Sunday, September 29, 2019

1973 – Stover wins Fairgrounds' Title Race

Stan Stover

Des Moines, Iowa (September 29, 1973) - Stan Stover of Reinbeck won his second late model stock car season championship race and Larry Embrey of Grimes captured his first sportsman season title Saturday night at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Stover, who also won the title in 1971, started on the outside of the first row, took the lead on the second lap and was never threatened by the 22-car field in the 35-lap event before a crowd of 4,395.

It started to rain shortly after the feature began and Stover, who drove a 1969 Chevelle, said, "It made it a little tough, but I was working too hard to worry about it. They could have shortened the race a little though."

Randy Sterner of Blair, Neb., placed second in the late model feature and Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids clinched the season point crown by finishing third.

Embrey, who drove a 1965 Chevelle, said he had "no confidence whatsoever" despite leading the field of 24 the entire way because it was "the first season championship I've finished in the six years I've raced here."

The victory gave Embrey the season point title. Billy Geil and Marvin Korns, both of Des Moines, placed second and third, respectively. Ron Van Roekel of Otley, driving a 1958 Ford snared the sportsman semi-main with Bill Carter of Des Moines taking second and Fred Knapp of Des Moines, who was second in point standings before Friday, taking third. Knapp failed to finish the feature due to fan belt problems.

The late model semi-main was won by McDonough. Lefty Robinson of Des Moines claimed second and George Barton of Ankeny was third.

Results –

Sportsman -

1. Larry Embrey, Grimes
2. Billy Geil, Des Moines
3. Marvin Korns, Des Moines
4. Ken Gerhart, Des Moines
5. Cliff Van Zandt, Des Moines
6. Virgil Webb, Des Moines
7. Jerry Campbell, Des Moines
8. Jim Welshon, Indianola
9. Dave Kepley, Ames
10.Gordon Head, Des Moines
11.Shorty Selsor, Des Moines
12.Art Moose, Indianola
13.Ken Paulding, Des Moines
14.Mike Pinckney, Des Moines
15.Bill Davis, Des Moines

Late Model -

1. Stan Stover, Reinbeck
2. Randy Sterner, Blair, Neb.
3. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
4. George Barton, Ankeny
5. Cal Swanson, Reinbeck
6. Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
7. Bob Hilmer, Dysart
8. Larry Wasserfort, Waterloo
9. Ken Davidson, Des Moines
10.Bill Rice, Des Moines
11.Bill Ludington, Carlisle
12.Bugs Vincent, Nevada
13.Bob Bonzer, Liscomb
14.Bob Burrell, Des Moines
15.Dick Oldham, Des Moines

Saturday, September 28, 2019

1975 – Shear tops Rockford Nationals

Rockford, Ill. (September 28, 1975) – Joe Shear of South Beloit, Ill., won the 10th annual National Short Track Championships at Rockford Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

It was the third time and second in a row that the six-time Rockford champion has dominated the 200-lap event, the highlight race of the weekend of super late model stock car racing which carries a purse of over $20,000.

There were only three leaders in the race, all from the Beloit-South Beloit area. Coming from the pole position, Don Leach of Beloit, Wis., took the initial lead in hi 1973 Camaro. Leach stayed in front until lap 12 when a confrontation in turns one and two on the high-banked quarter-mile asphalt cost him his radiator.

Dave Watson, also from Beloit and who also started on the front row, took over in his ’73 Camaro and would proceed to lead the pack for the next 77 circuits.

On lap 90 Watson went high in the first set of turns and Shear went under him for the lead. He would go unchallenged for the remaining 111 laps.

Tom Reffner, the Rudolph, Wis., ace who has been winning everything in sight on the Midwestern circuit behind the wheel of his “Blue Knight” 1974 AMC Javelin, opened the weekend of racing by setting a new track record on the Rockford oval. Going into Saturday’s qualifications, the track mark was 14.17 seconds set by Shear in 1973. On his first tour of the track, Reffner topped the mark with a 14.04 second time. His second trip around was a blistering 14.002 seconds.

The winner of the two 50-lap qualification races were Tony Strupp of Slinger, Wis., and Bob Sensiba of Middleville, Mich. The checkered in the four 30-lap qualification events were taken by Dave Weltmeyer of Harvey, Ill., Bill Venturini of Chicago, Jeffrey Haar of Robbinsdale, Minn., and Jim Weber of Roseville, Minn.

Action in the third annual National Short Track Pit Stop contest was brisk and the $1,000 first place money was collected by the crew of Danny Bellard of Beloit, Wis. They performed all the required chores in 55.11 seconds.

Results –

1. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
2. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
3. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
4. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
5. John Ziegler, Madison, Wis.
6. Doug Strasburg, Johnson Creek, Wis.
7. Bob Sensiba, Middleville, Mich.
8. Dave Watson, Beloit, Wis.
9. Bob Jusola, Minneapolis, Minn.
10. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.

Friday, September 27, 2019

1981 - Gawlinski wins Bettenhausen Classic

Frank Gawlinski shows off his hardware after scoring his first ARTGO-sanctioned victory in the Tony Bettenhausen 100.

Schererville, Ind. (September 27, 1981) – Coming back from an early race spin and using 10 additional yellow flags to his advantage, Frank Gawlinski was the victor in Sunday afternoon’s ARTGO-sanctioned Tony Bettenhausen Classic 100-lap late model stock car race at Illiana Motor Speedway.

The 34-year-old Lynwood, Ill., leadfoot wheeled his 1981 Camaro past race leader Tom Jones with only seven laps to go to score the win. For Gawlinski, the 1980 Illiana track champion, it was his first ARTGO feature win of his career, which began late model competition back in 1977.

Jones’ victory hopes faded on lap 94, when Gawlinski, who credited the numerous yellow flags in giving him a chance to make chassis adjustments, charged into the lead. Lap 95 saw the caution light flash again as Larry Middleton, running an impressive fourth, and Alan Kulwicki got tangled up in turn four, with Middleton spinning and Kulwicki grazing the outside guardrail.

With a trophy dash to the checkers set, Gawlinski maintained the edge and went on to victory, becoming the 16th different winner of the Bettenhausen Classic and the ninth different winner on the ARTGO tour in 1981.

Trailing Gawlinski at the end of the 100-laps were Tom Jones, Ed Hoffman, ’74 race winner Tom Reffner and Billy Venturini.

Jim Sauter set a new track record during time trials, turning a lap in 19.331 seconds, to set fast time for the day.

Results –

1. Frank Gawlinski, Lynwood, Ill.
2. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
3. Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
4. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
5. Billy Venturini, Chicago, Ill.
6. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
7. Steve Moll, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
8. Larry Middleton, East Hazel Crest, Ill.
9. Tony Hertko, Joliet, Ill.
10. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
11. Alan Kulwicki, Milwaukee, Wis.
12. Gil Tarbutton, Hebron, Ind.
13. Rich Sundling, Addison, Ill.
14. Junior Hanley, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
15. Jim Back, Vesper, Wis.
16. Jack Carey, Orland Park, Ill.
17. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
18. Billy Kuhn, Freeport, Ill.
19. Dave Weltmeyer, Harvey, Ill.
20. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
21. Fred Campbell, Battle Creek, Mich.
22. Mel Whalen, Shakopee, Minn.
23. Ron Bloomberg, Elgin, Ill.
24. Jim Weber, Rosemount, Minn.
25. Trace Embrey, Schererville, Ind.
26. Larry Schuler, New Lenox, Ill.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

1971 - Young Wins Grundy Open Comp

Morris, Ill. (September 26, 1971) - The first annual open competition championship races at the Grundy County Speedway were a big success as Ray Young of Dolton, Ill., beat Joe Shear of Beloit, Ill., on the 100th and final lap to pick up the $677 first place money.

