Tuesday, April 30, 2019

1978 - Anderson Wins at Salem

John Anderson

Salem, Ind. (April 30, 1978) – John Anderson of Massillon, Ohio, drove a flawless race Sunday afternoon at Salem Speedway, to score his first American Speed Association stock car win of the season, leading the last 80 circuits of the 100-lap, caution-free race.

Anderson set a new record of 29 minutes and 56 seconds (108.195 miles per hour) on the .54-mile high-banked paved oval.

Don Gregory of Columbus, Ohio, was five seconds back in second place and Bob Sensiba of Middleville, Mich., was third.

For the second time in 24 hours, the ASA drivers completed a 100-lap event with no caution flags as Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., won a 100-lapper at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

Anderson’s Camaro never faltered in the feature as he moved from his sixth starting spot in the 24-car field to pass early leader Gregory, who momentarily slowed after Ken Harrison blew an engine on lap 19, producing plenty of smoke, but no oil on the racing surface.

Anderson’s victory earned him $1,625 from a $9,650 purse. Despite rain in virtually every area surrounding the track, 5,093 fans braved the elements, and were rewarded with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s.

Results –

1. John Anderson, Massillon, Ohio
2. Don Gregory, Columbus, Ohio
3. Bob Sensiba, Middleville, Mich.
4. Mike Eddy, Kawkawlin, Mich.
5. Randy Sweet, Bremen, Ind.
6. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
7. Carl Smith, West Jefferson, Ohio
8. Rodney Combs, Mason, Ohio
9. Jimmy Pierson, Janesville, Wis.
10. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
11. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
12. Dave Roahrig, Plymouth, Ind.
13. Harold Scott, New Castle, Ind.
14. Don Wilbur, West Carrollton, Ohio
15. Jeep Pflum, Cincinnati, Ohio.
16. Denny Miles, Muncie, Ind.
17. Ken Tingwald, Milwaukee, Wis.
18. Don Flory, Dayton, Ohio
19. L.J. Lines, Greensboro, Ind.
20. Terry Senneker, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

1973 – Stott Wins Knoxville USAC Race

Knoxville, Iowa (April 28, 1973) – Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, finally got his car together at 3:30 pm on Saturday and then worried well into the night whether everything was secure.

It was, and Stott won the 100-lap United States Auto Club late model stock car feature at the Marion County Fairgrounds before a crowd of 11,000. Stott earned $1,600 for the victory.

Ramo had been working on his 1973 Plymouth for nearly 20 hours a day since Monday and his effort to get it ready for the four-race program.

“The car worked just fine,” Stott remarked as he signed autographs for fans. “I worked until 3:30 this morning, then went to bed until 8 o’clock and then I returned to work on the car.”

“I tried to sleep on the trip to Knoxville, but I’m kept thinking, ‘Did I do this? Did I get that bolt tight? Will everything stay together’”

Second place went to Jack Bowsher of Springfield, Ohio, Ernie Derr of Keokuk finished third and Butch Hartman, the defending USAC stock car champion from South Zanesville, Ohio, took fourth.

Al Unser of Albuquerque, N.M., the 1970 and ’71 Indianapolis 500 winner, fell out early and finished 19th. He said the problem was a broken axle.

Stott took the lead on lap 10 and was in command the rest of the way, pulling away from most of the field.

Hartman would manage to pass Stott later during the race, but it was quickly ruled that Hartman was still a lap down. Ramo dueled with Hartman for a few laps but decided to back off.

“I didn’t think he could make up that big of a deficit but I didn’t like seeing him go by either. However, I thought if I tried to push the car needlessly, something might happen and I lose the race.”

Stott would finish nearly a half-mile ahead of Bowsher with the first four cars completing all 100 laps.

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, would get the jump when the green flag waved but it was Ernie Derr passing White between turns one and two on the first lap. White would go around Ernie on lap 3 and lead until Stott took command on lap 10.

Overheating seemed to be a problem for a few drivers. Derrr said his car was running hot towards the end and he had to let up and allow Bowsher to slip by for second while Derr settled for third.

