Friday, August 31, 2018

1958 – Grim’s Favorite Race Maneuver Fails; Wagner Wins

Herschel Wagner in the Roy Thomas Offy - Dick Wallen Collection 

Lincoln, Neb. (August 31, 1958) – One of Bobby Grim’s favorite maneuvers failed on Sunday afternoon and the IMCA champion finished out of the money in the Nebraska State Fair feature race.
As a crowd of 18,000 watched on, Grim went high on the track in the final turn of lap 6, holding a comfortable lead over the field.
But his “Black Deuce” failed to complete the turn and Grim slammed into the guard rail, breaking a wheel and flattening a tire.
That was it for Grim, winner of two previous races that afternoon.
It opened the gate for victory for Herschel Wagner of Hickman Hills, Mo., in the 20-lap feature.
The same method of negotiating the curves had helped Grim win his two earlier races and build a half lap lead over Wagner and the other drivers prior to the accident.
Wagner went on to an easy triumph over Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill.
The top qualifying mark for the afternoon belonged to Bob Cleburg of Tucson, Ariz., with a time of 29.53 seconds.
Grim won the first heat and the match race while Wagner and Cleburg won the second and third heats respectively. Red Hoyle of Colona, Ill., won the Australian Pursuit.

Results –

1.    Herschel Wagner, Hickman Hills, Mo.
2.    Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
3.    Art Plas, Elyria, Ohio
4.    Red Hoyle, Colona, Ill.
5.    Red Amick, Muncie, Ind.
6.    Don Carr, St. Petersburg, Fla.
7.    Ken Gottschalk, St. Louis, Mo.
8.    Colby Scroggin, Pasadena, Calif.
9.    Bert Hellmueller, Louisville, Ky.
10.  Jerry Shoemaker, Wichita, Kan.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

1970 - Moss, Morgan capture State Fair trophies

John Moss of Iowa City, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa (August 30, 1970) - John Moss, Iowa City. survived a set of torn pants and a strong challenge from Dean Montgomery, Rock Island, Ill., to take the late model stock car feature event at the Iowa State Fair Sunday afternoon.
Montgomery stayed within a few inches of Moss’ rear bumper for most of the 25-lap race, had momentary leads over the Iowa City driver on a few occasions, but couldn't take control. On his last bid for the lead as the cars came out of the final turn on the last lap, Montgomery pushed too hard and spun into the infield. He regained control but dropped to fourth place at the checkered flag.

Moss had torn his pants getting into the car for the race; and for obvious reasons, received the winner’s trophy while seated in the car.

Sonny Morgan, Blue Earth, Minn., took the 15-lap sportsman feature event, piloting a 1957 Chevrolet owned by Tom Gawley of Irwin. He also won the first heat.

The busiest drive of the day was Don Hoffman, Des Moines, as he jumped back and fourth between the late model and sportsman divisions. In the sportsman competition, he finished third in the heat race and main event, and in late model competition he was second in the heat race and main event.

Bill Holder, Ames, got some unwanted help during the first heat of late model competition. Coming out of number three turn, Dave Chase, Council Bluffs, nosed into Holder’s car. Chase then got a boost from Don Davidson, Des Moines, who just got by Holder without major incident as the Ames drive spun around.

Holder ended up in the infield but came back for a fifth-place finish in the heat race, qualifying him for the feature event. In the main event, he placed 10th.
The sportsman semi-main was the most grueling of the afternoon on the machinery. Of the 16 cars eligible for the event, four scratched before the race started.

Results –

Late Model –

Trophy Dash: Chris Maurer, Colfax
First Heat: John Moss, Iowa City
Second Heat: Dean Montgomery, Rock Island, Ill.
Semi-Main: Bob Hilmer, Dysart

1.     John Moss
2.     Don Hoffman, Des Moines
3.     Stan Stover, Reinbeck
4.     Dean Montgomery
5.     Dave Chase, Council Bluffs
6.     Jim Havill, Le Claire
7.     Danny Clements, Rhodes
8.     Dick Oldham, Des Moines
9.     Bob Hilmer
10.   Shorty Selsor, Des Moines


Sportsman –

First Heat: Sonny Morgan, Blue Earth, Minn.
Second Heat: Larry Embrey, Grimes
Semi-Main: Bob Henry, Madrid

