Tuesday, July 16, 2019

1972 – Missouri Men Lead Way at Bloomfield


Bloomfield, Iowa (July 16, 1972) – Two Missouri men, Sonny Smyser of Glenwood and Larry Pipes of Kirksville, were in the winner’s circle at the Bloomfield Speedway Sunday night.

Smyser jumped into the lead at the drop of the flag and led all the way to his third feature win. The super modified driver was over a half-lap ahead at the finish.

Pipes finally put everything together and won his first super stock main of the season.

Pipes and Chuck Allison of Ottumwa dueled all the way with Allison leading the first six laps before Pipes passed him. The two then seesawed with John Babb and Bob McCall of Ottumwa nipping at their bumpers. Babb and McCall finished side-by-side with Babb edging out third spot.

Larry Winn of Kirksville won his second trophy dash in a row while McCall took second.

Allison and Winn had quite a battle in the first heat. The two exchanged leads several times and Allison came out on top. McCall won a hot battle in the second heat with Bob beating out Pipes. 

Smyser won his trophy dash ahead of Bill Hudson of New Sharon. Hudson followed Smyser at the finish and Don Jermier of Mt. Pleasant was third.

Cliff Powell of Hannibal took the first heat leading all the way. Burt Sonner of Des Moines was right behind him and then came Steve Hainline of Bonaparte in third.

On the seventh lap of the modified feature, Larry Cramblett and Torch Aleshire tangled down the front chute and both went into the fence. Aleshire went up on his nose and rolled over. Cramblett landed right side up. Neither were injured.

Results – 

Super Modifieds

Trophy dash – Sonny Smyser, Glenwood, Mo.
Heat #1 – Cliff Powell, Hannibal, Mo. 
Heat #2 – Sonny Smyser
Feature – 
1. Sonny Smyser
2. Cliff Powell
3. Bill Hudson, New Sharon 
4. Burt Sonner, Des Moines
5. Steve Hainline, Bonaparte
6. Harvey Grooms, Ottumwa
7. Adrian Zoutte, Knoxville

Super Stocks

Trophy dash – Larry Winn, Kirksville, Mo.
Heat #1 – Chuck Allison, Ottumwa
Heat #2 – Bob McCall, Ottumwa
Feature – 
1. Larry Pipes, Kirksville, Mo. 
2. Chuck Allison
3. Johnny Babb, Ottumwa
4. Bob McCall
5. Bob Widmar, Ottumwa
6. Charlie Morris, Kirksville, Mo. 
7. Don Benge, Selma, Iowa

Monday, July 15, 2019

1981 – History Repeats for Walton at Oskaloosa


Ken Walton




Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 15, 1981) – History repeated itself in the Pepsi-Mountain Dew Special stock car race on Wednesday night at the Mahaska County Fairgrounds when Ken Walton of Viola, Iowa, won the late model feature nipping Kenny Fenn of Washington, Iowa, by six inches.

It was Walton’s first feature win of the season although he’s finished no worse than fifth this year. “This happened three years ago, too,” said the happy Walton. “I won my first feature of the year in this event, then I went to Eldora (Speedway) and won my first World 100. I hope I can win that again too.”

Walton won $1,000 for winning the 35-lap feature on the half-mile track. The event, sanctioned by the National Speedways Contest Association, also helped Walton regain the point lead in the series’ standings.

Fenn, the point leader at the Iowa State Fairgrounds track in Des Moines, started the race on the pole and quickly took a commanding lead in his 1981 Corvette. By lap 7 he had a straight-away lead over second place Jerry Pilcher of Ottumwa, Iowa.

A yellow flag would come out on lap 11 for an accident involving Curt Hogue of Ames, Iowa and Johnny Johnson of Morning Sun, Iowa. During the caution, Fenn would replace his right rear tire.

After the restart, Fenn would lose his stagger and speed. However, Walton was unable to do much except slowly creep on Fenn, getting his Camaro into second place on lap 18.

On lap 30, Fenn would encounter lapped traffic allowing Walton to tag on to his bumper as the laps ticked away. On lap 34 tried to pass Fenn down the backstretch but couldn’t get around. Coming out of turn four, however, Fenn would get loose, sliding high, allowing Walton the opportunity to dive low and start a drag race to the checkers. Walton would nip Fenn by half a foot at the start/finish line.

Pilcher would finish third, Ron Jackson of Burlington, Iowa, was fourth and Curt Hogue would come back from his accident earlier in the race to finish fifth.

Results –
Heat #1 – Kenny Fenn, Washington, Iowa
Heat #2 – Jerry Pilcher, Ottumwa, Iowa
Heat #3 – Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
Challenge race – Tom Hearst
Feature –

1. Ken Walton, Viola, Iowa
2. Kenny Fenn
3. Jerry Pilcher
4. Ron Jackson, Burlington, Iowa
5. Curt Hogue, Ames, Iowa
6. Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
7. Jerry Roberts, Prairie City, Iowa
8. Craig Jacobs, Des Moines
9. Tony Stewart, Washington, Iowa
10. Billy Moyer Jr., Des Moines

Sunday, July 14, 2019

1961 – Stott trails Derr in Lakeside Stock Main


Kansas City, Kan. (July 14, 1961) – A new IMCA world’s record for late model stock car was written into the books at Lakeside Stadium’s lightning fast half-mile on Friday night.

With Gene Van Winkle and Woody Brinkman handling the officiating for National Speedways, Inc., Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa flawlessly powered his 1961 Pontiac to the checkered flag in the 50-lap main event in 22 minutes and 21 seconds.

Derr, the defending IMCA national champion, thus erased the old mark of 22 minutes and 59 seconds set by Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1959.

