Friday, July 31, 2020

1977 – Jones Does it on Dirt; Wins Terre Haute Sprint Go

Norman "Bubby" Jones

Terre Haute, Ind. (July 31, 1977) – After having scored a pair of USAC sprint car feature wins on the asphalt at Winchester Speedway last weekend, Bubby Jones showed his dirt prowess for which he is famous by capturing the circuit’s 40-lap feature at the Terre Haute Action Track, Sunday afternoon.

Sheldon Kinser, who is currently second in the division’s point standings, started on the pole and led the 20-car field through the first six circuits.

However, a faulty quick-change gear slowed Kinser, enabling Jones, who had started third, to take command on lap 7. Kinser went on to complete only 12 laps before his car became the first to drop out of the contest.

Even though he was not headed the rest of the way, Jones did have to ward off the stern challenges of Roger Rager and Gary Bettenhausen.

Rager, who took over the wheel of the potent Armstrong Mould sprinter while its regular chauffeur, point leader Tom Bigelow, was in Texas for a Championship race, finished second after starting seventh.

Meanwhile Bettenhausen, who had started ninth, was third at the checkered. Completing the top five was Bruce Walkup and Billy Cassella.

The event was slowed by only one caution, which occurred on lap 15 when a wheel came off Chuck Gurney’s racer while the California pilot was running fifth. Gurney was able to return to action following the mishap, but completed only 22 laps for a 18th place finish.

Results –

1. Bubby Jones
2. Roger Rager
3. Gary Bettenhausen
4. Bruce Walkup
5. Billy Cassella
6. Eddie Leavitt
7. Ralph Parkinson Jr.
8. Greg Leffler
9. Steve Chassey
10.Rich Vogler

Thursday, July 30, 2020

1972 - McCluskey Coasts in Pennsylvania 500

Roger McCluskey accepts his trophy after winning at Pocono. - Photo courtesy of Jerry Nelson

Long Pond, Penn. (July 30, 1972) – Roger McCluskey finally accomplished what he started out to do nearly one year ago.

The Tucson, Ariz., driver, who finished 11th in Saturday’s Schaefer 500 championship race, look the lead early in the race Sunday and coasted to an easy victory in the second annual Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono International Raceway.

McCluskey, who collected 10,000 in purse money for his victory, guided his 1970 Plymouth Superbird to a record time of 127.035 miles per hour. He picked up 1,000 points but has not clinched this year's USAC stock car title.

Last year McCluskey needed only a victory in the Pennsylvania 500 to wrap up his third straight United States Auto Club late model stock car championship. But his car hit the wall on the 173rd lap of the 200-mile race and he lost the decision and the point championship to Butch Hartman.

Sunday's pre-race duel between the top USAC drivers and NASCAR darling Richard Petty lasted only 256 miles. Petty, the lone million dollar winner in auto racing, dogged McCluskey, Hartman, Wally Dallenbach and Ramo Stott.

Petty, who was paid a $3,000 appearance lo add glamor t the field, led for 13 laps. But the Randleman, N.C. driver who has won 143 starts since joining NASCAR in 1958, was plagued in the early going by several tire changes.

He finally was eliminated from the race on the 102nd lap when his 1972 Plymouth blew a left tire and the car's oil line ruptured.

With Petty out, the race settled down to an apparent duel between McCluskey, who sat on the pole with a qualifying speed of 148.177 miles per hour and Hartman, who went into the race third in the point standings behind McCluskey.

But Hartman dropped out of contention on the 130th lap when he pitted, and his crew took 3 minutes and 6 seconds to change the entire distributor.

From there on it was a one-man show.

Five cars were eliminated from the starting field of 40 right off the bat when Steve Arndt spun in the third straightaway. He was out of the race along with Dick Beinlich, Paul Sizemore, Ken Reiter, H.L. Wilson and Leroy Austin.

Al Unser, who was prematurely declared the winner of the Schaefer 500 before a mass of confusion was finally cleared up, dropped out of Sunday's race after completing 40 laps with clutch failure.

McCluskey, who won another $7,120 in Saturday's race, lost the lead only when he was in the pits. But while he was on the track there was no stopping him.

At various points he had lapped the entire field except for Hartman, who ended up second — a final victim of lapping — and his interval between his closest challenger nearly three minutes. He ended four laps down.

Dave Marcis, another of the NASCAR drivers who made an appearance in the USAC-sanctioned race, stayed in contention for a while. Rut his 1972 Matador was experiencing carburation trouble and he soon fell behind.

Whether he finished in the top running was elementary, since he was bound to be a victim of penalties. While the pace car was out during yellow flag time, the Skyland, N.C. driver continuously passed slower cars on the track.

Under USAC rules, cars must fall in line behind the pace car on the yellow flag.

But under NASCAR rules, with which Marcis is used to dealing with, a driver is allowed to pass slower ears under the yellow. He was finally dropped from fourth to fifth place in the standings.

The attrition rate, like Saturday's race, took its toll on the drivers. The main thing which the cars went through like peanuts was tires. This was probably due to the fact that the stock cars were not using tires prepared for the sometimes rough Pocono International Raceway surface.

There were only 17 cars running at the end.

Results –

1. Roger McCluskey
2. Butch Hartman
3. Verlin Eaker
4. Dave Marcis
5. Cecil Gordon
6. Chuck McWilliams
7. Jim Tobin
8. Paul Felder
9. Bob Wente
10. Tiny Lund
11. Sal Tovella
12. Bob Robbins
13. Bay Darnell
14. Gary Raymond
15. Jigger Sirois
16. Ray Bolander
17. Joe Booher
18. Earle Canavan
19. Rich Oertel
20. Jim Hurtubise
21. Ramo Stott
22. Richard Petty
23. Dave Whitcomb
24. Wally Dallenbach
25. Al Loquasto
26. Gary Bettenhausen
27. Al Unser
28. Lem Blankenship
29. Bud Schroyer
30. George Wiltshire
31. Harold Fair
32. Dick Simon
33. Ken McEldowney
34. Bill Shirey
35. Paul Sizemore

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

1980 – Walton Rallies to Win El Kahir Race

Ken Walton

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 29, 1980) - Kenny Walton waited until the last minute to make his move and he couldn’t have picked a better time to do it.