1.     Sonny Morgan
2.     Phil Reece, Des Moines
3.     Don Hoffman, Des Moines
4.     Larry Embrey
5.     Bob Bonzer, Liscomb
6.     Ken Davidson, Des Moines
7.     Jerry Roberts, Prairie City
8.     Arlo Becker, Atkins

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

1965 - Stott Outduels Derr in Missouri International

Sedalia, Mo. (August 29, 1965) - Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa took down top honors in Saturday’s Missouri State Fair “International” feature for late model stock cars after a blown engine ended a 98-lap duel between Stott and fellow townsman Ernie Derr. More than 14,000 saw the race.
The race was run as scheduled despite a tragic accident during the cars’ warm up laps, which fatally injured four spectators and hospitalized seven others.
The mishap occurred when a 1964 Dodge, driven by Bill Crane of Kansas City broke a ball joint going into the first turn and plunged into a chain link fence where non-paying spectators had gathered despite efforts of highway patrolmen to keep the area clear.
It was the first such accident in the more than 50 years of auto racing at the fair.
Earlier in the day, under dripping skies as the drivers awaited the go signal, talk in the pit area got around to safety measures to prevent such accidents.
 “Both Ernie and I generally change to new ball joints after each race,” said Ramo, adding, "and then sometimes they break. On a half-mile track such as this one you’re not able to go fast enough to get into serious trouble.”
“But on a mile track like Sedalia’s - I clocked a 120-mile an hour lap during the race - if a ball joint breaks at that speed, you’re in real serious trouble.”
“There was nothing Crane could do once he flipped,” said Stott.
“Due to the tremendous stress, we beef up the critical parts of our cars, for without safety equipment the cars would break up fast. We've all had parts break on us at one time or another.”
“That’s one reason IMCA tracks are double fenced on all corners. People just don’t seem to believe a car can get through one of those chain-linked fences. They jammed inside of the second fence here without warning.”
Stott, who had set a new lap world record for mile tracks during qualifying, took the lead on the start and was trailed closely by Derr until lap 21, when Derr forged ahead in heavy traffic.
Derr led until lap 39, when the pair swapped the lead three times in as many circuits, Stott finally getting it back on lap 41.
On lap 49 both pitted, going in and out almost simultaneously and Stott keeping his slender lead.
Ramo kept his 1965 Plymouth out front until the 86th lap, when Derr wheeled his new Dodge to the inside on the first corner and got past Stott, who in going wide hit the guard rail a light glancing blow which did not slow him down.
Derr then looked like a winner until the 91st lap when the car began smoking badly, due to a ruptured oil filter, and on lap 98 the engine seized, giving Stott a clear way to victory.
Second went to Ed Negre of Monett, Mo., in a car owned by Stott; Derr was third and Lewis Taylor, Shawnee, Kan., Blaine Morrow, St. Paul, Minn., were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

1968 - Hauck Cops USAC Midget Main at Speedbowl

Sterling, Ill. (August 28, 1968) – Bob Hauck of Joliet, Ill., won the 40-lap United States Auto Club midget feature at Speedbowl Park on Wednesday night. Mel Kenyon, third place finisher at the 1968 Indianapolis 500, took runner-up honors.
The feature was marred by one serious accident on lap 3 when Tom Sellberg ran off the track in turn one and flipped end over end several times. Sellberg was taken to Community General Hospital and examined. He was transferred to Rockford Memorial Hospital with a fracture of the skull and cheekbone. His condition was considered critical.
Fast qualifier of the night was Dave Strickland with a time of 17.54 seconds on the third-mile dirt oval. Heat races were won by Mel Kenyon, Merle Bettenhausen, Bill Puterbaugh and Jigger Sirois. Bettenhausen also copped the semi-feature event while Sellburg won the trophy dash.
Results –

1.    Bob Hauck
2.    Mel Kenyon
3.    Chuck Arnold
4.    Dave Strickland
5.    Warren Schiebe
6.    Mike McGreevy
7.    Bill Puterbaugh
8.    Dick Jones
9.    Jigger Sirois
10.  Don Stokes