Ramo Stott, also of Keokuk, Iowa, found the going excellent as well, as he edged Derr in the 10-lap trophy dash to set a new IMCA standard of 4 minutes and 28 seconds. Stott, racing a 1961 Ford, eclipsed the old record of 4 minutes and 31 seconds set by Derr in 1959.

Stott trailed Derr across the finish line in the main event with Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa coming in third and Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., fourth. Liebe and Funk race 1961 Fords.

Derr, who also won the first heat, nudged ahead of Stott on the first lap of the feature and was able to stave off numerous challenges by his fellow townsman as he sped to the new world mark.

Results –

First Heat: Ernie Derr

Second Heat: Dick Hutcherson

Third Heat: Chub Liebe

Trophy Dash: Ramo Stott

Feature:

1. Ernie Derr

2. Ramo Stott

3. Chub Liebe

4. Lenny Funk

5. Jerry McCreadie

Saturday, July 13, 2019

1969 – Bobby Unser Slips Through to Win Miller 200


Bobby Unser accepts his accolades after winning the Miller 200 at Milwaukee. 




West Allis, Wis. (July 13, 1969) – Bobby Unser navigated his 1969 Ford Talladega through a hail of metal on an oil-slicked track Sunday to win the Miller 200-mile stock car race at State Fair Park.

Unser took the lead only six miles from the finish when Jack Bowsher’s 1969 Ford Torino coasted into the pits out of fuel while a caution flag was out.

The flag was out after Paul Bauer’s 1968 Chevrolet cut off Don White, nicked the Keokuk, Iowa driver’s fender, and smashed head on into the grandstand wall on lap 192.

Two laps later, Bowsher pitted and Unser took the lead. The safety trucks kept the cars in line until the 198th lap, much to the dismay of the 31,774 race fans in attendance. When the green flag was finally reinstated, the Unser’s lead was too big for White to surmount in the final two circuits.

White’s 1969 Dodge Charger finished second, Bowsher was third, and Norm Nelson - Saturday’s fast qualifier at 103.122 miles per hour – was fourth in his 1969 Roadrunner.

Yellow flags were the story of the day and kept the winning speed down to 94.27 miles per hour as four of the race leaders were forced out.

A.J Foyt grabbed a huge early lead and held it through three yellow lights during the first 80 miles.

Ray Dropp of Palatine, Ill., spun out on lap 17 for a brief caution; then Al Unser blew his engine on the 53rd lap. Roger McCluskey skidded in the oil left from Unser’s engine and slammed backwards into the wall. McCluskey’s rear end was so wrinkled, his crew had to batter away just to remove the gas cap.

USAC rookie Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., took over the lead when Foyt pitted after another spinout on lap 80. Trickle’s lead was fleeting, and he too was forced out when the engine on his 1969 Torino let go on lap 120.

Don White was the next leader and his reign lasted from lap 90 to 135 when he went to the pits for fresh tires. During that time, Foyt and Butch Hartman staged a brilliant duel for a distant second which didn’t end until Foyt slammed into Ron Keselowski on lap 107. Keselowski spun out on the north end and there simply wasn’t any place for Foyt to go.

Butch Hartman steered his 1969 Charger into the lead when White stopped for tires and led until his engine let go on lap 168. Bowsher took over from there until he ran out of fuel.

Bobby Unser praised his car and crew. “The car ran very well,” he said. “It never missed all day. I wouldn’t have had anything to complain about if I hadn’t won. All it needed was a little chassis adjustment on the first pit stop.”

Unser, gulping aspirin, said all the blown engines and pit stop made things “a little confusing”.

“I don’t usually take aspirin after a race but the stock cars are sort of hollow and the sound reverberates in the there.”

Results –

1. Bobby Unser
2. Don White
3. Jack Bowsher
4. Norm Nelson
5. Bruce Sparrman
6. Gene Marmor
7. Jack Knippel
8. Terry Nichels
9. Whitey Gerken
10.Paul Feldner
11.Roger McCluskey
12.Dave Whitcomb
13.J.J. Smith
14.Don Hill
15.Joe Frasson
16.Bob Haack
17.Frank Freda
18.Bill Nelson
19.George Giesen
20.Paul Bauer
21.Tom Jones
22.Glen Bradley
23.Butch Hartman
24.Jim Lord
25.Jay Behimer
26.Jerry Smith
27.Dick Trickle
28.Roger Regeth
29.Ed Hoffman
30.A.J. Foyt
31.Ron Keselowski
32.Sal Tovella
33.Bill Shirey
34.Ron Goudreau
35.Everett Fox
36.Ray Dropp
37.Dale Jett
38.Al Unser
39.Fred Zack
40.Bay Darnell

Friday, July 12, 2019

1976 - Ohio's Ferkel wins Missouri Sprint Nationals Final


Rick Ferkel 




Sedalia, Mo. (July 12, 1976) - Ohio sprint car driver Rick Ferkel lived up to his reputation of being the hot test item on the circuit Saturday, blowing off the competition for a win in the 35-lap Missouri Sprint National finals.


The Tiffin, Ohio, racer picked up a check for $2,000 after running away with the second annual sprint car classic before 4,000 fans at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia.


Coming out of a half-season retirement, Sedalia s Bill Utz grabbed second place and $1,200 Saturday night, Ralph Parkinson Jr., picked up third spot and $1,000 after battling with Kearney’s Eddie Leavitt during the main event.


Racing on the half-mile dirt oval opened Thursday on a sad note with the announcement that Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill., died earlier in the day of injuries he suffered July 5 in a sprint car race at West Memphis, Ark.