These late model races brought to an end the first season of auto racing at the Grundy County Speedway. The wide track was in excellent shape as 28 cars started the main which was run to completion without a red or yellow flag and saw 17 cars running at the checkered flag.

Bob Dotter of Chicago took the lead from his second row starting berth and held on until the 15th lap when Tom Jones of Northbrook, Ill., started totaling up the $2.00 per lap in lap prizes, but Young was right there passing Jones for first in the 18th lap and leading until the 25th lap when Ed Hoffman of Niles, Ill., 1971 track champion here, moved in front.

However, it was no run away for Hoffman as Young stayed glued to his rear bumper waiting for a mistake. Ten laps later Hoffman apparently touched a lapped car spinning into the infield. He returned to the track and passed enough cars to finish in third spot.

At the half-way mark Young had a scant six car length lead on Shear with Jones third and Hoffman already back in fourth in front of Lee Schuler of Lockport, Ill.

By the 70th lap the two cars were bumper-to-bumper and on the 74th they made contact in the third turn, with Shear getting the worst of the deal.

Shear did drop back at that point not catching Young until the 92nd lap as the leader was slowed by lapped cars. Then the crowd went wild as Shear nipped Young’s back bumper in every straight-away with Young sliding high as the two leaders raced for the white flag at 99 laps.

They were side-by-side at the finish line with one lap to go, but both cars were a little out of shape with Shear detouring through the infield. Young blazed around the track one more time to win by just three car lengths in one of the best 100-lap events ever contested.

Hoffman was the only other car on the same lap with the leaders as he finished third. Jones was fourth followed by Whitey Gerkin of Villa Park, Ill., Schuler, John Kennedy of Villa Park, Ill., and Ed Jast of Melrose Park, Ill. The Denver, Colo., cars of Pick Pickering and Chuck Stitcher finished 11th and 13th respectively while Terry Bivins of Shawnee, Kan., dropped out around the 80th lap while running 7th.

Also, on the sidelines were Jim Blount of Lapaz, Ind., due to a feature accident, Bob May of Gurnee, Ill., with a flat tire, Dotter with overheating, Carl Major of Chicago with a blown engine in the heat races and Bob Anzinger of McHenry, Ill., with a blown engine in hot laps.

The race of champions saw Shear win after Blount and Hoffman tangled in the final lap while running one-two. Hoffman won the fast heat easily, but Dotter just beat a spinning Schuler in the second heat and Dick Schultz of Villa Park, Ill., won the third in a tight three-way finish.

Feature Results –

1. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
2. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
3. Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
4. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
5. Whitey Gerkin, Villa Park, Ill.
6. Lee Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
7. John Kennedy, Villa Park, Ill.
8. Ed Jast, Melrose Park, Ill.
9. Roger Erickson, Dolton, Ill.
10.Gordon Olson, Morrison, Ill.
11.Pick Pickering, Denver, Colo.
12.Speedy Gonzalez, Blue Island, Ill.
13.Al Hanson, Chicago
14.Russ Gordon, Joliet, Ill.
15.Rich Sundling, Addison, Ill.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

1966 – Daniels Leads Wire-to-Wire in Nashville IMCA Sprints

Jerry 'Scratch' Daniels

Nashville, Tenn. (September 25, 1966) – Jerry “Scratch” Daniels led all the way and set a record for International Motor Contest Association sprint cars in winning the 30-lap feature at the Fairgrounds Speedway.

Daniels was clocked in 10 minutes and 24 seconds on the half-mile, banked asphalt, cracking the old mark of 10 minutes and 30 seconds that was set here in 1964 by Bob Pratt.

Jimmy Griggs, the local favorite who has inspirations to join the IMCA tour in 1967, also established a mark for the IMCA sprinters at a distance of 8 laps. Griggs time was 2 minutes and 44 seconds, and he was the second driver to crack the mark at that distance. In the first heat, Dick Gaines was clocked in 2 minutes and 45 seconds.

The old standard was 2 minutes and 46 seconds, set here by Gene Bell in 1964.

Daniels said, “My brother is ‘Itch’ and I used to be referred to as ‘Little Itch’ but it was changed to ‘Scratch’ later on.”

Only 28 years of age, Daniels would like to try Indianapolis someday. He’s the father of three children, girls, three months and three years, and a five-year-old son. They live in St. Paul, Minn.

“This was my second year to race here, but my first success,” he laughed. Asked if it was an easy race, he pushed back his hair and said, “That Charley Masters was on my bumper the whole way.”

Masters finished second and Karl Busson took third.

A blanket could have covered the drivers in positions three through seven, prompting promoter Al Sweeney to remark during the race, “That’s beautiful equipment out there and those are real pros.”

Rollie Beale, Saturday night’s winner, was forced to withdraw from Sunday’s event because of oil leaking from his car.

Results –

Heat #1 – Dick Gaines
Heat #2 – Jimmy Griggs
Heat #3 – Don Carmichael
STP Handicap – Jerry Richert
Consolation – Jerry Daniels
Feature –
1. Jerry Daniels
2. Charley Masters
3. Karl Busson
4. Dick Gaines
5. Dick Cook
6. Jerry Richert
7. Jimmy Griggs
8. Jerry Blundy
9. Benny Rapp
10. Butch Wilkerson

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

1978 – Trickle Grabs Second Rockford National Championship

NSTC winner Dick Trickle is joined by Rockford Speedway's Hugh and Jody Deery. 

Rockford, Ill. (September 24, 1978) – Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., won the first annual National Short Track Championships in 1966. Twelve years later he repeated that performance as he won the 13th annual 200-lap National Short Track Championship in stylish fashion lapping all but one of the 32 competitors.

Trickle has been a contender to repeat his 1966 win every year but the victory had eluded him in about every fashion from mechanical problems to heart-stopping photo finishes.

After the race, the jubilant Trickle exclaimed, “I really earned this victory. I had to work for it. It’s not like some races that something happens and bang, you’re in the lead. This one I really had to work for.”

Ed Hoffman of Niles, Ill., took the initial lead from his outside front row position and led the field until lap 18 when a differential failure forced him to an early exit. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., inherited the top spot as the first of three yellow flags flew on lap 19. It’s here where Trickle’s struggle began.

A three-way accident sent Trickle to the pits after he brushed Mark Martin and bent the right front sheet metal into the tire. Trickle headed straight for the pit area and returned after his crew pulled the metal away just as the green flag was waving, where he fell in at the rear of the pack.

Miller led the charge until the mandatory pit stop on lap 105. The pit stop appeared to come just in time for Miller as his 1979 Cutlass was beginning to puff smoke. At the completion of the 19.5-minute stop, Miller appeared only for warmup laps and then returned his car to the pit area with a faulty water pump.

Fast qualifier and defending National Short Track Champion, Mark Martin of Batesville, Ark., who was running second at the break, took the lead at the resumption of the race. Trickle, driving a brilliant race, had worked his way up to second-place and followed Martin’s bumper until lap 129 when Trickle dived low and passed the 19-year-old driver.

