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.
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.