Friday, June 29, 2018

1978 - Sorenson Wins Olmsted Invitational

Rochester, Minn. (June 29, 1978) – Dick Sorenson of Rochester, took home $1,000 for winning the 40-lap late model invitational at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds on Thursday night.
On lap 33, Sorenson was running behind Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, and Phil Prusak of Eau Claire, Wis., when Sanger’s engine let go. This put Sanger out of competition while Prusak ran into oil spewed from Sanger’s engine and lost his vision enough to allow Sorenson to sneak by for the lead.
Sorenson would run untouched the remainder of the way while Prusak held on to take runner-up honors. Red Steffen of Eau Claire, Wis., finished third followed by Jack Harder of St. Paul, Minn., and Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa.

Results –

1.    Dick Sorenson, Rochester, Minn.
2.    Phil Prusak, Eau Claire, Wis.
3.    Red Steffen, Eau Claire, Wis.
4.    Jack Harder, St. Paul, Minn.
5.    Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
6.    Steve Egersdorf, St. Paul, Minn.
7.    John Foegen, Winona, Minn.
8.    Mark Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
9.    Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.
10.  Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

1963 – White Wins Winchester IMCA Go

Michigan's Johnny White led start to finish at Winchester.
Winchester, Ind. (June 23, 1963) – Johnny White proved he is “King of the High Banks” in IMCA as he took his third straight feature win on Sunday afternoon on the famous high-banked half-mile Winchester Speedway.
White, starting on the outside of the front row alongside Red Amick, shot his Weinberger Homes Chevrolet ahead of Amick’s Fetter Aluminum Chevy in the first turn and was never headed.
Running smoothly the entire 30 laps, White took over 30 seconds off Bob King’s record set exactly one year ago. White’s time was 9 minutes and 17 seconds - a new IMCA record but it did not erase the 30-lap record held by USAC star Roger McCluskey of 9 minutes and 14 seconds.
Amick was able to keep his sights on White as he finished second in his second outing since coming out of a two-year retirement. Coming up from his sixth starting position was Norman Brown as Gordon Woolley came from eighth to finish fourth. Jim McCune rounded out the top five finishers.
Amick topped the 30-car field in qualifications with an 18.06 second lap. White spun on his first qualifying lap but came back with an 18.07 clocking on the second lap as 14 cars topped the 18-second bracket.
Bob Coulter was the busiest driver during qualifying as he first took the Altfater Offy only to blow a rod through the side, then the Altfater Chevy lost oil pressure for him and he ended up in Speedy Helm’s Chevy to make the show.
A crowd of over 4,500 saw a good safe show as the yellow flags weren’t needed as the only spins were both by White, in warmups and qualifying.

Results –

Heat #1 – Red Amick
Heat #2 – Johnny White
Heat #3 – Al Smith
Trophy Dash – Johnny White
Semi-Main – Don Friend
Feature –

1.    Johnny White
2.    Red Amick
3.    Norman Brown
4.   Gordon Woolley
5.    Jim McCune
6.   Bob Coulter
7.    Tom McClellan
8.    Vern Schmidt
9.    Ed Molketin
10. Don Brown
11. Tex Shackelford
12. Dick Atkins
13. Bud Randall
14. Don Friend
15. Nolan Johncock

Friday, June 22, 2018

1968 – Ole Brua Wins Late Model Main at Des Moines

Des Moines, Iowa (June 22, 1968) – Ole Brua of Albert Lea, Minn., won the 25-lap late model stock car feature at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday night.

Carl Vander Wal of Ames grabbed his third consecutive sportsman win before 4,473 race fans, the largest crowd of the season.

Brua, who started in the second row with a 1968 Ford Fairlane, took the lead on the very first lap and dashed away from the rest of the field. Darrel Dake of Cedar Rapids took second, Verlin Eaker of Mechanicsville claimed third and Tom Hughes, Monticello, grabbed the fourth spot.

By the time Dake had taken the second spot 10 laps in, Brua had a quarter-lap lead and he maintained that margin to the end.

In the sportsman main event, Vander Wal started 12th in the 13-car field and powered his 1956 Chevrolet to an easy victory. Roger McWilliams of Des Moines finished second.

Lee Pinckney of Des Moines was involved in a spectacular crash in the sportsman first heat. His 1957 Chevrolet rolled six times, and then smashed into a concrete wall. Pinckney walked away unhurt.

Lem Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, hit a loose wheel sending his car into the backstretch wall. He too, was unhurt.


