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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Chumley’s memory, Judd Tunis decided that the mid-season championship at Tunis
Speedway would carry a new name.
Chumley Memorial” was born…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
of Oelwein, Iowa, took third behind Swanson and Hilmer with Mert Williams in
fourth and “Big” Tom Hughes of Monticello, Iowa, finishing fifth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
were also heat winners as was Dave Maxson of Cedar Falls.
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
season-long point’s leader at Tunis, Sanger would successfully defend his Speed
Chumley Memorial title, winning the 50-lapper on July 19, 1970.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
near-capacity crowd was on its feet to witness a photo finish Wednesday night,
June 22, at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds’ half-mile oval. Bill Hudson of New
Sharon, Iowa, grabbed the lead at the start of the 15-lapper and was never
headed. Marvin Korns of Brooklyn, Iowa, however, made it interesting and pressured
Hudson, racing side-by-side the last few laps of the contest with Hudson
winning by the length of a bumper at the finish.
crowd of the season at Air-View Speedway in Monticello, Iowa, watched a
tremendous see-saw battle Friday night, June 23, as Dick Nestby of Dubuque and
Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo fought it out for the top. Nestby finally wrestled
the lead from Zwanziger on lap 15 and despite late pressure from Waterloo’s Red
Droste, was able to pull away for the win. Droste would settle for second
followed by Zwanziger, Tom Hughes of Monticello and Ed Sanger of Waterloo.
modified racing finally got off and running after two weeks of rainouts at the
Southern Iowa Fairgrounds on Friday evening. Joe Saldana of Lincoln, Neb., took
Jack Thompson’s green flag at the beginning of the 15-lap feature and never
looked back, lapping everyone but the second and third-place finishers. Lonnie
Jensen, also of Lincoln, finished a distant second while Earl Wagner of
Pleasantville, Iowa, took third.
of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, chauffeured his Ford to his first feature win of the
season at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport on Friday night.
Weedon ran unchallenged for most of the 25-lap contest, winning handily over
Don Bohlander, Johnny Beauchamp and Bill McDonough. Heat winners were Lyle
McNull and Lyle Behne while Bruce Sunbeck won the semi-main and Fred Strube was
first in the consolation.
John Moss of
Iowa City led the last half of the 50-lap feature to win the Mississippi Valley
Speed Club mid-season championship at West Liberty Raceway on Saturday, June
24. Moss took over the top spot midway through the contest when race leader
Mark Mosier of Washington lost his left front wheel on the backstretch. Moss
crossed the finish line less than a car length ahead of Mel Morris of West
Liberty. Tom Stewart of Washington, the race’s leader for the first 12
circuits, grabbed third place.
Cannon, the likeable lead foot from Oakwood, Ill., dominated the super modified
races at American Legion Speedway in Fairbury, Ill., on Saturday night. Cannon
quieted the rest of his competitors, setting fast time (15.66), winning the
6-lap dash, his 10-lap heat, and the 25-lap feature to sweep the card. Steve
Cannon, Larry’s younger brother, would finish second in the main event, followed
by Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill.
Race Ways modified champion Duane Stoneking ended his streak of hard luck as he
won the “A” main and the trophy dash on Saturday night. “Stoney” started on the
pole by virtue of setting fast time and moved from that spot to lead all 20
laps en route to the checkers. He won by a comfortable margin over Ron Jackson
and Mike Niffenegger. Bob Lane, Jackson and Kenny Ellis were heat winners and
Fibber McGee was the “B” feature winner.
of Keokuk, Iowa, won the 75-lap stock car feature at Soldier Field in Chicago
Saturday night after battling head to head with Sal Tovella of Addison, Ill.
Tovella, who recorded fast time in qualifying, received special permission from
the United States Auto Club to compete in the event. A crowd of 4,975 hardy
fans braved cold, damp weather to see the IMCA-sanctioned feature, in which
Stott took the lead on lap 44 after trailing Tovella from the start. Making his
first career start at Soldier field, 1966 IMCA national champion Ernie Derr of
Keokuk, Iowa, finished third.
Bohlander, the Glasford, Ill., charger easily pushed his 1963 Plymouth to
victory before a very slim and cold crowd at Peoria Speedway on Saturday
evening. Bohlander, starting in the last row, worked his way through the field
and passed leader Alan May on lap 16. He was never seriously challenged after
that and cruised to his second straight feature win. Jim Strube of Peoria would
take runner-up honors with John Beauchamp of Atlantic, Iowa, grabbing the final
rain for a day, the weekly super stock races at Marshalltown Speedway were held
Sunday evening, June 25, with Jerry LeCroy of Des Moines walking off with the
feature victory. A Central Iowa Fair-sized crowd was on hand to watch LeCroy
edge out Bob Bonzer of Liscomb for the top prize. Following LeCroy and Bonzer
to the finish line were Curt Hogue of Ames, Iowa, Dave Brannon of Marshalltown
and Bob Eurom of Marshalltown.
of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, driving his 1967 Ford, was the big winner in the late
model class at Speedbowl Park in Sterling, Ill., on Sunday. Dake finished
almost half a lap ahead of the field at the checkers, well ahead of Verlin
Eaker, John Connolly, Alan May and Ed Bohlen. Dake also won his heat race and
semi-main, making it a clean sweep on the evening.
of Waterloo added to his string of victories as he won the feature Sunday night
at Tunis Speedway. It was the fourth consecutive night that the purse exceeded
$2,000, with a total purse of $2,600 being paid this night. Roger Kruse of
Independence, the first heat winner, lead in the early going before Droste took
over and pulled away from the field. Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, the third heat
winner, took second in the main event while Cal Swanson of Reinbeck was third,
Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., grabbed fourth and Ed Sanger of Waterloo
rounded out the top five.
of Aledo, Ill., outdueled fellow townsman Del Williams and won the 25-lap IMCA
late model main at Quad City Raceway in East Moline, Ill., on Sunday night. Not
only did McNall and Williams finish one-two in the feature but in the first
heat as well. The feature victory at Quad City was McNall’s first in over two
years. He won his first feature there in his rookie year of 1965. McNall
started on the outside of the front row and built a quarter-lap lead at the
beginning. Midway through the race, Williams, who started in the third row, had
worked his way through traffic and was in hot pursuit of McNall. Williams made
up considerable ground but ran out of laps and was unable to catch the leader,
who was piloting a 1961 Studebaker powered by a 327 cubic-inch Chevrolet motor.
So much racing history has been made through the years right here in the Midwest.
From the rich dirt ovals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska to the paved short tracks in Minnesota and Wisconsin, some of the best drivers ever to get behind the wheel of a race car competed right here in the heartland.
We all have our own story to share about our favorite driver who thrilled us everytime they rolled onto the track or that one particular race that still stands out as the greatest they ever saw.
We'll go back in history, 10, 20, 30, 40, even 50 years ago (even more) and reminisce about what has made racing in the Midwest so special for us.