From lap 130 and on it was Trickle all the way, lapping every driver in the field except second-place finisher Martin, who was six seconds behind Trickle when the checkers waved.

Ray Young of Dolton, Ill., was third, Rusty Wallace of Arnold, Mo., fourth and Don Gregory of Columbus, Ohio, fifth, all one lap down.

Ideal Midwestern fall weather prevailed the entire weekend as over 17,000 fans attended the three-day affair.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
3. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
4. Rusty Wallace, Arnold, Mo.
5. Don Gregory, Columbus, Ohio
6. Pat Schauer, Watertown, Wis.
7. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
8. Ray Jackson, Lakewood, Colo.
9. Lee Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
10. John Boegeman, Shakopee, Minn.
11. Conrad Morgan, Dousman, Wis.
12. Steve Seligman, Lake Bluff, Ill.
13. Steve Lurvey, Dousman, Wis.
14. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
15. John Speer, Janesville, Wis.
16. Ken Lund, Deerfield, Wis.
17. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
18. Bob Strait, Flossmoor, Ill.
19. Jim Weber, Roseville, Minn.
20. Rudy Stynoski, Chicago
21. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
22. Doug Strasburg, Johnson Creek, Wis.
23. Mike Eddy, Midland, Mich.
24. Al Schill, Franklin, Wis.
25. John Knaus, Rockford, Ill.
26. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
27. Tony Strupp, Slinger, Wis.
28. Everett DeWitt, Janesville, Wis.
29. Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
30. Fran Prestay, Silver Lake, Wis.
31. Greg Arenson, Prior Lake, Minn.
32. Rich Bickle, Edgerton, Wis.
33. Bobby Dotter, Chicago

Monday, September 23, 2019

1973 – Detjen Takes Old Style 200

Elko, Minn. (September 23, 1973) – Larry Detjens of Wausau, Wis., powered his 1972 Dodge Challenger past Minnesota NASCAR champion Larry Smith with just 7 laps remaining to capture the third annual Old Style 200 at Minnesota National Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Detjens, who started ninth in the 30-car field, ran among the leaders throughout the 200-lap race before making his move on the 193rd lap, and went on to pocket the $2,000 first prize.

He thus becomes the third Wisconsin driver to win the prestigious event, joining Tom Reffner and Dick Trickle, who won the first two Old Style races respectively.

Smith, from Shakopee, Minn., had slowed in the final stages of the event with tire problems suffered when he was forced to brush the retaining wall while taking the lead from Jim Sauter of Necedah, Wis., on lap 168.

Smith would hang on to finish second ahead of Sauter, Bob Jusola of Mound, Minn., and Bill Oas of Bloomington, Minn.

NASCAR star Red Farmer of Hueytown, Ala., whose original mount was sidelined on Saturday night with a blown engine, jumped into Roy Varner’s 1972 Camaro for the 200-lapper and drove from his 21st starting spot to a sixth-place finish. Tiny Lund of Cross, S.C., the other NASCAR champion entered, left the race on lap 11 when the engine let go as he challenged Sauter for the top spot.

Jon Chrest of Hamels, Minn., suffered the most disappoint blow of the afternoon on lap 110 when he and Sauter bumped while battling for the lead, and he spun out, losing a lap to the field. The hard-charging Camaro driver came back, however, to pass everyone and un-lap himself. He would settle for eighth place as the seven other drivers completed the 200 laps.

Saturday night’s event, which included qualifying events for the 200, got off to a flying start when Jusola toured the 3/8-mile paved oval in record time in his 1973 Camaro. The veteran driver, who had earlier established new track records on the half-mile at the Minnesota State Fair, was clocked in 15.51 seconds, eclipsing the old mark of 15.57 seconds which he had set in July.

Almost $18,000 in prize money, awards and merchandise were distributed during the weekend, making it the richest of the three Old Style 200’s thus far.

Results –

1. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
2. Larry Smith, Shakopee, Minn.
3. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
4. Bob Jusola, Mound, Minn.
5. Bill Oas, Bloomington, Minn.
6. Red Farmer, Hueytown, Ala.
7. Mike Miller, New Prague, Minn.
8. Jon Chrest, Hamel, Minn.
9. Dan Prziborowski, Savage, Minn.
10. Rich Somers, Stevens Point, Wis.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

1968 – Nordhorn Takes Nashville IMCA Go

Don Nordhorn

Nashville, Tenn. (September 21, 1968) – Don Nordhorn of Mitchell, Ind., won the 25-lap IMCA sprint car feature at the Tennessee State Fair half-mile track last night before a crowd of 6,800 as two new track records were established.

Nordhorn took the lead away from Ray Wright of Elkhart, Ind., and withstood the challenges of Wright in a bumper-to-bumper battle down to the checkered flag.

Jay Woodside of Kansas City took second in a blanket finish and Wright came in third. Claire Lawicki of St. Clair Shores, Mich., and Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., finished fourth and fifth respectively.

The time for the 25-lap main event was 8 minutes and 43 seconds, a new track record for distance. The old track record was 9 minute and 9 seconds held by Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill.

In time trials, Don Carmichael of Chicago set a new half-mile record, turning the oval in 19.72 seconds to break the old record of 19.76 seconds held by Dick Gaines of Mishawaka, Ind.

Results –

Time trials: Don Carmichael – 19.72
Trophy dash: Don Nordhorn, Mitchell, Ind.
First heat: Cliff Cockrum, Benton, Ill.
Second heat: Dick Gaines, Mishawaka, Ind.
Third heat: John Peddle, Madison, Ind.
1. Don Nordhorn
2. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
3. Ray Wright, Elkhart, Ind.
4. Claire Lawicki, St. Clair Shores, Mich.
5. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
6. Fred Linder, Toledo, Ohio
7. Dick Gaines
8. Butch Smith, Frankfort, Ky.
9. Cliff Cockrum
10. Doc Dawson, Dayton, Ohio

Friday, September 20, 2019

1959 - Dake Takes Hutchinson Stock Race

Darrell Dake 

Hutchinson, Kan. (September 20, 1959) - Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, drove a 1957 Chevrolet to top honors and the big cut of prize money in the stock car races presented before a packed grandstand of 13,000 spectators at the Kansas Stale Fairgrounds, Sunday afternoon.

Dake out-raced Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa, to the finish line in the 25-lap feature. He won the first 10-lap heat race and was second in a special 5-lap dash.

Despite a rough track and keen competition, there were no crashes other than the normal number of fender bending bumps.

Bob Patrin, St. Paul, Minn., had both sides of his car crumpled a bit when he became the “filling” in a three-car sandwich on the first curve of the second heat race. On two occasions Gerry Harrison, son of “Wild Bill” of Topeka, Kan., came dangerously close to the fence while sliding wide. But most of the thrills came in the competition itself.

The novelty race provided a comic interlude. These drivers raced for one lap, the drivers got out, ran around their cars, got back in and raced for another lap. After the second lap, they got out, ate a piece of pie, got back in and raced for another lap. After the third lap, they got out, drank a cup of soda pop, got back in to their cars, and raced for another lap. The one who completed the fourth lap first was the winner. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa, was the winner on the four-lap sprint. Ralph Wilhelm, Milwaukee, was second and Roland Wilson, Bedford, Iowa, third.

