Monday, July 30, 2018

1979 – Hovinga wins Boone Grand National

Boone, Iowa (July 30, 1979) – Denny Hovinga from Pocahontas, Iowa, a man who knows Boone Speedway as well as anyone and better than most, led from start to finish Monday night to win the Boone Grand Nationals XIII on the high-banked, quarter-mile dirt oval.
Hovinga, co-holder of the qualifying record of 17.13 seconds along with Don Hoffman of Des Moines, ran laps consistently below the one-lap record in winning his second Grand Nationals title. His first Nationals win came in 1971. He joined Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, as the only two-time winners of the event, George Barton of Ankeny, Iowa, is a three-time winner.
Qualifying heats and position races for Monday’s 50-lap main event were held one week prior to the running of the event. The features had been scheduled for Tuesday, July 24, but heavy rains forced moving the show back one whole week.
Because of the delay, several drivers who had been at Boone on opening night were unable to return for the main event the next week. Included were drivers from Missouri, Nebraska and some farther corners of Iowa.
However, the week’s delay did give some drivers an opportunity to attend this week who couldn’t last week. Included was defending champion Ed Sanger, along with several other drivers returning from a five-race series in North and South Dakota.
Because Sanger was the defending champion, he wasn’t required to qualify to earn a starting spot in the feature grid. He ran the four-car semi-main, but played it safe and ran at the back of the pack. Still, that placed him the last starting spot for the 50-lapper.
Once the green dropped, however, Sanger didn’t remain in back for too long. His charge through the field netted him a third-place finish behind Hovinga and runner-up Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa.
Bartholomew gave the fans in the nearly-packed grandstand several moments to cheer late in the race as he made repeated challenges to Hovinga, at one time almost drawing side-by-side with the eventual winner. However, with Hovinga running the low side of the track and Bartholomew challenging on the high-side of the track, the gap soon widened again and Hovinga took the checkered several lengths ahead.
The 25-lap sportsman feature was an all-out run for the checkers with Billy Moyer Jr. of Des Moines taking home the top prize. Des Moines’ Rocky Hodges grabbed the lead from the start with Ken Davidson of Indianola, Iowa, and Moyer tucked in behind him.
Soon, however, Moyer got around Davidson and began working on Hodges. Midway in the race, Moyer slipped past Hodges for the lead and then held off a determined Steve Shannon of Norwalk, Iowa, for the win.
Arvid Borchers of Marshalltown, Iowa, won the 15-lap street stock title, leading start to finish.

Results –

1.    Denny Hovinga, Pocahontas, Iowa
2.    Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
3.    Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
4.    D. Arthur Nesteby, Waterloo, Iowa
5.    Em Fretheim, Decorah, Iowa
6.    Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
7.    Bob Hill, Randall, Iowa
8.    Arnie Braland, Boone, Iowa
9.    Joe Kosiski, Omaha
10.  Greg Davis, Boone, Iowa
11.  Darrell Sells, Waverly, Iowa
12.  Tom Fitzpatrick, Gilbertville, Iowa
13.  Rick Wendling, Hazelton, Iowa
14.  Bill Rice, Des Moines
15.  Wendell Folkerts, Albia, Iowa
16.  Steve Coe, Ames, Iowa
17.  Larry Wasserfort, Waterloo, Iowa
18.  Bill Davis, Des Moines

Saturday, July 28, 2018

1968 – Nordhorn Big at Winchester

Don Nordhorn

Winchester, Ind. (July 28, 1968) – Pete Wales owns the world-famous Winchester high-banked, half-mile speed plant but if IMCA and Don Nordhorn show up many more times, the ownership may change hands.
Nordhorn, the 34-year-old speed veteran from Wadesville, Ind., took home everything but the track from the IMCA-sanctioned and National Speedways, Inc., supervised IMCA sprint car show on Sunday afternoon for the second straight time this summer.
The fastest qualifier for the day with a one-lap time of 17.73 seconds in his own #52 Chevy-powered sprinter, Nordhorn tasted defeat only once, in his 8-lap heat race before capturing the 5-lap STP handicap and then turning in a ridiculously easy triumph in the 30-lap main event.
Starting on the pole, the veteran of 14 years of speed activity, coasted home by nearly one full lap ahead of Darl Harrison of Tiffin, Ohio.
Harrison won a spirited three-car battle with Dave Weir in the #3 Speed Helms Chevy and Claire Lawicki in the #36 Stahl Brothers Chevrolet for second-place money and Weir grabbed show cash by a car length over Lawicki.
Weir was running second and Lawicki third until they got snarled in slower traffic on lap 20 and Harrison snuck by both of them for second place.
The feature was red-flagged after only three circuits when Jack O’Donnell, driving the #28 Spencer Buick, hit the turn four wall and spun approximately 140 feet down the front straightaway before stopping directly underneath the flagman’s stand.
O’Donnell jumped from his sprinter and climbed the protective fence while starter Woody Brinkman brought the field to a halt. O’Donnell escaped uninjured and thee race was resumed as soon as his car was towed to the infield.

