Monday, April 30, 2018

1961 - Ernie Derr cops 100-lap stock race at North Iowa Fairgrounds

Ernie Derr

Mason City, Iowa (April 30, 1961) - A trio of hotshot drivers dominated the International Motor Contest Association late model stock car racing last season. Finishing in order in the final point standings were Ernie Derr, Ramo Stott and Dick Hutcherson.
An estimated 2,400 fans were on hand Sunday at the North Iowa fairgrounds to see the first big racing event of the season in the upper Midwest area. The finish in the 100-lap feature? Just the way they stood last year - Derr, Stott and Hutcherson.
Clearly, they were the class of the field. In fourth place was still another Keokuk driver, Jerry McCredie. By coincidence, he was driving Derr’s car in which he swept honors last year, a 1960 Pontiac. Derr now is driving a 1961 Pontiac while Stott and Hutcherson have 1961 Fords.
The winning time was 51 minutes and 19 seconds. That's pretty sharp considering Paul Burrow of Sycamore, Ill., went into the fence just reaching the straightaway on the northeast part of the track. There were eight slow-down laps while the wrecker pulled the car away. He was not injured. The accident happened on the 13th lap.
The first four finishers were the only drivers to complete 100 laps. Chub Liebe of Oelwein took fifth and was lapped once. Derr collected $385 of the total prize pot of $2,000 for his day's efforts.
The three-time IMCA national champ dogged Stott for the lead through the early part, finally passing him on the outside on the west turn in the 24th lap. The first three were in close order the remainder of the way.
McCredie had the fastest qualifying time of the day, 29 seconds flat for the half-mile oval. Ron Snow of Red Wing, Minn., took the first heat race over five miles as he held the lead all the way. Liebe took the second heat race and McCredie won the consolation.
This was an excellent field of 22 drivers, most of them in 1960 and 1961 models. Only 12, however, were in the running at the finish of Sunday’s feature.
Results -
1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk
3. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
4. Jerry McCredie, Keokuk
5. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
6. Don Harvey, Rockford, Ill.
7. Ron Snow, Red Wig, Minn.
8. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
9. Bob Reynolds, Edmonds, Okla.
10. Bill Moyer, Des Moines

Friday, April 27, 2018

1975 – Sessions Sets Salem Mark


Salem, Ind. (April 27, 1975) – Sam Sessions, driving the Gene Hamilton sprinter, captured the 40-lap USAC sprint car feature at the high-banked Salem Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
Sessions started on the outside of the front row and charged into the lead on the first lap’s first turn. He took a commanding lead over Bill Cassella, Joe Saldana and Larry Dickson and stayed in front all the way to the checkered flag.
The 40 laps were run caution free and Sessions was able to establish a new track record of 12 minutes and 4 seconds, for a speed of 99.425 mile per hour.
Cassella, Saldana, Dickson and Bill Engelhart were locked into a tight battle the entire distance with Dickson slowly picking off each one to take runner-up honors. Cassella was running fourth on lap 39 but lost an engine with less than half a lap to go. He would coast across the finish line in eighth place.
The win for Sessions was his first since July of 1974 when he copped a feature win at New Bremen, Ohio. The win moved Sessions into fifth place in the point standings.
Dickson, with his second-place finish, catapulted to first place in the point standings with 147 points to Joe Saldana’s 146.
Defending point champion Pancho Carter, who passed up Salem in favor of a race in Trenton, N.J., fell from second to fourth in the standings.