Results –

1. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Mert Williams, Waterloo, Iowa
5. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
6. Frankie Lies, Wichita, Kan.
7. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
8. Leonard Funk, Otis, Kan.
9. Wayne Lee, Burlington, Iowa
10. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
11. Clyde Ellis, Kansas City
12. Ralph Wilhelm, Milwaukee

Thursday, September 19, 2019

1970 – Bohlander is Illinois State Champ

Peoria, Illinois (September 19, 1970) – Don Bohlander of Glasford, Ill., regained the Illinois State Championship again for the fourth time in six years at Peoria Speedway on Saturday night. Bohlander collected a huge trophy and a $1,000 check for his efforts.

Bohlander jumped into the lead on lap 12 and then proceeded to lap every car in the field in his ’64 Plymouth including second place finisher Bob Kelly of Wheaton, Ill., who was the defending race champion. In third place was Fred Strube, the Peoria point champion.

Alan May won the 8-lap trophy dash and was also fast qualifier in time trials. Jim Strube wheeled his ’68 Camaro to a win in the first heat. Bohlander would score the victory in the second heat. Jack Goujon, piloting a ’66 Chevelle, won the consolation while Al Terrill won the semi-main.

Results –

Trophy Dash – Alan May
Heat One: Jim Strube
Heat Two: Don Bohlander
Consolation: Jack Goujon
Semi-Main: Al Terrill
1. Don Bohlander
2. Bob Kelly
3. Fred Strube
4. John Connolly
5. Jim Gerber
6. Dean Montgomery
7. Ron Weedon
8. Herb Shannon
9. Jack Tyne
10.Dan Bennett

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

1966 – White wins Milwaukee Governor’s Cup

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, is all smiles after winning the Governor's Cup at the Milwaukee Mile. 

West Allis, Wis. (September 18, 1966) – Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, sped to a 22-second victory in the Governor’s Cup race, a 250-mile late model stock car race at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., finished fourth, clinching his second consecutive United States Auto Club national championship.

White covered the distance in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 39 seconds in his 1966 Dodge Charger to take the home the $5,180 winner’s share of the purse before 18,837 fans.

Billy Foster of Victoria, B.C., Canada, took second and Jack Bowsher of Springfield, Ohio, grabbed third.

Nelson, who led the pack for the first nine laps, then had to make a pit stop because of tire trouble, had all but clinched the USAC crown on points before Sunday’s event. The club often adds races to the schedule towards the end of the season, however, and Sunday’s finish insured his title no matter if races are added or not.

White, who is second in the point standings, averaged 93.460 miles per hour and led for all except 42 laps over the one-mile paved oval.

Results –

1. Don White
2. Billy Foster
3. Jack Bowsher
4. Norm Nelson
5. A.J. Foyt
6. Sal Tovella
7. Herb Shannon
8. Roger Regeth
9. Terry Parker
10. Ed Kozbiel
11. Terry Blakely
12. Paul Feldner
13. Eddie Meyer
14. Jerry Norris
15. George Rondelli
16. Wayne Brockman
17. Dave Whitcomb
18. Bobby Dugan
19. Whitey Gerken
20. Jim Hurtubise

Monday, September 16, 2019

1968 – Parkinson Sr. Wins Hutchinson BCRA

Ralph Parkinson Sr. 

Hutchinson, Kan. (September 16, 1968) - Like old stage hands determined that the show must go on, 24 sprint car drivers turned up at the Kansas State Fairgrounds oval Monday afternoon despite rain, mud and cold.

The time trials, scheduled to start at 2 p.m., were held up for an hour while workmen tried to pack down the muddy track. The races, sponsored by the Big Car Racing Association of Colorado, were mud-strewn from start to finish, but the sparse crowd, filling about one-third of the grandstand, seemed pleased.

In a race stopped twice by spin-outs at the turns, Ralph Parkinson took the checkered flag in the main event. Starting in the first row, Parkinson, Wichita Falls, Tex., took the lead at the first turn and never lost it. He was followed by Harold Leep of Wichita and Gordon Woolley of Waco, Tex. 

The semi-main title went to Roy Bryant of Wichita, followed by Roger Lane of Blue Springs, Mo. and Dick Sutcliffe of Kansas City, Mo. Gary Tuten of Denver was the only other racer who finished the semi. Bryant is three-time national jalopy champion.

The mud took its toll right from the start. Most of the cars had only minor collisions but spin outs aplenty on the turns thwarted hopes of several drivers. Although usually allowed two runs in time trials in case of spin outs, etc., the drivers Monday were limited to one chance, A spinout meant elimination from the main event where the big purse is found.

In addition to winning the main event, Parkinson also took first in the third heat over eight laps. The holder of the fastest time in the trials, Dale Reed of Wichita, placed second and Woolley placed third. Lonnie Jensen of Lincoln, Neb., claimed the checkered flag in the second heat, followed by two others from Lincoln — Joe Saldana and Chuck Kidwell.

Lane, who was second in the semi-main, won the first heat with Bryant second and Sutcliffe third. Leep, Reed, and Woolley finished in that order in the trophy dash. Woolley, known as the "outlaw of the half-mile track," was never satisfied with his car. His pit crew and he worked on the Bellmire Chevy out of Dallas. He finished third in every race he entered.

Results –

Trophy dash – Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
Heat #1 – Roger Lane, Blue Springs, Mo.
Heat #2 – Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
Heat #3 – Ralph Parkinson Sr., Wichita Falls, Tex.
Semi-main – Roy Bryant, Wichita, Kan.
Feature –
1. Ralph Parkinson Sr.
2. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
3. Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
4. Dave Ross, Jetmore, Kan.
5. Jan Opperman, Des Moines
6. Keith Hightshoe, Ashland, Neb.
7. Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City
8. Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
9. Chuck Kidwell, Lincoln, Neb.
10.Dick Bloom, Wichita, Kan.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

1979 - Nesteby wins Memphis Nationals

Memphis. Mo. (September 15, 1979) – D. Arthur Nesteby captured the late model title at the Mid-America Half-Mile Nationals at the Scotland County Fairgrounds on Saturday evening.

The Waterloo, Iowa, veteran driver made the tow almost 200 miles to race at Memphis and as if that was not enough, he had to survive numerous yellow flags to win the 40-lap feature.

The 40-lapper got off to a bad start when a mix-up on the backstretch caused a complete restart. The next attempt wasn’t any more successful as several cars got together in turn four, necessitating another restart.

The third time saw Jerry Pilcher of Ottumwa, Iowa, grab the lead only to drop out on the second lap due to earlier damage.

Pilcher’s bad luck was Nesteby’s good fortune as he inherited the top spot. That lead would be short-lived as Johnny Babb of Ottumwa, Iowa, would slip under Nesteby on lap 8.

Nesteby would get around Babb on lap 11 to regain control. Ron Jackson of Burlington, Iowa, who had been nibbling at the leaders’ bumper, would slide by Babb as well to take over second.

Meanwhile, Joe Churchill of Peosta, Iowa, and Bob McCall of Ottumwa, Iowa, were challenging all three contenders. They stayed that way until lap 19 when Churchill’s car went up in smoke and was forced to the pits.

On the same lap, Jackson, sensing victory, dove under Nesteby to take the lead. The two drivers battled wheel to wheel and came across the line in a dead heat on lap 24. Jackson would maintain the edge until lap 32 when Nesteby slipped under him.