Results –

1.   Don Nordhorn
2.   Darl Harrison
3.   Dave Weir
4.   Claire Lawicki
5.   Buzz Gregory
6.   Curly Boyd
7.   Cliff Cockrum
8.   Ralph Parkinson
9.   Benny Rapp
10. Bernie Graybeal

Friday, July 27, 2018

1974 - Goldsberry Wins I-70 National Championship 300

David Goldsberry

Odessa, Mo. (July 27, 1974) – David Goldsberry of Bolivar, Mo., coasted to victory at I-70 Speedway’s National Championship 300, banking more than $4,500 in prize money.
Goldsberry’s battered blue and gold 1972 Chevelle ran perfectly and had a three-lap lead on the second and third place cars on lap 294 when sparks began spewing out of his car caused by a flat on the left front tire. The car slowed, but Goldsberry had full control and maintained a good pace. The real issue developed when he took the white flag, signaling the last lap.
Goldsberry’s car began running out of gas, going slower and slower around the half-mile. Freddie Whisler of Independence, Mo., driving a 1973 Camaro, was really flying and manage to pass Goldsberry twice, but he needed to pass him one more time.
As flagman Kenny Austin furiously waved the checkered flag, Goldsberry’s Chevelle inched closer and closer to the finish line, stopping just a car length over the finish line as Whisler came flying by just a few seconds too late. Whisler would settle for second while Joe Ruttman of Dearborn Heights, Mich., took third and Bob Williams of Independence, Mo., grabbed fourth.
Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., who set fast time in qualifying at 18.02 seconds, and also won the qualifying feature on Friday night, led the first 34 laps before a blown tire caused him to slow abruptly on the backstretch, and Joe Wallace of Peyton, Colo., who had been drafting him, bumped him from behind, sending the two drivers spinning into the infield.
Goldsberry would become the new leader on the restart and would lead until lap 80 until the next caution came out.
Ruttman would take over the top spot on the next restart and begin setting a torrid pace. He pulled away from the rest of the field was really pouring on the power. The yellow flag would come out again on lap 103 as Roy McClellan of Riverside, Mo., and Dean Ayres of Platte Woods, Mo., collided. The red flag was waved to clean up debris an Ruttman pulled into the pits for fuel.
A crewman of Ruttman’s spilled some of the high-octane gas and thee car was engulfed in flames. Quick work by the track safety crew put out the fire and no one was injured. Ruttman was back in the race for the restart and continued to lead.
Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., would take the lead from Ruttman on lap 107 but a pit stop for Phillips gave the lead back to Ruttman. On lap 138 Ruttman pitted during a yellow and Goldsberry took the lead again.
Following the restart, Goldsberry really mashed down on the accelerator and he and his Chevelle started to widen the margin. He would continue to lead and by the time the race had moved into the third half, Goldsberry started lapping the field.

Results –

1.    David Goldsberry, Bolivar, Mo.
2.    Freddie Whisler, Independence, Mo.
3.    Joe Ruttman, Dearborn Heights, Mich.
4.    Bob Williams, Independence, Mo.
5.    Dean Ayres, Platte Woods, Mo.
6.    Don Schoenfeld, Fort Smith, Ark.
7.    Jack Chambers, Northfield, Ohio
8.    Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
9.    Jack Constable, Princeton, Mo.
10.  Terry Brumley, Springfield, Mo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

