Saturday, August 31, 2019

1973 - Sanger Wins CR Stock Car Title Test

Ed Sanger

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 31, 1973) – Ed Sanger avoided temptation and that probably ensured his capturing the late model stock car season championship Friday night at Hawkeye Downs.

"I had a strong urge to do a lot of different things to the car (1972 Chevelle) for this race," Sanger explained after running away from the rest of the field in the 30-lap feature that climaxed the 1973 weekly season at the Downs.

I was tempted to try a bigger carburetor and bigger gear," Sanger added, "but I hadn't tried the big carburetor here before, so I decided to stay with what had gotten me this far."

That had lo be a wise move for the star pilot from Waterloo. He had gone into the final race as the season point leader and the victory clinched his third straight point championship at the Downs.

Ed's first title came on the quarter-mile dirt track and the last two have been on the half-mile.

"I'm really happy," Sanger exclaimed. "The championship here means more to me than any other another track. There’s more competition here than any place else, so there's more prestige when you can finish on top."

Sanger's final point total was 4,835. That was 290 points better than second-place Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, who finished second in the feature in a 1972 Nova.

Verlin Eaker, also of Cedar Rapids, drove his 1971 Nova to third place in the feature and also took third in the point derby.

Friday's feature triumph was Sanger's fourth of the campaign at the Downs, but it also marked the 34th time this year that the 32-year-old driver had claimed the checkered in a main event.

He also is the point leader at three other ovals.

Sanger, who led the entire distance, said it was his easiest win of the year at the Downs. There wasn't much doubt of that in the minds of the 3,842 in attendance.

"I didn’t really think I could get that kind of jump on Dake going into the first corner,” he explained. “But my engine really came alive tonight. It was brand new three weeks ago and it’s gotten stronger week by week.

“It was ideal tonight.”

The real battle in the feature was for fourth place and Waterloo's Bill Zwanziger held off Dike's Curt Hansen and Cedar Rapids’ Bill McDonough to claim that spot.

McDonough also won a heat and the consolation. Dave Bedard of LaPorte City and Dr. Al Mayner of Winthrop took heats, too, while Stan Stover of Reinbeck won the Australian Pursuit and Chuck Lukemyre of Tipton was the All-Star winner.

Results –

First heat: Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Second heat: Dave Bedard, LaPorte City, Iowa
Third Heat: A.E. Mayner, Winthrop, Iowa
Australian Pursuit: Stan Stover, Reinbeck, Iowa
Consolation: Bill McDonough
All-Star: Chuck Lukemyre, Tipton, Iowa
1. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
2. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
3. Verlin Eaker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, Iowa
5. Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
6. Bill McDonough
7. Stan Stover
8. A.E. Mayner
9. Tim McDonough, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
10. Dave Bedard

Friday, August 30, 2019

1964 – Bowsher Scores Winchester ARCA Victory

Jack Bowsher

Winchester, Ind. (August 30, 1964) – Jack Bowsher wheeled his 1964 Ford to a 4.5-second victory over Iggy Katona in Sunday’s ARCA-sanctioned 100-lap stock car race at Winchester Speedway.

Bowsher toured the high-banked half-mile pavement 100 times in 35 minutes and 25 seconds to shatter the existing track record for 100 laps by more than 12 minutes. The old record was 45 minutes and 35 seconds turned in by Frankie Schneider in 1959.

Bowsher’s feature win added 100 points to his total and pushed him closer to the ARCA driving championship. Money-wise, he collected $535 of the $3,000 purse offered by owner-promoter Pete Wales.

Katona, piloting a 1964 Ford, was never more than a half-lap behind the fast-moving Bowsher and, at one point near the end of the race, had trimmed the margin to 2.2 seconds. Only one other driver finished on the same lap as Bowsher and Katona with Jim Cushman finishing third in a 1964 Plymouth. Cushman crossed the finish line to receive the white flag just a car-length ahead of Bowsher, who took the checkered at the same time.

By virtue of his fastest qualifying time, also a new track record, Bowsher started on the pole and jumped to a straightaway lead over Dick Freeman’s 1963 Pontiac on the first circuit. Freeman held second ahead of Katona and Cushman but began slowly dropping back at the halfway mark and finished fourth.

Katona passed Freeman on lap 51 and Bowsher lapped him on the 76th go-round, then set sail for Cushman only to run out of laps.

The entire program was accident free with only two spinouts to mar the afternoon’s activities. Stu Shouse spun his 1964 Pontiac on lap 24 and La Marr Marshall looped his 1962 Chevrolet in the first turn two laps later.

Results –

1. Jack Bowsher
2. Iggy Katona
3. Jim Cushman
4. Dick Freeman
5. John Summerville
6. Paul Wensink
7. Stu Shouse
8. Elmer Davis
9. Jerry Norris
10. Bill Clemons
11. John Baker
12. Jim Robinson
13. Jack Purcell
14. La Marr Marshall
15. Dick Dunlevy

Thursday, August 29, 2019

1970 – Marzofka Downs IMCA Greats at Minnesota

St. Paul, Minn. (August 29, 1970) – Two world records toppled when the Wisconsin late model champion, Marv Marzofka of Nekoosa, Wis., blew by IMCA’s ironmen to win the Northland 300 new model stock car race.

Marzofka breezed past defending IMCA national champion Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, lap 8 of the 300-lap grind around the half-mile asphalt Minnesota State Fair oval and went on to set a 50-lap world record of 19 minutes and 24 seconds. Earlier, he had set a 10-lap mark of 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

Bud Helm of Brainerd, Minn., pushed his 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a second-place finish behind Marzofka’s streaking 1969 Ford Torino. Bill Mueller of Minneapolis was third in a 1970 Plymouth RoadRunner.

So complete was the rout of the highly touted IMCA new models that the champion Derr managed only a sixth-place finish behind five non-IMCA chauffeurs.

Results –

1. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa, Wis.
2. Bud Helm, Brainerd, Minn.
3. Bill Mueller, Minneapolis
4. Clyde Boegman, Shakopee, Minn.
5. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
6. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
7. Bill Nelson, Minneapolis
8. Blackie Wangerin, Bloomington, Minn.
9. Ray Henningson, Hoyt Lakes, Minn.
10.Wayne Larson, Bloomington, Minn.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

1959 – Leep Beats Folse in State Fair Race

Harold Leep took Chet Wilson's Chevy to victory at Des Moines.  

Des Moines, Iowa (August 28, 1959) – Harold Leep and converted stock motors had another big day at the Iowa State Fair Sunday afternoon as 14,000 watched the Wichita, Kan., driver win his second straight IMCA big car sprint feature here.

The 26-year-old, whose triumph Friday was regarded as somewhat a fluke, again beat International Motor Contest Association’s top-ranked Pete Folse – this time by a good 200-yard margin – over the 10-mile route.

Unlike Friday, when Leep passed Folse on the final lap, Leep overhauled his Offenhauser-powered rival on the third lap and was never headed.

Folse, from Tampa, Fla., was no match for Leep’s Chevrolet-powered outfit on the asphalt-like turns. Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., was third and Herschel Wagner of Hickman Hills, Mo., finished fourth.

Up to the consolation, open to previous non-money winners, not a single Offenhauser-powered machine won Chevy plants won the first four events.

Leep earned $700 for his main event win plus $50 for the fastest preliminary heat and another $40 for whipping Folse in the trophy dash.

Sunday’s performance swelled Leep’s earnings here to $1,539 in two days, though car owner Chet Wilson of Wichita, Kan., takes more than half.

Two other drivers besides Folse had frustrating afternoons.

Arnie Knepper of Belleville, Ill., was set back to fifth in the feature after he appeared to finish third, because of passing on a yellow flag on lap 14.

A lap later, Bill Holland, one-time Indianapolis 500 winner, who switched from the Mocca Offy to the Mueller Olds Sunday, pulled into the pits and never came back.