Jackson would go to the outside and on lap 38, pass Nesteby in turn four, only to spin out between laps one and two.

Nesteby would roar by the disabled Jackson for the lead and hold it for two laps to score the win. Jackson would recoup to hold on to second while Johnny Babb took third. Bob McCall would grab fourth and Russ Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, rounded out the top five.

In other action, Fred Knapp of Des Moines won the sportsman title and Darrel DeFrance of Marshalltown, Iowa, was the hobby stock titlist.

Results –

1. D. Arthur Nesteby, Waterloo, Iowa
2. Ron Jackson, Burlington, Iowa
3. Johnny Babb, Ottumwa, Iowa
4. Bob McCall, Ottumwa, Iowa
5. Russ Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
6. Mark Keltner, Morning Sun, Iowa
7. Paul Carr, Ottumwa, Iowa
8. Leo Randall, Sigourney, Iowa
9. Karl Ritterbusch, Clermont, Mo.
10. Randy Harrison, Memphis. Mo

Saturday, September 14, 2019

1963 – Ward Wins Hoosier Hundred

Rodger Ward show perfect form en route to winning the 1963 Hoosier Hundred. - Walt Imlay Photo

Indianapolis, Ind. (September 14, 1963) - Rodger Ward of Indianapolis set a blistering pace from start to finish to win the 11th annual Hoosier Hundred in record time at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Saturday.

Leading from the pole position, which he won at a record clip of 103.986 miles per hour, the two-time Indianapolis “500” champion raced the distance in 1 hour and 4 minutes, for an average speed of 93.545 mph.

Don Branson, Champaign, Ill., finished second, trailing Ward across the finish by 16 seconds. A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., third followed by Johnny Rutherford of Fort Worth, Tex., and Jim McElreath of Arlington, Tex.

Seventeen of the 18 starters finished the race. The missing was Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., who spun on the very first lap, returned to the race but was out for good a few laps later with mechanical issues.

Ward, who grabbed his 23rd major victory in the last 10 years, pocketed $16,725 for the winner’s share of the purse worth $51,850. Both were records for the Indiana event.

It was also Ward’s third triumph of the year, having won 100-mile events at Milwaukee and Springfield, Ill.

Results –

1. Rodger Ward, Indianapolis
2. Don Branson, Champaign, Ill.
3. A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex.
4. Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex.
5. Jim McElreath, Arlington, Tex.
6. Roger McCluskey, Tucson, Ariz.
7. Johnny White, Warren, Mich.
8. Lloyd Ruby, Houston, Tex.
9. Ronnie Duman, Dearborn, Mich.
10.Jim Hurtubise, North Tonawanda, N.Y.

Friday, September 13, 2019

1958 – Sachs Wins Hoosier 100 in Record Time

Indianapolis, Ind. (September 13, 1958) – Eddie Sachs, ignoring a broken windshield and cut hands, won the rich Hoosier Hundred auto race Saturday at an Indiana State Fairgrounds record speed of 92.142 miles per hour. A crowd of 21,000 witnessed the action.

The grinning Center Valley, Penn., veteran fought his Schmidt Special around Johnny Thomson of Boyertown, Penn., in the 52nd mile and beat him to the finish line by three-quarters of a mile.

Sachs’ cuts, from glass splinters when his windshield split, were no serious. He collected $9,000 from a $32,700 purse – biggest on the USAC circuit outside the Indianapolis 500 race.

Jud Larson of Tampa, Fla., who set the old record of 91.751 miles per hour last year, hung up a one-mile qualifying record at 100.167 miles per hour, but his engine quit early in the race.

George Amick of Venice, Calif., the current USAC point leader, was also sidelined by engine problems, even before the race started.

Tony Bettenhausen, the old-timer from Tinley Park, Ill., led the first 49 miles. Thomson passed him but held the lead for only two miles before Sachs charged ahead.

Thomson had won the last three 100-milers at Springfield, Ill. Du Quoin, Ill., and Syracuse, N.Y. Sachs’ only previous victory of the season was at Langhorne.

Results –

1. Eddie Sachs, Center Valley, Penn.
2. Johnny Thomson, Boyertown, Penn.
3. Rodger Ward, Los Angeles
4. Don Branson, Urbana, Ill.
5. Tony Bettenhausen, Tinley Park, Ill.
6. Earl Motter, Hayward, Calif.
7. Jimmy Reece, Indianapolis
8. A.J. Foyt, Houston Tex.
9. Ed Elisian, Oakland, Calif.
10. Elmer George, Indianapolis

Thursday, September 12, 2019

1975 – Parkinson Sr. tops Spencer IMCA Sprints

Ralph Parkinson Sr. accepts congratulations and the trophy from IMCA flagman Larry Shipley while track steward Hal Meyer presents the checkers. - Beetle Bailey Photo

Spencer, Iowa (September 12, 1975) – The International Motor Contest Association’s point race for the grand championship sprint cars was tightened, two new records were set, and Ralph Parkinson Sr., of Kansas City, won the 30-lap feature here at the Clay County Fair on Friday afternoon.

The racing activities got underway with Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., the defending IMCA sprint car national champion, establishing fast time in qualifying. He made the one-lap circuit with a time of 24.04 seconds around the half-mile dirt oval. Parkinson Sr. had sixth quickest time, which, with the inverted top six start, gave him the pole position for the feature event.

Parkinson would grab the lead at the wave of the green flag and never look back, leading all 30 laps in a dominating performance.

The racing action took place for second and third positions which were held by Jan Opperman of Noxon, Mont., and Utz. The two veterans raced nose to tail for almost the entire race with Opperman frustrating the champion at every turn.

Dick Forbrook of Morgan, Minn., who was running behind Utz, challenged the duo only once and settled for fourth place.

Bob Thoman of Higginsville, Mo., Opperman and Dick Morris of Sioux City, Iowa, were heat winners and Gene Kester of Odessa, Mo., grabbed the consolation. Bill Mellenberndt of Sioux Falls, S.D., won the STP trophy dash.

Results –

1. Ralph Parkinson Sr., Kansas City
2. Jan Opperman, Noxon, Mont.
3. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
4. Dick Forbrook, Morgan, Minn.
5. Bill Mellenberndt, Sioux Falls, S.D.
6. Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
7. Daryl Dawley, Sioux Falls, S.D.
8. Jim Edgington, Fairmont, Minn.
9. Gene Kester, Odessa, Mo.
10. Dave Engebretson, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

1966 - Kunzman Wins National

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 11, 1966) – Young Lee “Stub” Kunzman borrowed the ride of his life Sunday afternoon as he captured the National Late Model Modified Stock Car Championship before a crowd of 7,500 at Hawkeye Downs.

The Guttenberg native smashed up his 1966 Chevy convertible in Saturday night’s regular weekly program and sought a ride for the nationals. He found one in a 1964 Ford, owned and chauffeured normally by Buzz McCann of St. Paul, Minn.

McCann was under doctor’s orders not to drive and things couldn’t have worked out better.

The outcome of the 100-lap feature produced a check for $1,000 to Kunzman and McCann, the largest chunk of change ever won for a single race by the popular 22-year-old.

“It just feels great,” Kunzman said after receiving his championship trophy from promoter Homer Melton. “Buzz’s car handled beautifully. It was real steady during the whole race and that made the difference.”