Results –

Sportsman Feature:

1.     Carl Vander Wal, Ames
2.    Roger McWilliams, Des Moines
3.    Don Hoffman, Des Moines
4.    Fred Knapp, Des Moines
5.    Chuck Berg, Des Moines

Late Model Feature:

1.      Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
2.    Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
3.    Verlin Eaker, Mechanicsville
4.    Tom Hughes, Monticello
5.    Roger Dolan, Lisbon
6.    Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
7.    Fred Horn, Marion
8.    John Connolly, Delhi
9.    Matt Moro, Des Moines
10.  Roland Wilson, Bedford

Thursday, June 21, 2018

1992 - Miller Motors Just in Time

Oregon, Wis. (June 21, 1992) - Butch Miller borrowed a driving suit from one driver, and a helmet from another, but the racing style was all his own.

The Lawton, Mich., native roared back from a big deficit to defeat Robbie Reiser and win the Capital 100 super late-model stock-car race at the half-mile Madison International Speedway Sunday.

Reiser had overtaken Steve Carlson on lap 5 and charged to a huge lead - a half-lap by the midway point - but Miller passed Reiser coming out of turn four on lap 98 to gain the victory before, an estimated crowd of 4,200.

“I knew Butch was going to come sooner or later,” said Allenton’s Reiser. “The fast guys come through.”

And there was no doubt who the fast drivers were. Only five drivers finished on the lead lap as Reiser and Miller overwhelmed the field.

Reiser started from the fourth spot and Miller moved up the field from 10th. Taking over second place on lap 52, Miller began to slowly chip away at Reiser’s advantage.

“I didn’t think he’d keep streaking away like he was doing, but he sure did,” said Miller, a National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Busch Grand National driver.

Miller actually passed Reiser on lap 97, but the only yellow flag of the race flew, and the standings reverted to the last completed lap, 96, which put Reiser back in front for the restart. Miller figured it would be difficult to pass Reiser again.

“I didn't think I’d be able to get it,” Miller said. “His car was fast on top and my car was fast on the bottom of the track. He did his very best to protect the bottom of the track.”

But Miller squeezed through on the inside and shut the door on Reiser.

“He’s a tough customer,” Reiser said. “Today, we were just trying to cool the tires, stay out of trouble and drive smooth laps. Butch was just a little faster.”

Joe Shear of Clinton finished a distant third, Conrad Morgan of Dousman claimed fourth and Steve Holzhausen of Bangor netted fifth.

“I was surprised he came back,” said Shear of Miller. “I knew Butch was running good, but not that good.”

Miller raced in the Carolina Pride-Budweiser 250 Busch Grand National race in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Saturday and finished a disappointing 16th. His helmet and driving suit were shipped with his other car, forcing Miller to use Jeff Neal's suit and Tony Strupp’s helmet.

There was no problem, however, regarding the car.

“The car was really good, I might have been a little too cautious at the beginning. This is a really good car.”

Not everyone enjoyed success. Driving in the car of Sun Prairie’s Scott Ollerman, Edgerton native Rich Bickle Jr. bowed out with ignition trouble on lap 50. And American Speed Association point’s leader Scott Hansen, of Green Bay, could not race because he crashed during the Berlin 200 in Grand Rapids, Mich., Saturday, sustaining a broken leg and ribs.

Results –

1. Butch Miller, Lawton, Mich.
2. Robbie Reiser, Allenton
3. Joe Shear, Clinton
4. Conrad Morgan, Dousman
5, Steve Holzhausen, Bangor
6. Bryan Refiner, Wisconsin Rapids
7. Tony Strupp, West Bend
8. Al Schill Sr., Franklin
9. Cliff Leach, Beloit
10. Andy Wendt, Watertown
11. John Olson, Stoughton
12. Todd Krope, Watertown
13. Vince Miller, Walworth
14. Matt Kenseth, Cambridge
15. Don Trapp, Albany
16. Doug Herbst, Wausau
17. Al Schill Jr., Franklin
18. Rick Bickle Jr., Concord, N.C.
19. Steve Carlson, West Salem
20. Don Leach, Janesville
21. Jeff Neal, Lake Villa, III.
22. Bob Weiss, Montello
23. Cub Rezin, Tomah
24. Jim Weber, Roseville, Minn.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