Results –

Heat #1 – Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan.
Heat #2 – Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
Heat #3 – Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
Trophy dash – Harold Leep
Consolation – Herschel Wagner, Hickman Hills, Mo.
Feature –
1. Harold Leep
2. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
3. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
4. Herschel Wagner
5. Arnie Knepper
6. Colby Scroggin, Pasadena, Calif.
7. Dale Reed
8. Bill Sullivan, Novato, Calif.
9. Jerry Shumaker, Wichita, Kan.
10.Jerry Massey, Wilmington, Calif.
11.Jim Hemmings, North Vernon, Ind.
12.Hank Lawshe, Winchester, Ill.

Monday, August 26, 2019

1967 – Stott Wins Rain-Shortened 100-Miler

Ramo Stott

Sedalia, Mo. (August 26, 1967) - Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa, won the scheduled 100-mile Missouri State Fair Late Model Stockcar Championship which was called on the 86th lap because of rain, Saturday afternoon.

His fellow townsman, Ernie Derr’s chances vanished on the 78th lap when he blew a tire and finished in second position.

Derr and Stott started on the front line by virtue of their fast times in the time trial.

Both smashed the one-mile time record. Stott beat his own record of 40.31 seconds made in 1966 by turning the mile in 39.96 seconds this time fell by the wayside seconds later as Derr spun the mile in 39.90 seconds, which gave Derr $100 for the fastest time and $100 for breaking the record, and Derr drew the pole position.

The race actually turned into a five-way duel between Stott, Derr, Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan., Lewis Taylor, Shawnee, Kan., and Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn., all of whom finished in the money.

The race was moving along in excellent condition until the 20th lap when Dale Keeling, Dixon, Mo., spun out on the first turn and created a five-car pile-up, with none of the drivers being injured. This put the race into moving on a caution signal until the track was cleared.

Resuming the speeds of 100-miles-an-hour or better the race continued to the 36th lap when Winfred Keeling, brother of Dale, crashed into the inside rail on the first turn and spun across the track striking the iron guard safety rail on the outside edge of the track. 

Keeling was taken to the local hospital complaining of a neck and arm injury. He later walked out of the hospital after examination with nothing more than bruises. His car was in a tight spin as it spun across the track.

Stott and Derr, when dueling for first place on the 62nd lap actually broke the one-mile time when they snapped across the electric eye for the mile in 39.36 seconds. However, this did not count on the mile record for time.

It began to sprinkle about the 75th lap, and by the 86th the track was too slick; an oddity of the rain, the heavy portion fell on the north end of the mile track making it extremely dangerous. As the checkered flag dropped on the 86th lap it began to rain heavily and stopped 10 minutes later.

On the 25th lap Derr had the lead, Stott second. Funk third; at the 50th it was Stott, Derr and Taylor; Taylor moved to the front on the 51st lap for one circle of the track. Stott was back in the lead on the 57th lap; Derr took over on the 70th and was there through the 75th; Stott moved out front on the 78th when Derr had tire trouble.

The finish when the event was stopped on the 86th lap was Stott, Lennie Funk, Derr, Ole Brua, and Taylor rounding out the top five.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Lennie Funk, Otis, Kan.
3. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
5. Lewis Taylor, Shawnee, Kan.
6. Blaine Morrow, Mt. Joy, Ill.
7. Jim Martin, Kanas City
8. Larry Stottlemyre, Kansas City
9. George Lemke, Mosinee, Wis.
10.Michael Null, St. Louis

Sunday, August 25, 2019

1962 – Unser Captures 50-Lap Missouri Futurity

Bobby Unser of Albuquerque, N.M., accepts congratulations for his victory in the Missouri Futurity from Joan Ritzenthaler. National Speedways, Inc., starter Woody Brinkman (left) and promoter Al Sweeney (right) join in the celebration.

Sedalia, Mo. (August 25, 1962) – Bobby Unser, making his first invasion of International Motor Contest Association circles since 1956, snagged one of the venerable association’s most coveted laurels as he won the 8th annual Missouri Futurity in near-world record time before some 12,000 thrilled race fans.

Unser, driving the Ron McGowen Chevy, sat on the pole for the 50-mile feature but trailed going into the first turn as front row starter Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., speared the Wilson Chevy ahead on the start.

With the Albuquerque, N.M. hairpin artist fast on his bumper, Blundy set a torrid pace for the first 13 laps, only to have Unser get by on the outside as Blundy found himself boxed in by lapped traffic on the first turn.

At that point, Unser set sail, turning laps at 39.12 seconds, more than a quarter under his time trial mark, and opening up a lead that ranged at times to half a mile.

Unser averaged 90.22 miles per hour in a race that took 33 minutes and 15 seconds, seven seconds off the mark set by Arnie Knepper last year. He collected $1,150 for the victory.

It was a track for big car racers powered by Chevrolet motors. The car with Chevy motors took all but one event, that going to an Offenhauser-powered car driven by Arnie Knepper of Belleville, Ill., the winner of the second heat.

The first heat, 10 laps, was won by Jack Brunner of Garden City, Calif., the second heat by Knepper and the third heat by Jerry Mans of Wood River, Ill. Gordon Wooley of Waco, Tex., won the 10-lap Handicap and Duke Wyrenbeck of Los Angeles, Calif., took the 10-lap consolation.

Results –

1. Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M.
2. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
3. Colby Scroggins, Eagle Rock, Calif.
4. Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
5. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
6. Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
7. Buzz Rose, Palos Verde, Calif.
8. Duke Wyrembeck, Los Angeles
9. Joe Noeske, Freeport, Ill.
10. Jack Brunner, Garden City, Calif.
11. Jim Murphy, South Haven, Mich.
12. Steve Orme, Sherman, Ill.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

1968 – York Dominates St. Paul Sprints

Tom York raises his hand in victory after winning the 30-lap IMCA sprint car feature. 

St. Paul, Minn. (August 24, 1968) – The freckles, the wide eyes, the Tom Sawyer look…

Lives with the shadows of Notre Dame’s Golden Dome, puts the bubbles in a hometown beer, and delights in pushing hiss young children around in a wagon.

That’s the incongruous but highly adaptable story of Tom York, King for the Day of the Minnesota State Fair sprint car races Saturday on a cool track which produced remarkably warm competition for the 8,560 fans.

York’s low-slung roadster pulled away from the 20-car field in the 30-lap IMCA feature on the sleek half-mile asphalt bowl and at the end of the accident-marred main feature, the Hoosier invader owned a comfortable 8-length lead over runner-up Ray Wright.

York admits he’s no dirt lover, but he eats up the asphalt. Earlier in the day he had problems, but he switched to a new Hoosier left rear tire, thinned his fuel mixture, and shifted his chassis weight ratios for the feature. It was only a matter of time until his long, low silhouette owned the field.

But the early stages of the feature had its moments when hometown hero Jerry Richert battled for the lead with another Indiana roadster Ray Wright. But Richert’s car wasn’t handling the way he knew it should. Suddenly, while fighting for third-place, the Forest Lake, Minn., IMCA point leader felt the familiar shakes which told him that the left front shocks had torn loose.

Wright’s roadster finished second and Bob Davis, who claimed he “was not running completely healthy,” was third.

It was in all a remarkable day of racing and a due tribute to the memory of the late Frank Winkley who directed the competition for over two decades. His widow, Verna, was in command and the action was fast, furious and perhaps the closest in Fair annals.

Results –

Trophy dash – Tom York
Heat #1 – Bob Davis
Heat #2 – Jack Houseworth
Heat #3 – Jim Sullivan
Semi-main – Bucky Petersen
Feature –
1. Tom York
2. Ray Wright
3. Bob Davis
4. Buzz Gregory
5. Barry Kettering
6. Russ Laursen
7. Don Mack
8. Darl Harrison
9. Jerry Lepinski
10.Fred Linder

Friday, August 23, 2019

1964 – Amick Beats Weld as 14,000 Watch

Richard "Red" Amick

Des Moines, Iowa (August 23, 1964) – Indianapolis veteran Red Amick kept Greg Weld of Kansas City back on his exhaust stack for 24 laps and won the 25-lap International Motor Contest Association sprint car feature at the Iowa State Fair before an announced crowd of 14,000.