For the second year in a row, Benny Hofer of Rock Island latched onto second place. He took home $600. Mert William of Rochester, Minn., finished third for $300. John Connolly of Delhi won $200 for finishing fourth.

Total purse for the program was $5,000.

Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Herb Shannon of Peoria, Ill., Jerry Reinhart of Moline, Ill., and Connolly all picked up checkered flags in their respective heat races. Shannon also triumphed in the 10-lap consolation with Dolan coming in second.

Johnny Beauchamp of Atlantic, Iowa, raced to victory in the 20-lap semi-feature after starting 20th in the 26-car field. He whipped Mert Williams by two car lengths in an exciting finish. Beauchamp, a former IMCA national champion, wasn’t as fortunate in the feature.

Kunzman and Hofer both drove a dandy of a race, even though the 100-lap spectacular started out as a game of “catch us if you can” with front row starters Verlin Eaker and Darrell Dake, both of Cedar Rapids, setting the pace for the first 58 laps.

Eaker earned the pole position by setting a Downs’ record on the quarter-mile oval with a time of 16.67 seconds in his hemi-powered 1965 Dodge. Williams had established the previous mark of 16.89 seconds earlier this year. Dake also cracked the standard with a time of 16.74 seconds.

Dake, hoping to defend his national championship successfully, charged into the lead on the 58th lap when Eaker’s car began to heat up. Red Droste of Waterloo, the season point champion, had already dropped from the race by this time. He went to the pits on lap 35.

Dake’s hopes lasted for only two more laps when he was forced out with a flat tire.

Eaker regained the lead, but by this time, his engine had heated up, smoking badly and obvious he wouldn’t able to maintain the torrid pace much longer. On lap 65, the inevitable happened.

Beauchamp slipped inside the slowing Eaker and grabbed the front spot, followed by Kunzman and Hofer. Johnny had started seventh in the 24-car field, Kunzman 10th and Hofer started way back in the 20th slot.

For the next 30 circuits, Beauchamp controlled the thrilling action in his 1955 Chevrolet. The ex-Daytona 500 driver experience seemed to be the difference.

But on the fourth turn of the 95th lap, the cap broke on Beauchamp’s right front tire, crippling his car. Kunzman snapped into the lead and held tight the rest of the way with Hofer breathing down his neck.

Results –

Heat #1 – Roger Dolan, Lisbon
Heat #2 – Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
Heat #3 – Jerry Reinhart, East Moline, Ill.
Heat #4 – John Connolly, Delhi
Consolation – Herb Shannon
Semi-main – Johnny Beauchamp, Atlantic, Iowa
Feature –

1. Lee Kunzman, Guttenberg
2. Benny Hofer, Rock Island, Ill.
3. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
4. John Connolly
5. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
6. Johnny Beauchamp
7. Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
8. Don Bohlander, Glasford, Ill.
9. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
10.Jim Gerber, Mount Joy

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

1978 – Bobby Unser Wins Governor’s Cup

Bobby Unser takes the checkers at the Milwaukee Mile.

West Allis, Wis. (September 10, 1978) – Bobby Unser, the hard-charging driver from Albuquerque, N.M., led much of the way Sunday and easily won the Governor’s Cup 250-mile late model stock car race as the event ended under the yellow flag at Wisconsin State Fair Park.

Unser, who hadn’t won a stock car race since 1974, was leading Dave Watson of Milton, Wis., by 13.5 seconds when a yellow flag waved seven laps from the finish of the race.

The victory earned Unser $7,885 – the winner’s share of a record $41,400 purse.

A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., who leads the United States Auto Club point standings, finished third.

Unser, driving a 1978 Camaro, led 191 of 250 laps, battling Foyt, who also drove a 1978 Camaro, in the early stages before Foyt was forced to make a series of pit stops because of tire issues. After that, Watson, driving a 1977 Buick Skylark, challenged Unser through the middle stages of the race but could not take command.

Sal Tovella of Addison, Ill., was fourth, two laps back, in a 1977 Plymouth Volare, followed by Jim Sauter of Necedah, Wis., piloting a 1977 Dodge Aspen.

Unser said the race was especially satisfying for him because it had been so long since he’d been in the winner’s circle.

“It was a very timely victory,” Unser said. “It did me a lot of good. I’ve had a hard time winning races lately, yet I know I’m a good race driver.”

Results –

1. Bobby Unser
2. Dave Watson
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Sal Tovella
5. Jim Sauter
6. Bob Brevak
7. Bay Darnell
8. Gary Bowsher
9. Bob Schacht
10. Ramo Stott
11. Joe Ruttman
12. Terry Ryan
13. Gordon Blankenship
14. Tom Schley
15. Rich Clement
16. Jack Bowsher
17. Rick O’Brien
18. Eddie Wachs
19. Dale Koehler
20. Russ Peterson
21. Ken Miller
22. Charlie Glotzbach
23. Tom Meinberg
24. Terry Pearson

Monday, September 9, 2019

1967 – Andretti, Foyt 1-2 in Rich Hoosier 100

Mario Andretti is joined by his wife Dee Ann after winning the 1967 Hoosier Hundred.

Indianapolis, Ind. (September 9, 1967) – Defending champion Mario Andretti, who led for the last 86 laps of the Hoosier Hundred on the Indiana State Fairgrounds one-mile dirt track, defeated A.J. Foyt and nudged within 60 points of Foyt in the USAC national driving championship standings for the year.

Andretti, who handled the dirt like the White Knight, finished the race with an average speed of 95.546 miles per hour before a record crowd of 26,733 spectators.

Andretti, who now has 2,380 racing championship points, compared with Foyt’s 2,440, was nearly 10 seconds ahead of Foyt at the finish line.

They were followed to the checkers by Al Unser, rookie Bill Vukovich Jr., Jim McElreath and rookie Bruce Walkup.

Vuky, the son of a racing great, and Walkup both made big splashes as rookies in this, the richest of all dirt events.

Vukovich made a big move in the last 20 laps, and finished fourth by taking both McElreath and Walkup, who had startled the veteran stars by winning the pole with a record qualifying lap of 104.076 miles per hour.

Foyt, winner of this year’s Indianapolis 500, then gave chase to the rookie from Downey, Calif., finally slipping past on the fourth turn of the 35th lap.

Andretti had opened a big lead by the mid-point of the race with Foyt still trying to shake loose from Walkup and McElreath dueling with Al Unser for fourth place.

By the end of the 100 laps, however, Unser had shaken loose and Vukovich had come from the back of the pack to take both McElreath and Walkup.

The total purse for the 15th annual running of the Hoosier Hundred was a record $61,400. The bulk of which, of course, will go in the pocket of the “Lil Italian” from Nazareth, Penn., who has won five other championship class events this year.

Results –

1. Mario Andretti
2. A.J. Foyt
3. Al Unser
4. Bill Vukovich
5. Jim McElreath
6. Bruce Walkup
7. Carl Williams
8. Roger McCluskey
9. Chuck Hulse
10. Ralph Liguori
11.Ronnie Duman
12. Rollie Beale
13. Norm Brown
14. Larry Dickson
15. Bill Puterbaugh
16. Johnny Rutherford
17. George Snider
18. Bobby Unser

Sunday, September 8, 2019

1962 – Ward Wins Syracuse 100-Miler

Rodger Ward is presented the Revelle Motors Trophy after winning the 100 miler at Syracuse in 1962 - presenting the trophy is Mrs. Jack Revelle.

