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

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