Ray Lee Goodwin
Eldon, Iowa (May 27, 1972) – Eldon Raceway was home to the “Iowa Futurity” sprint car classic on Saturday night but rain wetted the excitement 15 laps short of the checkers in the feature event.
Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City was the winner of the title as he withstood a great come-from-behind effort by Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa.
Wagner moved from his sixth starting position to second place as the event was halted after 10 laps.
The evening got off in electrifying fashion as Del Schmidt of Topeka, Kan., went end over end during time trials. The third turn was a wicked one for Schmidt and he was only the first to bite into the concrete wall. He was badly shaken up but regained consciousness as he was being placed in an ambulance.
Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo., took charge from the start of the first heat and was followed by Ron Perkins of Des Moines and Bill Hudson of New Sharon, Iowa.
Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., brought out the red flag halfway through the race when he snagged a rough spot in the third turn sending his auto airborne into a roll and dipped some of the fence. But Blundy escaped injury and his main thought was to get his car back on the track and running.
Jon Backlund of Kansas City took the second heat. Wagner fought another hard battle in trying to take second but had to settle for third as he kissed the wall coming in for the winning flag.
John Babb of Ottumwa, Iowa, shot into a good lead to start off the third event. But hard-driving Ralph Krafve from the dairy state of Wisconsin came from out of the darkness and into the light to nose Babb out. It was a great battle and Babb forged ahead to take the checkers.
Rain started to fall lightly, and officials decided to skip the consolation and try and get the main event in. All 21 cars were rapidly lined up and soon were off with the fall of the green signal.
The action was fast on the newly widened oval and Goodwin led the pack with Blundy moving all the way from 15th to third before the rain really started to come.
Heat #1 – Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo.
Heat #2 – Jon Backlund, Kansas City
Heat #3 – John Babb, Ottumwa, Iowa
1. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
2. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
3. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
4. Steve Schultz, Chillicothe, Mo.
5. Dick Sutcliffe
6. Ron Perkins, Des Moines
7. David James, Garland, Tex.
8. Jon Backlund
9. John Babb
10.Ralph Parkinson Jr., Kansas City
11.Dale McCarty, Kansas City
12.Leonard McCarl, Des Moines
13.Ron Taylor, St. Louis
14.Bill Hudson, New Sharon, Iowa
15.Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
16.Wayne Rutherford, Bonaparte, Iowa
17.Tom Nordstrom, White Bear Lake, Minn.
18.Fran Wewers, Milwaukee