“I had two choices,” Derr said, “I could try and get my position back and possibly burn all of the hoses off or cruise along and get a high finish.”

White was also plagued with heating problems as was Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the defending International Motor Contest Association national champion.

Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, driving a car owned by Tom Spagnola of Des Moines, finished a respectable eighth.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Jack Bowsher, Springfield, Ohio
3. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Butch Hartman, South Zanesville, Ohio
5. Bay Darnell, Deerfield, Ill.
6. Jim Tobin, Bloomington, Ill.
7. Paul Feldner, Richfield, Wis.
8. Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
9. Steve Drake, Bloomington, Ill.
10. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
11. Verlin Eaker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
12. John Schultz, Appleton, Wis.
13. Mike Flora, Muncie, Ind.
14. Bob Whitlow, Chicago, Ill.
15. Larry Moore, Greenville, Ohio
16. Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
17. Ken Reiter, Louisville, Ky.
18. Terry Ryan, Davenport, Iowa
19. Al Unser, Albuquerque, N.M
20. John Reimer, Caledonia, Wis.
21. Ray Blonder, Knowles, Wis.
22. Jigger Sirois, Hammond, Ind.

Friday, April 26, 2019

1975 – Martin Nabs Spring Invitational

Omaha, Neb. (April 26, 1975) – Bill Martin of Council Bluffs, Iowa, started the season exactly like he finished it at Sunset Speedway – by winning a title race – this time the third annual $5,000 Spring Invitational.
Last year he grabbed the $8,000 Cornhusker-Hawkeye Challenge.
With 52 late models, 22 survived the four qualifying heats and two consolation events to enter the 75-lap feature.
Martin jumped into the lead from his front row starting position and fought off Bob Kosiski for 27 laps before the 23-year veteran took command.
With 23 laps remaining, Kosiski’s axle broke giving Martin clear sailing and eventually a $1,000 payday before a crowd of 2,135.
Martin’s victory was a boost to local stock car racing as the win came over some of the best dirt track drivers in the Midwest.

Results –

Heat #1 – Bill Martin, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Heat #2 – Joe Wallace, Kansas City
Heat #3 – Bob Kosiski, Omaha
Heat #4 – Karl Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
Trophy Dash – Bob Kosiski
Consolation #1 – Ed Morris, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Consolation #2 – Denny Hovinga, Laurens, Iowa
Feature –

1.     Bill Martin
2.     Don Hoffman, Des Moines
3.     Karl Sanger
4.     Jerry Wancewicz, Omaha
5.     Ed Morris
6.     Dave Knott, Minneapolis
7.     Joe Wallace
8.     Mike Dibben, Morris, Minn.
9.     Ferris Collier, Liberty, Mo.
10.  Chuck Bosselman, Grand Island, Neb.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

1960 – ‘Old’ Late Model Still Derr’s Pet

Hutchinson, Kan. (April 24, 1960) – Ernie Derr, the red-hot stocker from Keokuk, Iowa, milked another big win from his 1957 Pontiac in the Jayhawk 100 late model stock car race on Sunday afternoon.

With a new 1960 Pontiac in his garage at home awaiting the heavy fair season, Derr is still grabbing top money in his ’57.

During Sunday’s 100-lapper on the Kansas State Fairgrounds’ half-mile, Derr took the lead from Bob Kosiskie on lap 83 after trailing the Omahan’s Thunderbird for 64 laps. Kosiskie would finish a close second.
A spin on the third lap eliminated three pre-race favorites, Dick Hutcherson (’57 Pontiac), Ramo Stott (’60 Ford) and Darrell Dake (’60 Chevy). Ralph Wilhelm of Milwaukee had just lost the lead to Kosiskie and spun going in to hard, causing the pileup.
Derr set a qualifying record of 29.11 seconds and won the first 15-lap heat in a record breaking 7 minutes and 7 seconds. Kosiskie took the second preliminary.

