Friday, September 28, 2018

1969 – Stott Wins Rockford Short Track Title

Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, collects his winnings from Hugh and Jody Deery after winning the 200-lap National Short Track Championship.

Rockford, Ill. (September 28, 1969) – Ramo Stott, a professional race car driver of late model stock cars, returned to the Rockford Speedway and won the National Short Track Championship 200-lap event on Sunday afternoon. It was Stott’s first appearance at the track this season.
Last year Stott had set a new track in qualifying but could only muster a sixth-place finish. He would qualify ninth fastest but start on the outside of the front row.
Stott would grab the lead at the onset and wouldn’t be pressured until lap 70 when Dick Tickle, who started on the inside of the second row, applied pressure for the next 55 circuits. Trickle would push his 1968 Mercury Comet inside and out of Stott, trying to get by the Keokuk, Iowa, speedster.
Finally, Trickle would pass Stott on lap 125 but not without losing some sheet metal as the two drivers raced down the backstretch. Both cars also scraped the cement wall as they exited turn #4.
Trickle’s lead would be short-lived, however, as a faulty wheel bearing forced the USAC star to limp into the pits on lap 135.
But, Stott’s worries were not over with yet, as Fritz Wilson of Denver, Colo., in a 1969 Nova, started pushing Stott on lap 155. Stott would eventually distance himself from Wilson but would encounter one more threat before the checkers waved.
Bob Jusola of Mound, Minn., who set a new track record in time trials (14.63 seconds, beating Stott’s old mark of 14.96) was nearly a full lap behind Stott when he decided to make a move for the lead. He would gain on Stott in the closing 10 circuits but run out of laps.
Stott would collect $2,200 for his efforts plus a new motorcycle.

Results –

1.   Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
2.   Bob Jusola, Mound, Minn.
3.   Eddie Hume, Madison, Wis.
4.   Dan Prziborowski, Savage, Minn.
5.   Dick Graves, Minneapolis
6.   Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
7.   Larry Smith, Shakopee, Minn.
8.   Danny Bellard, Beloit, Wis.
9.   Del Triesch, Minneapolis
10. Bill Mueller, Minneapolis
11. James Drong, Minneapolis
12. Bob Beattie, Edgerton, Wis.
13. Larry O’Brien, Harvard, Ill.
14. Norm Setran, Minneapolis
15. Vern Johnson, Madison, Wis.
16. Boyce Sparkman, Rockford, Ill.
17. Fritz Wilson, Denver, Colo.
18. John Connolly, Delhi, Iowa
19. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
20. Eric Johnson, Chicago
21. Rich Kleich, Chicago
22. Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
23. Dick Duerst, McFarland, Wis.
24. Duane Walch, Madison, Wis.
25. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
26. Roger Schuur, Fridley, Mich.
27. Don Leach, Beloit, Wis.
28. Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
29. John Ziegler, Madison, Wis.
30. Ron Wishard, Rockford, Ill.
31. Wayne Stallsworth, Denver, Colo.
32. Hogan Schwitzer, Beaver Dam, Wis.
33. Jim Back, Vesper, Wis.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