Kirkpatrick, a competitor at the Sprint Nationals last year, had made the jump this season to the United States Auto Club circuit. Saturday night drivers passing through the crowd collected $1,602 from the fans for Kirkpatrick’s widow and three children.


Second-year driver Dick Morris, Sioux City, Iowa, made the railbirds set up and take notice as he toured the track in 22.06 seconds, the fastest a sprint car has ever been timed around the oval. He erased the 1971 qualifying run of 22.45 seconds which had been the standard. It was set by Steve Schultz of Indianapolis, Ind.


Morris, rookie of the year last year at Knoxville, Iowa, not only set fast time, he also won his 12-lap heat race and copped the 5-lap cash dash added race featuring the four fastest cars.


Three of the four quick times Thursday came from the first five qualifiers on the track. Columbia's David Dwyer was the third driver out and was clocked in 22.32, good for second place. Eddie Leavitt, the 1975 National Super-Modified Champion at Knoxville, was the first car out Thursday and his 22.71 time was good enough for third spot. Chuck Amati, from Freeman Spur, Ill., was the third fastest with a 22.66 time, he was the 26th driver on the track. Morris came out in the fifth position.

The format called for four 12-lap heat races with the top three in each heat moving on to the A-Feature on Saturday night. Morris, Dwyer, Amati and Leavitt all captured first place in the heat races, Morris came back to edge Dwyer in the cash dash.


The night wound up with a 15-lap consolation feature for all the non-qualifiers. Johnny Suggs, Mesquite, Tex., edged Jerry Johnson, Kirksville, Mo., for first place in that event, with Don Bradberry, Sweet Springs, Mo., fourth.


Friday night the track was considerably slower, Ralph Blackett, Des Moines, Iowa, turned in the night’s fastest time with a 23.46 lap.


Gene Gennetten, Parkville, Mo., Ferkel, 20-year-old Sammy Swindell, West Memphis, Ark., and Utz raced to wins in the four 12-lap heat events. Blackett came back to capture the cash dash, edging out Gennetten, Ferkel and Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.


The 15-lap consolation feature went to Ralph Parkinson Sr., of Kansas City, with Jim Braden, Kansas City second and John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn., third.


Corbin gained a spot in the A-Feature on Thursday night with a second-place finish to Morris in the first heat. But he blew the engine in his sprinter on the first lap of the cash dash, forcing him to find another ride for Friday night and another shot at the field. He came back with a second-place finish to Ferkel in the second heat.


Dean Elliot, California, Mo., grabbed third place in the fourth heat to earn a spot in the A-Feature. Elliott drove Bill Campbell’s car in the Friday event. Campbell, of Russellville, had qualified for the C-Feature on Thursday night then elected to give up that spot and let Elliott have a shot at the A-Feature. Elliott made his first driving appearance since flipping down the backstretch in last year’s sprint car show at the Missouri State Fair.


While Ferkel, Utz and Parkinson Jr., took the big cash Saturday, it was Jim Jenkins, Slater, Mo., that did most of the work and passed the most cars.


The veteran racer was qualified for the B-Feature but was called upon to start in the C to make a full field of cars for the 20-lap race. Coming from the 17th spot, he took first place in that race, nipping Johnny Suggs in the final three laps.


He came back to finish second to Ralph Parkinson Sr., in the 25-lap B-Feature after only a 20-minute intermission. But in doing so he lost the brakes on the right rear of his car and was forced to change the system during the B and A main events.


In the A, Jenkins started from the 25th spot and was flagged in the ninth position when the race ended, running 80 laps of green flag competition Saturday. Gennetten, winner of the Memorial Day sprint and midget main events on the track, was unable to start the feature as he encountered car problems prior to the show Saturday night.


Morris and Dwyer made up the front row with Amati and Leavitt in the second row and Utz and Ferkel in row three.


Defending Missouri Sprint National champ Gary Scott, Holts Summit, Mo., ran fifth in the A-Feature, starting from the inside sixth row spot.



Results –

1. Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio
2. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
3. Ralph Parkinson Jr., Kansas City
4. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
5. Gary Scott, Holts Summit, Mo.
6. Dick Morris, Sioux City, Iowa
7. Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
8. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines, Iowa
9. Bobby Marshall, Dallas, Tex.
10.Jim Jenkins, Slater, Mo.
11.John Beaber, Vermont, Ohio
12.Bob Williams, Kansas City
13.Dave Dwyer, Columbia, Mo.
14.Sammy Swindell, West Memphis, Tenn.
15.Steve Perry, Dallas, Tex.
16.Bill Curtis, Kansas City
17.Phil Howe, Jacksonville, Ill.
18.Jim Braden, Kansas City
19.Bob Thoman, Higginsville, Mo.
20.Dean Elliot, California, Mo.
21.Butch Bahr, Lincoln, Neb.
22.Sonny Smyser, Greenwood, Mo.
23.Chuck Amati, Freeman Spur, Ill.
24.Ron Milton, Jacksonville, Ill.
25.George Lasoski, Dover, Mo.
26.Ralph Parkinson Sr., Kansas City

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

1966 - McCluskey Sweeps Winchester Clean







Winchester, Ind. (July 10, 1966) - It was Roger McCluskey day on the hallowed, high-banks of the Winchester Speedway yesterday afternoon.


McCluskey, who is starting to make a runaway of the United States Auto Club’s sprint division, set fast qualifying time, won the first 8-lap heat race and came back to win the 30-lap feature. This is Roger’s fourth win out of the five sprint races.


It wasn’t really that easy racing Roger. Don Branson, USAC’s racing grandfather, got the jump on McCluskey from his (Branson’s) outside, front row starting position and Roger was running a distant second for the first few laps.