Syracuse, N.Y. (September 8, 1962) - Rodger Ward, the 41-year-old kingpin of auto racing, won the United States Auto Club championship 100-mile race at the New York State Exposition Grounds for the second straight year yesterday as he came home first in record time of one hour, two minutes, and 46 seconds. His average speed was 95.571 miles an hour, topping his former speed mark of 95.01 miles an hour set here in victory last year.

A tremendously disappointing attendance, 4,936, probably the lowest in State Fair history, watched Ward triumph as he drove a steady race and escaped tire and mechanical troubles which affected most of the other 18 qualifiers from an original field of 21 cars.

Parnelli Jones, the speedster from Torrance, Calif., set the pace for 74 laps as he averaged about 96 miles per hour in his #98 J.C. Agajanian Offenhauser. But a burned piston sent him to the pits and Ward, who had been running second, took command and nursed his tires the rest of the way as he won by 27 seconds over second place A. J, Foyt, who had been slowed by a 19-second pit stop when he was running second at the halfway mark.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it,” was Ward’s first comment after pulling his #3 Bob Wilke Offenhauser into the winner’s circle. After 92 laps I was worried about my right rear tire, it was beginning to wear something awful.”

Agajanian, a popular industrialist and businessman from Los Angeles, Calif., and owner of the car, said, “Parnelli would have won without any trouble if the car had held out. No one was touching him, and we had plenty of rubber on the tires.”

The main topic in the pit area prior to race time was the condition of the track. The majority of the drivers thought the track was in excellent shape except for the thick dust going into the second and third turns.

Third-place finisher Troy Ruttman of Dearborn, Mich., driving the #2 Al Dean Offenhauser, said he thought the one-mile track was the fastest of any dirt track he’s raced on. Ruttman, the 1952 Indianapolis 500 winner, was putting in his first appearance on dirt since 1957.

Jim Hurtubise Lennox, Calif., never did get amongst the front-runners, fighting his Sterling Plumbing Special most of the race but finishing a respectable fourth.

Results –

1. Rodger Ward
2. A.J. Foyt
3. Troy Ruttman
4. Jim Hurtubise
5. Allen Crowe
6. Roger McCluskey
7. Don Branson
8. Bob Mathouser
9. Ronnie Duman
10.Jim McElreath
11. Lloyd Ruby
12. Ernie Koch
13. Bobby Marshman
14. Al Miller
15. Parnelli Jones
16. Cotton Farmer
17. Bobby Marvin
18. Elmer George
19. Bud Tinglestad
20. Chuck Hulse
21. Carl Williams
22. Jiggs Peters

Saturday, September 7, 2019

1975 - Reffner Takes Carter Classic

Wayne Carter Classic winner Tom Reffner (left) receives congratulations from ARTGO promoter Art Frigo.

Morris, Ill. (September 7, 1975) - Tom Reffner wheeled his ’74 AMX Javelin to a new track record and the win in the First Annual Wayne Carter Classic at the Grundy County Speedway Sunday afternoon.

It was Reffner’s 60th win of the season.

Reffner set a new one-lap record of 16.25 seconds in time trials among the 49 late model cars which entered. Later the Rudolph, Wis., ace missed a clean sweep as he blistered a tire in the 15-lap ‘Challenge Cup’. Joe Shear won that race by passing Larry Schuler on the outside with one lap to go.

Jim O’Connor jumped into the feature lead as 25-cars took starter Frank Ropp’s green flag. Lee Schuler took second spot in the third lap and then took the lead from O’Connor in the 6th lap.

Bob Roper, the ’74 Chicagoland Champion, took over the lead on the 8th lap driving Marv Palmer’s quick #6 and opened up a comfortable margin over the runner-up.

Reffner went to the outside and passed Roper for the lead in lap 44 and was home free then for the win. Roper held on for second money while fast closing Joe Shear managed to take third from Musgrave in the closing laps.

Whitey Harris took the win in the second 20-lapper which was open to the even qualifiers not among the top-10. Red Huthison finished second.

Shear then won the ‘Challenge Cup’ over Larry Schuler and Tom Reffner.

The 12-lap consolations went to John Provenzano . . . in a controversial finish as Al Schill and Hal Davis crashed in the final lap while going for the lead.

The promotion was the first for rookie promoter Art Frigo of Lake Bluff, the President of ARTGO Racing Enterprises.

Results –

1. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
2. Bob Roper, Chicago
3. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
4. Tom Musgrave, Mundelein, Ill.
5. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
6. Don Leach, Beloit, Ill.
7. Johnny Reimer, Caledonia, Wis.
8. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
9. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
10.Dave Evans, Crystal Lake, Ill.

Friday, September 6, 2019

1965 – Brown Grabs IMCA Feature Win

 Don Brown

Lincoln, Neb. (September 6, 1965) – Don Brown, a lean Californian who is making Lincoln his summer residence, started in first place Monday afternoon and stayed there to win the tightly contested 30-lap International Motor Contest Association feature race before 10,000 spectators at the Nebraska State Fair.

Brown spoiled Harold Leep's bid for a sweep of the sprint car racing weekend. But, for the Wichita, Kan. Bowling proprietor, it was not all sour grapes as he finished a close second to the hard-driving Brown.

It was like a hometown boy had won when Brown slid his racer to halt in front of the grandstand to accept the victory trophy and the plaudits of the racing spectators.

Gordon Woolley of Waco, Tex. jarred the Hector Honore sprinter loose for the first time at the State Fair and won the first heat. Bob Coulter, who is also living this summer in Lincoln with Brown, did a soft roll on the first lap of the first heat race. He wasn't seriously hurt, but his car was hurried off to a local speedway parts house and repaired in time for his return and eleventh spot finish in the feature event. Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., wiped out a front end in the same mishap and was sidelined from further competition.

Leep was his old self in the second heat race, winning the 8-lap dash over local favorite Lloyd Beckman in his familiar roadster. Tom Bigelow, who was third in the feature event, was the third heat winner getting around Tom Custer of Rock Island, Ill., on the seventh lap of the 8-lapper.

Jim Moughan took the consolation race chased to the checkered flag by the veteran Ray Duckworth of Anderson, Ind. Moughan, who hails from Springfield, Ill., was fourth in the feature event.

The tacky track cut down some of the faster times, but the racing was swift and exciting on every turn.

Results –

Heat #1 – Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
Heat #2 – Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
Heat #3 – Tom Bigelow, Whitewater, Wis.
Consolation – Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill.
Feature –

1. Don Brown, San Fernando, Calif.
2. Harold Leep
3. Tom Bigelow
4. Jim Moughan
5. Gordon Woolley
6. Bill Puterbaugh, Roxana, Ill.
7. Jay Woodside, Wichita, Kan.
8. Norm Baker, Webster City, Iowa
9. Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
10.Bill Eubank, Danville, Ind.
11.Bob Coulter, Long Beach, Calif.
12.Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

1963 – Neighbors Put on Battle in Lincoln

Dick Hutcherson takes the checkered ahead of Ramo Stott before a capacity crowd at Lincoln.

Lincoln, Neb. (September 4, 1963) - You normally don't find reruns at the Nebraska State Fair.

But they had one Wednesday. It took place during the running of the stock-car races sanctioned by the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA).

Stars in the performance work Dick Hutcherson, winner of the 50-lap feature race, and Ramo Stott who finished second.