1981 – Gardner Wins National Clay 200

Willow Springs, Ill. (September 27, 1981) – After being locked in a tight battle with Brian Leslie for the lead throughout most of Sunday’s National Clay Track Championship at Santa Fe Speedway, Arnie Gardner wound up the easy winner of the classic event.
The $15,000 purse, featuring the Old Style contingency money, paid $6,000 to win the rich short track show.
Leslie settled for second, Whitey Harris finished third, Ed Sanger took fourth and Dick Potts claimed fifth, all on the same lap with Gardner.
Gardner earned the pole position for the 200-lap contest with fast time at 18.27 second tour of the speedway’s longer course.
The 200-lapper began on an ominous note when Tony Izzo broke a tie-rod and slammed into the first turn wall after taking the opening green. The incident brought out the yellow for a complete restart of the 28-car field.
Another yellow would appear after the restart, this time for a accident in turn two involving Jimmy Bahlas, Ken Widdes, Larry Jackson, Ken Pohlman, Dennis Erb and Art Fehrman.
When action officially got underway, Paul Shafer, who started on the outside of Gardner in row one, soared into the lead. However, Shafer’s reign was short-lived as the leader bolted into the first turn wall and gave Gardner the upper hand and the lead.
Numerous yellow flags would slow the tempo of the race early on. All-out racing would resume, though, as Gardner charged to a commanding lead with Leslie, Harris, Sanger and Potts following behind.
The pace changed for Gardner on lap 44 when Leslie, who tailed Gardner’s bumper for 43 laps, took over the top spot.
Tom Smedley was the cause for the first yellow under Leslie’s reign, when a spin in turn two brought the field to a slow crawl on lap 55.
The red flag stopped the pace 10 laps later when John Provenzano pun in turn two and was hit by Al Schill. Also involved were Larry Jackson, Fred Lofgren, Cloyce Friend and Jimmy Bahlus.
When action was under way for good, Leslie set the pace, gaining a four-car margin over Gardner.
Gardner regained his strength 10 laps from the 100-lap mandatory pit stop and regained his spot in front on lap 91, a spot he would never again relinquish.

Results –

1.    Arnie Gardner, Batavia, Ill.
2.    Brian Leslie, Gurnee, Ill.
3.    Whitey Harris, Lake Villa, Ill.
4.    Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
5.    Dick Potts, Morocco, Ind.
6.    Jim O’Conner, Kankakee, Ill.
7.    Jim Partipilo, Berkley, Ill.
8.    Larry Jackson, Lyons, Ill.
9.    Dennis Erb, Carpentersville, Ill.
10.  Frank Shickel Jr., Bloomington, Ill.
11.  Cloyce Friend, Lombard, Ill.
12.  Dave McCarty, Bradley, Ill.
13.  Gary Webb, Davenport, Iowa
14.  Al Johnson, Justice, Ill.
15.  Paul Shafer, Highland, Ill.
16.  Bill Prietzel, Franklin, Wis.
17. Craig Jacobs, Freeport, Ill.
18.  Jimmy Bahlus, Franklin, Wis.
19.  Tony Izzo, Bridgeview, Ill.
20.  Tom Smedley, Gary, Ind.
21.  Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
22.  John Provenzano, Glen Ellyn, Ill.
23.  Chuck Stolarik, Waukegan, Ill.
24.   Ken Widdes, Chicago
25.  Fred Lofgren, Bensenville, Ill.
26.  Mike Melius, Adel, Wis.
27.  Leroy Schneiderman, Woodstock, Ill.
28.  Al Schill, Franklin, Wis.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

1981 – Wallace Sweeps USAC Twin-50’s

Joe Wallace won both ends of a USAC double-header at Des Moines.

Des Moines, Iowa (September 26, 1981) – Joe Wallace of Kansas City, Kans., drove his Camaro to victory in both 50-lap main events on Saturday night at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, claiming the overall championship in the first USAC-sanctioned stock car program at the half-mile in six years.
Series’ point leader Dean Roper increased his margin over runner-up Sal Tovella by finishing third overall in the program but the night belonged to Wallace as he started 12th and 11th in the pair of 50-lappers, the second of which went 53 laps, complying with the USAC green-flag finish rule.
Joe grabbed the lead from Ken Schrader on the fifth lap of the first 50-lap feature and led the rest of the way as Schrader took second, followed by Ramo Stott, Roper and Herb Shannon.
Polesitter Gordon Blankenship led the first 20 laps of the second main event before relinquishing the lead to Wallace, who then led the balance of the race, a late-race yellow flag for a Shannon-Schrader tangle in turn one sending the race to completion at 53 laps.
Iowa’s own Don White finished second in the overall standings for the program with a runner-up to Wallace in the second main event. Blankenship was third in the second race followed by Roper and Tovella.
Roper was Saturday’s fastest qualifier at 24.60 seconds – a new USAC record – but was fourth in the trophy dash behind winner Rick O’Brien.
Trailing Wallace, White and Roper in the overall finish were Stott, Schrader, Shannon, Tovella, John Kennedy, Blankenship and Terry Pearson.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1.    Joe Wallace, Kansas City
2.    Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo.
3.    Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
4.    Dean Roper, Fair Grove, Mo.
5.    Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
6.    Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
7.    John Kennedy, Villa Park, Ill.
8.    Larry Nau, New Berlin, Wis.
9.    Terry Pearson, Saybrook, Ill.
10.  Sal Tovella, Chicago, Ill.
11.   Buddy Stewart, Byron Center, Mich.
12.   Rick Hanley, Dousman, Wis.
13.   Ken Rowley, Bloomington, Ill.
14.   Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa
15.    Rick O’Brien, Peoria, Ill.

