Vinton, Iowa (April 5, 1981) – Race cars from all four borders were on hand Sunday afternoon as Vinton Speedway became the first Iowa race track to open for the 1981 season.
Traveling the greatest distance was undoubtedly Bill Kirk of Salix, Iowa, a small farming community near Sioux City, Iowa. Kirk, who farms near Salix, competed in special races in Sedalia, Mo., on Saturday before driving the 300 miles to Vinton before Sunday afternoon’s races. He then drove the 300 miles from Vinton to Salix after Sunday’s program.
However, Kirk made the trip somewhat worthwhile as he captured the open competition feature event after running 16th Saturday afternoon in Missouri after he burned two spark plug wires in the feature race.
Twice during Sunday’s feature event Kirk drove too hard into the third turn and went off the north end of the quarter-mile track. However, his lead was so great he was able to maintain his advantage even with his miscues.
Larry Druschel of Vinton captured the opening IMCA modified feature. Druschel had been running second, battling leader Bernie Juliar of Hudson, Iowa, for a number of laps when Juliar’s car suddenly lost power. That put Druschel out front and the Vinton pilot held off the challenges of Jim Cunningham of Garrison, Iowa, to capture the win.
Mike Fitzpatrick of Grundy Center, Iowa, started where he left off last season as he captured the roadrunner main event after a race-long duel with Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls, Iowa. After the race Aikey’s engine was claimed but he refused to sell and Craig Coventry of Independence, Iowa, was awarded second place.
1. Mike Fitzpatrick, Grundy Center, Iowa
2. Craig Coventry, Independence, Iowa
3. Dave Swarts, Cedar Falls, Iowa
4. Dwayne Burkey, Vinton, Iowa
5. Mike Krall, Waterloo, Iowa
6. Max Leonard, Atkins, Iowa
IMCA Modified –
1. Larry Druschel, Vinton, Iowa
2. Jim Cunningham, Garrison, Iowa
3. Greg Seitz, Waterloo, Iowa
4. Daryl Stout, Vinton, Iowa
5. Dave Kramer, Atkins, Iowa
6. Mike Sampson, Waterloo, Iowa
7. Gary Kaune, Waterloo, Iowa
8. Bernie Juliar, Hudson, Iowa
Open Competition –
1. Bill Kirk, Salix, Iowa
2. Todd Jensen, Waterloo Iowa
3. Keith Braun, Cedar Falls, Iowa
4. Greg Hunter, Independence, Iowa
5. Bill Breuer, Wapello, Iowa
6. Duane Van Deest, Grundy Center, Iowa
7. Dave Gerner, Garber, Iowa
8. Duane White, Vinton, Iowa