The 37-year-old Viola resident flew by Waterloo’s Dick Schiltz on the 91st lap of the 100-lap main event and rolled on from there to capture the third annual El Kahir Shrine Directors Staff Stock Car Race Tuesday night at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.

Walton, who is now in his eighth year of racing at the Downs, had car owner Dwayne Schneider fly in from Iowa City earlier in the day to iron out some kinks in the new engine he had put in last Sunday, and evidently the overtime paid off.

“This is the best this car has felt all year,” said Walton while signing a few autographs and tending to his son Todd. “We worked all day on the car and I think we were the last ones getting to the track, but this really makes it all worthwhile.”

The former Marion resident jumped out front on the first turn at the start, and kept the lead throughout the first 12 laps.

Dike’s Curt Hansen, who had been on Walton like a shadow, then overtook Viola’s favorite driver with a little help from West Liberty’s Mel Morris. Morris was running near the back of the pack and when Walton tried to lap him on the outside, Hansen slipped inside and took over the lead.

By the 20th lap, Hansen had built up a sizable lead, but mechanical problems forced the 12-year Downs veteran out of the race and Walton regained the lead.

Schiltz, meanwhile, stayed right on Walton’s tail and eventually passed him on the 57th lap. He had built up a fairly comfortable lead until a run-in with the wall on lap 87 slowed him down just enough for Walton to make his move.

Walton, who drives a maroon and white Camera with the familiar number “02” on the side, flew by Schiltz four laps later on the back straightaway and played it cool the rest of the way to gain his second Downs feature win of the year.

Schiltz, who was later rushed by ambulance to Mercy Hospital after suffering dizzy spells, took second followed by Kaukauna, Wis., native Pete Parker. Wilton’s Tom Hearst, the Downs’ season point leader, came home fourth and Moline’s Duane Steffe finished fifth.

Schiltz ran a 23.172-second lap in the time trials to set a new Downs track record but it was Walton who led from start to finish to win the 6-lap Trophy Dash.

Bill McArdle of Eau Claire, Wis., took the 20-lap consolation race.

Results –

1. Ken Walton, Viola
2. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo
3. Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
4. Tom Hearst, Wilton
5. Duane Steffe, Moline, Ill.
6. Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo
7. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
8. Mike Frieden, Cedar Rapids
9. Gary Crawford, Independence
10.Gary Webb, Davenport
11.Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
12.Bill Rice, Des Moines

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

1968 – Gerber Scores at Raceway

Starter Skip Chick presents the checkers to feature winner Jim Gerber. 

East Moline, Ill. (July 28, 1968) - From the scrap heap to the winner’s circle, that’s the route Jim Gerber’s #88 Dodge Charger followed during the weekend at Quad-City Raceway.

Gerber’s car was nearly wiped out during the feature race Friday night over at Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport. But his mechanics rebuilt the wreckage all day Saturday and yesterday, and by the time the 25-lap late model feature was called last night at Raceway, the machine was ready.

So was Gerber...

He started in the back of the 12-car feature field but worked his way forward quickly. Benny Hofer of Rock Island, was the early leader, starting in front row, but Del Williams of Aledo edged past Hofer on third lap after a stoppage was caused by Ray Guss hitting the wall during second lap.

Gerber soon muscled past Hofer into the runner-up spot, and after making up ground, overhauled Williams on the 11th lap and led the rest of the way.

Don Bitner of Peoria worked his way around Williams on the 14th lap and pursued Gerber, but couldn’t catch him. He finished second and Williams was third, ahead of hard-charging Dean Montgomery of Milan.

The track became extremely hard by feature time and the late model cars had difficulty maintaining traction when they accelerated.

Results –

Heat #1 – Ben Hofer, Rock Island
Heat #2 – Don Bitner, Peoria
Heat #3 – Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa
Semi-main – Lyle Behne, Moline
Feature –
1. Jim Gerber, Mt. Joy, Iowa
2. Don Bitner
3. Del Williams, Aledo
4. Dean Montgomery, Milan
5. Ron Weedon
6. Ray Guss, Milan
7. Don Dane, Peoria

Monday, July 27, 2020

1975 – I-70 National Championship 300 to Williams

Bob Williams celebrates his National Championship 300 victory. 

Odessa, Mo. (July 27, 1975) – “Tiger” Bob Williams of Independence, Mo., drove a strong, steady race from his last place starting position to win the sixth annual National Championship 300 stock car race at I-70 Speedway on Saturday night.

Williams burnt two pistons during hot laps prior to qualifications on Friday night. Since he was unable to qualify, he was forced to start at the rear of the field for the 300-lap affair.

But Williams charged hard throughout the race and was able to avoid accidents which brought out the yellow flag six times and the red flag, which halted the action, three times.

His Gary Emig-built 1972 Nova was running as strong at the end as it had in the beginning.

“When Gary builds a car, he builds it to last,” remarked Williams after the race, shaking his leg which had become numb from applying constant pressure to the accelerator for the long race. “It seemed to run better the more laps we ran.”

Terry Brumley jumped out into the lead as the green flag dropped to start the race, but Claude Thomas spun in turn one and the field had to realign for a second attempt.

Brumley and Jack Constable would have a drag race for the lead down the front straightaway and Constable would beat him in turns one and two to secure the top spot. Constable would set an incredibly fast past with Brumley, Joe Shear and Dick Trickle set up in a draft behind him.

On lap 10 Brumley would blow his motor and Joe Shear started pressuring Constable for the lead.

With Shear pressing Constable for the point on lap 48, the engine in Bill Crane’s car blew, scattering oil on the racing surface between turns three and four. Constable would hit his brakes with Shear’s car striking him in the rear, forcing Constable’s car into and over the wall and into the parking lot in turn three.

Constable’s car would flip end over end three times but Constable was uninjured. Constable would climb the wall and wave to the crowd to show everyone that he was okay.