1969 - Tattersall in Controversial Knoxville Win

Knoxville, Iowa (June 19, 1969) – USAC midget point leader Mel Kenyon of Lebanon, Ind., drove his Offy midget to victory Thursday night at the Marion County Fairgrounds, only to learn later he had to surrender the winner’s share of the purse and trophy to Bob Tattersall of Streator, Ill.
While Kenyon accepted the winner’s trophy, handshakes and the like, a protest was being filed by Merle Bettenhausen of Tinley Park, Ill. Bettenhausen claimed that, while running second behind Tattersall, they noticed the stalled car of Chuck Arnold near the infield of turn two.
Bettenhausen claimed this created an automatic slowdown and that is just what he did. He said he slowed down and went high coming out of the turn and this said Bettenhausen, is when Kenyon passed him.
The incident happened on the lap 31 of the 40-lap feature event and it was determined that the caution flag was displayed after the drivers had passed the flagman.
Kenyon said he didn’t see any flag and didn’t see Arnold’s stalled ride near the rim of the infield. He said he was too busy watching Bettenhausen’s car being passed.
After almost an hour of deliberation, USAC officials declared Tattersall the winner and Kenyon was dropped to third. Kenyon eventually caught Tattersall on lap 35 but he was running third at the time of Arnold’s spinout.
Merle Bettenhausen was second and Bob Wente of St. Louis, Mo., was fourth. Tom Bigelow of Whitewater, Wis., rounded out the top five.

Results –

1.    Bob Tattersall
2.    Merle Bettenhausen
3.    Mel Kenyon
4.    Bob Wente
5.    Tom Bigelow
6.    Robert Greentree
7.    Willard Yates
8.    Bill Puterbaugh
9.    Les Scott
10.  Dave Strickland
11.  Joe Demko
12.  Bill Engelhart

Monday, June 18, 2018

1978 - Carson Wins Cedar Rapids Sprints

Shane Carson is joined by car owner Bob Trostle after his 20-lap sprint car win at Hawkeye Downs. - Dave Hill Photo

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (June 18, 1978) – Shane Carson of Oklahoma City, Okla., driving the Bob Trostle Chevy, almost made a clean sweep of all events he entered at Hawkeye Downs Speedway on Sunday evening.
Carson set fast time of 22.05 seconds, won the second heat and the 20-lap feature event.
He had to eat dirt, however, from Sonny Smyser’s spinning wheels in the fast car dash, and for the first 14 laps of the feature event before he succeeded in getting past Smyser and his Springer-Chevy. Smyser, from Lancaster, Mo., would settle for second behind Carson.
A fierce battle took place for the entire 20 laps for third-place money as a blanket could have covered Randy Smith of Norwalk, Iowa, Jerry Blundy of Dahinda, Ill., and Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo. Leavitt would just barely nip Smith by the length of a tire at the checkers.

Results –

Fast dash – Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
First heat – Sonny Smyser
Second heat – Shane Carson, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Third heat – Randy Smith, Norwalk, Iowa
B-main – John McCoy, Knoxville, Iowa
Feature –
1.    Shane Carson
2.    Sonny Smyser
3.    Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
4.    Randy Smith
5.    Jerry Blundy, Dahinda, Ill.
6.    Mike Brooks, Knoxville, Iowa
7.    Bill Robinson, Topeka, Kan.
8.    Bobby Marshall, Dallas, Tex.
9.    Junior Gutknecht, Pleasantville, Iowa
10.  Stacy Redmond, Mason City, Iowa

Friday, June 15, 2018

1978 - Hansen Triumphs in Coca-Cola Special

Waterloo, Iowa (June 15, 1978) – Curt Hansen, the defending late model champion at Tunis Speedway, led from start to finish in the second annual Coca-Cola Special on Thursday night.
Hansen earned the pole position for the 40-lap late model main event by winning the first heat under the program’s open competition format. He breezed to victory in that 10-lap race after starting on the outside front row.
The Dike, Iowa, driver quickly served notice in the feature too. He pulled away from the rest of the field and gained a comfortable margin between himself and his opposition.
Hansen, who drives an Ed Sanger built Camaro, earned $1,000 in prize money including the $750 first place money, $200 for leading all 40 laps and an additional $50 for winning the first heat. It was his first victory of the season at the 3/8-mile dirt oval.
Gary Crawford of Independence, Iowa, worked his way up second place in the feature after starting fifth while Waterloo, Iowa, veteran Bill Zwanziger won a dog fight for third.
Des Moines, Iowa, pilot Bill Rice was fourth and Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa, rounded out the top five finishers.
Leon Plank of Eau Claire, Wis., and Bob Hilmer of Dysart, Iowa, also won heat races while Joe Merryfield of Des Moines took the consolation.
Gene Ehlers of Independence, Iowa, wrestled the lead from Larry Schmidt of New Hampton, Iowa, on the very last lap to win the 25-lap sportsman main.