Less than a car length separated these two Keokuk, Iowa, neighbors at the finish line. Earlier in the afternoon the identical situation prevailed in one of the 10-lap preliminaries.

And you could also list popular Ernie Derr as a co-star. He finished third in the big race, still less than a car length behind Stott.

IMCA director Al Sweeney said this was the greatest stock-car race he had seen in his 28 years of promoting.

In another 10-lap prelim it was Derr winning over Jim Washburn. The latter finished fourth in the big race

And drivers who hope to get anywhere in the world might take a tip and move to Keokuk. Because Hutcherson, Stott, Derr and Washburn are all neighbors in this small Iowa town which calls itself “The Stock Car Capital of the World”.

Hutcherson scored what could be called a grand slam of racing Wednesday. In three races, he garnered three victories and set three fairground records.

The national point leader among stock car drivers started the day with a one lap time trial record of 34.67 seconds. He then lowered the 10-lap mark from 6 minutes and 6 seconds to 5 minutes and 58 seconds. His 50-lap record time was 27 minutes which wiped out his own mark of 29 minutes and 31 seconds set in 1961.

Don Bowles of Kansas City won a 10-lap heat race and Ed Negre of Monett, Mo., captured the Australian pursuit event.

Results –

First Heat: Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
Second Heat: Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
Third Heat: Don Bowles, Kansas City, Mo.
Australia Pursuit: Ed Negre, Monett, Mo.

1. Dick Hutcherson
2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Ernie Derr
4. Jim Washburn, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
6. Ralph Wilhelm, Milwaukee, Wis.
7. Ed Negre
8. Don Bowles
9. Luther Poteet, Topeka, Kan.
10. Thurman Lovejoy, Kansas City, Mo.
11. Frank Sedoris
12. B.D. Super

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

1962 – Richert Cops Feature at State Fair

Huron, S.D. (September 3, 1962) - Jerry Richert, the hottest driver on the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) speedway circuit, drove off with top honors in the big car races at the South Dakota State Fair Monday afternoon.

With over 7,000 fans looking on, Richert won the 20-lap feature race in the time of 8 minutes and 59 seconds. Piloting the McDonald Offenhauser, Richert started on the pole position and led all the way in the feature with about a half-lap margin over second place Bill Horstmeyer, Madison, Wis.. at the end. 

Horstmeyer dueled with Jerry Daniels of St. Paul for second place most of the way but Daniels’ radiator blew up three laps from the finish knocking him out of the race.

Richert, who is from Forest Lake, Minn., earned the pole position by winning the first heat race in the State Fair record time of 3 minutes and 7 seconds over seven laps.

Don O’Reilly of Los Angeles wound third in the feature with Ted Ready of St. Paul fourth and Gordon Herring of Golden, Colo., was fifth.

Dale Reed, the Kansas dirt track champion from Wichita, who was driving a Chevrolet conversion racing engine, won the semi-main contest by posting a time of 3 minutes and 34 seconds for 8 laps.

Roger Lane, the Missouri state champion from Blue Springs, was second while Sonny McDaniels, the Texas state champion, was third.

Richert was also the winner in the first heat. Tony Farr of Pomona, Calif., was second while Ready was third.

O’Reilly won the second heat with Horstmeyer second and Daniels third.

Reed was the third heat winner with Art Pratt of Escondido, Calif., second and Harry Kern of St. Paul third.

Results –

Heat #1 – Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
Heat #2 – Don O’Reilly, Los Angeles
Heat #3 – Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan.
Semi-Main – Dale Reed
Feature -
1. Jerry Richert
2. Bill Horstmeyer, Stoughton, Wis.
3. Don O’Reilly
4. Ted Ready, St. Paul, Minn.
5. Gordon Herring, Golden, Colo.

Monday, September 2, 2019

1957 – Record Crowd Sees Larson Win

Jud Larson is surrounded by well-wishers after winning the Du Quoin 100-miler. 

Du Quoin, Ill. (September 2, 1957) – Jud Larson of Kansa City, winner of the annual Labor Day 100-miler at the Du Quoin State Fair, set no speed record – but he received the biggest ovation in the fair’s 34-year history.

Most of the more than 15,000 spectators who saw the Ted Horn Memorial big car race from the grandstand, streamed on onto the track at the finish. The fans kept the track gates jammed for more than 20 minutes.

The biggest race crowd ever noted at Du Quoin overflowed into the new bleacher stands put up this past summer while an additional 2,000 saw the race from a standing position alongside the track fence.

Larson’s time for the unexciting 100-mile grind was just one and half seconds short of the 66-minute mark.

Johnny Thomson of Boyertown, Penn., would finish second while Rodger Ward of Indianapolis finished third after leading the first 53 lap of the contest.

Grinning through a coating of mud, with his face scratched from dust, Larson accepted his trophy from A.H. Hulman, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The victory was worth $4,550 to Larson.

Results –

1. Jud Larson
2. Johnny Thomson
3. Rodger Ward
4. Elmer George
5. Bob Veith
6. Johnny Boyd
7. Len Sutton
8. Pat O'Connor
9. Don Branson
10. Ed Elisian
11. Jack Turner
12. Billy Garrett
13. Don Edmunds
14. Jimmy Reece
15. Tony Bettenhausen
16. George Amick
17. Ralph Liguori
18. Jimmy Bryan

Sunday, September 1, 2019

1968 – 11,000 Watch Californian Opperman Win at Lincoln

Jan Opperman proudly displays his trophy after winning the 30-lap IMCA sprint car feature at the Nebraska State Fair. - Bob Mays Collection

Lincoln, Neb. (September 1, 1968) – Jan Opperman of Hayward, Calif., grabbed first place in Sunday’s 30-lap IMCA sprint car feature at the Nebraska State Fair before 11,000 spectators.

Opperman, starting on the outside in the front row, paced the 18-car field for 16 circuits before he went wide in the fourth turn and yielded two positions to Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., and Joe Saldana of Lincoln.

Opperman, however, would get the lead back, when Saldana and Utz tangled while battling for the lead, severely damaging the leader’s car and sending the Missourian to the pit area.

On the restart, Opperman would quickly separate himself from the rest of the field and lead the remaining three laps to seal the victory.

Dave Ross of Jetmore, Kan., and Dale Reed of Wichita, Kan., would follow Opperman across the finish line.

An earlier mishap took out Hank Smith of Mt. Ayr, Iowa, Lonnie Jensen of Lincoln, Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo., and J.L. Cooper of Kansas City. That accident would occur on the lap 2 when Roger Lane of Blue Springs, Mo., rammed Sutcliffe from behind.

In the preliminaries, heat race wins went to Hank Smith in a curtain raiser; Opperman took the second heat; and Roy Bryant of Wichita, Kan., won the third heat. Lane won the 10-lap consolation.

In contrast to Sunday’s opener, the track was had-slick much of the time and race times were some 10 seconds off the record-smashing pace established in the first day of racing.

Results –

1. Jan Opperman, Hayward, Calif.
2. Dave Ross, Jetmore, Kan.
3. Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan.
4. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
5. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
6. Roger Rager, Mound, Minn.
7. Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
8. Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
9. Jerry Weld, Kansas City
10. Chuck Taylor, East Alton, Ill.
11. Bill Hudson, Montezuma, Iowa
12. Sonny McDaniel, Pasadena, Tex.