The race would resume with Terry Bivins in the lead with Shear and Dick Trickle applying heavy pressure. Trickle would scoot past Shear on lap 65 for second place and on lap 151, pass Bivins on the back straightaway for the top spot.

Trickle’s lead would only last until lap 237 when his engine decided to let go, ending his chance for a third National Championship 300 title.

Dave Watson would hit the oil from Trickle’s car and crash into the wall between turns three and four forcing him out of the race.

On the restart, Bob Williams would inherit the top spot and hold it for the remaining 63 circuits.

Results –

1. Bob Williams, Independence, Mo.
2. Vester Cates, Lawson, Mo.
3. Willie Crane, Springfield, Mo.
4. Terry Bivins, Shawnee, Kan.
5. John Behee, Shawnee, Kan.
6. Don Ely, Kingman, Kan.
7. Dave Klingsporn, Monett, Kan.
8. Ed Hoffman, Nile, Ill.
9. Charlie Johnson, Miller, Mo.
10. John Farmer, Sweet Springs, Mo.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

1953 - Jimmy Davies Sets Williams Grove Mark

Jimmy Davies of Van Nuys, Calif., driving the Pat Clancy Special, won the 25-miler at Williams Grove.  

William Grove, Penn. (July 26, 1953) – Young Jimmy Davies, Van Nuys, Calif., veteran of the Korean War, set a new track record today in winning the 25-mile all-Indianapolis auto race at the Williams Grove Speedway.

Davies beat out his Van Nuys neighbor — Johnny Parsons — to complete the 50 laps on the clay oval in 22 minutes and 22.21 seconds. The old mark was 22 minute and 53 seconds set last year by Paul Russo, Hammond, Ind. Russo finished fourth in today’s race.

Parsons finished less than two car lengths behind Davies' Pat Clancy special. Davies, who held the lead the entire way, collected $1,275 as his winner's share of the purse.

Rodger Ward, Los Angles, finished third, Tommy Hinnershitz, Reading, was fifth behind Russo. Don Freeland, Redondo Beach, Calif., was sixth, Duane Carter, Culver City, Calif., seventh.

Results –

1. Jimmy Davies
2. Johnny Parsons
3. Rodger Ward
4. Paul Russo
5. Tommy Hinnershitz
6. Don Freeland
7. Duane Carter
8. Eddie Russo
9. Manny Ayulo
10.Johnny Roberts

Friday, July 24, 2020

1976 – Makara wins I-70 Speedway’s 300 on Last Lap

Jerry "The Bear" Makara

Odessa, Mo. (July 24, 1976) – Jerry Makara of Westland, Mich., took advantage of a break on the very last lap of I-70 Speedway’s National Championship 300 Saturday night and became champion for 1976.

Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., had been leading the race and looked like a sure winner, when the engine in his Camaro sputtered, and the car began to coast.

Makara roared past Phillips in his Thrush Camaro and beat Phillips to the checkered flag.

Makara was presented with more than $3,000 of the $18,000 purse, not a bad showing for his first appearance at the Missouri half-mile.

“I’ve been wanting to come down here for four years,” Makara said, sitting on the hood of his car, trying to cool down after the race. “I had the fastest car at the end of the race, I was just to tired to get by Phillips. If he hadn’t run out of gas at the end, I wouldn’t have beaten him.”

Phillips, his face bright red from the intense heat could only mutter, “I though I had it, I thought I had it.”

Trailing Makara and Phillip at the finish line were Joe Ruttman, Terry Brumley and David Goldsberry.

Results –

1. Jerry Makara
2. Larry Phillips
3. Joe Ruttman
4. Terry Brumley
5. David Goldsberry
6. Steve Lutkie
7. Dean Roper
8. Garry Truelove
9. Don Ely
10. David Hall
11. Bob Snow
12. Eddie Neil
13. Gary Anderson
14. Denny Roberts
15. Eddie Adkins

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

1973 - Bob Jusola Wins Interstate Feature

West Salem, Wis. (July 22, 1973) – Some of the names were changed, but the rest of the script was familiar here Sunday afternoon as Bob Jusola of Burnsville, Minn., won the 25-lap late model feature at the La Crosse Interstate Speedway.

Less than two weeks ago the 41-year-old Jusola won his first feature here ever in a close finish against regular winners Jim Back and Dick Trickle. This time, with Trickle racing in Missouri and Back out with a faulty engine, Jusola was tracked to the checkered flag by Dave Watson of Beloit, barely a car length behind.

Mike Miller of New Prague, Minn., started the feature from the outside pole position and led for the first nine laps before Jusola sped his little 350 cubic inch ‘72 Camaro to the outside and grabbed the lead he was never to relinquish.

Watson, in a ‘73 Camaro, passed Miller on the 10th lap also and never trailed Jusola by more than two or three laps as he kept the pressure on. Jim Sauter of Necedah placed third in the feature while Marv Marzofka of Nekoosa, the day’s second fastest timer placed fourth.

Back, a four-time winner here this season and Sunday's top timer, lost his oil pressure in the 5-lap fast dash, the first race of the afternoon, and was never in the competition. Sauter won the fast dash with Watson second and Marzofka third.

Buck Linhart of Wonewoc nipped La Crosse’s Don Turner at the finish line to win the first heat race. Turner led for all but the last few feet of the race after starting on the inside pole position. Sparta's Fred Becker was third.

Alan Ward of Elba, Minn., grabbed the lead in the second heat on the ninth lap and held on to beat John Brevik of Fairchild. Mike Miller of New Prague, Minn., placed third with La Crosse entrants Larry Anderson and Don Grant placing fourth and fifth respectively.

Don James of Minneapolis piloted a '72 Chevelle to the third heat victory with Sauter and Jusola running second and third respectively.

It was a one-two finish for La Crosse drivers in the 15-lap semi-feature as Ralph Bakewell’s ‘69 Torino beat out Don Grant in a ‘71 Nova. Linhart placed third.

On the final lap of the semi, La Crosse's Larry Anderson hit the wall on the back straight and bounced off, colliding with Gordy Platt of Wisconsin Dells. There were no injuries.