Weld, a 21-year-old rookie sensation who won at Sedalia, Mo., on Saturday, had the lead on the first lap, but lost it going high in the first corner of the second lap and was never able to pass his 35-year-old rival.

Amick, driving the Floyd Abbott Chevrolet out of Danville, Ky., stayed in the only groove on the hard, asphalt-like surface which was responsible for crashes and spin outs in all but one of the six races, two which had to be restarted.

The chief casualties were Jerry Daniels of St. Paul, Minn., second in the current IMCA points, and Harold Leep of Wichita, Kan., second to IMCA point leader Jerry Richert in Friday’s opening 30-lap feature.

Richert, of Forest Lake, Minn., did not compete on Sunday because of a race date in another IMCA-sanctioned in Owatonna, Minn.

Daniels, who flipped on top of Amick at Sedalia Saturday, was attempting to move up on the leaders when he spun coming off the third turn. He was out of the money by the time the wrecker had pushed him into the pits for an inspection.

Leep came to grief on the fourth lap of the second qualifying heat when he nosed into the inside rail, taking a section out of the rail and himself out of the remainder of the program. This started several spins among drivers attempting to get out of the way and caused the race to be restarted.

The opening heat also was red-flagged for a restart on the third lap. Gordon Woolley, last year's IMCA sprint champion, rode over Amick's rear wheel, causing both to spin coming out of the second turn. Both escaped damage.

The yellow flag dropped for two laps in the third heat after Chuck Berg of Des Moines locked front wheels with Doc Schaeffer of Alameda, Calif., coming off the second turn on the inaugural lap.

Schaeffer spun again on the third turn during the fifth lap, causing the yellow flag fly again. Don Rittman of Lee’s Summit, Mo., spun coming off of turn four on the sixth lap.

The consolation was finally halted after the four spin-outs and collisions at the end of the eighth lap. The race got under way, with a triple spin-out in the first turn.

Wilburn Bennett of Berkeley, Mich., spun, then Carl Williams of Kansas City swerved to avoid a collision, but slid into Jerry Weld, knocking Greg's brother against the wall and putting him out for the day.

Bennett spun out twice more and was pushed off the track. Then on the eighth lap, after the green flag had waved for only two go-rounds, Bob Coulter of Long Beach, Cal., was hit by Jerry Higgins of Des Moines, coming off the second corner.

Pete Stone of Indianapolis slid in the wall and also left competition for the day.

Amick, the IMCA's new half-mile speed record-holder, and Weld ran off and left Woolley and Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., third and fourth-place finishers, at the head of the pack which didn’t relish on trying to be brave on the dangerous, slick dirt oval.

Results –

Heat #1 – Jay Woodside, Wichita, Kan.
Heat #2 – Dean Mast, Dover, Ohio
Heat #3 – Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
Trophy dash – Red Amick, Muncie, Ind.
Consolation – Red Amick
Feature –
1. Red Amick
2. Greg Weld, Kansas City
3. Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
4. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
5. Jim McCune, Toledo, Ohio
6. Bob Pratt, Union City, Ind.
7. Dale Reed, Topeka, Kan.
8. Dean Mast
9. Jay Woodside
10. Ray Duckworth
11. Don Brown, Sam Fernando, Calif.
12. Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

1976 - Watson Outraces Schuler for ‘Red, White & Blue’ Title

Dave Watson shows off his trophies after winning "Blue" race and the state title at Kaukauna. 

Kaukauna, Wis. (August 22, 1976) - Dave Watson, driving the Neilson Enterprises 1976 Camaro, outraced Larry Schuler to win the final race of the “Red, White and Blue” state championship series for late model stock cars at the Wisconsin International Raceway Sunday afternoon.

Watson also collected his second state championship with 1,610 points. He won the title in 1973. Schuler finished second in the series with 1,270 points followed by Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids with 1,120 points.

Rich Somers of Steven Point led the first 10 laps of the 65-lap feature with his “Thunder Pony” 1972 Mustang. Caledonia’s John Reimer then took over the lead on the 11th lap after battling side-by-side with Somers for five laps.

Reimer held onto the top spot until the 14th round when he was passed by Trickle, driving a 1970 Mustang. Trickle, a former state titlist, paced the 24-car field until the 17th lap when Schuler, a 23-year-old flash from Lockport, Ill., sped past in his 1976 Camaro.

Schuler stayed out front until the 24th lap when Watson, of Milton, flew past him on the front chute. Schuler then dogged Watson for the rest of the event. At several times Schuler pulled even with Watson in the turns but could not overtake the winner. Watson won by four car lengths at the finish.

Finishing behind Watson and Schuler in third place was Rudolph’s Tom Refiner in his 1974 AMC Javelin. Reffner was the top qualifier in the 51-car field with a 20.82 clocking around the half-mile paved oval. Rounding out the top six were Trickle, Reimer and Mike Miller of Wisconsin Rapids.

Earlier in the afternoon Miller won the first 20-lap qualifying neat race. The event was a real tussle as Kaukauna’s Pete Parker dueled with John Schultz of Shawano for the opening seven laps. Schultz spun out of the second position on the sixth lap and the pack tightened up on Parker on the restart.

John Speer of Beloit took the lead for several laps before giving way to Bloomington, Minn., pilot Bill Oas. Miller then made his move and passed Oas for the lead on the 14th lap. Oas was second and Roger Regeth of Kimberly third. Reimer won the second heat event by a half of a car length over Somers with Doug Strasburg of Johnson Creek third.

Dave Bruggink of Sheboygan, racing for the first time at the Kaukauna track, won the 30-lap semi-feature. The 22-year-old former sportsman driver wheeled his 1976 Camaro to an impressive win over Steve Lurvey of Dousman and Gene Coleman of Menominee, Mich.

Bruggink led the first 24 laps of the race before Coleman surged out in front. Coleman stayed in the lead until the final lap when Bruggink overtook him.

The race was marred by a spectacular crash on the eighth lap when Dan Johnson of Oneida and Mike Langsdorf of Rio collided on the backstretch. Both cars crashed through the inside guardrail at full throttle. Neither driver was injured, but both were eliminated from the race.

The afternoon’s races, witnessed by 5,854 fans, got off to a wild start as the first lap of the dash for cash resulted in a multi-car pileup on the backstretch when cars driven by Schuler and Jim Sauter of Necedah came together Sauter’s car veered into the inside guard rail and Schuler's climbed the outside wall.

They were leading the pack when the crash occurred, and the rest of the field scattered in all directions in a cloud of smoke Both rejoined the race and Sauter came back to win the eight-lap affair.

Results –

1. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
2. Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
3. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
4. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
5. Johnny Reimer, Caledonia, Wis.
6. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
7. Doug Strasburg, Johnson Creek, Wis.
8. Jerry Eckhardt, Lake Mills, Wis.
9. Tom Musgrave, Arlington Heights, Ill.
10. Bill Oas, Bloomington, Minn.
11. Larry Niggle, Albany, Wis.
12. Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
13. Ray Kreyer, Rio, Wis.
14. Todd Acklam, Racine, Wis.
15. Lee Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
16. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
17. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
18. Lenard Reimer, Janesville, Wis.
19. Roger Regeth, Kimberly, Wis.
20. Alan Kulwicki, Milwaukee, Wis.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

1971 - Wagner Squelches Utz' Efforts in Opener

Sedalia, Mo. (August 21, 1971) – Bill Utz, defending champion of the opening-day sprint car feature at the Missouri State Fair, pulled some heroics in front of the hometown fans Saturday afternoon on the Fairgrounds’ half-mile dirt oval.

But those heroics were not good enough to notch a feature win as he trailed Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, and second-place finisher Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., across the finish line.

Utz, who drew 44th in the time trial runs, barely made the main event. After his time trials, his clocking of 24.52 seconds placed him out of the consolation feature. However, he was placed in the consolation after two of the cars dropped out.