Feature #2 –

1.   Joe Wallace
2.   Don White
3.   Gordon Blankenship
4.   Dean Roper
5.   Sal Tovella
6.    Ramo Stott
7.   Ken Schrader
8.   John Kennedy
9.   Herb Shannon
10.  Ken Rowley
11.  Terry Pearson
12.  Rick Hanley
13.  Larry Nau
14.  Buddy Stewart

Sunday, September 23, 2018

1990 - Bickle Wins Rockford NSTC

Rockford, Ill. (September 23, 1990) – Rich Bickle Jr. of Edgerton, Wis., captured the 25th annual National Short Track Championships 300-lap feature on Sunday afternoon at Rockford Speedway.
Bickle held off Mike Garvey of Brooks, Ky., by less than a car length in taking the crown. Randy Porter of Greenville, S.C., Bryan Reffner of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and Larry Schuler of Minooka, Ill., completed the top five finishers.
“I grew up at this track and this is the race I’ve wanted to win all my life,” Bickle said in victory lane. “This makes my whole year. To first make the Daytona 500 and then win this is really something.”
Indeed, Bickle began coming to this event back in the 1960’s when his father Rich Bickle Sr., competed on a regular basis. The younger Bickle ran his initial National Short Track Championship event in 1979, lasting just five laps before having to park his Ford Granada.
Sunday was much different, however, as Bickle motored from deep in the pack to take the lead from Reffner on lap 261 and then hold off Garvey for the win.
After a poor qualifying run and a mechanical failure in Saturday’s qualifying races, Bickle started the event in the 26th spot on a promoter’s option.
Up front, Reffner grabbed the lead from his outside starting position and led the first 83 laps. During that period, the caution flew five times with perhaps the most important coming on lap 106 when Bill Venturini tagged the turn three wall.
At that point, Bickle ducked into the pits for his mandatory pit stop. It was a strategy that would ultimately give him the win.
“We talked about making our pit stop on the first caution and decided to do it right away because we were starting in the rear anyway,” Bickle said. “Later on, I knew that I was pretty much leading the race even though I was running seventh. Everybody in front of me still had to make a pit stop.”
Garvey became the first driver to post a qualifying speed of under 13 seconds in a four-lap average. He made his pit stop at lap 227 and came up short of Bickle at the end.

Results –

1.    Rich Bickle Jr., Edgerton, Wis.
2.    Mike Garvey, Brooks, Ky.
3.    Randy Porter, Greenville, S.C.
4.    Bryan Reffner, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
5.    Larry Schuler, Minooka, Ill.
6.    Bill Venturini, Chicago
7.    Don Leach, Janesville, Wis.
8.    Conrad Morgan, Dousman, Wis.
9.    Kregg Hurlburt, Northfield, Minn.
10.  Tracy Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
11.  Al Schill, Franklin, Wis.
12.  Scott Hansen, Green Bay, Wis.
13.  Jason Keller, Greenville, S.C.
14.  Tom Carlson, La Crosse, Wis.
15.  Steve Carlson, West Salem, Wis.
16.  Stanley Smith, Chelsea, Ala.
17.  Kevin Cywinski, Mosinee, Wis.
18.  Jerry Wood, Sun Prairie, Wis.
19.  Ron Young, Conyer, Ga.
20.  Joe Shear, Clinton, Wis.
21.  John Ziegler, Brooklyn, Wis.
22.  Bob Brownell, McHenry, Ill.
23.  Ted Musgrave, Grand Marsh, Wis.
24.  Terry Baldry, Omro, Wis.
25.  Steve Holzhausen, Bangor, Wis.
26.  Jim Weber, Roseville, Minn.
27.  David Green, Goodlettsville, Tenn.
28.  Dennis Lampman, Racine, Wis.
29.  Tim Fedewa, Lansing, Mich.
30.  Mike Cope, Pinellas Park, Fla.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