Results –

1.     Sam Sessions
2.     Larry Dickson
3.     Bill Engelhart
4.     Joe Saldana
5.     Sheldon Kinser
6.     Chuck Gurney
7.     Bruce Walkup
8.     Bill Cassella
9.     George Snider
10.    Bob Frey

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

1969 - Gerber Captures Davenport Opener

Davenport, Iowa (April 25, 1969) – Jim Gerber of Mt. Joy, Iowa won the 30-lap season opener at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds on Friday night. Gerber piloted a 1967 Dodge Charger.
Red Droste of Waterloo, Iowa, took quick time in qualifying, took third in the semi-main and placed fourth in the main event.
However, Droste’s car was ruled illegal and he was asked not to come back with his 1968 Chevelle.
In the dispute, it was pointed out that promoter Homer Melton had ruled out 1968 Chevelles because the wheelbase is only 112 inches whereas the rules call for 115-inch minimum.
Don Herbst, owner of Droste’s late model explained that he contacted Melton to see if the car was legal to compete if they stretched the wheelbase to 115 inches from the dash wall on back.
“Melton gave me the okay and they knew this before we entered the races on Friday,” Herbst remarked.
The ruling on stretching the wheelbase was asked because Herbst wanted to meet rule specifications for the Independence Racing Association which operates races at Independence and Waterloo, Iowa, Droste’s hometown.
The Independence Racing Association allows 108-inch wheelbase cars to compete if the wheelbase is stretched to 155 inches from the dash wall on back.
Following Gerber to the finish line in the late model feature was 1968 track champion Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, and John Connolly of Delhi, Iowa. Droste and Don Bohlander of Glasford, Ill., rounded out the top five.


1.    Jim Gerber
2.    Ron Weedon
3.    John Connolly
4.    Red Droste
5.    Don Bohlander
6.    Tom Hughes
7.    Dean Montgomery
8.    Ernie Speth
9.    Morey Willis
10.  Bob Stogdell

Monday, April 23, 2018

1961 – Late Model 100 to Goldsmith

Paul Goldsmith

Dayton, Ohio (April 23, 1961) – Paul Goldsmith of St. Clair Shores, Mich., won his third USAC late model stock car race of the season, taking the 100-lap feature with an average of 89.87 miles per hour. Goldsmith, who had won previously at Phoenix and Los Angeles, collected $750 for his efforts. 
Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, who holds the one-lap record at Dayton Speedway, which he set last season, chased Goldsmith across the finish line in a close finish. A lap behind were Bill Shoulders of Waukegan, Ill., Whitey Johnson of Hammond, Ind., and Les Snow of Bloomington, Ill.
Twenty-two cars started the feature with 18 finishing. Time for the 100-lap feature was 36 minutes and 2 seconds.
Goldsmith, driving a 1961 Pontiac, was in second place behind Bill Cheesbourg of Tucson, Ariz., from lap seven to lap 38. Cheesebourg started to slow and Goldsmith scooted by a lap later. Cheesbourg would retire four laps later with a broken axle. Goldsmith was never headed after that.

Results –

1.     Paul Goldsmith, St. Clair Shores, Mich.
2.     Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
3.     Bill Shoulders, Waukegan, Ill.
4.     Whitey Johnson, Hammond, Ind.
5.     Les Snow, Bloomington, Ill.
6.     Gene Marmor, Schiller Park, Ill.
7.     Don Oldenburg, Highland, Ind.
8.     Bill Lutz, Chicago, Ill.
9.     Sal Tovella, Chicago, Ill.
10.  Dave Lundman, Libertyville, Ill

Friday, April 20, 2018

1975 - Howe Wins Louisville ASA 100-Lapper

Louisville, Ky. (April 20, 1975) - Ed Howe, of Beaverton, Mich., battled with early race leader, Carl Smith, of West Jefferson, Ohio, until lap 44 of the 100-lap American Speed Association (ASA) “Circuit of Champions” Series event at Fairgrounds Motor Speedway, Sunday, then went into the lead to win the race by nearly half a lap on the third-mile paved track.

Smith utilized his front row starting position to take an intermediate lead in the feature event but had to battle a determined Moose Myers, of Fort Wayne, Ind., who ran side-by-side with the leader until being trapped behind a slower car and forced into the infield on lap 35. Myers quickly recovered but Howe, lurking in third, capitalized on the situation to take second behind Smith.