The top five cars in each of the three heats, as well as the consolation, qualified for the feature. Starting on the outside of the last row, Utz managed to finish third and make the field for the 30-lap finale.

But his start there was no better than it was in the consolation – on the back row. By the fifth lap, however, the Sedalia pilot had moved into seventh position and on lap 11, he sailed past Eddie Leavitt and took over third-place. Ten laps later he passed Richert, who was running second but dropped back into third on the 27th circuit.

Rounding out the top-five positions in the 30-lap feature were Bob Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., and Wib Spalding of Granite City, Ill.

Track conditions during the early stages of the racing program were fast and two State Fair standards were erased. Harold Leep’s one-lap record of 23.11 seconds was shattered by Wagner. Wagner eclipsed that mark with a clocking of 23.03 seconds on the second of two qualification laps.

Thad Dosher of Topeka, Kan., wiped out the old mark for an 8-lap heat race with a time of 3 minutes and 16 seconds. Utz had set the previous mark in 1970 at 3 minutes and 18 seconds. 

It was a profitable day for Wagner. He nabbed $750 for winning the feature, pocketed $200 for setting fast time and collected another $40 for placing fourth in the first heat. 

Eddie Leavitt, Thad Dosher, and Steve Schultz won heat races while Leavitt beat Jerry Blundy to the wire in the 5-lap match race. Wib Spalding nailed down the consolation. 

Wagner’s win was the second feature victory for him so far this season. He nabbed the IMCA sprint car feature at Cedar Rapids on Memorial Day.

The main event was slowed two times due to yellow flags. The first one came out on the third lap when Dale McCarty flipped going into the first turn and ended up head first on top of the guard rail. McCarty was not injured in the accident but was forced to the pits. 

The other wreck occurred on the tenth lap when Dave Ross went over the hub rail in the first turn. He and Steve Schultz tangled going into the curve, when Schultz nicked Wib Spalding’s rear wheel. Ross dropped out but Schultz rejoined the field.

Results –

Time trials – Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa (23.03)
Match race – Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
Heat #1 – Eddie Leavitt
Heat #2 – Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.
Heat #3 – Steve Schultz, Chillicothe, Mo.
Consolation – Wib Spalding, Granite City, Ill.
Feature –
1. Earl Wagner
2. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
3. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
4. Bob Kinser, Bloomington, Ind.
5. Wib Spalding
6. Chuck Amati, Greenfield, Tenn.
7. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
8. Steve Schultz
9. Eddie Leavitt
10.Thad Dosher

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

1966 – Branson Wins Tragedy-Marred Springfield Race

Don Branson

Springfield, Ill. (August 20, 1966) - Don Branson, Champaign, Ill., led all the way Saturday to capture his first big car auto race of the year—the 100-mile dirt track event at the Illinois State Fair.

Branson toured the one-mile oval in 1:02:59.79 in a race run for a time under the yellow caution flag when two cars spun out. 

Branson was chased across the finish line by Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Penn., who lagged only five-car-lengths behind.

A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex., was third; Joe Leonard, San Jose, Calif., was fourth; and Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M., was fifth.

“I’m about the happiest man in the world,” Branson said in victory lane.

Twenty-three of the 27 cars in the field finished the race. Two spun out and two dropped out with mechanical trouble.

Branson’s winning speed was 95.40 miles per hour.

Branson's moment of glory was dimmed by a horrible accident that occurred during qualifying runs, but not on the racetracks proper. A section tore loose from a photographer's platform located on the extreme top of the grandstand and came crashing into the front row of the crowded stands.

Two photographers were killed in the 100-foot fall and an Illinois State Fair official was struck and killed by the falling section. State police estimated about 30 people were injured, some critically.

Fair workmen were in the process of tightening a large rope with one end fastened to the platform and the other end secured to a truck located across the track in the infield.

The rope was to be used in a pre-race demonstration of removing critically injured people from inaccessible places. When the truck was moved to tighten the rope, the photographer's platform, to which the other end of the rope was fastened, gave way.

The catastrophe delayed the start of the race approximately one hour.

When qualifying action was resumed, Branson ended up with his Offenhauser-powered dirt car on the pole for the start of the race with a time of 33.04 seconds for his trip around the one-mile dirt oval.

Branson led the race from beginning to end with Mario Andretti and Foyt giving chase.

Foyt held second place until Andretti caught him in traffic going into number one turn on the 73rd lap and took over the runner-up spot.

Rookie Dick Atkins appeared to be a shoo-in for fourth place . . . until an empty fuel tank on the 91st lap of the 100-lap race sidelined him with a 12th-place finish.

George Snyder, Bud Tinglestad, Ralph Liguori, Larry Dixon and Carl Williams rounded out the top-10.

Results –

1. Don Branson
2. Marion Andretti
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Joe Leonard
5. Bobby Unser
6. George Snider
7. Bud Tinglestad
8. Ralph Liguori
9. Larry Dickson
10.Carl Williams
11.Jim McElreath
12.Dick Atkins
13.Bob Harkey
14.Roger McCluskey
15.Gary Congdon
16.Bob Tattersall
17.Ronnie Duman
18.Chuck Hulse

Monday, August 19, 2019

1956 – 11,000 See Beauchamp Win All-Iowa Fair Race

Johnny Beauchamp

by Ron Maly
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 19, 1956) – Johnny Beauchamp, the rugged looking speedster from Harlan, Iowa piloted his 1956 Chevrolet to victory Sunday in the 200-lap feature stock car race at Hawkeye Downs.

An estimated 11,000 fans saw Beauchamp out-distance second place Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids by seven laps.

Beauchamp, the current leader in the International Motor Contest Association point’s standings, displayed somewhat of an iron-man performance in driving to the victory.

He required not one pit stop during the 100-mile grind. His counterparts, meanwhile, made several pauses for equipment checks and fuel.

Sunday turned out to be another record-breaking day for drivers, Beauchamp’s time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 40.25 seconds was about two minutes slower than the world record, but the time trial mark established only last Monday was lowered once again Sunday.

This time it was George Miller of Cedar Rapids, who accounted for the world half-mile mark. He toured the distance in 28.18 seconds. His time bettered Sonny Morgan’s previous world record mark of 28.30.

Beauchamp trailed Miller in the feature race until the 26th lap, when he overtook him on the far straightaway. Beauchamp quickly took a five car-length lead and was never in trouble the rest of the way.

Miller stayed within half a lap’s distance until he was forced to the pits with a pierced fuel tank. It took Miller’s crew about 10 seconds to get him rolling again and he finally brought his ’56 Ford home in fifth place.

A damaged car took its toll on Sonny Morgan. Morgan, of Beaumont, Tex., had the runner-up position practically clinched when his ’58 Chevrolet blew a piston on the 150th lap. That put Morgan out of contention for good and he would finish in 12th place.

A faulty piston also cost Robert “Doc” Narber of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who had won Monday’s 100-lap race. Narber was safely in third place on the 112th circuit when his ’56 Dodge started pouring out smoke, causing a smokescreen.

Results –

1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
2. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
3. Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
4. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
5. George Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
6. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
7. Sonny Gross, Quincy, Ill.
8. Les Dykes, Davenport, Iowa
9. Bob Short, Omaha, Neb.
10. Pete Allison, Omaha, Neb.
11. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
12. Glenn Strellner, Cedar Rapid, Iowa
13. Robert Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
14. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
15. Russ Gross, Quincy, Ill.
16. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
17. Duane Streight, Madrid, Iowa
18. Bob Kosiskie, Omaha, Neb.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

1982 - ‘Everything perfect’ for Dralle in KIJV South Dakota 100 Win

Red Dralle poses next to his trophy after winning the KIJV 100.

Huron, S.D. (August 18, 1982) - Things just seem to keep getting better with every trip to Huron for Red Dralle.

The late model driver from Waterloo, Iowa doesn’t even want to remember his debut at State Fair Speedway. “I crashed my first time here,” he recalled.

But, his next two visits are worth remembering. Two years ago, in the KIJV South Dakota 100, Dralle finished third. And, this year... well, it’s one trip to the Fair City that Dralle won’t ever forget.