1981 – Wolfgang Wins Missouri Sprint Nationals

Sedalia, Mo. (July 25, 1981) – Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, S.D. capped off a successful two-day race program by winning the 30-lap feature finale of the Missouri Sprint Nationals at the Missouri State Fairgrounds on Saturday night. The 28-year-old hotshoe collected $3,000 for the victory.
Wolfgang was far faster than any other car competing in the Friday/Saturday event and he literally drove away from a field of the best cars and drivers in the country.
He did have one problem in winning the 30-lap main. He would run out of fuel on the last lap but was able to coast to victory without threat from runner-up Danny Smith of Hendersonville, Tenn.
Wolfgang and Sammy Swindell of West Memphis Tenn., were the front runners in the race until the 27th lap when Swindell’s right rear tire blew. He returned and finished sixth, having passed most of the competitors in the earlier go-rounds.
But Swindell’s time consuming tire change plus time spent earlier to clean up a wing that flew off the car belonging to Dick Howard of Kansas City, took its toll on Wolfgang’s fuel tank.
“I wouldn’t have won the race had we gone one more lap,” said Wolfgang, who was spending the last few hours of his 28th year – he turned 29 on Sunday.
“I knew I was in trouble the last few laps. This is the second time this month I’ve run out of fuel. The other time was at I-70. I won there, too.”
Throughout the main event, Swindell managed to get around Wolfgang a couple of times – he caught up when Wolfgang got into heavy traffic, but they were very short-lived leads. Swindell’s car was not in the same class as Wolfgang’ on this particular night. Wolfgang would stomp the pedal and he was off again, leaving Swindell wondering what was wrong.
Shane Carson of Oklahoma City, who started on the front row with Wolfgang, finished third, Ken Schrader of Fenton, Mo., took fourth and Bobby Marshall of Dallas, Tex., rounded out the top five.
National Speedways Contest Association conducted the program but the event was well represented by the World of Outlaws and the United States Auto Club.

Results –

1.    Doug Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, S.D.
2.    Randy Smith, Hendersonville, Tenn.
3.    Shane Carson, Oklahoma City
4.    Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo.
5.    Bobby Marshall, Dallas, Tex.
6.    Sammy Swindell, West Memphis, Tenn.
7.    Pat McKeehan, Windsor, Mo
8.    Fred Brownfield, Everett, Wash.
9.    Rick Weld, Kansas City
10.   Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
11.   Junior Parkinson, Kansas City
12.   Cliff Woodward, Kearney, Mo.
13.   Bill McCormick, Anderson, Calif.
14.   Keith Frantzen, Windom, Minn.
15.   Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
16.   Scott Richart, Lincoln, Ill.
17.   Bill Baker, Mexico, Mo.
18.   Dick Howard, Kansas City
19.   Danny Lasoski, Dover, Mo.
20.   Ron Shuman, Mesa, Ariz.
21.   John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
22.   Joe McCarthy, El Paso, Tex.
23.   Larry Aszmus, Anchorage, Ak.
24.   Leland McSpadden, Tempe, Ariz.

Monday, July 23, 2018

1992 - ARTGO Pabst Light 100 to Shear

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 23, 1972) - Kevin Cywinski took the "ultimate challenge" but Joe Shear took the checkered flag.

Shear, of Clinton, Wis., overtook veteran driver Jim Weber of Roseville, Minn., on the 93rd lap to win the ARTGO Pabst Light 100 stock car race Thursday night at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.

It was the second win in two years for Shear at Hawkeye Downs. He also won last year's ARTGO event, the Miller 100.

Shear spoiled an attempt by Cywinski to pocket an additional $5,000 in prize money.

Cywinski had the night's fastest qualifying time, and opted to start from the back of the field. Had Cywinski won the race, he would have collected a $5,000 bonus. But Cywinski was involved in several mishaps and eventually finished 10th.

Shear and Weber did a two-car battle after Weber took the lead from Steve Holzhausen of Bangor, Wis., on the 47th lap. Shear passed Holzhausen and moved into second place one lap later.

Weber, who earlier in the night earned $1,000 by winning a three-race match series against Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., built as much as a two-second lead over Shear — but a yellow flag on the 91st lap tightened things up.

"I thought I was quicker and I thought I was reeling him in," Shear said. "But I don't think I'd have had enough time to pass him. It would have been tough without the yellow."

After overtaking him on the restart, Shear's Oldsmobile Cutlass was too fast for Weber's Cutlass. "I think it started to get faster as the race went on," Shear said.

"The win means a lot after the kind of year we've had," said Shear, who won for only the second time in 10 tries on this year's ARTGO circuit. "The crew needed this one. We haven't been able to make the car work and we've had a lot of engine problems."

Shear, 49, is in third place on the all-time ARTGO win list. Dick Trickle has 68 career wins, Butch Miller 34 and Shear 33.

Shear qualified for the main event with the third fastest qualifying time. Kevin Cywinski of Mosinee, Wis., ran the fastest qualifying lap (18.791 seconds), Steve Carlson of West Salem, Wis., was second (18.797) and Shear turned the half-mile lap in 18.807 second.

Four Iowa drivers were in attendance Thursday, but only two made the final field of 24 for the main event.

Curt Martin of Independence, driving a Chevrolet Camaro, started on the outside of the second row and ran a smart, consistent race, finally finishing fourth. It is his highest finish in 10 ARTGO outings this year.