Results –

1.   Ernie Derr
2.   Bob Kosiskie
3.   Lenny Funk
4.   Herb Shannon
5.   Newt Bartholomew
6.   Gerry Harrison
7.   Phil Cronin
8.   Ralph Wilhelm
9.   Art Brady
10.  Wayne Lee
11.  Dick Hutcherson
12.  Ramo Stott
13.  Dick Hendershot
14.  Darrell Dake
15.  Buzz McCann

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

1973 - Harrison Triumphs at Topeka

Gerry Harrison accept the checkers in victory lane.

Topeka, Kan. (April 23, 1973) – Gerry Harrison, who had nothing but trouble at the Mid America Fairgrounds on Saturday night, had nothing but good fortune on Sunday afternoon, winning the 50-lap late model stock car feature with his 1972 Monte Carlo in front all the way.
Saturday night’s winner, Tom Frasher of Jefferson City, Mo., finished second in his Camaro and was the recipient of a $100 bonus for being the top place finisher in the two days of racing.
Harrison, who won the pole position with a time 17.46 seconds, beat Jim Hagar of Liberty, Mo., through the first two turns on the first lap and kept his car well ahead of the rest of the field for the remaining 49 circuits.
There were about half as many cars (25) and half as many fans on hand for the afternoon of racing on the quarter-mile as there were for the Saturday night program on the half-mile.
As was the case on Saturday night, not many of the starters finished the feature. Twenty cars took the green flag and only seven were left at the finish. Mechanical troubles were the main issues as only minor spinouts brought out the yellow flag.
Gary Jellison of Topeka, Kan., who started the feature five points ahead of Frasher in the contest for the extra money, moved up to second place early in the chase and held it until lap 22 when the driveshaft let go on his Plymouth.
Meanwhile, back in the pack, Frasher was waiting for the field to thin before making his move. He was in seventh place when he started his move to the front on lap 18.
He had moved to fifth when Jellison dropped out and took over third passing Jerre Wichman of Kansas City on lap 29. Four laps later, Wichman came to a halt in front of the grandstand and was out of action.

Results –

1.    Gerry Harrison, Topeka
2.    Tom Frasher, Jefferson City, Mo.
3.    Jim Dreasher, Topeka
4.    John Nitsch, Topeka
5.    John Beaman, Council Bluffs, Iowa
6.    Sam Randol, Topeka
7.    Garry Truelove, Trimble, Mo.
8.    Jerre Wichman, Kansas City
9.    Gary Jellison, Topeka
10.  Bud Dibben, Gladstone, Mo.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

1990 - Fraise Wins Busch All-Star Opener

Moberly, Mo. (April 20, 1990) – Steve Fraise nipped Steve Kosiski by less than a foot to claim Friday’s NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour season opener at Moberly Motorsports Complex. The win was the Montrose, Iowa driver’s first-ever triumph on the prestigious dirt late model tour and was worth $3,000.

“We’re just tickled to death to finally get a Busch Tour win,” Fraise said following the 50-lap battle on the high-banked speedway. “Steve drove a great race and I knew he was gaining on me, but we had just enough to hold him off.”

Fraise led 45 of 50 circuits, taking the top spot from Johnny Johnson. After a spirited battle with Gary Webb, Kosiski, Johnson and pole winner Ray Guss Jr. for several laps, Fraise began to stretch his advantage. By the halfway point, Fraise enjoyed a straight-away lead, leaving Kosiski and Webb to do battle for second.

But Kosiski broke away from the pack by lap 30 and began a furious charge that saw the 1987 series champion pull to Fraise’s rear bumper on lap 40. On lap 41, Webb made contact with the second turn wall to bring out the event’s final caution and set up a nine-lap dash to the checkers.

With the crowd on its feet, Fraise and Kosiski raced side-by-side for several laps while weaving through traffic. Kosiski tried the low groove around Fraise frequently, but the eventual winner closed the door with power on the straightaways.

As the white flag waved, Kosiski tried in vain to pass Fraise both high and low through turns one and two. As the duo raced through the final two turns, Kosiski went to the low side and the twosome sped under the checkered flag in a virtual dead heat with Fraise beating Kosiski by a fender.