Dralle put his 1982 Chevrolet Camaro in the lead on the fourth lap and the rest is history as he won the 50-lap feature and the $1,200 first-place payoff in the 1982 version of the fourth annual KIJV 100.

Dralle, who started on the outside in the front row besides pole setter Dwaine Hanson of Lakefield, Minn., complained of being geared wrong in a 25-lap qualifying race Tuesday night. But, in the finale Wednesday night, Dralle and his Camaro clicked like clockwork.

“I was geared just perfect tonight,” Dralle said.

Things went so well that Dralle was even forced to abandon his game plan. “I didn’t want to lead until after the restart,” he said. “I didn’t want to set the pace, but. . .”

The restart he referred to was a red and yellow flag on the 30th lap that allowed the cars to refuel and make any needed adjustments. When the green flag came back out, Dralle resumed his leadership role. 

Dralle’s companion at the front of the pack was Hanson, who was among the first to offer a hearty handshake after the trophy presentation. Hanson used his pole position to grab the early lead, but that lead proved to be short lived.

Hanson got by Dralle on lap 17, but a yellow flag on that same lap dropped Hanson back into his second place position on the restart and Dralle was rescued. Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa, passed Hanson to move into second on lap 30, but Hanson was not to be outdone, moving past Shryock to regain second on lap 43.

Hanson finished second and Shryock was third, followed by Dave Knott of Wabasso, Minn., and Ron Droog of Aberdeen to round out the top five.

Droog was perhaps one of the hardest charging drivers at the end of the race. During the early going, he suffered from a bent tie-rod that affected his steering and left him in the middle of the 26-car field. That problem was corrected on a yellow flag pit stop that forced him to take the restart at the back of the pack and he calmly carved his way through lapped traffic in the final laps to turn in the best effort of any South Dakota driver.

Droog qualified 14th for the 50-lap feature, placing second behind Shryock in the ‘B’ qualifying main event. Both men suffered bad luck in Tuesday’s heat races with Droog suffering from a broken wheel and Shryock blowing an engine.

The two-day race proved to be a jinx for some other South Dakotan's. Bruce’s Roger Saathoff blew his second engine in as many nights and Harrold’s Sheldon Reding, who was as high as fifth early in the feature, was forced to drop out with overheating problems. And, Huron’s Randy Hickle, who qualified fourth, was eliminated from further competition in a crash -in the fourth lap of the 50-lapper.

Hickle, who started off the evening by winning the trophy dash, was one of four heat winners on Tuesday night, joining Hanson, Saathoff and Rich Thomas of Aberdeen.

Results –

1. Red Dralle, Waterloo, Iowa
2. Dwain Hanson, Lakefield, Minn.
3. Bob Shryock, Estherville, Iowa
4. Dave Knott, Wabasso, Minn.
5. Ron Droog, Aberdeen
6. Rick Aukland, Moorhead, Minn.
7. Randy Schilling, Gettysburg
8. Dallas Lafferty, Reliance
9. Bob Baumberger, Rapid City
10. Mel Zeitner, Omaha
11. Roger Swenson, Watertown
12. Jim Peterson, Clarkfield, Minn.
13. Rich Thomas, Aberdeen
14. Wayne Jacquet, Marvin
15. Brad Tollekson, Canby, Minn.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

1974 - Andretti Wins Sedalia USAC

Mario Andretti awaits the start of the race at Sedalia.

Sedalia, Mo. (August 17, 1974) – “I knew the tire wouldn’t last much longer,” said Mario Andretti, winner of the accident-marred USAC championship dirt race at the Missouri State Fair.

Andretti, who moved into the division lead of the dirt cars in the United States Auto Club with the victory, his first of the year, had more problems to worry about than the traction and tread on the right rear tire of his Vel’s Parnelli Jones Ford racer – that is his fuel.

“It sputtered three times late in the race,” he commented, climbing out of the cockpit of the Viceroy machine.

“We noticed the last time we raced here (1970) that this track takes more fuel than most,” he added.

Andretti jumped into the lead on the first lap ahead of teammate Al Unser, who won the opening dirt race in Syracuse, N.Y., on July 4. He never relinquished the top spot.

The race was interrupted four times due to accidents. The first of which stopped the race and was the one that saw four cars eliminated from the race, including defending dirt division champion Unser, who flipped coming out of turn #2.

The accident was actually started of all places, behind him. Bill Engelhart and Ralph Liguori tangled and spun between the first and second turns. That immediately brought out the yellow flag.

Unser ducked behind Andretti who had jumped into the lead from his pole position. George Snider couldn’t slow as quickly as Unser. While Unser was flipping, one of his wheels struck Snider’s roll cage, breaking it and causing Snider to suffer an injured shoulder.

Unser said he didn’t know what caused him to flip.

Greg Weld, one of the crowd favorites from Independence, Mo., also spun and hit the guard rail, causing enough damage to the suspension to force him out of the race.

Unser’s flip changed the yellow flag to red, halting the race. Unser was not injured, and Snider reportedly was injured only slightly. 

Andretti grabbed the lead on the restart 20 minutes later, but had to slow for another yellow flag, when Mel Cornett and Engelhart spun between one and two. The yellow was out for seven laps. Both were forced out of the race.

On the 11th lap, Joe Saldana spun between one and two and was hit by Larry Cannon. Saldana ruptured his fuel tank and was out of the race. Cannon was able to continue.

The other yellow came out on the 34th lap when Larry Rice spun and hit the wall between three and four.

The accidents weren’t the only factors that caused the field to dwindle quickly. Mechanical problems cut into the starting field of 24 as well.

Only seven cars were running at the end of the 100-mile feature, which ended about seven minutes before the rain and hail hit.

Andretti, who won two of the three races on the dirt schedule a year ago, finished a half lap ahead of runner-up Tom Bigelow. Andretti and Bigelow were the only drivers on the same lap at the end of the race.

Darl Harrison would end in third while Wally Dallenbach was fourth and Larry Dickson grabbed fifth. The other two cars still running at the finish were John Hubbard and Gary Ponzini.

Thad Dosher of Topeka, Kan., who piloted the Don Duerst Chevrolet out of Columbia, Mo., did an outstanding job in his initial USAC dirt appearance, placing seventh. He logged 96 laps and was only two laps off the pace.

The race, which kicked off a six-race program under the promotion of the Professional Auto Racing Promotions of Missouri, Inc., was witnessed by an estimated 7,500 spectators.

Results –

1. Mario Andretti
2. Tom Bigelow
3. Darl Harrison
4. Wally Dallenbach
5. Larry Dickson
6. John Hubbard
7. Thad Dosher
8. Joe Saldana
9. Larry Cannon
10.Bob Harkey
11.Gary Ponzini
12.Jim McElreath
13.Larry Rice
14.Jan Opperman
15.Bob Evans
16. Rollie Beale
17.Jimmy Caruthers
18.Ronnie Burke
19.Mel Cornett
20.Bill Engelhart
21.Al Unser
22.George Snider
23.Greg Weld
24.Ralph Liguori

Friday, August 16, 2019

1967 – ‘Itch’ Scratches Out IMCA Win at Wausau

Don "Itch" Daniels

Wausau, Wis. (August 16, 1967) – No driver was able to win more than one event in the International Motor Contest Association sprint car races held as part of the Wisconsin Valley Fair on Thursday night.

Don “Itch” Daniels of St. Paul, Minn., took the lead on lap 11 and held on to win the 20-lap feature event in the six-event program.

Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., the three-time IMCA sprint car national champion, and a favorite of local race fans, had trouble with his car in the first heat race and was eliminated from further competition.

Richert, who is in the thick of the battle for this year’s championship, managed to obtain another car for the feature event and finished fourth to pick up valuable points.

Tom Custer of Rock Island, Ill., was hit in the eye with a rock during warmups and was taken to a local hospital, while Jerry Lepinski of St. Paul, Minn., hit the retaining wall during time trial and spilled fuel on the racetrack.

