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