McCluskey said after the race, when asked why he fell back so far at the start, “I was just getting ready to get on it when someone bumped me in the back end. My foot slid off the throttle and Branson took off.”


Grandpa Branson “took off”, as McCluskey said, as if he wanted to win his 29th USAC sprint feature, but Roger went to work on his lead and at the end of six laps was nose-to-tail with Branson.


On the seventh lap, Grandpa slid high in number four turn and bounced his right rear wheel off the steel guard rail. This was the opening McCluskey had been working for and he drove into first place.


Roger proceeded to build a healthy lead as Al Smith, sitting in the Wynn’s Friction Proofing Special for the injured Johnny Rutherford, moved up to challenge Branson for his second-place spot.


Again, number four turn was Grandpa’ s downfall, he bounced off the rail a second time and Smith was chasing the fleeing McCluskey with Branson running third.


This was the order of finish for the first three. Bobby Unser started 10th but when the checkered flag fell he had moved the Chevrolet-powered K.E.Y. Special to fourth place and was closing on Branson.


Time for the 30-lap, 15-mile, feature was 9 minutes and 1 second, which is just a shade off the track record.


Dee Jones and Norm Brown finished the second heat race in a wheel-to-wheel battle which had the fans standing at the end of the eight laps. Jones was declared the winner, but it was by a matter of inches.


Al Smith won the third eight-lapper and Bobby Unser set a new track record for the 10-lap consolation. Unser ran the five miles in 2 minutes and 59 seconds, half a second faster than the old record, and figures out to 100.11 miles per hour. (That’s going around a half-mile oval fairly fast.)


A patient crowd of 5,500 race fans enjoyed the action. . .which got underway nine minutes early.



Results –



1. Roger McCluskey
2. Al Smith
3. Don Branson
4. Bobby Unser
5. Bud Tinglestad
6. Sam Session
7. Ronnie Duman
8. Ron Lux
9. Dave Lundy
10. Arnie Knepper
11. Dee Jones
12. Norm Brown
13. Greg Weld
14. Bob Pratt

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

1967 – 20,000 See Derr Win Iowa 300


Ernie Derr flashes a broad smile as he accepts his trophy from Miss Iowa ‘300’ Linda Leslie.





Des Moines, Iowa (July 9, 1967) - Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, took the lead on the first lap, relinquished it only briefly during three pit stops and cruised to his second straight Iowa 300 late-model stock car race Sunday at the Iowa State Fairgrounds before a crowd of 20,351.


Dick Hutcherson, the former International Motor Contest Association champion who is now a NASCAR star, provided the strongest challenge for 295 laps. That's when the engine of his 1967 Fairlane Ford blew up and he dropped from second to third place.


Keokuk's Ramo Stott, three-time Iowa 300 winner, took over second place after Hutcherson's misfortune. Derr had his 1967 Charger purring over the 150-mile grind on a track which he said was in its best condition ever.


Derr's pay for the day was $1,375. He received $1,100 for winning the race, $100 for each of two records he broke and $75 for finishing second behind Hutcherson in the time trials.


Derr broke Stott's 100-lap record of 49 minutes and 37 seconds - set July 7, 1963, with a time of 46 minutes and 4 seconds. The old 200-lap mark of 1 hour, 35 minutes and 54 seconds was Hutcherson's, set August 22, 1964. Derr's time was 1 hour, 34 minutes and 44 seconds.


Hutcherson, formerly of Keokuk, started on the pole after setting a one-lap record on the half-mile dirt track of 25.83 seconds. That broke Stott's mark of 26 seconds set July 10, 1966. Derr also was under Stott's time at 25.88 seconds to gain a front row starting position.


Hutcherson stayed close to Derr and attempted to pass on lap 35 but Derr's Dodge Charger was able to stay ahead.


Derr pulled into the pits for his 30-second mandatory pit stop in the first 100 laps on lap 91 and Hutcherson would take the lead.


Hutch then took his required recess on lap 93 and Stott went into a one-lap lead. Der would zip back in front when Stott pitted on lap 94. 



Derr would return for gas on lap 107 and again, Hutcherson would take over the top spot. But Derr would regain the lead 12 laps later and begin to pull away from Hutcherson and the rest of the field.


The seven-time IMCA national champion would lap Hutcherson on lap 171. Both would stop for gas on lap 206 with Hutcherson back on out first but his gain would be insignificant.


By lap 150, Derr had an 18-second lead and 20 circuits later, as Hutcherson began to slow with engine troubles, Derr had increased his margin to over 20 seconds.


Despite an ailing motor, Hutcherson appeared to have second-place cinched but his car began smoking badly with only 8 laps left. It finally gave out on lap 296.



Results –



1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Dick Hutcherson, Camden, S.C.
4. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
5. Lewis Taylor, Shawnee, Kan.
6. Wally Christensen, Minneapolis
7. Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
8. George Barton, Ankeny, Iowa
9. Leon Bowman, Wichita, Kan.
10. Bob Perry, Springfield, Mo.

Monday, July 8, 2019

1979 - Planks Tops Late Model Go in Buddy Baker 40






De Pere, Wis. (July 8, 1979) – Although all eyes were on NASCAR star Buddy Baker, Leon Plank of Mondovi, Wis., stole the show as he won the late model feature, the Buddy Baker “40” at Paul’s Super Speedway Sunday night.

Baker, who made the trip all the way from Charlotte, N.C., to be in the race, had to leave the feature after only 19 laps. No reason was given for his early departure. Baker, who hadn’t competed on a dirt track in over 10 years, started in the 17th position.

Plank, who was in second place most of the race, took the lead on lap 36 of the 40-lapper and held on to win by three car lengths.