Although Smith artfully played slower traffic to his advantage to keep the faster Howe behind him, and open race track had at lap 44 allowed Howe to race by for the lead.

Myers maintained third position behind Smith until a tangle developed as he lapped Mickey Flora on lap 77. Myers spun into the infield and Bill Kimmel advanced to the third spot before Myers could recover.

Kimmel, a former late model champion at the Louisville track, mounted a late race charge against Smith for second position but was a car length short at the completion of 100 laps. Trailing Howe, Smith and Kimmel was Myers in fourth, with Billy Howell, of Louisville, in fifth.

In qualifications, Howe carded fast time but NASCAR veteran Charlie Glotzbach of Georgetown, Ind., was second fastest, just a tenth of a second back. Glotzbach was sidelined by a blown engine in his heat race.


Results -

1.  Ed Howe
2.  Carl Smith
3.  Bill Kimmel
4.  Moose Myers
5.  Billy Howell
6.  Robin Schildknecht
7.  Dave Sorg
8.  Joe Wormcastle
9.  Don Keevin
10.  Jim Hines
11.  Shorty Hinshaw
12.  Ellis Herbert
13.  La Marr Marshall
14.  Harold Scott
15.  Denny Miles
16.  Mickey Flora
17.  Danny Acrey
18.  Larry Clemons
19.  Clyde Brown
20.  Gene Prosser
21.  Jim Robinson
22.  Bobby Watson
23.  Mike Eddy
24.  Luther Reed

Thursday, April 19, 2018

1969 - The Old Master Sweeps Vinton Opener

Vinton, Iowa (April 19, 1969) – The Old Master, labeled by many experts as the best short track driver in the Midwest, showed ‘em how it’s done Saturday night on the Benton County Fairgrounds quarter-mile.

Red Droste of Waterloo, Iowa, the 1968 champion at both Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, tromped his 1968 Chevelle to victory three times in the late model stock car races before a capacity crowd that braved near-freezing weather to view the season opener.

Droste banked $300 for winning the feature and pocketed another $50 for setting fast time.

The redhead gave fans a preview of what was to come when he wheeled his Chevelle to fast time honors, touring the quarter-mile in 17.73 seconds. He followed that up with a squeaker in the fast heat and a fairly easy win in the 25-lap main event.

A crowd estimated at 1,700 watched the races as did some of the area drivers. Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, Iowa and Cal Swanson of Reinbeck, Iowa, were all present but were unable to complete their cars in time for the spring championship.

Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa, was unable to make it because of work yet to be done on his car and Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, the 1968 East Moline and Davenport champion, was kept at home because of floodwaters in the area.

Jimmy Schmuecker, a Vinton, Iowa favorite, didn’t even get time to re-ramp his 1965 Ford. His transmission locked up during hot lap and the popular charger was forced to watch the action from the pit area.

Del Stokke of Ames, Iowa, driving a 1957 Chevrolet, took an early lead in the feature, holding Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, Danny Clement of Rhodes, Iowa and Droste at bay for the first nine laps until Sanger powered past him into the top spot.

Droste would also move past Stokke as well and was hot on Sanger’s tailpipe in no time, waiting for the young pilot to falter. Sanger would hold the top spot until the 17th lap, then give Droste the break he was looking for. Going into turns one and two, Sanger’s car would drift high, allowing Droste to go low and power by for the lead.

From there on out it was merely a battle for second place as Droste drove a beautiful race for the remaining eight circuits and his super power plant made the task seem easy.

Droste would take the checkers ahead of Sanger, Danny Clement, Tom Hughes of Monticello, Iowa and Dale DeFrance of Marshalltown, Iowa.

Al Iben of Monticello, Iowa, Clement and Droste would score heat wins while Glen Martin of Independence, Iowa, won the 12-lap semi-main.