Following Fraise and Kosiski to the checkers were Guss, Bob Hill and Joe Kosiski, nearly half a lap behind the two frontrunners.

Results –

1.    Steve Fraise
2.    Steve Kosiski
3.    Ray Guss Jr.
4.    Bob Hill
5.    Joe Kosiski
6.    Johnny Saathoff
7.    Gary Webb
8.    Sonny Findling
9.    Ed Kosiski
10.  Jeff Hinkemeyer
11.  Jim Swank
12.  Dick Crane
13.  Junior Shickel
14.  Kyle Berg
15.  Bubba Harvey
16.  Lem Blankenship
17.  Terry Huziel
18.  Donnie Cooper
19.  Roger Dolan
20.  Tom Guithues
21.   John Hampel
22.   Johnny Johnson
23.   Randy McGraw
24.   Rollie Frink
25.   Chuck Rankin
26.   Rick Wendling

Friday, April 19, 2019

1981 - Swindell Cops Boone 'Outlaws'

Boone, Iowa (April 19,1981) – Sammy Swindell of West Memphis, Tenn., won the 30-lap World of Outlaws winged sprint car feature Sunday night at the quarter-mile Boone Speedway.
In taking the win, Swindell not only survived a seventh lap collision, he won in suspenseful fashion, taking the lead on the 27th circuit in the main event. He captured the lead from young Danny Smith of Hendersonville, Tenn., driving a sprinter owned by singing star Kenny Rogers.
Smith held on to finish second before a crowd estimated at 4,000 despite overcast skies and threatening weather.
Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., who won the ‘Outlaw’ main at Knoxville, Iowa, on Saturday night, was third and Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, S.D., who won the ‘Outlaw’ feature on Friday at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, took fourth. Tim Green of Carmichael, Calif., rounded out the top five.
Kinser established a new track record for the second straight as he lowered the Boone standard to 14.417 seconds. The old record was 14.85 seconds set by Wolfgang in 1978.
It was Swindell’s second World of Outlaws win of the season and his eighth overall. He pocketed $2,100 for the victory while Smith took home $1,300 for his runner-up finish.
After two nights of numerous flips, including a fatality at Knoxville, there were no serious incidents during the Boone program nobody got upside down during the evening.

Results –

Time trials – Steve Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. (14.417)
Heat #1 – Ron Wiuff, Marshalltown, Iowa
Heat #2 – Norman Martin, Dallas, Tex.
Heat #3 – Shane Carson, Oklahoma City, Okla.
B-main – Mike Thomas, Des Moines
Feature –

1.    Sammy Swindell, West Memphis, Tenn..
2.    Randy Smith, Hendersonville, Tenn..
3.    Steve Kinser
4.    Doug Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, S.D.
5.    Tim Green, Carmichael, Calif.
6.    Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio
7.    John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
8.    Linus Mack, East Grand Forks, Minn.
9.    Bobby Davis Jr., Nashville, Tenn..
10.  Jerry Potter, Kansas City
11.  Norman Martin
12.  Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
13.  Curtis Evan, Hardin, Mo.
14.  Rick Montgomery, Lakewood, Colo.
15.  Mike Thomas
16.  Pat McKeehan, Windsor, Mo.
17.  Mike Brooks, Knoxville, Iowa

Thursday, April 18, 2019

1992 - Behrens Wins La Crosse Opener

West Salem, Wis. (April 18, 1992) – The early season dominance continued in 1992 as Dwain Behrens slid inside of Shawn Pfaff on lap 22 of the NASCAR late model feature and took the opening win of the Winston Racing Series at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
Last season, Ted Smokestad took the opening win at La Crosse as several Minnesota drivers took the long drive from the Twin Cities for opening night and Behrens duplicated that this year.
Mike Tuma led from the pole position for the first 11 circuits before Pfaff completed his hard-charging drive from the back of the pack to take the lead. Pfaff pulled away for several laps, before Behrens made his way through the field and started closing the gap on Pfaff.
Behrens nearly made the pass on lap 17, but the third yellow of the race came out when Smokestad spun and hit the wall in turn two. Four lap later Behrens took the inside lane on turn one and two and made the pass for the win.