Finishing behind Plank were J.J. Smith, Pete Parker, Mike Melius and Lowell Bennett.

The feature race was highlighted by three restarts, each one caused by a mishap in turn four.

The first restart was caused when Wayne Weckwerth of Appleton, Wis., spun out.

The next restart was caused by Bob Menor of Wausaukee, Wis., when he came out of turn four too fast and rode the outside guardrail into the grandstand. Luckily, no one was injured, but the underside of Menor’s car was severely damaged.

The final restart occurred when Doug Larson of Green Bay spun out in turn four.

Once the race finally got started, Plank, who was on the outside of the first row, jumped into the lead over Smith and Parker.

The top three stayed that way until lap 10 when Parker passed Plank before the starter signaled a yellow flag due to a spinout in turn three. Parker went on the outside coming out of turn four and was half a car length in front of Plank when they came in front of the starter waving the yellow flag.

Parker held on to first place, helped by 14 laps under the yellow flag, until lap 35. On that lap, Plank pulled alongside Parker coming out of turn four. The two remained that way for a full lap, but then coming out of turn four on lap 36, Parker got too low on the track and was slowed when he went through a large puddle that was just on the lip of the infield. This allowed both Plank and Smith to pass Parker as he tried to regain control of his car coming down the straight.

Plank then held off Smith for the last four laps and wound up in victory lane, collecting a $1,000 check. Smith finished second and Parker third.

Results –

1. Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.
2. J.J. Smith, Appleton, Wis.
3. Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
4. Mike Melius, Random Lake, Wis.
5. Lowell Bennett, Greenville, Wis.
6. Scott Hansen, Green Bay, Wis.
7. M.J. McBride, Shawano, Wis.
8. Bill Strom, West Allis, Wis.
9. Al Schill, Franklin, Wis.
10. Gordie Seegert Jr. Greenfield, Wis.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

1967 – Weld Wins Lakeside Sprint


Greg Weld


Kansas City, Kan. (July 7, 1967) -Greg Weld nipped Rollie Beale in a race as close as their battle for the USAC sprint car leadership to the delight of 6,500 at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night.

Weld jumped into the lead on the first lap. He walked away from polesitter Bruce Walkup from his outside front row starting position. After 12 laps his lead seemed insurmountable. On lap 13, a five-car crash brought the race to a halt until the track was cleared. No one was injured.

On the restart, Beale inherited second-place from Walkup who retired with an oil leak. Beale immediately applied pressure on Weld and kept it on for the rest of the 30-lap race.

Weld was equal to the challenge and held off his nearest competitor for the USAC sprint championship. It was his first victory before the home folks in three tries before his hometown crowd.

A track which was hard and slick from time trials to the finish made racing a hairy business. A lot of iron was bent but no drivers were injured.

Frank Secrist was involved in the most spectacular wreck, flipping twice in mid-air on the first lap of the consolation. He received a cut on his left hand but was otherwise alright.

Only seven of the 14 starters finished the feature with three, Mickey Shaw, Wib Spalding and Bobby Unser, retiring due to the lap 13 crash. The other dropouts were due to mechanical trouble.

Results –

Time trials – Mike Mosley (23.26)
Heat #1 – Bruce Walkup
Heat #2 – Mike Mosley
Heat #3 – George Snider
Consolation – Bobby Unser
Feature –

1. Greg Weld
2. Rollie Beale
3. Chuck Booth
4. Sam Sessions
5. Mike Mosley
6. Dick Kelm
7. George Snider
8. Dale Reed
9. Bill Puterbaugh
10. Bruce Walkup
11. Mickey Shaw
12. Wib Spalding
13. Bobby Unser
14. Johnny Rutherford

Saturday, July 6, 2019

1996 - Senneker Again; Claims 2nd Straight ASA Victory






Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 6, 1996) - If the All-Iowa Fair Board ever decides to relinquish control of Hawkeye Downs Speedway, it may want to entertain any offers it gets from Bob Senneker and Steve Holzhausen. The two stock car drivers practically own the track already.

Senneker, a 24-year veteran of the American Speed Association from Dorr, Mich., stayed out on lap 200 while the drivers in front of him went to the pits, and guided his Ford Thunderbird to victory Saturday at the ASA AC Delco Challenge Series 3rd Annual Hawkeye Downs 300.

Holzhausen, the 1992 ASA Rookie of the Year from Bangor, Wis., who also drives a Thunderbird, overcame a mid-race mishap to finish an impressive second.

The outcome gave Fords a one-two finish at the race for the third straight year, because the same two drivers have finished first and second all three years. Holzhausen won in 1994, with Senneker second. Senneker won the last two years, with Holzhausen as runner-up.

Scott Hansen, the pole-sitter, drove his Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a strong third-place finish and veteran Mike Miller of Marietta, Ga., piloted his Pontiac Grand Prix to fourth.

But the day belonged to Senneker, who won for an ASA-record 81st time, and for the second time this year.

“We’ve had some real good luck here,” he said. “The car didn't feel that good to start with, but (the crew) kept telling me were running as fast as anyone out there. I was content to just run on the bottom.”

This was the seventh race of the season for the AC-Delco Challenge Series, but it was Holzhausen’s first. He's been content to run weekly shows at La Crosse (Wis.) Speedway until he can round up adequate sponsorship money.

“This is one of the tracks that we pick,” Holzhausen said. “We do run well here, there’s no doubt about it. We have a good set-up for here, and it just flat works.”

A near-capacity crowd of more than 7,000 fans in the grandstand and hundreds of thousands more watching on cable television station The Nashville Network saw a clean race that featured nine lead changes among seven drivers and only seven cautions for 41 laps.