1973 – Stars Trail Dick Trickle at Odessa

Dick Trickle

Odessa, Mo. (September 22, 1973) – Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., sped his 1970 Mustang to victory in the $28,000 M.A.S.C.A.R. Championship 300 Saturday night at I-70 Speedway before a record crowd of 9,115.

Trickle won the race after trailing two of the South's finest drivers, Pete Hamilton of Atlanta, and Bobby Allison of Hueytown, Ala.

The 300-lap grind started with pole setter Tom Reffner of Rudolph, Wis., taking the lead in his Mustang. On lap six Hamilton moved his 1967 Chevy II passed Reffner and into the lead. Reffner retired four laps later with a sick engine.

Once in the lead Hamilton began to move out and away from Willie Crane of Springfield, Mo.

Local favorite Terry Bivins of Shawnee, Kan., moved his Chevy Nova by Crane and into second place on lap 35 and set his sights on Hamilton.

Hamilton, the 1970 Daytona 500 champion managed to stave off Bivins when, on lap 87, the yellow flag was displayed as a multi car crash occurred in the high banked third turn. Ferris Collier of Kimberling City, Mo., slid into the concrete retaining wall sending several cars spinning out of control. Collier, Bob Williams of Independence, Mo., and Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., were unable to restart the race.

Bivins remained within a second of the leader, Hamilton, until lap 136 when entering the first turn his engine locked, sending him crashing through the three-foot concrete retaining wall. Bivins was unhurt. With the red flag displayed Hamilton still held the lead with Trickle in second and Allison in third in his ‘73 Camaro.

Officials penalized Hamilton one lap for working on his car while the red flag period was still in progress. This moved Trickle (winner of the 1972 300) into the number one spot for the first time.

When racing got underway once more, Trickle was pressured by Allison. They do old through traffic until Allison maneuvered into the lead on lap 193.

On lap 234, after pulling out to a 4-second lead, Allison retired to the pits with a blown engine. On lap 235 Trickle suffered a blow out on his right rear tire and hurried to the pits, with Hamilton re-assuming the lead.

When trickle got back on the track he was 1 1/2 laps behind Hamilton. On lap 263, Pete encountered a flat tire, sending him to the pits. Trickle sped by twice during that time and was back in the lead. But just five laps later Trickle again was troubled with a flat tire sending Hamilton back into the top spot.

An accident on lap 272 brought out the caution flag for the fifth and final time, with Hamilton in first place, Trickle in second, and Jim Bickerstaff of Mineral Ridge, Ohio, in third. On lap 277, with the caution flag still out, Hamilton suddenly stopped on the front stretch to talk to his pit crew. This incident moved Trickle back into the top spot as the green flag was unfurled.

Hamilton had a 10 second deficit to make up in only 20 laps but on lap 284 it all came to an abrupt end for Pete as his engine in his racer let go, retiring him to the pit area.

Trickle finished nearly a full lap ahead of Bickerstaff, who piloted a 1972 Camaro. In another Camaro and third was Larry Phillips. Springfield's Willie Crane drove the only Pontiac in the 41-car field to a fourth-place finish. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis., was fifth, followed in order by Jim Cushman, Columbus, Ohio; Don Schoenfeld, Fort Smith, Ark; Wayne Stallsworth, Commerce City, Colo; Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa; and Dave Watson, Beloit, Wis.


Results –
1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Jim Bickerstaff, Mineral Ridge, Ohio
3. Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. Willie Crane, Springfield, Mo.
5. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
6. Jim Cushman, Columbus, Ohio
7. Don Schoenfeld, Fort Smith, Ark.
8. Wayne Stallsworth, Commerce City, Colo.
9. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
10. Dave Watson, Beloit, Wis.