Sunday, August 26, 2018

1972 - Missouri Fair Race to Harrison

Sedalia, Mo. (August 26, 1972) – Gerry Harrison of Topeka, Kan., broke away early and then held off a pair of late rushes to capture Saturday night’s International Motor Contest Association 25-lap late model stock car feature at the Missouri State Fair.
Harrison, piloting a 1972 Ford Torino, grabbed the lead on the fifth time around the half-mile oval and wasn’t pressed until Fred Horn of Marion, Iowa, moved in behind him on lap 17. Horn, Saturday afternoon’s 100-mile feature winner, started in the eighth row, moved up steadily, and nearly had his 1970 Plymouth in the lead when he spun out of contention on lap 19.
Gary Brooks of Grand Prairie, Tex., came in second, and with the aid of a yellow flag late in the race, was able to make things closer at the checkered for Harrison.
Jim Hagar of Liberty, Mo., Shorty Acker of Windsor, Mo., and Dale Roper of Rolla, Mo., finished third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Heat race winners were Acker, Hagar and Hal Conn of Fulton, Mo., while Don Cooper of Sedalia, Mo., won the consolation.
Harrison’s victory strengthened his hold on second place in the IMCA point standings and shortened the gap between him and leader Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Janey was shut out for the day due to mechanical difficulties.

Results –

1.    Gerry Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
2.    Gary Brooks, Grand Prairie, Tex.
3.    Jim Hagar, Liberty, Mo.
4.    Shorty Acker, Windsor, Mo.
5.    Dale Roper, Rolla, Mo.
6.    Thurman Lovejoy, Kansas City
7.    Tom Frasher, Jefferson City, Mo.
8.    Hal Conn, Fulton, Mo.
9.    Losson Leonard, Jefferson City, Mo.
10.  Gary Truelove, Trimble, Mo.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

1963 – Daniels Scores Second Straight Win at St. Paul

Jerry "Scratch" Daniels

St. Paul, Minn. (August 25, 1963) – Jerry Daniels did it again at the Minnesota State Fair IMCA sprint car races on Sunday afternoon.
The 25-year-old hotshoe blasted to his second consecutive feature win and established himself as the man to beat in the remaining days of sprint car competition at the nation’s biggest state fair.
Starting sixth, Daniels made it look easy as he took the lead going down the backstretch on the first lap.  He would go unchallenged for the rest of the event. Finishing second was Sonny Helms in the Colvin-Young Chevy while third place went to Red Amick in the Fetter Aluminum Chevrolet.
The afternoon’s events were marred by one spectacular accident, which fortunately resulted in to injuries. In the semi-main, Dick Gaines got sideways and flipped his Diz Wilson #71 Chevy in the third turn. The study roll bar did its job and Gaines emerged unscathed.
Last year’s big money winner, Jerry Richert, spun out in the feature. Richert ran the McDonald sprinter Saturday with an Offy engine but switched to a Chevy power plant for Sunday’s races.

Results –

1.     Jerry Daniels
2.     Sonny Helms
3.     Red Amick
4.     Bill Horstmeyer
5.     Carl Williams
6.     Dean Mast
7.     Dale Reed
8.     Harvey Shane
9.     John Leverenz
10.  Ted Ready 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

1969 - Williams Scores Easy Win at Owatonna

Mert Williams

Owatonna, Minn. (August 23, 1969) – Mert Williams, receiving some unexpected help from crewman Jack Just, had no trouble winning the 50-lap feature race on a Minnesota Speedways, Inc.-promoted card at the Steele County Fair on Saturday afternoon.
The 34-year-old Rochester, Minn., driver, lapped all competitors in the 18-car finale at least two times. Jerry Pulver of Rochester, the runner-up, and Dave Noble of Blooming Prairie, Minn., third-place finisher, had completed 48 laps when Williams whizzed by starter Paul Tradup’s checkered flag.
The card attracted 3,744 fans, which was a Steele County Fair record for a Saturday afternoon grandstand program. The throng established a new MSI standard, breaking the old mark of 3,156 set at Rochester’s Olmstead County Fair on August 2, 1968.
Williams, on the basis on winning the first of three heat races, was awarded the pole position for the feature event on the half-mile clay track. The 34 entries - which included five Iowa entries and three Wisconsin entries – drew for heat positions.
Just, drawing for Williams, pulled out the “No 2” slip, giving the ace the all-important front row spot for the preliminary event.
“I always draw a high number so I let Jack do it this time,” Williams explained. “Starting in front, I didn’t have to battle the dirt and dust kicked up by the lead cars.”
Williams, driving a 1965 Chevelle, lapped Pulver the first time on lap 25 and then again on lap 49. Pulver, driving a 1967 Chevelle, started sixth in the feature while Noble, piloting a 1965 Chevelle, started tenth.
LeRoy Scharkey of Rochester, who started alongside Williams in the main event, was William’s chief challenger for the first six circuits. However, the MSI point leader experienced mechanical issues and pulled his 1967 Ford from contention.
Dave Bjorge of Austin, Minn., and Denny Nonnweiler of Mason City, Iowa, jockeyed for second after Scharkey’s withdrawal left a vacancy. Both succumbed to Pulver’s pressure at the midway point.