Results –

First heat – Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
Second heat – Leon Plank, Eau Claire, Wis.
Third heat – Bob Hilmer, Dysart, Iowa
Consolation – Joe Merryfield, Iowa
Feature –
1.    Curt Hansen
2.    Gary Crawford, Independence, Iowa
3.    Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, Iowa
4.    Bill Rice, Des Moines
5.    Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
6.    Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
7.    Leon Plank
8.    Joe Merryfield
9.    Red Dralle, Evansdale, Iowa
10.  Bob Hilmer

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

1976 - Whitcomb Claims I-70 USAC Victory

Odessa, Mo. (June 13, 1976) – Dave Whitcomb of Valparaiso, Ind., drove a strong, steady race and piloted his 1975 Camaro to victory lane in I-70 Speedway’s “Show Me 150”, a United States Auto Club sanctioned stock car race on Sunday afternoon.
The 44-year-old USAC veteran and father of four took over the lead on lap 61 from four-time USAC champion Butch Hartman of South Zanesville, Ohio.
Hartman would spin on lap 74 and crash into the wall on the backstretch. His car would burst into flames, but he was not hurt. The car, however, was too badly damaged to continue.
Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., the I-70 Speedway 1975 late model stock car champion, put on a strong performance early on in the race but became a victim to the extreme heat and turned over the wheel to his Camaro to Jerry Sifford, who finished fourth.
Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, the 1975 USAC national stock car champion, finished second in the race followed by Terry Ryan of Davenport, Iowa. Harold Fair of Lavonia, Mich., rounded out the top five.
The accident involving Hartman brought out the yellow flag for laps 74 to 84 and was the only time the yellow was displayed for the race.
The trophy dash was won by Stott and the semi-feature went to Harold Fair. Butch Hartman set fast time during qualifying, touring the half-mile in 19.36 seconds.

Results –

1.    Dave Whitcomb, Valparaiso, Ind.
2.    Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
3.    Terry Ryan, Davenport, Iowa
4.    Larry Phillips/Jerry Sifford, Springfield, Mo.
5.    Harold Fair, Lavonia, Mich.
6.    Dean Roper, Springfield, Mo.
7.    Ken Rowley, Normal, Ill.
8.    Kenny Simpson, Bedford, Ind.
9.    Bob Dotter, Chicago
10.  Sal Tovella, Addison, Ill.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

1979 - Schultz, Izzo set marks in Waukegan 'Shootout'

Waukegan, Ill. (June 12, 1979) – Carl Schultz of Pewaukee, Wis., led from start to finish in the 50-lap Midwest Late Model Stock Car Challenge Shootout at Waukegan Speedway on Tuesday night.
Schultz appeared to adjust himself to the track rather quickly as he took the fourth heat race before moving on to the feature. Schultz set a 10-lap record of 2 minutes and 50 seconds, eclipsing the previous record mark of 2 minutes and 53 seconds set on June 24, 1978.
The “King of Clay” Tony Izzo also shattered a record by taking fast time with a 16.12 second lap. His mark was more than a second quicker than the previous mark of 17.14 seconds set by Jim Cossman of Waukegan, on September 24, 1966.
Izo attempted to overtake Schultz in the latter stages of the main event. However, the Wisconsinite rose to the occasion and held off the crafty veteran to take the win.
Heat winner Mike Melius came in third, with LeRoy Schneiderman fourth, John Provenzano fifth and trophy dash winner Bill Strom sixth.
Lloyd Griffith won the semi-feature over Melius, Mark Warner and Dennis Erb.

Feature results –

1.    Carl Schultz, Pewaukee, Wis.
2.    Tony Izzo, Bridgeview, Ill.
3.    Mike Melius, Random Lake, Wis.
4.    LeRoy Schneiderman, Woodstock, Ill.
5.    John Provenzano, Glen Ellyn, Ill.
6.    Bill Strom, West Allis, Wis.
7.    Art “Fireball” Fehrman, Berwyn, Ill.
8.    Dick Potts, Morocco, Ind.
9.    Jack Aschenbrenner, Hales Corner, Wis.
10.  Lloyd Griffith, Chicago, Ill.