Results –

1. Bob Jusola, Burnsville, Minn.
2. Dave Watson, Beloit, Wis.
3. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
4. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa, Wis.
5. Jon Chrest, Hamill, Minn.
6. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
7. Dick Stang, Minneapolis
8. Don Turner, La Crosse, Wis.
9. John Brevik, Fairchild, Wis.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

1962 – Richert Starts Far Behind; Bags Knoxville Title

Knoxville, Iowa (July 21, 1962) – Jerry Richert hauled down one of the richest purses of his 13-year racing career here Saturday night in capturing the National Super Modified Championship against some of the best stock conversion drivers.

His victory in the rain-shortened program was worth $1,200 plus another $100 earned as a heat winner and a 13th-place finisher in qualifying.

The thirteenth spot was where the 29-year-old Forest Lake, Minn., appliance service man started the feature. He was six rows behind defending champion Roy Robbins of Louisville, Ky.

Eighteen laps and two red flags later, Richert was in front of the dwindling field, just ahead of Gordon Wooley of Waco, Tex., who chased Richert all the way in a futile bid.

Richert will split his earnings with Ted Ready of St. Paul, Minn., owner of the Chevrolet-powered roadster, which does double-duty as an International Motor Contest Association sprint car.

Richert, who runs from Tampa, Fla., to Minnesota, liked the Knoxville track, terming it, “The best I’ve run on and I’ve run on a lot.”

Officials were busy trying to get an actual count on attendance, which ranged from 12,000 upward paid. Grandstand seats were sold out three hours before the first race. Hundreds were met later with closed gates as there wasn’t even standing room in the infield.

Although the “B” main was cancelled by rain, drivers received regular purses on their starting positions. The main event was worth $4,200 for the 22 drivers that started.

Results –

1. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
2. Gordon Wooley, Waco, Tex.
3. Bob Williams, Kansas City
4. Jerry Weld, Kansas City
5. Greg Weld, Kansas City
6. Jack Belk, Joplin, Mo.
7. Audie Swartz, Muncie, Ind.
8. Johnny Roberts Sr., Wheeler, Mich.
9. Dick Gaines, Mitchell, Ind.
10. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
11. Cy Fairchild, Flint, Mich.
12. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
13. Unknown
14. Unknown
15. Roy Robbins, Louisville, Ky.
16. Wes Ferrand, Kansas City
17. Jerry Hayes, Topeka, Kan.
18. Don Hewitt, Troy, Ohio

Sunday, July 19, 2020

1953 - Bryan is Terre Haute Winner

Jimmy Bryan and the Leitenberger Special

Terre Haute, Ind. (July 19, 1953) – A crowd of more than 6,000 was on hand Sunday afternoon at the Vigo County Fairgrounds when the “Smiling Arizonian” Jimmy Bryan, made it three straight feature victories.

Driving the same Leitenberger Special in which he made his record-breaking run last year, and second 30-lapper last month, gained him a virtual monopoly on honors at the local track.

Bryan’s winning time of 13 minutes and 49 seconds was slightly under two minutes slower than his 11 minute and 56 second mark that stands as the world’s record. He left little doubt to the outcome after wrestling the lead away on lap 7.

Tommy Hinnershitz, driving the famed #1 car in which he won the Eastern AAA championship four years running, started on the pole and was leading the field when they passed the grandstand the first time. Duane Carter, Hinnershitz’s Miracle Power Special stablemate, was right behind in second place.

On the seventh lap Bryan caught Hinnershitz in the backstretch and from then on it was a battle for second and third place as Bryan steadily increased his lead.

The current leader in the AAA championship point standings, Jack McGrath, clung close to Bob Scott as the two dueled on the turns and backstretch, but McGrath shot past Scott on lap 27 and stayed ahead the rest of the race to grab second place.

Scott settled for third while Mike Nazaruk and Don Freeland rounded out the top five. The race was McGrath’s first appearance here.

Seven cars were forced to pit with mechanical trouble, and Pat O’Conner, the Midwest point leader, spun out on the sixth lap. O’Conner wasn’t hurt and he was able to jump from his mount before heavy traffic bore down on him.

Tommy Hinnershitz, Jimmy Bryan, Pat O’Conner and newcomer Johnny Thomson were heat winners.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

1971 - Hovinga Wins Boone Grand National Race

Denny Hovinga

Boone, Iowa (July 18, 1971) - A strong north wind hampered the field of cars at the Boone Speedway Grand National races Sunday night, but Denny Hovinga, Laurens, overcame the obstacles to win the super late model headliner.

In the super late model main event, there were 12 of the original 22 cars running at the end of 30 laps, when the race was halted.

Despite heavy watering Sunday, the wind dried out the surface until it was hard, slick and dusty. The main event had been scheduled for 50 laps, but the track conditions, plus the lateness of the event due to numerous accidents, caused track officials to cut it down.

It took four starts to get the first lap of that race completed.

With the first lap finally completed, the next red flag came when Rich Green, Webster City, spun out in the fourth turn, and was hit head on by Greg Davis, Boone. Both cars went to the pits after that accident.

Amie Braland, Boone, was holding the lead at that time, but Earl Tice, Ames, riding a lower groove than most of the other cars, slipped by to take the lead.

As the racing action grew hotter, so did the tempers. Trying to regain the lead, Braland dove inside Tice slamming into him and spinning Tice into the infield. The race was restarted, and while the cars were circling the track taking their positions, Tice clipped Braland twice.

Because he was the one that spun when Braland hit him, Tice had to go to the back of the field for the restart. Trying to regain position later, he spun out again, but came back on the track and finished 10th. After the race, Tice protested to officials, but the results stayed the way they crossed the finish line.

Taking the lead about a third of the way through the race, Hovinga steadily pulled away, holding his edge the rest of the way.