Custer damaged a blood vessel in his eye and was unable to compete in the races, but Lepinski was able to repair his fuel tank and return to action for the third heat.

Jim Moughan of Springfield, Ill., brought the spectators to their feet with some fancy driving in the 10-lap consolation race. Moughan came from the back of the pack to nip Ron Jackson of Mt. Vernon, Ill., at the finish line.

Results –

Heat #1 – Don Mack, East Grand Forks, Minn.
Heat #2 – Ron Beland, St. Paul, Minn.
Heat #3 – Bob Tomlinson, Palos Park, Ill.
STP Handicap – Lee Kunzman, Guttenberg, Iowa
Consolation – Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill.
Feature –
1. Don Daniels, St. Paul, Minn.
2. Jim Moughan
3. Lee Kunzman
4. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
5. Ron Jackson, Mt. Vernon, Ill.
6. Don Mack
7. John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
8. Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.
9. Dick Smith, Stillwater, Minn.
10. Bob Herring, Arvada, Colo.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

1981 - Snider is Bettenhausen Winner

George Snider cools off in victory lane after winning the Tony Bettenhausen Memorial at the Springfield Mile. - Terry Young Collection

Springfield, Ill. (August 15, 1981) - George Snider regained the lead on the 85th lap and zoomed to a 22-second victory in Saturday’s 100-mile Tony Bettenhausen Memorial Race for United States Auto Club championship dirt cars.

Larry Rice, of Brownsburg, Ind., finished second with veteran Jim McElreath of Arlington, Texas, third as only the leading three of the race’s 26 cars completed 100 laps, each a mile long. Engine problems caused many of the cars to drop out. Joe Saldana, of Lincoln, Neb., was fourth, having run 99 laps.

It was the first championship dirt car win in 10 years for Snider, of Bakersfield, Calif. He initially had taken the lead from pole winner Tom Bigelow of Whitewater, Wis., on the 66th lap and held it until the 73rd. Roger Rager, of Mound, Minn., then grabbed the lead but was overtaken by Snider on the backstretch of the 85th lap. Snider pulled away from the field to earn $8,250.

Rager, who ran out of gas on the 93rd lap, finished eighth. Bigelow, the leader for the first 65 laps, Rich Vogler and Gary Gray, both of Indianapolis, and McElreath all tangled coming out of the first turn of the 69th. Bigelow and Gray flipped their cars but were unhurt.

The accident brought out the red flag, however, and temporarily stopped the race, which also was hampered by four yellow flag situations. Morning rain caused a 3-hour, 10-minute delay in starting the race.

Results –

1. George Snider
2. Larry Rice
3. Jim McElreath
4. Jack Hewitt
5. Joe Saldana
6. Chuck Amati
7. Johnny Coogan
8. Roger Rager
9. Greg Leffler
10. Art Bisch Jr.
11. Rich Vogler
12. Tom Bigelow
13. Gary Gray
14. Tracy Potter
15. Ron Shuman
16. Ken Schrader
17. Billy Vukovich
18. Bobby Olivero
19. Mark Alderson
20. Gary Bettenhausen
21. Larry Dickson
22. Sheldon Kinser
23. Larry Martin
24. Johnny Parsons
25. Manny Rockhold
26. Steve Chassey

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

1966 – Woodside Captures Knoxville Race Crown

Champion Jay Woodside (center) is joined by promoter Marion Robinson (far left), third-place finisher Ken Weld (left) and runner-up Lloyd Beckman (right).

Knoxville, Iowa (August 14, 1966) – Jay Woodside of Kansas City grabbed the lead with five laps to go and won the rain-delayed Super Modified National Championship race on Sunday afternoon.

The race was postponed from Saturday night because of rain after two preliminary events.

Woodside, 27, a 11-year racing veteran, finished four car lengths ahead of Lloyd Beckman of Lincoln, Neb., and Kenny Weld of Kansas City, seeking his third straight national championship.

Weld moved into the early lead, pacing the 20-car field through the first 6 of the scheduled 25 laps. Ray Lee Goodwin, also of Kansas City took over the lead on lap 7 and led the next eight circuits until Beckman took over and led until lap 19. Woodside was never worse than third.

Earl Wagner of Pleasantville paced the Iowa contingent, placing eighth in the main event. Mason City’s Stacy Redmond placed thirteenth and Jim Lowary of Scranton was seventeenth.

Minor spin outs stopped action on the Marion County Fairgrounds half-mile three times and no time was posted.

A crowd of 6,233 watched Saturday’s rain-shortened program and about the same number showed up for the Sunday matinee.

Woodside picked up $2,500 for the victory. Beckman earned $1,500 and Weld took home $1,000.

Bud Marsh of Miami, Okla., captured Sunday’s 12-lap B-main with Buddy Taylor of Albuquerque, N.M., running second. Nick Rowe of Portland, Mich., was the consolation winner.

Results –

1. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
2. Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
3. Ken Weld, Kansas City
4. Ken Taylor, Slater, Mo.
5. Tom Bigelow, Whitewater, Wis.
6. Bob Williams, Independence, Mo.
7. Jerry Weld, Kansas City
8. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
9. Larry Cannon, Danville, Ill.
10. Don Edmunds, Anaheim, Calif.
11. Wes Farrand, Kansas City
12. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
13. Stacy Redmond, Mason City, Iowa
14. Cliff Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
15. B.H. Wilkerson, El Monte, Calif.
16. Junior Dietzel, Jamestown, Mo.
17. Jim Lowary, Scranton, Iowa
18. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
19. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
20. Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

1967 – Moughan Wins at Fair

Eldon, Iowa (August 13, 1967) – Jim Moughan of Springfield, Ill., won the 15-lap feature event at the Wapello County Fair on Sunday to take home the lion’s share of the winnings.

Moughan took the feature in his Chevy-powered sprinter over such luminaries as Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., Jay Woodside of Kansas City and Lloyd Beckman of Lincoln, Neb. Drivers were severely hampered by the third and fourth turns on the half-mile track, which were almost too slick to support racing speeds.

Trackside kibitzers claimed the shade from the trees on the west end of the speedway and their roots, had a tendency to hold water in the track making it extremely hard to drive. And just to show that everybody can forget, the track condition was just right for the old “knobby” type tires, but only one car had access to them.

Chevrolet conversions dominated the racing by fans were treated to the when and snarl of the old Offenhausers as three of them entered the program. At a extreme disadvantage on the slow track, they didn’t do as well as they might have, but the sound was a sweet sound to the racing fan’s ear.

Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City provided plenty of excitement in the feature when he got his Chevy-powered car into the fence and flipped twice, landing back on its wheels. Goodwin said afterwards that his head hit the ground twice, but the roll bars never touched and there wasn’t a scratch on the machine.

Closer inspection after the race revealed a somewhat warped front axle but Goodwin said the car would be back in action in a few days. Goodwin was running fifth when the mishap occurred.

Heat winners were Don “Itch” Daniels St. Paul, Minn., Art Range of Sedalia, Mo., Tom Corbin of Carrollton, Mo., and Moughan. Lee Kunzman of Guttenberg, Iowa, won the consolation.

Results –

Heat #1 – Don Daniels, St. Paul, Minn.
Heat #2 – Art Range, Sedalia, Mo.
Heat #3 – Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
Heat #4 – Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill.
Consolation – Lee Kunzman, Guttenberg, Iowa
Feature –
1. Jim Moughan
2. Tom Corbin
3. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
4. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
5. Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
6. Grady Wade, Wichita, Kan.
7. Bill Hudson, Montezuma, Iowa
8. Don Daniels
9. Stan Borofsky, Grandview, Mo.
10.Chuck Lynch, Springfield, Ill.

Monday, August 12, 2019

1962 – Goldsmith Wins Fair Stock 150

Paul Goldsmith takes a victory lap after winning the 150-miler at Milwaukee. 