Johnny Spaw of Cedar Rapids also qualified for the main event but was lapped by the leaders and finished 18th.

Tony "The Tiger" Strupp of West Bend, Wis., finished third and Tracy Shuler of Lockport, Ill., was fifth.

A $1,000 challenge race between racing veterans Weber and Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., was also part of the evening's program.

The two drivers, both in their early 50s, competed in a best-of three series of three-lap races, with the winner carting home $1,000.
Weber, second in the ARTGO point standings coming into the Pabst Light 100, won the first and third races — both from the inside — and grabbed the prize money.

Results -

1. Joe Shear
2. Jim Weber
3. Tony Strupp
4. Steve Holzhausen
5. Curt Martin
6. Dick Harrington
7. Tim Sauter
8. Kregg Hurlburt
9. Ed Holmes
10. Kevin Cywinski
11. Ray Daniels
12. Larry Schuler
13. Bob Brownell
14. Tracy Schuler
15. M.G. Gajewski
16. Billy Deckman
17. Neil Callahan
18. Johnny Spaw
19. Steve Carlson
20. Russ Phillips
21. Larry Phillips
22. Rick Beebe
23. Matt Kenseth
24. Tom Carlson

Sunday, July 22, 2018

1972 - Bad Tire Costs Hovinga at Boone

Gene Schattschneider

Boone, Iowa (July 22, 1972) - Gene Schattschneider, Algona, used hard driving and some luck Saturday night to win the Boone Speedway super late model feature.

He captured the feature by less than half a car length over Denny Hovinga of Laurens, the current point leader at the track.

Hovinga held the lead on the last lap, but in the final two turns he slowed just enough for Schattschneider to get by just as they crossed the finish line. Hovinga said after the race a tire had gone flat on the last lap, dropping him back to second place.

Schattschneider had taken the lead early in the race from Arlo Dorenbush, Boone; who held the lead at the end of the first lap. Schattschneider shifted from his high groove to go low and take the lead away from the Boone driver.

Hovinga, who started alongside Schattschneider, worked his way up to sit right on the Flying Dutchman’s bumper. He tried to take Schattschneider on the outside, finally going into the lead on the front straightaway. Schattschneider took the lead right back, but Hovinga again went low to regain the lead and held it until just before the checkered flag fell.

This was Schattschneider’s second feature win of the season.

He started the night by setting the fast time of 18.09 seconds, with Arnie Braland, Boone, second with a time of 18.10 seconds.

Then trouble set in for Schattschneider. Running third in the last lap of the trophy dash, he lost a wheel in the fourth turn and spun out. In the heat race he was unable to get around the slower cars and finished fifth, one place out of qualifying for the feature. He made that up in short order in the B-Feature.

Starting at the back of the eight-car field, he charged into first place in the first turn of the second lap and led the rest of the way.

Hovinga made the trophy dash a close contest as he took the low route around Greg Davis, Boone, on the last lap for the win. It was his second trophy win of the year.

The super late model trophy dash eliminated two cars for the night. Wayne Meyer, Algona, took the first lead, only to have his steering break in turn one. He held the car the rest of the way: through turns one and two, but it went out of control on the backstretch and spun out in turn three. Braland slammed into him and both cars were damaged. The Boone driver tried several times to get back in the action in later races; but each time had to go back to the pits.

In the second heat, Del McDowall, Ames, had another streak of bad luck. Running a 350-cubic inch Chevy engine, he was running close to Davis when the harmonic balancer on the front of the crankshaft flew off, smashing the radiator. In addition, the engine revved up too high when the balancer flew off and wiped it out.

“At least I have a day to change it (the engine before Boone Speedway’s Grand Nationals which start tonight),” was McDowall’s comment. Judging from his comments, he planned to go back to a 327-cubic inch engine he has used earlier in the season.

Results -

Fast Time - Gene Schattschneider, Algona, Iowa (18.09)
Trophy Dash - Denny Hovinga, Laurens, Iowa
First Heat - Denny Hovinga
Second Heat - Greg Davis, Boone, Iowa
B-Main - Gene Schattschneider
A-Main -

1. Gene Schattschneider
2. Denny Hovinga
3. Arlo Dorenbush, Boone, Iowa
4. Greg Davis
5. Dwight Engleen, Ogden, Iowa
6. Bruce Sommerfeld, Fort Dodge, Iowa