Results –

1. Red Droste, Waterloo, Iowa
2. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
3. Danny Clement, Rhodes, Iowa
4. Tom Hughes, Monticello, Iowa
5. Dale DeFrance, Marshalltown, Iowa
6. Del Stokke, Ames, Iowa
7. Bill Beckman, Lisbon, Iowa
8. Dave Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
9. Glen Martin, Independence, Iowa
10. A.E. Mayner, Winthrop, Iowa
11. Arlo Becker, Atkins, Iowa
12. Bill Barthelmes, Walker, Iowa

Saturday, April 14, 2018

1968 - Dick Sutcliffe captures Topeka opener

Dick Sutcliffe

Topeka, Kan. (April 14, 1968) – A chilly April evening didn’t cool the spirits of the racing fans as the 1968 race season opened at the Mid-America Fairgrounds under the promotion of Jerry Weld.
The fairgrounds came to life with drivers from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania. They put on one of the best racing programs in Topeka in years.
Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo., driving the Gary Hanna #29, grabbed the 25-lap feature win. Thad Dosher of Topeka, the 1967 Knoxville Nationals champion, took second, driving Jack Cunningham’s #14. Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., in the Hitchcock #82 Chevy out of Des Moines, nabbed third place.
Blundy won the B-feature while Kenny Weld, formerly of Kansas City, now out of Pennsylvania, won the trophy dash.
All in all, it was a great first night for Jerry Weld in his first effort as the promoter of the half-mile track.
Sutcliffe ripped off a time of 24.59 seconds in time trials to earn the eighth starting position under the new rule which inverts the fastest eight cars for the feature.
The husky veteran won his heat race, proving it is possible to move from eighth to first in a hurry.
Blundy was unable to get his machine functioning for time trials and had to settle for starting in the rear of the field for both his heat and B-feature.
In the B-feature he started tenth to first in five laps, and won going away. In the main event, he got up to sixth in seven laps and was in third by lap 12. However, his momentum stopped there, as he was unable to get by Dosher and Sutcliffe.

Results –

Time trials – Dick Sutcliffe (24.59)
Heat #1 – Ralph Blackett
Heat #2 – Grady Wade
Heat #3 – Dick Sutcliffe
B-main – Jerry Blundy
Trophy dash – Kenny Weld
Feature –

1.    Dick Sutcliffe
2.    Thad Dosher
3.    Jerry Blundy
4.    Grady Wade
5.    J.L. Cooper
6.    Kenny Weld
7.    Bob Williams
8.    Bud Marsh
9.    Roy Hibbard
10.  Jon Backlund

Thursday, April 12, 2018

1987 – Miller tops ASA Buckeye 250 field

West Chester, Ohio (April 12, 1987) – The outcome was the same at the 1986 season opener – Butch Miller of Coopersville, Mich., driving his Camaro to victory in the ASA Racing Series ‘Buckeye 250’ at Queen City Speedway.
But how the script had changed with this year’s staging featuring a whole new cast characters in the leading role.
Miller was strong all day, leading and running in the top five all day after qualifying seventh quickest the day before. He had the tires, handling, and the power at the end of the race to pull away from the rest of the field.
But the story was much more than that.  Second place went to Joe Shear of Beloit, Wis., in his best ASA performance in nearly five years. Third was Harold Fair of Detroit, Mich., who was anything but impressive on Saturday afternoon, earning his way into the ‘250’ field by winning the last chance race. Fourth place went to Kent Stauffer of Elyria, Ohio, who made his debut in a Ford by recording his first career top five finish.
Others came from the tail of the field with little problem, such as; Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., who started 20th; Stauffer, who stared 30th; and Fair, starting 21st.
Fair worked his way to the front by lap 129, pacing the field until lap 148 when Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., took over. From that point, however, Fair was never lower than sixth.
Despite 15 cautions for 84 circuits, mostly for minor spins, a total of 27 cars from the 32-field, were running at the finish.