1.    Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
2.    Jerry Pulver, Rochester, Minn.
3.    Dave Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
4.    Terry Hansen, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
5.    Gerhard Wollenberg, Austin, Minn.
6.    Denny Nonnweiler, Mason City, Iowa
7.    Al Ward, Elba, Minn.
8.    Dave Bjorge, Austin, Minn.
9.    Bob Jenkinson, Winona, Minn.
10.  Bob Saterdalen, Oronoco, Minn.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

1959 – Cleburg Roars to Victory at Sedalia

Bob Cleburg behind the wheel of the Lyle Hyneman Offenhauser.

Sedalia, Mo. (August 22, 1959) – Bob Cleburg of Tucson, Ariz., setting his eye on the checkered flag early in the Missouri State Fairgrounds big car feature, roared to victory in a race marred by a spectacular five-car crackup and lesser mishaps, which kept the more than 12,000 fans in attendance tense with excitement Saturday afternoon.

Cleburg, starting on the third row, slashed past front-running Jim Hurtubise of Lenox, Calif., and Elmer George of Speedway, Ind., on the second lap and was never headed, despite the fact that the race was stopped twice to clear damaged machines from the track.

Jerry Kemp of St. Louis, Mo., was hospitalized with apparently minor injuries sustained when his car struck the spinning mount of Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill., setting off a five-car crash.

Ned Kirkpatrick, close behind Kemp, struck both cars, his sprint hurtling high into the air. Bill Holland, swerving to miss the wreckage, was hit by an unidentified car and went into a sideways roll.

Holland, the 1949 Indianapolis 500 winner, was unhurt. Kirkpatrick suffered burns on one hand and Kemp sustained facial cuts. Knepper, too, was unhurt but all cars were badly damaged and unable to continue.

George would snare runner-up honors followed by Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla., Harold Leep of Wichita, Kan., Buzz Barton of Tampa, Fla., and Duke Hindahl of Pekin, Ill.

Results –

1. Bob Cleburg
2. Elmer George
3. Pete Folse
4. Harold Leep
5. Buzz Barton
6. Duke Hindahl
7. Jerry Blundy

8. Parnelli Jones

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

1993 - Hansen Runs Past 400 Field

Scott Hansen

Anderson, Ind. (August 21, 1993) - Scott Hansen survived a race of attrition to capture the annual Anderson 400 Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

Hansen took the lead for the first time on lap 358, getting around Kent Stauffer on the inside. He then drove his Chevrolet to a 1.41-second win.

It is the second time Hansen has won the Anderson 400. He captured the event for the first time in 1991. It marked his third win of the 1993 American Speed Association season.

The Green Bay, Wis., driver has three wins, three second place finishes and a third in the last eight races as he closed in on point’s leaders Johnny Benson Jr. and Mike Eddy.

Hansen came from a lap down to pick up the victory. On lap 53 Hansen suffered a flat tire and spun on the back straight. The pit stop cost him a lap.

He credited his crew with keeping him in contention for the win.

Being on the point was not a good place to be as Jay Sauter and Gary St. Amant both crashed while leading.

Behind Hansen and Stauffer was Tom Jones. Jones finished second in 1992 and followed it up with a strong run this year.

Brad Loney finished fifth to follow up on his third-place finish of a year ago. He was followed by Senneker and Joe Nott. Dennis Lampman, who won the last ASA race in Grand Rapids, Mich., placed eighth.

Many of the top contenders were forced to drop out of the 400-lap event because of mechanical problems. Dropping out before the halfway point were NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Ted Musgrave and Ken Schrader.

From the drop of the green flag, pole sitter Benson charged into the lead and remained on the point until lap 50 when Bob Senneker went to the front.
At that point, former Pendleton resident Tony Raines was running in second place, but was forced out of the race before 100 laps had been ran because of engine problems.

Senneker led until lap 146 when Mike Eddy took the lead, followed by Todd Forbes. But at the hallway mark Senneker was back In front, with Forbes running second, Eddy third and Sauter fourth.

Forbes remained among the top three in the field until lap 338 when he pitted. During the pit stop the crew was unable to get the jack under the car and then Forbes had the car roll off the jack. The miscue cost them a lap and resulted in a fourth-place finish.