Cedar Rapids driver Johnny Spaw, making his first ASA start of the year, enjoyed some time at the front of the field, leading from lap 164 until he went in for rear tires on his Pontiac Grand Prix on lap 200. It wasn’t the smoothest pit stop, and he came out pretty far back. But he rallied over the final 100 laps to finish a very respectable eighth.

Brad Loney, an ASA regular from Cedar Rapids, had the throttle linkage break on his Grand Prix on lap 96 and didn’t get back out on the track until lap 160. He finished 32nd but finished the race for an ASA-best 32nd time.

Senneker, who started fifth and earned $16,230 for his day's work, won his 81st ASA race since 1973. He stayed to the inside most of the time, while others tried their luck high.

“The car was excellent,’ he said. “It never changed. It was kind of pushy, but it never got any worse. I had to change my groove to figure out where to run, but I ran it on the bottom, and that’s where it wanted to be.”

Holzhausen had a little tougher time. He started eighth, ran in the top-10 for the first half of the race, and took the lead from Dave Senisba on lap 160. His stay in front was short, however, as he and Kevin Cywinski touched coming out of turn four on lap 163, and left the track.

It was a long climb back for Holzhausen, but he ducked underneath Hansen and into second place with just 13 laps to go. By then, Senneker was well in command, and Holzhausen had run out of laps.

“They were reading off lap times to me (during the race), and when I got up to third and then up to second, (Senneker) was running probably as fast as I was,” Holzhausen said. “I don’t think I could have got him, but you never know.”

Mike Eddy of Midland, Mich., a seven-time ASA national champion, looked to have the car to beat early in the race. He led from laps 52 through 98 and again from 106 through 113, and was running second when the leaders went in for left-side tires and fuel on lap 126.

Then disaster struck…

As Eddy was exiting the pits, Joe Nott pulled out in front of him, and the two collided. Eddy's Pontiac suffered suspension damage, and the veteran was saddled with his third “Did Not Finish” in his last four starts.

For his part, Spaw enjoyed his 300-lap ride, especially his time up front.

“It felt good,” he said. “I was just taking it easy. The slower I went, the faster I went, if you know what I mean. When I was trying too hard, (the other drivers) would catch me. When I’d stop paying attention to where they were at, I'd start pulling away.”

Results - 

1. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
2. Steve Holzhausen, Bangor, Wis.
3. Scott Hansen, Milwaukee, Wis.
4. Mike Miller, Marietta, Ga.
5. Dave Sensiba, Middleville, Mich.
6. Tony Raines, Milwaukee, Wis.
7. Gary St. Amant, Columbus, Ohio
8. Johnny Spaw, Cedar Rapids
9. Kevin Cywinski, Menominee, Mich.
10. Ted Smokstad, Bloomington, Minn.
11. Tony Roper, St. Louis, Mo.
12. Rick Miller, Dunbar, Pa.
13. Joe Nott, Grand Haven, Mich.
14. Mike Garvey, Sewanee, Ga.
15. Tim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
16. Carl Miskolten, Fort Wayne, Ind.
17. Harold Fair, Detroit, Mich.
16. Dennis Lampman, Oak Creek, Wis.
19. Eddie Sharp, Concord, N.C.
20. Dennis Berry, Franklin, Wis.
21. Tom Jones, Gurnee, Ill.
22. Cale Conley, Vienna, W.V.
23. Bob Dorstewitz, Waterville, Mich.
24. Doug Mayr, Franklin, Wis.
25. Jack Landis, Edgerton, Ohio
26. Mike Cofer, Brownsburg, Ind.
27. Bill Baird, Sturgis, Ky.
28. Bo Lemler, Bonita, Calif.
29. Samuel Gottwald, Willmar, Minn.
30. Brett Bell, Pittsboro, Ind.
31. Brandon Sperling, Rockford, Mich.
32. Brad Loney, Cedar Rapids
33. Mike Eddy, Midland, Mich.
34. Aaron Hough, New Palestine, Ind.
35. Billy Turner, El Reno, Okla.
36. Carroll Adamy, Bellwood, Neb.

Friday, July 5, 2019

1979 - James Best in Wilmot Sprints




Wilmot, Wis. (July 5, 1979) – Lee James of Northridge, Calif., drove to victory in the National Speedways Contest Association 35-lap sprint car feature at the Kenosha County Fairgrounds on Thursday night.

James claimed the feature lead for good when previous front-runner Tim Green of Sacramento, Calif., spun. At the finish, James was followed by Randy Smith, John Stevenson, Joe Kristan and Dick Colburn.

Bobby Allen of Hanover, Penn., started the show by turning the fastest time trial lap ever recorded on the third-mile clay oval, with a time of 15.458 seconds. The previous best was a 15.89 second clocking by super modified chauffeur John Tierney, a standard which will continue to be recognized by that class.

Cliff Woodward edged Colburn to win the first heat, during which Rick Schmidt flipped his mount. Stevenson took the second heat, while James captured the third.

Results –

1. Lee James, Northridge, Calif.
2. Randy Smith, Norwalk, Iowa
3. John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
4. Joe Kristan, Waukegan, Ill.
5. Dick Colburn, Muskego, Wis.
6. Gary Dye, West Allis, Wis.
7. Tim Green, Sacramento, Calif.
8. Cliff Woodward, Kearney, Mo.
9. Bob Robel, Oconomowoc, Wis.
10. Jim Moulis, Johnsburg, Ill.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

1973 – Janey is Iowa 300 Victor

Irv Janey 



Des Moines, Iowa (July 4, 1973) – Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, setting three new track records in 100-laps, 150-laps and 300-lap, cruised to victory lane in the Firecracker 300.