Friday, July 20, 2018

1969 - Fitzpatrick Wins Dodge County Fair


Kasson, Minn. (July 20, 1969) – Flagman Paul Tradup bent over backwards to help Dave Noble, but the Blooming Prairie, Minn., stock car pilot wasn’t able to take advantage of the situation before a record-breaking crowd at the Dodge County Fair Sunday evening.
As it was, Paul Fitzpatrick of Rochester, Minn., capped an exceptional week of racing, winning his heat and the late model feature.
Noble, the leading money winner on the Minnesota Speedways, Inc., circuit, is presently engaged with LeRoy Scharkey, also of Rochester, in a fierce point battle for the grand championship.
Noble was running second in the 20-lap feature when Don McAllister of Austin, Minn., spun on the backstretch on lap 16, blocking the track and forcing a restart.
At that point, Noble’s pitmen were guilty of violating a long-standing MSI ruling, servicing the 1965 Chevelle on the track.
On top of that, when McAllister’s 1964 Buick was cleared from the track, Tradup gave Noble an extra lap to regain his position. According to MSI standards, whenever a driver fails to take position when the track is cleared, he automatically fails to the rear of the field.
However, Tradup – unwilling to irritate a rather large following of pro-Noble fans – signaled yet another trip for Noble around the half-mile as Gerhard Wollenberg of Austin, Minn., leading the pack at the time, prepared to bore into turn one.
At any rate, Fitzpatrick – who would take the lead from Wollenberg on lap 19 – wasn’t unduly perturbed by the proceedings. Wheeling a 1965 Chevelle convertible, the veteran driver collected $307 for the feature victory, upping hi week’s total to over $1,000 after successful appearances at Chateau Speedway in Lansing, Minn., and Tunis Speedway in Waterloo, Iowa.
Ironically, Noble fell to third on lap 17 and eventually wound up ninth after failing to negotiate turn four on lap 18.
Terry Hansen of Blooming Prairie, Minn., led the first six lap before Wollenberg, who finished second, took command.
The attendance, 2,707, and purse, $1,900, were new highs for the Dodge County oval – shattering the former records of 2,076 and $1,400, which were set last year on June 21, 1968.
Fitzpatrick’s check, which amounted to $358, was another MSI record.  Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., held the old mark of $343, set on June 8 of this year at the Olmstead County Fair in Rochester.
Almost going unnoticed was Rich Olson’s sweep in the hobby stock division The Rochester, Minn., driver, running extremely strong lately, won the 15-lap feature in his 1956 Pontiac.


1.    Paul Fitzpatrick, Rochester, Minn.
2.    Gerhard Wollenberg, Austin, Minn.
3.    Terry Hansen, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
4.    Bob Saterdalen, Oronoco, Minn.
5.    Ron Thomas, Austin, Minn.
6.    Dwight Trygstadm Byron, Minn.
7.    Darrell Zweifel, Kasson, Minn.
8.    Al Ward, Elba, Minn.
9.    Dave Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
10.  Larry Fleener, Rochester, Minn.

Monday, July 16, 2018

1972 – Blankenship Wins Cresco IMCA

Gordon Blankenship
Cresco, Iowa (July 16, 1972) – The record book for the Howard County Fair racetrack was freely written on Sunday night.
The weather was perfect, the track was fast and Gordon Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, bettered the records of his Keokuk neighbors, Ramo Stott and Ernie Derr.
Stott’s record was the first to fall. Blankenship sliced more than 25 seconds off the existing record for 10 laps, by turning the fast time of 3 minutes and 11 seconds.
There was a break in the action, the crowd was catching its breath and Gordon Blankenship was making some last-minute adjustments to his machine.
Derr’s record was the next to fall. Blankenship, driving like he was truly inspired from his third-place finish in the Iowa 300 a week ago, led the feature race from start to finish.
In the early going Blankenship sat on a comfortable lead as the pack was wrestling and jostling for position. It was on lap 34 that Gordy, trying to weave through lap traffic, skinned the wall in turn four, sending sparks flying into the crowd.
Irv Janey of Cedar Rapid, Iowa and Gerry Harrison of Topeka, Kan., closed in on Blankenship by lap 36. Despite Janey’s serious challenges throughout the remainder of the race and even though he was within inches of the leader, Blankenship denied his every effort.
Blankenship took the checkers and set a new track record in the process, turning the 50 laps in 39 minutes and 41 seconds, bettering Derr’s record of 41 minutes flat.

Results –

1.    Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa
2.    Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
3.    Gerry Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
4.    Blackie Wangerin, Cascade, Iowa
5.    Jim Hager, Liberty, Mo.
6.    Bill Schwader, McClausland, Iowa
7.    Thurman Lovejoy, Kansas City
8.    Jim Still, Topeka, Kan.
9.    Vern Mondry, Lake Elmo, Minn.
10.   Butch Hall, Russell, Minn.