., of Batesville, Ark., was able to move out front. Aukland was on the move as the leaders encountered lap traffic and on lap 32, Aukland powered by Moyer for the lead and went on to score the victory. Moyer settled for second and Frye hung on to third. Bob Pierce Jr. grabbed fourth and Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, rounded out the top five.
 
 
Troy Swearingen of Thompson, Iowa, made his debut in the MAC Tools Winner Series as the IMCA stock car touring series made its first ever trip to the all-new Hancock County Speedway in Britt, Iowa, on Tuesday, July 11. For Swearingen, it was his first trip to victory lane in the series, as he dominated the event, leading wire to wire in the 24-car feature. The Thompson, Iowa, racer drew the pole position for the main event and after the green fell, that was the last anyone would see of Swearingen. Scott Williams of Steamboat Rock, Iowa, finished a distant second, Donnie Gustoff of Scranton, Iowa, was third Rex Bonnett of Pleasanton, Iowa, fourth and Scott Davis of Boone, Iowa, finished fifth.
 
 

 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Speed Chumley Memorial


1968 Advertisement


By Kyle Ealy
Waterloo, Iowa – On June 22, 1964, Ira “Speed” Chumley died after suffering a heart attack while driving on old Highway 218 just north of Washburn, Iowa. Chumley was 59 years of age.
For the northern Iowa auto racing community, it was a tough blow. Chumley not only raced and owned cars, but along with Judd Tunis, was instrumental in getting Tunis Speedway started in 1948. It was Chumley who convinced Tunis that Waterloo needed a quarter-mile race track.
Chumley was so well respected in racing circles he was twice elected president of local racing clubs. In the mid 50’s, Chumley was elected president of the Hawkeye Racing Association and in the early 60’s, he was head of the Cedar-Loo Racing Association, a position he held until his death.
To honor Chumley’s memory, Judd Tunis decided that the mid-season championship at Tunis Speedway would carry a new name.
“The Speed Chumley Memorial” was born…
On Sunday, July 12, 1964, the first annual Speed Chumley Memorial took place at Tunis Speedway. A capacity crowd of 6,649 watched Lu Vern “Red” Droste of Waterloo, dominate the evening’s program.
Droste, the current point leader, started on the pole and led all 50 laps, winning in record time. In winning his seventh feature of the year, Droste lowered the quarter-mile record for 50 laps from 15 minutes and 50 seconds to 15 minutes and 24 seconds.
Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., finished a distant second to Droste and Verlin Eaker of Blooming Prairie, Minn., took third. Lee Kunzman of Guttenberg, Iowa, grabbed fourth and Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, rounded out the top five.
John Connolly of Delhi, Iowa, set a new 10-lap heat record, winning in 3 minutes and 2 seconds, besting the old mark of 3 minute and 4 seconds.
 
1965 Advertisement
 
 
John Connolly would win the second annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 11, 1965. Like Droste the year before, Connolly, the current point leader, started on the pole and led all 50 circuits. Droste, who started alongside Connolly, held second place for the first 35 laps before developing mechanical issues and dropping back, where he finished in fourth place.
Verlin Eaker slipped in when Droste fell back and took runner-up honors. Mert Williams, Droste and Charlie Moffitt rounded out the top five.
Joe Wurst of Blooming Prairie, Minn., was a double winner, copping the first heat and the consolation.
Charlie Moffitt may have been second in the point standings behind Red Droste, but that didn’t deter the Stanwood, Iowa, driver when the green flag dropped on the third annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 17, 1966.
Moffitt roared to the lead and never looked back in winning the 50-lap mid-season championship. The victory was a popular one with the 5,300 in attendance.
Droste would settle for second (but still maintain his point’s lead) while Mert Williams would grab third place. Roger Klingfus and Gale Card, both of Waterloo, won heat races as did Verlin Eaker. Ty Barger of Cedar Falls, Iowa, won the 35-lap consolation. 
The fourth annual Speed Chumley Memorial produced its fourth different winner as Cal Swanson of Reinbeck, Iowa, copped the 50-lap mid-season title on July 16, 1967. Bob Hilmer of Dysart, Iowa, finished second after dueling with Swanson for the top spot.
Point leader Red Droste led the first 35 laps of the race and appeared certain of victory when his engine overheated and he was forced to the sidelines.
Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa, took third behind Swanson and Hilmer with Mert Williams in fourth and “Big” Tom Hughes of Monticello, Iowa, finishing fifth.
 
 
You never counted Red Droste out…no matter what. That proved to be the case at the fifth annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 28, 1968. A crowd of 6,000, the largest at Tunis in nearly five years, watched Droste survive an early-race accident to win the 50-lap mid-season championship.
Droste, the point’s leader at Tunis, was involved in a collision with Mert Williams on the second lap of the 50-lap race, momentarily halting the race. According to the rules, any driver involved in an accident, goes to the rear of the field. So, Droste restarted at the rear of the 17-car field.
Droste would rally, steadily working his way through the field and eventually getting by Dr. Al Mayner of Winthrop, Iowa, for the lead with 10 laps to go. He would have a half lap lead when the checkers waved. Mayner grabbed second while defending champion Cal Swanson took third.
Another new winner graced victory lane for the sixth annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 27, 1969. A young driver who was quickly making a name for himself, would take the win as 2,446 fans looked on. 
Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, won the 50-lap mid-season title, his fifth feature win of the season, ahead of his brother Karl, who earned second-place money. Paul Fitzgerald of Rochester, Minn., would claim third place.
Both Sangers were also heat winners as was Dave Maxson of Cedar Falls.
While Red Droste had been the dominant driver at Tunis Speedway in the 60’s, Ed Sanger was quickly cementing his reputation as the man to beat as the 70’s was getting underway.
The season-long point’s leader at Tunis, Sanger would successfully defend his Speed Chumley Memorial title, winning the 50-lapper on July 19, 1970.
Sanger would have to earn the win, however, as Glen Martin would grab the lead at the start and hold on to it for the first 21 circuits. Sanger, who was playing bumper tag with Martin the whole time, finally got around the Independence, Iowa, veteran and then storm away from the rest of the field en route to a $400 payday.
Sanger, driving a 1970 yellow Monte Carlo, virtually ran away with the race after Martin fell out of contention, lapping every car in the 18-car field except runner-up Jerry LeCroy of Des Moines.
 