Gordon Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, charged from his second row starting position to take the lead on the first lap.

Then, it was Ferris Collier of Lampe, Mo., coming off a second-place finish in the Topeka “Kansas 200” and a win in the Oklahoma “Sooner 100”, grabbing the top spot on the second go-round.

Janey was slowly weaving through the pack, from hiss sixth row starting position, until on the 18th lap, Collier got boxed in slower traffic and Janey was able to pass him and grab the lead. He would never relinquish the top spot from there out.

Ron Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa, the defending ARCA national champ, had engine problems on lap 45 and was forced to retire.

Blankenship, running fourth, cracked his transmission on lap 83 and was also forced out of the running.

Some of the more remarkable driving was turned in by Mike and Russ Derr of Keokuk, Iowa. Emulating their father, 12-time IMCA national champion Ernie Derr, Mike and Russ would finish second and fourth respectively.

Two caution flags really didn’t mar the nearly flawless race as Irv Janey eclipsed his old 100-lap mark by 24 seconds, setting a new time of 45 minutes and 24 seconds. The 150 and 300 lap records fell by the wayside, both by over four seconds with new times of 1 hour and 9 minutes and the latter in 2 hours and 19 minutes.

Ferris Collier, a new IMCA regular, set fast time in qualifying with a time 27.41 seconds around the dirt half-mile oval.

Results –

1. Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

2. Mike Derr, Keokuk, Iowa

3. Ferris Collier, Lampe, Mo.

4. Russ Derr, Keokuk, Iowa

5. Gary Brooks, Grand Prairie, Tex.

6. Don Cooper, Sedalia, Mo.

7. Thurman Lovejoy, Kansas City

8. Michael Wallis, Gardner, Kan.

9. Larry Harvey, Kansas City

10. Jim Still, Topeka, Kan.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

1966 - Branson Win Eldora Sprints


Don Branson (6) and Roger McCluskey (51) battle for the top spot at Eldora.



Rossburg, Ohio (July 3, 1966) - Don Branson, the chunky 46-year-old veteran race driver from Champaign, Ill., proved he still could battle Sunday. Branson won his first sprint car event of the season, beating a field of 14 in the 15-mile United States Auto Club feature at Eldora Speedway.

 
Branson, of Champaign, Ill., took over the lead on the 22nd lap and maintained it the rest of the way as he captured the 30-lap USAC sprint car feature.

 
Branson passed pole-sitter Roger McCluskey and led for the last nine laps of the race. McCluskey was the pace-setter for the first 21 circuits, however, after losing his battle with Branson he faded and settled for sixth position.
 

Al Smith of Dayton, Ohio, finished second, while Larry Dickson took third. The top three finishers, Branson, Smith and Dickson, were tightly grouped at the finish.

 
By winning the 15-mile race on Eldora’s half-mile track, Branson collected $860. His time for the feature was 10 minutes and 14 seconds.

 
McCluskey had the day’s fastest heat race time by taking one of the 8-lap prelims in 2 minutes and 45 seconds. His one-lap qualification time of 19.10 seconds was the quickest of the day.

 
A roll bar saved the day for Sam Sessions. Sessions, trying to qualify, hit the outer-guard rail when his throttle stuck going into the first turn. His car flipped high into the air, but Sessions was saved from serious injuries by the roll bar on his car. He was checked by physicians and suffered no injuries whatsoever.

 

Results –

 

1.     Don Branson

2.     Al Smith

3.     Larry Dickson

4.     Bud Tinglestad

5.     Greg Weld

6.     Roger McCluskey

7.     Arnie Knepper

8.     Norm Brown

9.     Bob Pratt

10.  Bob Wente

11.  Dee Jones

12.  Hal Minyard

Monday, July 1, 2019

1973 – Hartman Wins La Crosse USAC 100








West Salem, Wis. (July 1, 1973) – Larry (Butch) Hartman, of South Zanesville, Ohio, showed why he's the defending United States Auto Club stock car point champion as he had little trouble in winning Sunday’s USAC 100 here at the La Crosse Interstate Speedway.

Hartman, starting from the third row in the 22-car field, passed early leader Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, on the 48th lap and easily held onto it for the rest of the way to pick up the first place prize of $1,662.

White, who finished second after starting from the inside pole position, was pressed for much of the early going by Hartman and Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids who was driving a 1972 Chevelle owned by Jim McCommons of Lake Geneva.

White won $1,246 while Trickle’s share of the purse was $872.

White’s 1973 Charger was followed closely by Trickle until the 32nd lap when Hartman, in a ‘72 Charger, took second away from Trickle and began his move on White.

“My car ran perfect,” said Hartman “I was slowing down in the late laps, but I wasn’t worried about White. I knew I had almost a half a straightaway lead It was pretty hot out there and I started getting a little tired that’s something unusual for me.”

This is the second consecutive USAC win for the 33-year-old Hartman who last week set the pace in the Indiana Classic 100-mile stock car dirt track event.

Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, this year's USAC point leader, placed fourth in a ‘72 Plymouth while Paul Feldner of Richfield, Wis., was fifth.

White earned the pole position with the fastest lap in the time trials, a 21.821 second circuit. Trickle was second with a 22.198 second clocking while Madison's A. J. Moldenhauer was third and Stott fourth.

Moldenhauer was running well in the picture until spinning out on the 24th lap. He finished in 11th place overall.

The yellow flag came out twice in the race’s early going. On lap five, Bob Schroyer of Toledo, Ohio, hit the wall but was unharmed. After five slow laps the green flag came out until Moldenhauer’s scrape again brought out the sweepers and the caution flag

It was a three-car race for the entire distance and Trickle felt he was close enough to the leaders to have a shot at winning had his car not suffered a mechanical problem.

