Saturday, October 5, 2019

1969 - Connolly Wins CornBelt 1000 at Speedbowl Park

John Connolly

Sterling, Ill. (October 5, 1969) – John Connolly, from Delhi, Iowa, picked up the rich plum of $1,000 after winning the 100-lap CornBelt 1000 at the Sterling Speedbowl. The late model stock car race was managed and promoted by the staff of Rockford Speedway under the direction of Hugh Deery.

Connolly started on the pole after setting fast time in qualifying. His time of 18.34 seconds on the third-mile dirt oval stole top honors from Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, who was the first qualifier out with a time of 18.41 seconds.

Jim Gerber of Mt. Joy, Iowa, worked his way into second place by lap 65 and five circuits later, was able to work his way around the rim-riding Connolly for the top spot.

Connolly stayed with Gerber and kept the pressure on and finally on lap 87, Gerber’s Dodge Charger drifted high in turn three and Connolly shot back into the lead.

Gerber managed to recover to stay in second but had nothing for Connolly and his 1969 Ford. Connolly would take the checkers a full straightaway ahead of Gerber.

Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, would finish third followed by Red Droste of Waterloo, Iowa, in fourth and Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, rounding out the top five.

Earlier, Gerber won the trophy dash and received a 100-bushel truckload of shelled corn. He and promoter Huge Deery were knee-deep in the rich harvest for the presentation.

Lem Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, Benny Hofer of Rock Island, Ill., Bob Kelly of Wheaton, Ill., and Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, were heat winners.

Results –

Trophy dash – Jim Gerber, Mt. Joy, Iowa
Heat #1 – Lem Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa
Heat #2 – Benny Hofer, Rock Island, Ill.
Heat #3 – Bob Kelly, Wheaton, Ill.
Heat #4 – Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa
Feature -
1. John Connolly, Delhi, Iowa
2. Jim Gerber, Mt. Joy, Iowa
3. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4. Red Droste, Waterloo, Iowa
5. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
6. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
7. Jim Strube, Peoria, Ill.
8. Wendell Essex
9. Jim Havill, Le Claire, Iowa
10.Curt Hanson, Dike, Iowa
11.Ron Weedon
12.Ed Bohlen, Peoria, Ill.
13.Don Bohlander, Glasford, Ill.
14.Gary Reeder, Peoria, Ill.
15.Jerry Roedell, Peoria, Ill.
16.Dick Nelson, Chicago
17.Bill Munson
18.Paul Lewis, Peoria, Ill.
19.Don Adams, Milan, Ill.
20.Red Forbes, Rock Island, Ill.

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