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

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