West Allis, Wis. (August 12, 1962) – Former motorcycle racer Paul Goldsmith squeezed out a five-second victory over Indianapolis 500 winner Rodger Ward and set an average speed record in winning the United States Auto Club 150-mile late model stock car race at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds Sunday.

It was the first victory in two years of trying on the one-mile paved track for Goldsmith, of St. Clair Shores, Mich. Goldsmith, driving a 1962 Pontiac, collected $3,043 in prize money.

Goldsmith grabbed the lead from Ward with 15 miles remaining and kept the crowd of 21,087 on its feet until the very finish as he fought off challenges from both Ward and Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis.

The three cars roared around the track with Nelson only two seconds behind Goldsmith and Ward who were racing nearly bumper to exhaust pipe. Goldsmith gradually pulled away, but on lap 140 Nelson went around Ward and began to close on the leader’s four-car-length lead.

With four laps left, the three cars screamed into the first set of turns but only Goldsmith and Ward would exit as Nelson would with coil failure.

Ward, also driving a 1962 Pontiac, took second-place money of $2,150. Third-place went to Eddie Sachs of Coopersburg, Penn., in a ’62 Ford. His prize was $1,536.

Nelson was credited with 13th place.

Goldsmith averaged 92.9 miles per hour, topping the mark of 89.4 miles per hour, set a year ago by Nelson.

Results –

1. Paul Goldsmith
2. Rodger Ward
3. Eddie Sachs
4. Whitey Gerken
5. Don White
6. A.J. Foyt
7. Curtis Turner
8. Troy Ruttman
9. Len Sutton
10. Elmer Musgrave
11. Dick Rathmann
12. John Rostek
13. Norm Nelson
14. Ken Finley
15. Herb Shannon
16. Ted Hane
17. Bob Pronger
18. Bob Slensby
19. Sal Tovella
20. Neil Houston
21. Rich Clement
22. Ray Berry
23. Eddie Meyer
24. Milt Curcio
25. Bill Cornwall
26. Whitey Traeder
27. Jim Locke
28. Bay Darnell
29. Skeeter Wyman
30. Ted Rozinski

Sunday, August 11, 2019

1976 - 'Super Sanger' Sizzles in Proctor's Silver 1000 Special

Proctor, Minn. (August 11, 1976) – Displaying the driving skill that has marked him as possible the best dirt late model driver in the country, Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, captured the 50-lap Silver 1000 late model feature Wednesday night at Proctor Speedway.

A heat race mishap almost eliminated the veteran, but Sanger repaired his car quickly and entered the feature by virtue of a third-place semi-feature finish.

Dave Bjorge of Austin, Minn., grabbed the lead from polesitter Tom Nesbitt of Thunder Bay, Ont., and led the hotly-contested chase until retiring on lap 16 with a hole in his oil pan. Nesbitt then fought off Leon Plank of Mondovi, Wis., Jim Eliason of Duluth, Minn., and Ed Ward of Rochester, Minn., as attrition began to take its toll.

Punky Manor of Eau Claire, Wis., Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa and Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., all were sidelined with mechanical issues, while running in the top five during the first half of the race.

Back in the pack, a group of five fast Camaros, led by Tom Steuding of Altoona, Wis., and including John Jones of Thunder Bay, Ont., J.J. Smith of Appleton, Wis., and Sanger, were roaring thru traffic.

With Steuding in seventh, Sanger using the highest possible groove, caught Smith and over-hauled Arnie Hobbs of St. Paul, Minn., for eighth on lap 22. Smith then dropped out with a broke ball joint.

Just as Plank slipped by Nesbitt for the lead on lap 25, Jones fell victim to Sanger. Red Steffen of Eau Claire would be the Iowan’s next victim, two laps later.

With Sanger in sixth, Steuding and Dwain Erickson of Superior, Wis., were next to fall to his charge. Eliason gave up third to Sanger on lap 32, while Nesbitt was passed seven laps later.

Once in second, it took Sanger’ lightning-quick Camaro only two circuits to catch Plank. On lap 44, Plank’s car lost its fuel pressure which forced him to the infield.

Sanger then finished the race and drove around for an insurance lap before stopping in victory lane for the trophy presentation. When Sanger restarted the car, it ran out of fuel on the first turn. Nesbitt was second followed by Eliason, Steuding and Jones.

Results –

1. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa

2. Tom Nesbitt, Thunder Bay, Ont.

3. Jim Eliason, Duluth, Minn.

4. Tom Steuding, Altoona, Wis.

5. John Jones, Thunder Bay, Wis.

6. Arnie Hobbs, St. Paul, Minn.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

1975 - Eldon Feature Race to Opperman

Jan Opperman

Eldon, Iowa (August 10, 1975) - Jan Opperman of Beaver Crossing, Neb., making a rare appearance, won the 25-lap IMCA sprint car feature at the Wapello County Fair on Sunday night.

“This is the kind of track I like,” Opperman said, referring to the tacky condition of the half-mile oval. “We had the right chassis combination tonight.”

Several caution periods allowed the field to close on the Indianapolis 500 veteran during the race.

However, he was able to pull away from the competition each time by being the only driver able to use the entire track to his advantage.

Finishing second was Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., followed by Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., and Larry Kirkpatrick of Wood River, Ill. Kirkpatrick had been running in third place for most of the race before slowing on the backstretch during the final lap, allowing Utz to pass. 

“He ran out of gas,” commented Kirkpatrick’s mechanic, Bob Trostle of Des Moines, “When he got bumped earlier by another car, the gas tank tilted, and the engine couldn’t pull the last gallon and a half.”

Heat races were won by Kirkpatrick, Roger Rager of Mound, Minn., and John Babb of Ottumwa. Kirkpatrick edged Opperman to win the five-lap match race and Bob Thoman of Higginsville, Mo., won the 10-lap consolation race.

Twenty-seven drivers from seven states qualified for the program and 20 cars started the feature event.

Results –

Heat #1 – Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.
Heat #2 – Roger Rager, Mound, Minn.
Heat #3 – Johnny Babb, Ottumwa, Iowa
Match Race – Larry Kirkpatrick
Consolation – Bob Thoman, Higginsville, Mo.
Feature –
1. Jan Opperman, Beaver Crossing, Neb.
2. Bubby Jones, Danville, Ill.
3. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
4. Larry Kirkpatrick
5. Roger Rager
6. Bill Robison, Topeka, Kan.
7. Bob Thoman
8. Del Schmidt, Topeka, Kan.
9. Ralph Parkinson Sr., Kansas City
10.Gene Kester, Odessa, Mo.

Friday, August 9, 2019

1969 – Leavitt Wins Knoxville Main

Eddie Leavitt

Knoxville, Iowa (August 9, 1969) - Eddie Leavitt of Kansas City, Mo., captured his first super modified feature win at the Marion County Fairgrounds track at Knoxville, Saturday night.

Leavitt jumped out into the lead on the first lap from his outside front row starting position to lead every lap of the 25-lap race. Eddie took the checkers in the #94 super modified ahead of second place driver, Jan Opperman of Lincoln, Neb. 

Bob Williams of Independence, Mo., fought off a hard-challenging Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., to finish third while Blundy settled for fourth. These two drivers have tied for first place in numbers of feature events won in one season at Knoxville.

The red flag was thrown on the ninth lap of the feature when Norm Waddle and Burt Sonners of Des Moines were Involved in an accident in the first turn. Waddle was taken to the Knoxville hospital where first reports listed him in serious condition with undetermined injuries.

Three drivers tied for fast time out of the field of over 40 supers. Kenny Weld of Thomasville, Penn.; Kenny Gritz of Lincoln, Neb., and Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, all set a time of 21.99 seconds around the half-mile semi-banked oval.

Weld was here in preparation to the National Super Modified Races coming up. Kenny is a two-time winner of the big national race.

Roger Rager of Lincoln, Neb., won the accident-marred 7-lap trophy dash. Burt Sonners was second followed by Kenny Gritz, Bob Williams and Kenny Weld. Earl Wagner and Burt Sonners tangled on the second turn of the second lap which sent Wagner into the fence rolling several times. Earl climbed out uninjured from his wild ride.