Results –

1. Dennis Hovinga, Laurens
2. Arnie Braland, Boone
3. Gene Schattschneider, Algona
4. Dwight Engleen, Ogden
5. Paul Uhlenberg, Garwin
6. Del McDowall, Ames
7. Mike Keen, Marshalltown
8. Rich Green, Webster City
9. Don Hilbert, Algona
10.Earl Tice, Ames

Friday, July 17, 2020

1973 - McDonough Wins Challenge Cup

Tim McDonough

Huron, S.D. (July 17, 1973) - The son of the defending champion in the Huron Challenge Cup Championship, Tim McDonough of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, powered his 1970 Chevrolet Nova to victory lane at State Fairgrounds Speedway here Tuesday night as he claimed the main event over a tough field of 24 other competitors.

Tim McDonough, who placed second in the first running of the classic last year at State Fairgrounds Speedway, returned this year and earned a total of $715 in the event, which was witnessed by the largest racing crowd ever at the track - over 7,000 people.

The sellout crowd saw a total of 40 cars from South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa compete in the second running of the $4,215 classic with Miller’s Willie Yost turning in the fastest qualifying time at 26.83 seconds. 

The 20-year-old driving ace from Cedar Rapids made the long haul to Huron this year without his father, Bill McDonough, who won the race last year. The elder McDonough's car has not been working properly since being involved in a recent crash at Oskaloosa. Iowa. Tim and two other drivers completed all of the laps in the main event with Bob Kosiski of Omaha, Neb., and Arlo Becker of Atkins, Iowa, earning second and third respectively. Kosiski drove a 1971 Chevrolet Camaro and Becker a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle.

McDonough's fastest qualifying time of 27.22 seconds placed him among the top eight, giving him a good starting position in the 50-lap main event.

Becker started the race in the pole position and jumped off to an early lead but McDonough soon put his 454 cubic inch powered racer in the lead for the victory.

Sheldon Reding of Harrold, Miller’s Bob Tong and Roger Swenson of Watertown were all one lap behind the top three finishers and placed fourth through sixth respectively. Leo Ray of Rapid City and Pukwana’s Carroll Priebe were two laps down to earn seventh and eighth. 

Rounding out the top 10 finishers in the main event w ere Britt Williams of Pierre in ninth place and Butch Murner of Rapid City in tenth.

Kosiski, who earned the most money during the races with $735 in earnings, was the winner of the trophy dash, which was composed of the eight fastest qualifiers in time trials. His victory came only after the fastest qualifier, Yost, was forced out of action before even one lap was completed.

Kosiski, Yost and Reding all made contact in the front straightaway when the green flag went out. forcing Yost into the cement wall. His car suffered considerable damage and had to be scratched for the night.

Yost's qualifying time of 26.83 seconds was not a new record at State Fairgrounds Speedway. Kosiski was the second fastest qualifier at 27.00 seconds, followed by Murner at 27.03 seconds and Reding at 27.17 seconds.

Alan Gregg of Pierre had a respectable night, winning the first heat and the consolation. The consolation race was composed of those cars not competing in the main event.

The second heat found Huron’s Dennis Gross leading all 10 laps but being forced to hold off a persistent Bob Tong of Miller for first place.

A similar battle came in the third heat between Roger Mulder of Sioux Falls and Roger Swenson with Mulder leading all the way for first place.

Kosiski was the winner of the fourth heat by a respectable margin.

Martha Wideman, the woman race car driver from Lufkin, Texas, had a somewhat dismal evening with her car. Despite this, she gained many new friends with her friendly personality as evidence when she let Yost drive her car in the consolation race. She was sixth in the first heat and Yost placed seventh in the consolation with her car.

South Dakota Senator Harvey Wollman of Hitchcock served as the grand marshal for the challenge cup race, being an honorary flagman and also driving the pace car.

Results –

Trophy dash – Bob Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
Heat #1 – Alan Gregg, Pierre
Heat #2 – Dennis Gross, Huron
Heat #3 – Roger Mulder, Sioux Falls
Heat #4 – Bob Kosiski
Consolation – Alan Gregg
Feature –
1. Tim McDonough, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2. Bob Kosiski
3. Arlo Becker, Atkins, Iowa
4. Sheldon Redding, Harrold
5. Bob Tong, Miller
6. Roger Swenson, Watertown
7. Leo Ray, Rapid City
8. Carroll Priebe, Pukwana
9. Britt Williams, Pierre
10.Butch Murner, Rapid City
11.Lee Ferguson
12.Ron Muth, Huron
13.George Jundt, Aberdeen
14.Dennis Gross, Huron
15.Les Stadel, Rapid City

Thursday, July 16, 2020

1978 - Trickle wins Red, White & Blue 55

Dick Trickle collects his trophy from Miss Red, White & Blue Valorie Biechler after winning the White Race at WIR. – John Vass Photo

Kaukauna, Wis. (July 16, 1978) – Dick Trickle, arriving late to the track because of last-minute repairs to his 1977 Pontiac Firebird, won the second race in the Red, White and Blue State Championship Series on Sunday afternoon at the Wisconsin International Raceway. A crowd of 6,138 fans turned out to view the action, a record for the series.

“I’ve had a lot of overheating and water temperature problems lately. That’ why I got here late,” Trickle said after the victory, his second in the series on the half-mile paved oval this summer.

Rookie late model driver Pat Schauer of Watertown came from his front row starting spot and held the lead for the first four rounds with his 1977 Camaro. He was passed by Rich Somers, the 1974 series winner, on the backstretch. Somers kept his 1972 Mustang in the top position for the next three laps while Trickle was rapidly advancing towards the front.

Somers was overtaken by Mike Miller, driving a 1978 Olds Cutlass, as Miller slipped his car to the inside of Somers. Trickle followed Miller past Somers and set after Miller.

On the ninth lap, Trickle made his move, sweeping to the outside of Miller in the first turn. Tom Reffner, who crashed his ’77 Hornet in the first race of the series, moved around Miller on lap 14 to grab the runner-up position. Marv Marzofka, wheeling a 1978 Camaro, also got around Miller on the 18th circuit.

Reffner and Marzofka were able slowly chip away at Trickle’s four-car-length lead, which he held at the midway point of the 55-lap contest.

