Thursday, July 18, 2019

1971 - Third-Time Rally Proves Charm for Sutcliffe at Eagle

Dick Sutcliffe 

Eagle, Neb. (July 18, 1971) - Veteran Kansas City driver Dick Sutcliffe, who has won a cluster of super modified features in a variety of ways, came up with still another way at Eagle Raceway here Sunday night.

Sutcliffe, who almost demolished his car #19 in a two-car crash Saturday night at Knoxville, Iowa, came from behind in car #119 three different times on a dry-slick track to claim his fourth feature win of the season here.

“My car was bouncing so bad in the holes that I knew I could not run in a groove fast enough to win,” Sutcliffe said of the feature, which saw four different leaders, including runner-up Thad Dosher of Topeka and third place finisher Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City.

“I could not run the hole between turns one and two continuously because it would have broken all my shocks,” Sutcliffe said. “So, I was just saving my one, best shot for the end of the race.”

The best shot to which Sutcliffe referred came with about five laps remaining when he re-assumed the lead on the race’s fourth restart after temporarily falling behind Dosher.

Starting the feature on the first row, outside position after posting the evening’s fifth fastest qualifying time, Sutcliffe also relinquished the lead twice to Goodwin before regaining it each time.

Goodwin, Saturday night’s feature winner at Knoxville, Iowa, bested Sutcliffe in the trophy dash after finishing behind him in the second heat race.

Sutcliffe, who indicated that he will not compete at Eagle for the next month because of IMCA racing commitments in Wisconsin and Illinois, complained of the track’s condition after winning Sunday’s feature.

“It’s a shame that they’re scared to put some water on the race track,” he said. “If they would so something as simple as that earlier in the day, Eagle Raceway would be the fastest one-third mile dirt track in the world.

It should be pointed out, however, that a truck did spray water onto the straightaways between the consolation race and B -feature, considerably reducing the dust in a windswept program.

Lincoln’s Lonnie Jensen, who was edged by Goodwin on the last lap of the feature Saturday night at Knoxville, finished third in the second heat race Sunday night.

He came back in the feature, however, and was challenging Sutcliffe and Goodwin for the lead when his car started smoking, forcing him to pull into the infield midway through the race.

Results –

First Heat – Thad Dosher
Second Heat – Dick Sutcliffe
Third Heat – Mike Cecak
Trophy Dash – Ray Lee Goodwin
Consolation – Jim Golden
B-Feature – Tony Farr
Feature –
1. Dick Sutcliffe
2. Thad Dosher
3. Ray Lee Goodwin
4. Dennis Oltman
5. Ralph Blackett
6. Gary Dunkle
7. Don Droud
8. Jim Riggins
9. Lloyd Beckman

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