Gary St. Amant took the lead on lap 280 and stayed in front until lap 348 when he cut a tire on his Ford Thunderbird and hit the back-straight wall.

That set up a 50-lap sprint between Hansen, Stauffer and Jones.

Results -

1. Scott Hansen, Green Bay, Wis.
2. Kent Stauffer, LaGrange, Ohio
3. Tom Jones, Highland Park, Ill.
4. Todd Forbes, Bryan, Ohio
5. Brad Loney, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
6. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
7. Joe Nott, Columbus, Ohio
8. Dennis Lampman, Oak Creek, Wis.
9. Jeff Neal, Lake Villa, III.
10. Gary St. Amant, Columbus, Ohio
11. Mike Miller, Marietta, Ga.
12. Johnny Benson Jr., Grand Rapids, Mich.
13. Randy MacDonald, Oshawa, Ont.
14. Jay Sauter, West Salem, Mich.
15. Tony Roper, Anderson, Ind.
16. Mike Eddy. Midland, Mich.
17. Terry Wente, St. Peters, Mo.
18. Harold Fair, Detroit, Mich.
19. Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo.
20. Tony Raines, Bigler, Penn.
21. Ted Musgrave. Denver, N.C.
22. Glenn Allen Jr., Coopersville, Mich.
23. Tom Harrington, Hendersonville, Tenn.
24. Russ Gamester, Peru, Ind.
25. Butch Miller, Lawton. Mich.
26. Steve Holzhausen, Bangor, Wis.

Monday, August 20, 2018

1961 – Sedalia Sprint Main Event to McElreath

Jim McElreath accepts congratulations after his win at Sedalia. Promoter Al Sweeney is to the right.

Sedalia, Mo. (August 20, 1961) – Arlington, Texas’s Jimmy McElreath staved off the challenges of Wichita’s Harold Leep and teammate Buzz Rose to win the IMCA-sanctioned 25-lap sprint car feature over a hard, slick state fairgrounds track on Sunday afternoon before 15,000 hot race fans.

The Arlington, Texas speedster started the #71 Dizz Wilson Offy on the pole and dove into the first turn ahead of Leep, who was piloting the Chet Wilson Chevy. Rose stabbed his #70 Dizz Wilson Offy into the corner ahead of Colby Scroggins to set up a three-way chase to the checkers.

Leep and Rose both hung onto McElreath’s tailpipe in the narrow grove, waiting for the Texas Tornado to bobble, something that never happened.

Results –

  1. Jim McElreath
  2. Harold Lepp
  3. Buzz Rose
  4. Buz Barton
  5. Colby Scroggins
  6. Jerry Blundy

Sunday, August 19, 2018

1973 – Gennetten Takes IMCA Sprint Win

Des Moines, Iowa (August 19, 1973) – Gene Gennetten of Gladstone Mo., showed everyone the fast way around the half-mile dirt oval as he won the 40-lap IMCA-sanctioned, grand-championship sprint car race on Sunday afternoon.
Gennetten grabbed the lead from his first row outside starting position on the first lap and never relinquished it. There was some heavy pressure, early in the race from Larry Kirkpatrick of Wood River, Ill., and Buzz Rose of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Gennetten opened up a five-car length lead over the second running Rose only to see it erased by two spinouts, causing the yellow to come out and the field to bunch up.
The threat of Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., who has been unstoppable in his last few IMCA outings, was erased when he pitted with mechanical problems.
Kirkpatrick was out of the running with a broken shock and Thad Dosher of Topeka, Kan., the current IMCA point leader, was having mechanical issues with his R&H Farms #40 sprint car and jumped into Bill Robison’s #65 for the feature.
Dosher, trying to protect his IMCA point lead from the hard-charging Gennetten, who is running second, worked hard, and with 10 laps to go, had moved up from his fifth spot to challenge Rose for second place. He dueled Rose for three laps before he finally got around him to take second. Dosher also won the 10-lap consolation.

Results –

1.    Gene Gennetten, Gladstone, Mo.
2.    Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.
3.    Buzz Rose, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4.    Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
5.    Roy Bryant, Wichita, Kan.
6.    Lenard McCarl, Bonaparte, Iowa
7.    Ray Lee Goodwin, Raytown, Mo.
8.    Dick Bloom, Wichita, Kan.
9.    Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
10.  Jim Jenkins, Slater, Mo.