“I was running out of brakes and had to pump them all the way through the corners,” said the veteran Interstate driver. "If the brakes would have held up I would have had a chance.”

Hartman said of his failure to push harder in the latter part of the race; “I knew I had the race won. why burn the car up?”

Stott won the four-lap trophy dash in which the top four timers competed Trickle held a brief lead on the last lap but had to settle for second. White was third and Moldenhauer fourth.

Following Schroyer to the checkered flag in the 15-lap semi-feature was three state drivers; Bob Brevak of Ashland, Wis., Dan Weyker of Belgium, Wis., and Bill Gardner of Milwaukee.

Bob Whitlow of Orchard Lake, Mich., a former center for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League, was running second on the 10th lap of the semi before his engine blew and the car caught on fire briefly.

A paid crowd of 1,900 watched this, the first USAC sanctioned race ever held here. The event was originally scheduled for May 27 but was rained out.


Results –


1. Butch Hartman
2. Don White
3. Dick Trickle
4. Ramo Stott
5. Irv Janey
6. Paul Feldner
7. Bay Darnell
8. John Schultz
9. Terry Ryan
10.M.J. McBride
11.A.J. Moldenhauer
12.Dean Roper
13.Bill Gardner
14.Jim Tobin
15.Bob Brevak
16.J.J. Smith
17.Dan Weyker
18.Ray Bolander
19.Tom Matthews
20.Steve Drake
21.John Reimer
22.Bud Schroyer

Sunday, June 30, 2019

1959 – Badger 100 to Ernie Derr


Ernie Derr



De Pere, Wis. (June 30, 1959) – Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa continued to match the #1 he carries on his car when he sailed to first place in the “Badger 100” feature here Saturday night before a standing room only crowd.

The 5,000 plus fans in attendance saw Topeka’s Bill Harrison continue to have tough luck mechanically and the cagey veteran was forced to drop from the feature event after leading the pack for the first 29 laps when he threw a rod in his 1959 Pontiac.

That opened the gate for Derr and his ’57 Pontiac and the Keokuk “Komet” blazed ahead of Wayne Lee, Burlington, Iowa, making his first start behind the wheel of a new ’57 Pontiac.

Bruce Nystrom, a home-state favorite from Oshkosh, pushed his 1956 Chrysler to third place with Newt Bartholomew of Carlisle, Iowa, taking the fourth spot in a 1957 Chevrolet.

Nationals Speedways, Inc., co-sponsored the first IMCA meet here in 10 years with the Brown County Racing Association, headed by John Marquis of De Pere.

Results –

Time Trials: Bill Harrison (30.11)
Heat #1: Bill Harrison
Heat #2: Bruce Nystrom
Heat #3: Roland Wilson
Nationals Speedways Dash: Ernie Derr
Semi-Main: Bruce Nystrom
Feature:
1.       Ernie Derr
2.       Wayne Lee
3.       Bruce Nystrom
4.       Newt Bartholomew
5.       Roland Wilson
6.       Ramo Stott
7.       Pete Van Oudenhoven
8.       Jeri O’Day

Saturday, June 29, 2019

1978 - Carson Takes NAPA Sprint Crown at Des Moines

Shane Carson is joined by car owner Bob Trostle after winning the NAPA Futurity. - Beetle Bailey Photo




Des Moines, Iowa (June 29, 1978) – Shane Carson of Oklahoma City, Okla., held a persistent Kim Lingenfelter of Norfolk, Neb., at bay to win the NAPA Futurity sprint car race at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

It was a blanket finish, however. The 25-lap feature event found the pair hooked up in a two-car race duel well ahead of third-place finish Doug Wolfgang of Lincoln, Neb., and Ralph Blackett of Des Moines.

The event, which had originally bet set for the day before, but was washed out, was held on a heavy track after rains made a quagmire of the oval.

But, National Speedways officials and track personnel did an admirable job preparing the half-mile track. The only drawback to what would have been an ideal night was the narrow chutes created by the heavy rains and high humidity.

For Carson, it was a double payoff. He not only pocketed the $1,000 for winning the 25-lap main event, but took over sole position of first place in the National Speedways Contest Association point standings. He was a mere 10 points behind Doug Wolfgang going into the Futurity.

Carson also won the second heat race when he bested Ralph Blackett and Wolfgang in that order.

One mishap occurred on lap 15 of the feature when Jimmy Sills of Sacramento, Calif., Mike Brooks of Knoxville, Iowa, and Con Edwards of Ankeny, Iowa, tangled coming off of turn two. No one was injured, but at the same moment, Jimmy Riggins of Lincoln, Neb. abruptly pulled off the track in turn four after sustaining burns to the back of his legs.

The semi-main was won by Jerry Potter of Kansas City. Veteran driver Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., won the first heat and Lingenfelter took the third heat.

Results –

1. Shane Carson, Oklahoma City, Okla.
2. Kim Lingenfelter, Norfolk, Neb.
3. Doug Wolfgang, Lincoln, Neb.
4. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
5. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
6. Jimmy Boyd, Dixon, Calif.
7. Butch Bahr, Grand Island, Neb.
8. Junior Gutknecht, Pleasantville, Iowa
9. Bill Robison, Topeka, Kan.
10. Steve Hainline, Bonaparte, Iowa
11. Con Edwards, Ankeny, Iowa
12. Mike Brooks, Knoxville, Iowa
13. Jimmy Sills, Sacramento, Calif.
14. Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
15. Jimmy Riggins, Lincoln, Neb.
16. Jerry Potter, Kansas City
17. Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
18. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.