Chuck Lynch copped the first 10-lap heat by leading all the way to the checkered flag.

Joe Saldana set a new 10-lap consolation record when he won the consolation event. Saldana's new time of 3 minutes and 38 seconds broke the old record of 3 minutes and 39 seconds held by Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., set on July 20, 1968. In second spot was Burt Sonners and third was Norm Waddle. Next across the finish line came Steve Schultz, Ben Hollifield, Jerry Sanford, Don Droud, Curt Houge of Ames and Tom Stasa of Kansas City.

Results –

Trophy dash – Roger Rager, Lincoln, Neb.
First heat – Chuck Lynch, Springfield, Ill.
Second heat – Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
Third heat, Kenny Gritz, Lincoln, Neb.
Consolation – Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
Feature –
1. Eddie Leavitt, Kansas City
2. Jan Opperman, Lincoln, Neb.
3. Bob Williams, Independence, Mo.
4. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
5. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
6. Kenny Gritz
7. Joe Saldana
8. Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
9. Dale McCarty, Kansas City
10.Lloyd Beckman

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Ray Young Remembered for Talent, Fan Appeal

During a career that spanned from 1952 to 1983, Ray Young won 8 championships at 5 Chicago speedways. - Stan Kalwasinski Photo

by Tony Baranek
Talking with one legend about another legend, I was already on Wednesday to tell long-time Raceway Park announcer Wayne Adams Sr. why Ray Young is my all-time favorite Chicagoland driver.

But Adams beat me to the punch line of my own story.

“I will tell you very frankly that he also was one of my favorite drivers,” Adams said. “And I think he was the favorite driver of many of the fans.

“He was always considerate of children around his car after the races. He’d show them things about the car and let them sit in the car if they wanted to.”

I had to shake my head and smile.

Back when I was 9 years old, I was one of those children that Young let sit in one of his cars. It was the first time I visited Raceway, and Ray made me a fan for life.

A lot of people who considered Young their favorite driver will be at Kurtz Memorial Chapel in New Lenox Aug. 10. Starting at 9 a.m., we’ll celebrate his life and the great memories he gave us driving the wheels off of his No. 99.

Young died July 6 at age 87.

During his career at Raceway, Young won 107 late model feature races and track titles in 1962 and 1973. He won three championships at Waukegan Speedway and one each at the Mazon Speed Bowl, Grundy County Speedway and Illiana Speedway.

In 1975, Young won the Chicagoland Driving Championship, a points competition among drivers at Waukegan, Grundy and Illiana. He was also successful on the ARTGO and ASA circuits before retiring in 1983.

Young was a solid choice for enshrinement in the Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2013.

Beyond the numbers, the “tobacco-chewin’ truck driver” from Dolton was a Hall of Fame individual.

He was always ready to greet a fan. And despite a refuse-to-lose grittiness as a driver, he was more than willing to help a fellow driver in need.

Chicagoland standout Dave Weltmeyer often went to Young for advice early in his career. 

“Ray took care of me back in the day,” Weltmeyer said. “He was one of the guys I looked up to. And he could really manhandle a car.

“I mean, he was a big dude and if the car wasn’t working as good sometimes, he could manhandle it with no power steering. He was a tough racer, but he had the respect of all of the drivers he raced against.”

Weltmeyer, Young and Mike White represent the only three drivers in Chicagoland racing history to win late model titles at Raceway, Grundy and Illiana.

“When I finally accomplished that goal in 2003 they told me that,” Weltmeyer said. “To be recognized with (Young) felt really good. He was a great racer his whole career, and to be on the same page with him for something, I’m proud of that.”

So just how popular was Ray Young? Danny Colyer, who under the name James Bond raced against him for many years, cracked me up with his answer.

“He was my wife’s favorite driver, believe it or not,” Colyer said, laughing. “She went to the track before her and I got together, and Ray was always her favorite. She presented him with a trophy one year.”

Colyer lettered some of Young’s early cars before becoming a late model competitor himself. Count 007 among those who admired Young’s toughness and appreciated his respect.

“Ray Young was a good, clean driver,” Colyer said. “And he was just an honest, down to earth guy. He was one of the best."

1965 – Richert Rides Win to Haute Victory

Tom Bigelow (42) patrols the inside rail while Jerry Richert (63) roosts the outside at Terre Haute. – Armin Krueger Photo

Terre Haute, Ind. (August 8, 1965) – In the most daring ride since the days of Tommy Hinnershitz, Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., the defending International Motor Contest Association sprint car champion, won Sunday’s 30-lap feature on the half-mile Vigo County Fairgrounds.

Richert started on the pole, out-surged Tom Bigelow of Whitewater, Wis., and went to the outside in his spectacular ride. Richert finished a half-lap ahead of Bigelow in 13 minute and 42 seconds before a slim crowd of 3,000, held down by bad weather in the area.

On lap 4 Gerry Calvet spun, and the yellow came out for four laps. When the green showed again, Bigelow jumped ahead of Richert for half a lap, which was Jerry’s only challenge of the race.

Placing third was Buzz Barton of Tampa, Fla., in the only Offenhauser to make the main event; fourth was Ron Larson of Miltown, Wis., and Dick Fries of San Diego, Calif., rounded out the top five.

Don Brown set fast time in qualifying with a time of 23.52 seconds, which tied for the 10th fastest lap ever turned at the track. Brown lost a rear end in the first heat and could not compete further.

Results –

Time Trials – Don Brown (23.52)
Trophy Dash – Jerry Richert
Heat #1 – Gordon Wooley
Heat #2 – Chuck Taylor
Heat #3 – Ray Duckworth
Consolation – Jim Moughan
Feature –

1. Jerry Richert
2. Tom Bigelow
3. Buzz Barton
4. Ron Larson
5. Dick Fries
6. Harold Smith
7. Gordon Wooley
8. Karl Busson
9. Jim Williams
10. Chuck Taylor
11. Benny Rapp
12. Ray Duckworth
13. Gene Baxter
14. Dean Mast
15. Dale Reed
16. Gerry Calvet

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

1971 - Sutcliffe Wows 'Em at Knox County Fair

Dick Sutcliffe

Knoxville, Ill. (August 7, 1972) – Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo., driving the Dave Van Patten Chevy, won the 30-lap IMCA sprint car feature at the Knox County Fair on Saturday evening.

A display of driving skills was turned in by Sutcliffe in the “wild and hairy” feature event seldom seen.

Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill’s favorite son, streaked into the lead at the drop of the green. Sutcliffe, who started fifth, was up to second by lap 2 in hot pursuit.

Going down the backstretch, a couple of cars tangled, with Larry Kirkpatrick of Wood River, Ill., crashing into the outside fence. Kirkpatrick escaped injury but the car was out of competition for the night.

On the restart, Blundy again took the lead, with Sutcliffe charging hard from second place. Dick would get by Jerry on lap 15 and lead for two laps with Blundy all over his bumper.

As the duo entered turn one on lap 18, Blundy attempted to dive under Sutcliffe for the lead not knowing that he had broken a brake line hose. Blundy would drift up, collecting and spinning both he and Sutcliffe.

Blundy’s car was damaged and done for the evening while Sutcliffe was forced to start at the rear of the pack, which was the 14th position.

Starting at the rear of the field didn’t faze Sutcliffe at all as he blazed through the field on the restart and four laps later was back in the lead.

Sutcliffe would lead the final seven circuits to take a well-deserved victory. Chuck Amati of Freeman Spur, Ill., would take second while Roger Larson of Madison, S.D., would be scored in third.

Another great drive was turned in by Dave Ross of Jetmore, Kan., as he came from his 14th starting position to finish a strong fourth. Benny Rapp of Toledo, Ohio, would round out the top five.

Results –

1. Dick Sutcliffe
2. Chuck Amati
3. Roger Larson
4. Dave Ross
5. Benny Rapp
6. Doc Dawson
7. Bill Hudson
8. Ron Perkins
9. Stan Borofsky
10. Jeff Bloom