Results –

1.    Dwain Behrens, Lakeville, Minn.
2.    Shawn Pfaff, Sparta, Wis.
3.    Kevin Nuttleman, Bangor, Wis.
4.    Jon Lemke, St. Louis Park, Minn.
5.    Mike Tuma, Lakeville, Minn.
6.    Joe Milanowski, Madison, Wis.
7.    Tim Nelson, La Crescent, Wis.
8.    Roger Lund, Rockland, Wis.
9.    Tony Norem, Jordan, Minn.
10.   John Leisso, Stoddard, Wis.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

1966 – Dickson Wins at Eldora

Larry Dickson

Rossburg, Ohio (April 17, 1966) – Larry Dickson traveled the rough, rocky road to success here yesterday afternoon to win his first United States Auto Club 30-lap sprint car feature.
The rough and rocky part came from the high dirt banks of the Eldora Speedway which were showing the effects of the wear and tear surface from the 35 sprint cars on hand for the afternoon’s festivities.

Times were well off the records set here two weeks ago by the same cars and drivers, but if the track was slow the action was twice as fast.

USAC's racing grandfather, Don Branson, taught the youngsters how to get around the rough track by setting the fastest qualifying time of the day. But the 18.94 seconds was well off his usual performance.

 Our hero of the day, the young Mr. Dickson, had a little trouble with his qualifying run and spun on his second trip around the half-mile oval. However, his first lap time of 19.19 was second fast for the day.

Greg Weld won the first 8-lap heat race of the afternoon, but again, it was Branson who was busy giving the 6,200 fans, jammed into the stands, their thrills.
With the new USAC rule of inverted starts - fastest cars to the rear in the heat races - Branson found himself sitting on the outside of the back row in the six -car event. This didn’t last long.

 It wasn't too much trouble for him to get into third place, but then Branson found he was behind USAC national champion Mario Andretti who was running second - and had no idea of running third.

 The pair had the crowd on their feet for five laps. Branson tried once to get by Andretti and missed. Three laps later he caught Mario coming out of No. 2 turn passing a slower car on the high slide. Branson went low and took Andretti and the slower car like Grant took Richmond.

 For an instant it looked as though the second heat was going to give the fans more thrills than they had asked for, until the skilled hands of Jud Larson took control of the situation.
Larson started fourth in the second heat and moved into first place heading down the backstretch on the first lap. The only trouble was; there were just too many cars that reached the third turn at the same time and "racing room" ran out.

Jud ’s sprinter was nicked in the tail by Arnie Knepper and slid high into the outer guard rail. It was a hairy place to be, but Larson was equal to the occasion.

 The big Texan bounced off the steel guard rail and regained control of the bouncing sprinter - as the rest of the field drove by on the inside. His first place had suddenly turned into last, but everyone was still running.
Jud came back and made a mockery of the 10-lap consolation race to earn his starting place in the feature. Knepper proved he was sportsman by going to the public address microphone and apologizing to Jud for nudging him into the rail.

Rollie Beale captured the third eight-lapper in what was almost a photo finish with Al Miller. Al, known as auto racing's own "Mr. Clean", charged from his fifth place starting position and came within inches of having the lead when the checkered flag fell.

The 30-lap feature belonged to Dickson from flag to flag and Branson had second place pretty well sewed up for most of the race.

Third place finisher Roger McCluskey challenged Branson in the early laps but couldn’t get past the wily grandpa.

From there on back, things in the pack were in a state of confusion. Larson squeezed by Greg Weld to claim fourth place and Weld finished fifth, after he got by Al Miller - who had worked his way between Weld and Larson.


Results –  

1.     Larry Dickson
2.     Don Branson
3.     Roger McCluskey
4.     Jud Larson
5.     Greg Weld
6.     Al Miller
7.     Bobby Unser
8.     Mario Andretti
9.     Ronnie Duman
10.  Bobby Black