A yellow flag waved on lap 36 when some oil dropped from Roger Regeth’s 1978 Camaro. It was during this caution period that Reffner and Marzofka were able to pull up to Trickle’s rear bumper.

Trickle, however, was up to the challenge and held back Reffner and Marzofka to win by two-car-lengths at the finish. Reffner placed second followed by Marzofka, Miller and fast qualifier Joe Shear.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
2. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
3. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa
4. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
5. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
6. Larry Detjens, Wausau
7. Rich Somers, Stevens Point
8. Jerry Eckhardt, Watertown
9. Tony Strupp, Slinger
10.Alan Kulwicki, Milwaukee

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

1962 - White Wins ‘200’ in Record Time at Milwaukee

Don White

West Allis, Wis. (July 15, 1962) – It was a tough break for Norm Nelson, but sweet revenge for Don White.

Nelson, the popular Racine, Wis., driver who finished second in the United States Auto Club late model stock car standings in 1961, was leading White by 23 seconds with only three laps to go in the 200-mile national championship late model stock car race at Wisconsin State Fair Park in Milwaukee on Sunday.

Then, he ran out of gas.

The handsome Keokuk, Iowa, driver took advantage of Nelson’s misfortune to take the lead before the leader could refuel his 1962 Ford. Moments later. White received the checkered flag and Nelson had to be content with second-place.

After the race, White knew exactly how Nelson felt. It was on August 17 of last year that White was leading on the 192nd lap when he ran out of fuel and lost the race. White also drives a 1962 Ford.

A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., finished third in a ’62 Pontiac. The top five was rounded out by Dick Rathmann of Roselle, Ill., in a ’62 Ford and Paul Goldsmith of St. Clair Shores, Mich., in a ’62 Pontiac. Goldsmith is the defending USAC national stock car champion.

White set a pair of new records on Sunday afternoon. He turned in the fastest time trial in track history with a clocking of 37.62 seconds to erase the old standard of 37.90 seconds he set last year.

His average speed of 89.13 miles per hour bettered the old mark of 88.34 miles per hour set by Nelson in 1960.

It was doubtful that the race would even get started, as time trials were halted twice by rain showers. The 20 mile an hour wind coming from the northeast wind, however, blew the threatening cloud cover away, and the one-mile paved oval was drenched in sunlight for the entire race.

White collected $4,509 for his winning effort. Nelson was the recipient of $3,156 for his runner-up finish and Foyt garnered $2,225.

Less than half of the 40-car field finished the race. The field was dominated at the start by Ford’s, with 27 starting the 200-mile grind.

Results –

1. Don White
2. Norm Nelson
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Dick Rathmann
5. Paul Goldsmith
6. Whitey Gerken
7. Elmer Musgrave
8. Earl Johnson
9. Bill Cheesbourg
10.Pat Flaherty

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

1979 - Doug Wolfgang Wins Missouri Sprint Nationals

Doug Wolfgang

Sedalia, Mo. (July 14, 1979) – There was no doubt who was the best driver at the Missouri Sprint Car Nationals.

Doug Wolfgang of Lincoln, Neb., started on the outside of the front row of the 50-lap feature, took the lead in turn three of the first lap and easily won the championship Saturday night at the Missouri State Fairgrounds.

Actually, the race went only 49 laps over the half-mile dirt oval. Shane Carson of Oklahoma City, Okla., the defending National Speedways Contest Association champion and current point leader, spun out on the lap 49 and the race was ended.

That cost Carson several hundred dollars as he was running third at the time and was due to earn $1,500. He collected $300 for finishing tenth.

Wolfgang, who was driving the car which Carson had been driving all season – Carson was in the Bob Trostle sprinter, which Wolfgang had been driving – received $3,000 for the victory plus $250 for driving with Firestone tires.

And tires caused Wolfgang some tense moments. He was afraid they were wearing too much and on lap 33 he slowed and was only three car lengths ahead of Jerry Stone of Wichita, Kan.

Five laps later he decided to quit “pussy-footing around” and opened up an eight-car length lead. He was a quarter of a lap ahead of Stone when the checkers flew.

Jimmy Sills and Johnny Anderson, both of Sacramento, Calif., were third and fourth respectively, while Fred Linder of Fremont, Ohio, was fifth.

Results –

1. Doug Wolfgang, Lincoln, Neb.
2. Jerry Stone, Wichita, Kan.
3. Jimmy Sills, Sacramento, Calif.
4. Johnny Anderson, Sacramento, Calif.
5. Fred Linder, Fremont, Ohio
6. Rick Weld, Kansas City
7. Gary Scott, Holts Summit, Mo.
8. Dale Moore, Independence, Mo.
9. Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
10. Shane Carson, Oklahoma City
11. Bob Thoman, Higginsville, Mo.
12. Cliff Woodward, Kearney, Mo.
13. Roger Wright, Sugar Bottom, Mo.
14. Butch Bahr, Grand Island, Neb.
15. Jim Braden, Kansas City
16. Martin Godsy, Jefferson City, Mo.
17. Rick Elliott, California, Mo.
18. Pat McKeehan, Windsor, Mo.
19. Gene Gennetten, Gladstone, Mo.
20. Jerry Johnson, Kirksville, Mo.
21. Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
22. Randy Sears, Raytown, Mo.

Monday, July 13, 2020

1968 – Seven Regional Drivers Strike Fairgrounds as Stott Wins

Ramo Stott

Des Moines, Iowa (July 13, 1968) – Seven late model stock car drivers face fines and suspensions for striking the Fairgrounds’ races Saturday night. They stated they objected to competing against Ernie Derr and Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, and their “factory-backed” stock cars.

Stott, currently second in points behind Derr on the International Motor Contest Association national circuit, won the 25-lap late model feature before a crowd of 4,770.

Promoter Homer Melton identified the strikers as Darrell Dake, John Schlemmer and Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids; Roger Dolan, Lisbon; Tom Hughes, Monticello; Stan Stover, Reinbeck, and John Connolly, Delhi.

Melton, Bill Hitz, secretary of IMCA and Kenneth Fulk, secretary of the Iowa State Fair, and an IMCA director, discussed a minimum of $50 fines and two-week suspensions at all IMCA regional tracks. A decision was to be reached Tuesday.

Dake, who is second in points at the Des Moines' half-mile, said drivers had objected to Derr and Stott racing here on May 11 when Derr won his second feature. “We didn’t think they were coming back,” Dake remarked.

He said the regional drivers simply couldn’t compete against Derr’s 1967 Charger or Stott’s 1967 Plymouth.

Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, the current point leader, was involved in an accident on the second lap and was sidelined with a flat tire.

Stott trailed second place Lem Blankenship of Keokuk from the third to the 15th lap. Derr, who mentioned that he was having handling issues, finished third. He managed to pass Blankenship on lap 23 but Blankenship regained the runner-up spot on the very next lap.

Only 13 cars remained after the strike and just nine started the feature.

Results –

Heat #1 – Bill Moyer, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
Semi-main – Ramo Stott, Keokuk
Feature –
1. Ramo Stott
2. Lem Blankenship, Keokuk
3. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
4. Lee Pinckney, Des Moines
5. Bill Moyer
6. Benny Hofer, Rock Island, Ill.
7. Chuck Berg, Des Moines
8. Walt Wilkinson, Des Moines

Sunday, July 12, 2020

1964 – Records Fall at Winchester

Bud Tingelstad

Winchester, Ind. (July 12, 1964) – Bud Tingelstad, 36, Dayton, Ohio, shattered the Winchester Speedway’s record for 30 laps Sunday in capturing his second sprint car feature in the last three starts.

Tingelstad covered the 15 miles of the United States Auto Club-sanctioned contest in 9 minutes and 5.02 seconds, averaging 98.9 miles per hour. This erased the time of 9 minutes and 14.27 seconds set by Roger McCluskey in 1962.

The winner and runner-up, Gordon Johncock, 28, Hastings, Mich., dueled with Tingelstad throughout the race. Tinglestad led the first 16 circuits before Johncock, who qualified with a record lap of 17.51 seconds, took over on lap 17. Tinglestad would regain the top spot on the white flag lap and won by five car lengths at the checkers.

Johncock’s qualifying run eclipsed all listed records for half-mile tracks. It surpassed the USAC standard of 17.98 seconds set by A.J. Foyt at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in 1962 and the International Motor Contest Association record of 17.60 set by Johnny White here in 1963.

Finishing the feature behind Tingelstad and Johncock were Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.; Don Branson, Champaign, Ill.; Jud Larson, Kansas City; Mickey Rupp, Mansfield, Ohio; Chuck Engel, Dayton, Ohio; Mickey Shaw, Berea, Ohio; Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Penn., and Ralph Liguori, Tampa, Fla.

Results –

1. Bud Tingelstad
2. Gordon Johncock
3. Arnie Knepper
4. Don Branson
5. Jud Larson
6. Mickey Rupp
7. Chuck Engel
8. Mickey Shaw
9. Mario Andretti
10.Ralph Liguori
11.Dee Jones
12.Dave Weir
13.Al Miller
14.Bob King
15.Steve Gregory

Saturday, July 11, 2020

1976 – Hartman wins Miller 200

Butch Hartman poses with his crew prior to the start of the 1976 Miller 200. 

West Allis, Wis. (July 11, 1976) – Butch Hartman followed a 200-mile stock car race in sweltering heat by scuffling with a heckler here Sunday and came out a two-time winner.

Hartman, driving a 1976 Camaro, passed Sal Tovella in a 1974 Plymouth to take the lead for good on the 158th lap of the Miller Brewing Company-sponsored 200-mile United States Auto Club event.

Afterwards, Hartman used a one-two combination on a fan among a group of hecklers using obscenities.

“I don’t like it," he said after the scuffle, which ended with the spectator escorted away by four police officers “I don't allow words like that in my home and there’s no place for them here either. There's no sense in language like that in front of women and little children.”

Hartman, who had won the pole for Sunday's race, finished with a winning speed of 88.115 miles per hour, outdistancing Tovella at the end by six seconds in 97 degree heat that sent the track temperature to 147 degrees.

The winner picked up $9,754 of the $60,000 purse, richest on the USAC stock car circuit.

Tovella was hampered by rear spring and right rear fender damage suffered when his car was involved in a multi-car pileup on the 72nd lap after Paul Feldner’s 1974 Charger blew an engine. Oil from Feldner’s car spilled onto the track, and Hartman avoided the oil, but Tovella spun and crashed into Feldner’s car. Four other cars hit either Feldner’s car or the wall, but no serious injuries were reported.

Arlene Hiss, the first woman to drive in a Milwaukee-area stock car race, was lapped twice by the field in the first 16 laps and spun out in the second turn of the 29th lap. Neither she nor her car suffered any damage, and Tom Williams, owner of the car, took over the driving duties until the 72nd lap when his was the third car in the multi-car crackup.

Jack Bowsher, driving a 1976 Ford Torino, finished a distant third and Larry Moore, in a 1974 Charger was fourth. Fifth place went to Dave Whitcomb in a 1976 Camaro.

Defending champion Don White lasted 51 laps before pulling in because of brake problems. Ramo Stott, the defending USAC points champion, was knocked out of the race with a broken crank shaft pulley on the 89th lap.

Roger McCluskey, driving a Plymouth Volare kit car, was running third behind Hartman and Tovella with just eight laps to go when he pulled out of the race.

He was losing oil pressure," owner Norm Nelson said “And so, before he blew the engine up, he shut it off and came in.”

Had McCluskey been able to stay for the end, three of the top six finishers would have been small cars. As it was, two of the top five were compact models.

Results –

1. Butch Hartman
2. Sal Tovella
3. Jack Bowsher
4. Larry Moore
5. Dave Whitcomb
6. Gary Bowsher
7. Dean Roper
8. Harold Fair
9. Moose Myers
10.Ken Rowley
11.Roger McCluskey
12.Larry Phillips
13.George Giesen
14.Ralph Baker
15.Rich Sundling
16.Ray Bolander
17.Ron Hutcherson
18.Wayne Watercutter
19.Butch Garner
20.Terry Ryan

Friday, July 10, 2020

1965 – 7,500 Watch as Dake Wins Stock Title

Darrell Dake

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 10, 1965) - Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids set a record for 50 laps Saturday night at Hawkeye Downs as he won the 50-lap mid-season stock car championship of the Mid-Continent Racing Association (MCRA).

A crowd of 7,500 fans, the largest of the season, was on hand for the event.

Dake went the distance in 15 minutes and 35.4 seconds, bettering the old mark by 16.46 second, set by Jerry Reinhart of East Moline back in 1962.

Dake finished ahead of Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo in the championship race. Mert Williams was third and Lee Kunzman of Guttenberg fourth.

Three accidents marred the feature event. Ray Guss drove 22 laps on three wheels after losing a front left tire, finally dropping out after 40 laps.

Jim Gerber broke an axle on the 46th lap and John Connolly lost his steering and hit the wall in front of the grandstand on the 38th lap while he was running second.

Results –

Heat #1 – Charlie Moffitt, Stanwood
Heat #2 – Cal Swanson, Reinbeck
Heat #3 – Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
Feature –
1. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
2. Bill Zwanziger
3. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
4. Lee Kunzman, Guttenberg
5. Charlie Moffitt
6. Jim Gerber, Mt. Joy 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

1978 - Bobby Allison Wins Miller Decision

Bobby Allison

West Allis, Wis. (July 9, 1978) - Bobby Allison said the race was well contested on the track, but it was an off-track decision that made him winner of the Miller 200-mile stock car race Sunday.

Sal Tovella came in second in a Volare and Dave Watson was third in a Skylark, with Tovella's crew protesting Allison's victory, claiming his Matador was a lap behind.

“I've won races before, and things can happen like scoring errors taking it away from you,” Allison said. “The race wasn't too bad; it was well contested and then it was contested afterward too. I'm glad we got the official decision.”

A.J. Foyt finished fourth and Bay Darnell was fifth, both in Camaros.

Allison, 40, who won $9,922, is a Grand National stock car circuit veteran who made his second start at Milwaukee. He took the checkered flag three seconds ahead of Tovella.

But with the lap count not immediately resolved by officials, and with spectators waiting to cheer a victor, both drivers took a victory lap. In fact, both cars reached the victory circle and both drivers mounted the victory stand.

Many of the 23,471 fans stayed afterward for more than an hour until the officials’ made their decision.

Tovella’s crew contended Allison took a series of pit stops under the yellow flag on laps 131 through 134, putting him one lap back at the finish.

“On the 131st lap, I came in and replaced the right-side tires,” Allison said. “Then, I ran a lap and came in on the 133rd lap to replace the left-side tires. I then came back in on the 134th lap for a quick check just to make sure the right-side tires were on okay.”

“I knew we never went a lap down,” he said. “They had the scoreboard fouled up, but that is a necessary evil under these circumstances.”

Foyt led almost the entire first 100 miles, then dropped from contention when a tire went flat after what would have been his last pit stop on lap 130.

Allison, winner of this year's Daytona 500 and Atlanta 500, finished second behind Watson in last year’s Miller 200.

Bill Saxon, USAC stock car director, said an investigation of computer records showed that Allison completed the 200 laps.

The confusion, Saxon said, developed because Allison had been credited with one long pit stop when actually he made three quick pits under the yellow.

Results –

1. Bobby Allison
2. Sal Tovella
3. Dave Watson
4. A.J. Foyt
5. Bay Darnell
6. Bob Brevak
7. Paul Feldner
8. Ramo Stott
9. Terry Ryan
10. Kevin Housby
11. Jeff Bloom
12. Gary Bowsher
13. Dave Decker
14. Randy Ogden
15. Gordon Blankenship
16. James Hylton
17. Rich Clement
18. Ken Rowley
19. Dean Roper
20. Larry Nau
21. Rich Sundling
22. Wayne Watercutter
23. Jim Sauter
24. Larry Moore
25. Larry Berwanger
26. Jim Cushman
27. Don White
28. Fred Zack
29. Roger McCluskey
30. Bob Schacht
31. Russ Peterson
32. Freddy Fryar

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

1966 - Droste Runs Away at Davenport

Red Droste is presented the checkers after winning at Davenport.

Davenport, Iowa (July 8, 1966) – Red Droste of Waterloo beat Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids by 10 car lengths to win the 50-lap Mid-Season Championship late model modified stock car race at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds on Friday night because of superb driving and an automatic transmission.

Droste, the point leader who earned the pole position through previous efforts during the 1966 campaign, zoomed away at the green flag and left the rest of the field fumbling for their gearshifts.

By the second lap, he was well in command and nobody was to catch him.

“I could have raced all night and still never caught him,” Dake, who earned $300 second-place money, said. “I couldn’t get a bite on the track and make anything out of it.”

Droste, $400 richer after the win, used a 301 cubic inch engine in his ’57 Chevrolet, but it was his old automatic transmission that gave him the jump on the rest of the field.

“I’ve got just a power glide transmission, but I knew if I held the pace down before we got the green flag, I could get away quicker than others.”

Both Droste and Dake were well ahead of the rest of the field at the finish. Jerry Reinhart of Moline, Ill., finished third, caught in traffic more than half a lap back from the leaders.

Droste reached heavy traffic ahead slightly ahead of Dake, dropped down inside, shot past a pack of slower cars, and was through before Dake could start his trek along the inner area of the racing surface.

With two laps remaining, Dake finally freed himself from the lapped traffic but ran out of laps in a sizzling attempt to catch up.

Results –

Heat #1 – Rick McDole, Moline, Ill.
Heat #2 – Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
Heat #3 – Red Droste, Waterloo
Semi-main – Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
Feature –
1. Red Droste
2. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
3. Jerry Reinhart, Moline, Ill.
4. Del Williams, Rock Island, Ill.
5. Johnny Beauchamp, