Tuesday, May 5, 2020
1973 – Des Moines, Knoxville Tracks Open Season
Des Moines, Iowa (May 5, 1973) - The 1973 spring racing season got under way this weekend with a record opening night crowd reported at the Iowa State Fairgrounds’ half-mile track.
More than 11,300 spectators were on hand to see Dave Bjorge win the 25-lap feature race. Bjorge, racing for the first time in Des Moines, had the pole position and led throughout the race, driving a 1972 Monte Carlo.
The Austin, Minn., driver defeated Sonny Morgan of Blue Earth, Minn., who was second and Ken Davidson of Council Bluffs who was third.
In the 15-lap sportsman event, Ken Gerhart of Des Moines took the lead in the fifth lap and went on to edge Fred Knapp of Des Moines. Glen Woodard finished third.
At Knoxville, Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., won the 25-lap feature, Dick Sutcliffe of Kansas City, Mo., finished second, Roger Larson of Solomon, Kan., third, and Darrell Dawley of Sioux Falls, S.D., fourth.
Other winners included Thad Dosher of Topeka, Kan., in the time trials, Dawley in the five-lap trophy dash, Roger Rager of Lincoln, Neb., in the 10-lap first heat, Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., in the 10-lap second heat, Larry Kirkpatrick of Wood River, Ill., in the 10-lap third heat and Lonnie Jensen in the 10-lap consolation event.