Waterloo's Bill Zwanziger, who fought off Sanger's lapping effort until the 49th circuit, finished third with Dave Bedard of LaPorte City, Iowa crossing the line in fourth.
 
Karl Sanger of Waterloo and Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids put on the best show of the feature event, battling side-by-side and bumper-to-bumper for nearly 40 rounds before Sanger finally edged away for the fifth-place spot, leaving McDonough in sixth.

If all the other drivers at Tunis Speedway thought “Fast Eddie” Sanger was tough to beat coming from the rear of the field, imagine their disappointment when they saw Sanger sitting on the pole position for the 50-lap feature event of the seventh annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 11, 1971.
 
Sanger, on the pole for the first time that season, charged away at the opening green flag and was never seriously challenged through the 40 laps as he picked up the $550 first prize.
 
Sanger, the point’s leader at the season’s midway point, inherited the pole because the mid-season championship featured a regular start opposed to the inverted start Sanger was accustomed to during weekly races.
 
The Waterloo ace, who had won five of the eight features, shot into the lead and won going away, prevailing by a quarter lap margin over Stan Stover of Reinbeck, Iowa. Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, finished third and Red Dralle of Evansdale, Iowa, took fourth. Roger Kruse of Independence finished fifth – the rest of the 19-car field was lapped by Sanger.
 
A Sanger would win the eighth annual Speed Chumley Memorial, but it was Karl, not Ed, who was in victory lane after winning the 50-lap mid-season title. The only driver to win more than one late model feature at Tunis that season, Karl wasted little time in moving from his front row outside starting position to the lead on the first lap.
 
He would never surrender the top spot, leading all 50 laps, en route to $650 payday - $400 for the win and $250 in lap money. Sanger would win by five car-lengths ahead of Glen Martin – but the distance was deceiving.
 
Twice during the contest, Karl had built up sizeable leads only to have restarts tighten the pack. Early in the race, he was leading by six car lengths when his brother blew a tire, bringing out the caution flag. On lap 34, D. Arthur Nesteby and Dave Bedard tangled, forcing another restart.
 
Curt Hansen of Dike had run second on most of the laps between the two restarts, but on the second restart, Martin slipped by into the spot behind Sanger and Hansen never caught up, settling for third. Stan Stover and Jim Burger of Cedar Falls completed the top five.
 

Curt Hansen had been paying his dues over the last few years and the Dike, Iowa, youngster was starting to see dividends. The hot shoe had won the mid-season title on Saturday at Independence, Iowa, and his good fortune continued on Sunday, July 15, 1973, winning the Speed Chumley Memorial.
 
Driving a new Chevrolet, Hansen started on the outside of the front row alongside point leader Stan Stover. Stover jumped out to the lead and led for the first 45 circuits of the scheduled 50-lapper. Hansen would patiently wait for Stover to slip up and with five laps to go, Stover drifted high in between turns three and four, allowing Hansen to slip into first place and eventually claiming the mid-season championship.

 
Stover would recover to take runner-up honors while Karl Sanger, Tom Bartholomew and Bob Hesse, all of Waterloo, rounded out the top five finishers.

1974 Advertisement
 
 
The 1974 Speed Chumley Memorial, held on July 14, would be marred by a serious accident that left one driver in critical condition and the program cut short for the evening.
 
On lap 38 of the 50-lap late model mid-season championship, the accelerator on Roger Klingfus’ car stuck, causing his car to go off the first turn, through a fence and straight into the pit area.
 
Klingfus’ car collided with Dennis Peters’ parked roadrunner machine, which was parked 100 yards beyond the retaining wall, critically injuring the 20-year-old Peters who was pinned between two race cars.
 
The race was called at that point and race leader Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa, was declared the winner.
 
Peters would spend nine hours in surgery at Allen Memorial Hospital. The Denver, Iowa, resident sustained multiple fractures of both legs and severe injuries to the lower body. Klingfus, himself, was treated for shock at Scholtz Memorial Hospital and released.
 
After he and other track officials were able to clear out a throng of curious on-lookers from the roadrunner pits and get the crash victims on ambulances, promoter Claus Stricker met with the 12 drivers still left in the Chumley Memorial, who agreed to call it a race after 38 laps instead of continuing it next Sunday. The roadrunner feature, which was to be run after the 50-lapper, was postponed until the following Sunday.
 
The tragedy-marred victory was one of the biggest wins of Bartholomew's career. The crowd of 2,700 witnessed Bartholomew lead the entire race after electing to start on the pole position.
 
Bartholomew, the point-leader going into the race, had the option of starting at the back of an inverted top 10 order (outside of the fifth row) and gun for a $250 bonus to win or start on the inside of the front row.
 

The 1974 mid-season championship would be the last one billed as the Speed Chumley Memorial. Tunis Speedway would stop weekly racing in 1979.