Results –

1.    Butch Miller, Coopersville, Mich.
2.    Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
3.    Harold Fair, Detroit
4.    Kent Stauffer, Elyria, Ohio
5.    Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
6.    Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
7.    Mike Eddy, Midland, Mich.
8.    Gary St. Amant, Cincinnati, Ohio
9.    Dave Jackson, Loveland, Ohio
10.  Tom Harrington, Hendersonville, Tenn.
11.  Gene Harsch, Sharonville, Ohio
12.  Ted Musgrave, Grand Marsh, Wis.
13.  Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
14.  John Wilson, Springfield, Ohio
15.  Buddy Schrock, Plain City, Ohio
16.  Bret Miles, Muncie, Ind.
17.  Bill Stephenson, Richmond Hill, Ontario
18.  Ray Fullen, Anderson, Ind.
19.  Rick Rhonemus, Muncie, Ind.
20.  Bobby Dotter, Franklin, Tenn.
21.  Danny Knoll Jr., Hatburg, Ind.
22.  Dennie Miles, Muncie, Ind.
23.  Ed Cooper, Clarks Lake, Mich.
24.  Jim Nussbaum, Fort Wayne, Ind.
25.  Ken Lund, Oregon, Wis.
26.  Michael Kurkowski, Perry, Ohio
27.  Peter Gibbons, Stouffville, Ontario
28.  Russ Urlin, London, Ontario
29.   Kenny Wallace, St. Louis, Mo.
30.   Dennis Vogel, Manitowoc, Wis.
31.   Glenn Allen Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio
32.   Mickey Cibka, Glencoe, Ala.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

1981 - Kinser tops Granite City 'Outlaws'


Granite City, Ill. (April 11, 1981) – Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., made it two in a row at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City as he won both ends of the two-day World of Outlaws race meet Friday and Saturday.
Kinser earned the pole position for Saturday’s 40-lap feature by setting fast time on Friday and he took the lead at the drop of the green and led all the way to the win. Rick Ferkel of Findlay, Ohio, was second and Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, S.D., was third.
The 24-car field went the entire 40-lap distance without a caution flag and only six cars dropped out with mechanical problems.
While Saturday’s race was with wings, Friday’s was without, but it made little difference to Kinser as he won the 25-lap feature on opening night. He took the lead after 12 laps were down as he passed Tim Green of Carmichael, Calif.
Saturday heats were won by Sammy Swindell of West Memphis, Tenn., Mike Brooks of Knoxville, Iowa, Chuck Amati of Freeman Spur, Ill., Lee James of Sacramento, Calif., and Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, S.D./ Dean Shirley of Middletown, Ill., won the semi-feature.
Friday heat winners were Wolfgang, Danny Smith of Hendersonville, Tenn., Ken Schrader of Fenton, Mo., Swindell, and Shirley. Joe McCarthy of El Paso, Tex., won the semi-feature.

Friday Feature –

1.    Steve Kinser, Bloomington, Ind.
     2.    Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio
3.    Danny Smith, Hendersonville, Tenn.
4.    Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo.
5.    Sammy Swindell, West Memphis, Tenn.
6.    Rick Ungar, Memphis, Tenn.
7.    Jeff Swindell, Memphis, Tenn.
8.    Lee Osborne, Jamestown, Ind.
9.    Rick Hood, Memphis, Tenn.
10.  Doug Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Saturday Feature –

1.    Steve Kinser
2.    Rick Ferkel
3.    Doug Wolfgang
4.    Lee Osborne
5.    Randy Smith
6.    Tim Green, Carmichael, Calif.
7.    Rick Hood
8.    Sammy Swindell
9.    Lee James
10.  Bob Geldner, St. Peter, Minn.
11.  Ron Milton, Jacksonville, Ill.
12. Mike Brooks, Knoxville, Iowa