Friday, November 30, 2018

Basement Archives #3

July 7-11, 1995
Bob Pierce of Danville, Ill., led the entire 50 laps to win the UMP Summer Nationals event at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway on Friday, July 7. Forty-two late models were on hand, including “The Southern Gentleman” Freddy Smith of Baton Rouge, Lou., who set a new a new track record during qualifying. Bill Frye of Greenbriar, Ark., earned runner-up honors in the main event, followed by Rick Aukland of Fargo, N.D., Tom Rients of Streator, Ill., and Smith.
Pro stock point leader Rod Smith of Monmouth, Ill., came from the fourth row to score his fourth win of the season at Mercer County Speedway in Aledo, Ill., on Wednesday night. Jeff Morris of McCausland, Iowa, won his second open-wheel modified feature of the season while Jason Bahrs of Rock Island, Ill., was the pride of the bomber class.
Danny Young and Todd Cooney continued dominating their respective divisions at the Iowa State Fair Speedway on Friday night. Young, of Des Moines, raced to his fourth winged sprint car triumph in in six starts, while Cooney, also of Des Moines, won his third consecutive IMCA late model main. Young wheeled around Jerry Crabb of Des Moines on lap 3 and went on to win the 15-lapper with ease while Cooney squirmed past Billy Allen of Des Moines on the final lap to win in a nail-biter. Kendall Sather of Ankeny, Iowa, snared the IMCA modified feature and Glenn Gladson of Des Moines won the IMCA stock car main.
Boone McLaughlin of Mediapolis, Iowa, scored his first IMCA late model win of the season during the mid-season championships at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, on Saturday, July 8.  McLaughlin, the late model point leader at the track, broke a streak of “bridesmaid” finishes at the track, having finished in second-place three weeks in a row. In other action, Jody Wood of Donnellson won the IMCA modified feature, Glen Ridgeway of Eldon, Iowa, was the IMCA stock car winner and Bryan Nevins of Des Moines was victorious in the hobby stock class.
Mike Belling of La Crosse, Wis., staked his claim to the NASCAR late model point’s lead after winning his fourth feature of the season on Saturday night at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Belling, in a tie with five-time track champion Kevin Nuttleman of Bangor, Wis., entering the night’s program, took advantage when Nuttleman got bottled up in traffic, and zoomed to the front of the field on lap 20, as the crowd of 4,212 roared its approval. Belling would go on to score the easy win with Brad Powell of La Crosse taking second and Paul Proksch of Stoddard, Wis., in third.
Splitting his 1995 schedule between NASCAR’s Super Truck Series and the World of Outlaws, Sammy Swindell had competed in only half of the Outlaw’s 48 events. Even so, his flag-to-flag victory at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., on Saturday night was Swindell’s fourth straight series win. Swindell had won two World of Outlaw events at Rocky Mounty Speedway in Denver, Colo., on July 3 and 4 and a preliminary event at Red River the night before, July 7. Swindell raced like the Sammy of old, starting the 30-lap main event on the pole and dominating the 24-car field throughout. When the checkers waved, Swindell won by a full straightaway over younger brother Jeff.
Jeff Mitrisin of Oskaloosa and Bobby Greiner Jr., of Norway, Iowa, each won their third features in a row at Greenbelt Speedway in Eldora, Iowa, on Saturday. Mitrisin won a thrilling IMCA modified feature race, racing wheel-to-wheel with Dave Blankenship of Brooklyn, Iowa, throughout the 20-lap affair. Mitrisin finally secured the top spot on the white flag lap, winning by a car length over Blankenship at the checkers. Greiner Jr., the defending track champion, had to work his way through the field from his 10th starting spot but managed to take the lead with only a few laps remaining to post the victory. In other action, J.C. Nehring of Hubbard, Iowa, won the IMCA hobby stock feature, winning handily over J.T. Robinson of De Moines.
Veteran Omaha driver Joe Kosiski continued his dominance of the NASCAR late model division at Park Jefferson (S.D.) Speedway on Saturday, winning his fourth feature race of the 1995 season. The win was especially important, since it was mid-season championship night. Kosiski took the lead on lap 9 and breezed to the easy win over Mike Cooper of North Sioux City, Jim Merchant of Sioux City, Mel Zeitner of Bellevue, Neb., and Bruce Ward of Fort Calhoun, Neb. In other action, Loren Reuter of Allen, Neb., won the modified feature and Greg Golden of Sioux City won the street stock contest.
Bill Frye pulled into the lead exiting the fourth turn on the 38th lap and held the rest of the field at bay to claim the $5,000 first prize in the 50-lap UMP Summer Nationals late model feature at LaSalle Speedway on Sunday, July 9. Frye wrestled the lead away from Rick Aukland, who had led the first 37 laps of the contest. Don Barnhart of North Little Rock, Ark., grabbed third place while Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., took fourth. Jim Curry of Norman, Ind., rounded out the top five. Current UMP national point leader Tony Izzo Jr., of Bridgeview, Ill., struggled to a 14th place finish after starting the evening as the event’s fastest qualifier.
Randy Nygaard, Jack Byers, Randy Green and Kent Larson were winners during the “Firecracker Special” at the Clay County Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, on Sunday evening. The event was originally scheduled for July 4 but rain washed out the program. Nygaard, from Sioux Falls, S.D., led the final four laps of the WISSOTA sprint car feature to collect on the $1,200 first prize. Byers, of Spencer, led from start to finish in winning the modified feature while Green, of Granada, Minn., came from his third-row starting position to win the stock car contest. Larson, from Fairmont, Minn., grabbed the lead on lap 2 and went on to win the 12-lap hobby stock “A” main.
Mike Pearson of California, Mo., left Double X Speedway $1,000 richer after winning the winged sprint car mid-season championship on Sunday night. After winning the trophy dash, Pearson started on the outside on the front row and didn’t waste anytime in using his advantage by leading from start to finish. In the sportsman feature, Jim Kirchoff of California and Jim Turpin of Jefferson City, Mo., treated the crowd to a side-by-side duel for 15 laps with Kirchoff prevailing.
The Miller Genuine Draft Summer Nationals were held at the West Liberty Raceway on Monday, July 10, with 45 of the nation’s top late model drivers in competition. When it was over, Rick Aukland came away with the $5,000 payday. Ray Guss Jr. of Milan, Ill., moved into the lead at the start of the 40-lapper by taking to the high side of the half-mile speedway. Guss’s lead would be short-lived as Bill Frye overtook him on lap 10. Frye went the next 10 circuits until Billy Moyer Jr., of Batesville, Ark., was able to move out front. Aukland was on the move as the leaders encountered lap traffic and on lap 32, Aukland powered by Moyer for the lead and went on to score the victory. Moyer settled for second and Frye hung on to third. Bob Pierce Jr. grabbed fourth and Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, rounded out the top five.
Troy Swearingen of Thompson, Iowa, made his debut in the MAC Tools Winner Series as the IMCA stock car touring series made its first ever trip to the all-new Hancock County Speedway in Britt, Iowa, on Tuesday, July 11. For Swearingen, it was his first trip to victory lane in the series, as he dominated the event, leading wire to wire in the 24-car feature. The Thompson, Iowa, racer drew the pole position for the main event and after the green fell, that was the last anyone would see of Swearingen. Scott Williams of Steamboat Rock, Iowa, finished a distant second, Donnie Gustoff of Scranton, Iowa, was third Rex Bonnett of Pleasanton, Iowa, fourth and Scott Davis of Boone, Iowa, finished fifth.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Speed Chumley Memorial

1968 Advertisement

By Kyle Ealy
Waterloo, Iowa – On June 22, 1964, Ira “Speed” Chumley died after suffering a heart attack while driving on old Highway 218 just north of Washburn, Iowa. Chumley was 59 years of age.
For the northern Iowa auto racing community, it was a tough blow. Chumley not only raced and owned cars, but along with Judd Tunis, was instrumental in getting Tunis Speedway started in 1948. It was Chumley who convinced Tunis that Waterloo needed a quarter-mile race track.
Chumley was so well respected in racing circles he was twice elected president of local racing clubs. In the mid 50’s, Chumley was elected president of the Hawkeye Racing Association and in the early 60’s, he was head of the Cedar-Loo Racing Association, a position he held until his death.
To honor Chumley’s memory, Judd Tunis decided that the mid-season championship at Tunis Speedway would carry a new name.
“The Speed Chumley Memorial” was born…
On Sunday, July 12, 1964, the first annual Speed Chumley Memorial took place at Tunis Speedway. A capacity crowd of 6,649 watched Lu Vern “Red” Droste of Waterloo, dominate the evening’s program.
Droste, the current point leader, started on the pole and led all 50 laps, winning in record time. In winning his seventh feature of the year, Droste lowered the quarter-mile record for 50 laps from 15 minutes and 50 seconds to 15 minutes and 24 seconds.
Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., finished a distant second to Droste and Verlin Eaker of Blooming Prairie, Minn., took third. Lee Kunzman of Guttenberg, Iowa, grabbed fourth and Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, rounded out the top five.
John Connolly of Delhi, Iowa, set a new 10-lap heat record, winning in 3 minutes and 2 seconds, besting the old mark of 3 minute and 4 seconds.
1965 Advertisement
John Connolly would win the second annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 11, 1965. Like Droste the year before, Connolly, the current point leader, started on the pole and led all 50 circuits. Droste, who started alongside Connolly, held second place for the first 35 laps before developing mechanical issues and dropping back, where he finished in fourth place.
Verlin Eaker slipped in when Droste fell back and took runner-up honors. Mert Williams, Droste and Charlie Moffitt rounded out the top five.
Joe Wurst of Blooming Prairie, Minn., was a double winner, copping the first heat and the consolation.
Charlie Moffitt may have been second in the point standings behind Red Droste, but that didn’t deter the Stanwood, Iowa, driver when the green flag dropped on the third annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 17, 1966.
Moffitt roared to the lead and never looked back in winning the 50-lap mid-season championship. The victory was a popular one with the 5,300 in attendance.
Droste would settle for second (but still maintain his point’s lead) while Mert Williams would grab third place. Roger Klingfus and Gale Card, both of Waterloo, won heat races as did Verlin Eaker. Ty Barger of Cedar Falls, Iowa, won the 35-lap consolation. 
The fourth annual Speed Chumley Memorial produced its fourth different winner as Cal Swanson of Reinbeck, Iowa, copped the 50-lap mid-season title on July 16, 1967. Bob Hilmer of Dysart, Iowa, finished second after dueling with Swanson for the top spot.
Point leader Red Droste led the first 35 laps of the race and appeared certain of victory when his engine overheated and he was forced to the sidelines.
Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa, took third behind Swanson and Hilmer with Mert Williams in fourth and “Big” Tom Hughes of Monticello, Iowa, finishing fifth.
You never counted Red Droste out…no matter what. That proved to be the case at the fifth annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 28, 1968. A crowd of 6,000, the largest at Tunis in nearly five years, watched Droste survive an early-race accident to win the 50-lap mid-season championship.
Droste, the point’s leader at Tunis, was involved in a collision with Mert Williams on the second lap of the 50-lap race, momentarily halting the race. According to the rules, any driver involved in an accident, goes to the rear of the field. So, Droste restarted at the rear of the 17-car field.
Droste would rally, steadily working his way through the field and eventually getting by Dr. Al Mayner of Winthrop, Iowa, for the lead with 10 laps to go. He would have a half lap lead when the checkers waved. Mayner grabbed second while defending champion Cal Swanson took third.
Another new winner graced victory lane for the sixth annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 27, 1969. A young driver who was quickly making a name for himself, would take the win as 2,446 fans looked on. 
Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, won the 50-lap mid-season title, his fifth feature win of the season, ahead of his brother Karl, who earned second-place money. Paul Fitzgerald of Rochester, Minn., would claim third place.
Both Sangers were also heat winners as was Dave Maxson of Cedar Falls.
While Red Droste had been the dominant driver at Tunis Speedway in the 60’s, Ed Sanger was quickly cementing his reputation as the man to beat as the 70’s was getting underway.
The season-long point’s leader at Tunis, Sanger would successfully defend his Speed Chumley Memorial title, winning the 50-lapper on July 19, 1970.
Sanger would have to earn the win, however, as Glen Martin would grab the lead at the start and hold on to it for the first 21 circuits. Sanger, who was playing bumper tag with Martin the whole time, finally got around the Independence, Iowa, veteran and then storm away from the rest of the field en route to a $400 payday.
Sanger, driving a 1970 yellow Monte Carlo, virtually ran away with the race after Martin fell out of contention, lapping every car in the 18-car field except runner-up Jerry LeCroy of Des Moines.
Waterloo's Bill Zwanziger, who fought off Sanger's lapping effort until the 49th circuit, finished third with Dave Bedard of LaPorte City, Iowa crossing the line in fourth.
Karl Sanger of Waterloo and Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids put on the best show of the feature event, battling side-by-side and bumper-to-bumper for nearly 40 rounds before Sanger finally edged away for the fifth-place spot, leaving McDonough in sixth.

If all the other drivers at Tunis Speedway thought “Fast Eddie” Sanger was tough to beat coming from the rear of the field, imagine their disappointment when they saw Sanger sitting on the pole position for the 50-lap feature event of the seventh annual Speed Chumley Memorial on July 11, 1971.
Sanger, on the pole for the first time that season, charged away at the opening green flag and was never seriously challenged through the 40 laps as he picked up the $550 first prize.
Sanger, the point’s leader at the season’s midway point, inherited the pole because the mid-season championship featured a regular start opposed to the inverted start Sanger was accustomed to during weekly races.
The Waterloo ace, who had won five of the eight features, shot into the lead and won going away, prevailing by a quarter lap margin over Stan Stover of Reinbeck, Iowa. Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, finished third and Red Dralle of Evansdale, Iowa, took fourth. Roger Kruse of Independence finished fifth – the rest of the 19-car field was lapped by Sanger.
A Sanger would win the eighth annual Speed Chumley Memorial, but it was Karl, not Ed, who was in victory lane after winning the 50-lap mid-season title. The only driver to win more than one late model feature at Tunis that season, Karl wasted little time in moving from his front row outside starting position to the lead on the first lap.
He would never surrender the top spot, leading all 50 laps, en route to $650 payday - $400 for the win and $250 in lap money. Sanger would win by five car-lengths ahead of Glen Martin – but the distance was deceiving.
Twice during the contest, Karl had built up sizeable leads only to have restarts tighten the pack. Early in the race, he was leading by six car lengths when his brother blew a tire, bringing out the caution flag. On lap 34, D. Arthur Nesteby and Dave Bedard tangled, forcing another restart.
Curt Hansen of Dike had run second on most of the laps between the two restarts, but on the second restart, Martin slipped by into the spot behind Sanger and Hansen never caught up, settling for third. Stan Stover and Jim Burger of Cedar Falls completed the top five.

Curt Hansen had been paying his dues over the last few years and the Dike, Iowa, youngster was starting to see dividends. The hot shoe had won the mid-season title on Saturday at Independence, Iowa, and his good fortune continued on Sunday, July 15, 1973, winning the Speed Chumley Memorial.
Driving a new Chevrolet, Hansen started on the outside of the front row alongside point leader Stan Stover. Stover jumped out to the lead and led for the first 45 circuits of the scheduled 50-lapper. Hansen would patiently wait for Stover to slip up and with five laps to go, Stover drifted high in between turns three and four, allowing Hansen to slip into first place and eventually claiming the mid-season championship.

Stover would recover to take runner-up honors while Karl Sanger, Tom Bartholomew and Bob Hesse, all of Waterloo, rounded out the top five finishers.

1974 Advertisement
The 1974 Speed Chumley Memorial, held on July 14, would be marred by a serious accident that left one driver in critical condition and the program cut short for the evening.
On lap 38 of the 50-lap late model mid-season championship, the accelerator on Roger Klingfus’ car stuck, causing his car to go off the first turn, through a fence and straight into the pit area.
Klingfus’ car collided with Dennis Peters’ parked roadrunner machine, which was parked 100 yards beyond the retaining wall, critically injuring the 20-year-old Peters who was pinned between two race cars.
The race was called at that point and race leader Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa, was declared the winner.
Peters would spend nine hours in surgery at Allen Memorial Hospital. The Denver, Iowa, resident sustained multiple fractures of both legs and severe injuries to the lower body. Klingfus, himself, was treated for shock at Scholtz Memorial Hospital and released.
After he and other track officials were able to clear out a throng of curious on-lookers from the roadrunner pits and get the crash victims on ambulances, promoter Claus Stricker met with the 12 drivers still left in the Chumley Memorial, who agreed to call it a race after 38 laps instead of continuing it next Sunday. The roadrunner feature, which was to be run after the 50-lapper, was postponed until the following Sunday.
The tragedy-marred victory was one of the biggest wins of Bartholomew's career. The crowd of 2,700 witnessed Bartholomew lead the entire race after electing to start on the pole position.
Bartholomew, the point-leader going into the race, had the option of starting at the back of an inverted top 10 order (outside of the fifth row) and gun for a $250 bonus to win or start on the inside of the front row.

The 1974 mid-season championship would be the last one billed as the Speed Chumley Memorial. Tunis Speedway would stop weekly racing in 1979.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Basement Archives #2

June 22-25, 1967

A near-capacity crowd was on its feet to witness a photo finish Wednesday night, June 22, at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds’ half-mile oval. Bill Hudson of New Sharon, Iowa, grabbed the lead at the start of the 15-lapper and was never headed. Marvin Korns of Brooklyn, Iowa, however, made it interesting and pressured Hudson, racing side-by-side the last few laps of the contest with Hudson winning by the length of a bumper at the finish.
The largest crowd of the season at Air-View Speedway in Monticello, Iowa, watched a tremendous see-saw battle Friday night, June 23, as Dick Nestby of Dubuque and Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo fought it out for the top. Nestby finally wrestled the lead from Zwanziger on lap 15 and despite late pressure from Waterloo’s Red Droste, was able to pull away for the win. Droste would settle for second followed by Zwanziger, Tom Hughes of Monticello and Ed Sanger of Waterloo.
Super modified racing finally got off and running after two weeks of rainouts at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds on Friday evening. Joe Saldana of Lincoln, Neb., took Jack Thompson’s green flag at the beginning of the 15-lap feature and never looked back, lapping everyone but the second and third-place finishers. Lonnie Jensen, also of Lincoln, finished a distant second while Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, took third.
Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, chauffeured his Ford to his first feature win of the season at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport on Friday night. Weedon ran unchallenged for most of the 25-lap contest, winning handily over Don Bohlander, Johnny Beauchamp and Bill McDonough. Heat winners were Lyle McNull and Lyle Behne while Bruce Sunbeck won the semi-main and Fred Strube was first in the consolation.
John Moss of Iowa City led the last half of the 50-lap feature to win the Mississippi Valley Speed Club mid-season championship at West Liberty Raceway on Saturday, June 24. Moss took over the top spot midway through the contest when race leader Mark Mosier of Washington lost his left front wheel on the backstretch. Moss crossed the finish line less than a car length ahead of Mel Morris of West Liberty. Tom Stewart of Washington, the race’s leader for the first 12 circuits, grabbed third place.
Larry Cannon, the likeable lead foot from Oakwood, Ill., dominated the super modified races at American Legion Speedway in Fairbury, Ill., on Saturday night. Cannon quieted the rest of his competitors, setting fast time (15.66), winning the 6-lap dash, his 10-lap heat, and the 25-lap feature to sweep the card. Steve Cannon, Larry’s younger brother, would finish second in the main event, followed by Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill.
Defending 34 Race Ways modified champion Duane Stoneking ended his streak of hard luck as he won the “A” main and the trophy dash on Saturday night. “Stoney” started on the pole by virtue of setting fast time and moved from that spot to lead all 20 laps en route to the checkers. He won by a comfortable margin over Ron Jackson and Mike Niffenegger. Bob Lane, Jackson and Kenny Ellis were heat winners and Fibber McGee was the “B” feature winner.
Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, won the 75-lap stock car feature at Soldier Field in Chicago Saturday night after battling head to head with Sal Tovella of Addison, Ill. Tovella, who recorded fast time in qualifying, received special permission from the United States Auto Club to compete in the event. A crowd of 4,975 hardy fans braved cold, damp weather to see the IMCA-sanctioned feature, in which Stott took the lead on lap 44 after trailing Tovella from the start. Making his first career start at Soldier field, 1966 IMCA national champion Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, finished third.
Don Bohlander, the Glasford, Ill., charger easily pushed his 1963 Plymouth to victory before a very slim and cold crowd at Peoria Speedway on Saturday evening. Bohlander, starting in the last row, worked his way through the field and passed leader Alan May on lap 16. He was never seriously challenged after that and cruised to his second straight feature win. Jim Strube of Peoria would take runner-up honors with John Beauchamp of Atlantic, Iowa, grabbing the final podium spot.
Delayed by rain for a day, the weekly super stock races at Marshalltown Speedway were held Sunday evening, June 25, with Jerry LeCroy of Des Moines walking off with the feature victory. A Central Iowa Fair-sized crowd was on hand to watch LeCroy edge out Bob Bonzer of Liscomb for the top prize. Following LeCroy and Bonzer to the finish line were Curt Hogue of Ames, Iowa, Dave Brannon of Marshalltown and Bob Eurom of Marshalltown.
Darrel Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, driving his 1967 Ford, was the big winner in the late model class at Speedbowl Park in Sterling, Ill., on Sunday. Dake finished almost half a lap ahead of the field at the checkers, well ahead of Verlin Eaker, John Connolly, Alan May and Ed Bohlen. Dake also won his heat race and semi-main, making it a clean sweep on the evening.
Red Droste of Waterloo added to his string of victories as he won the feature Sunday night at Tunis Speedway. It was the fourth consecutive night that the purse exceeded $2,000, with a total purse of $2,600 being paid this night. Roger Kruse of Independence, the first heat winner, lead in the early going before Droste took over and pulled away from the field. Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo, the third heat winner, took second in the main event while Cal Swanson of Reinbeck was third, Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., grabbed fourth and Ed Sanger of Waterloo rounded out the top five.
Lyle McNall of Aledo, Ill., outdueled fellow townsman Del Williams and won the 25-lap IMCA late model main at Quad City Raceway in East Moline, Ill., on Sunday night. Not only did McNall and Williams finish one-two in the feature but in the first heat as well. The feature victory at Quad City was McNall’s first in over two years. He won his first feature there in his rookie year of 1965. McNall started on the outside of the front row and built a quarter-lap lead at the beginning. Midway through the race, Williams, who started in the third row, had worked his way through traffic and was in hot pursuit of McNall. Williams made up considerable ground but ran out of laps and was unable to catch the leader, who was piloting a 1961 Studebaker powered by a 327 cubic-inch Chevrolet motor.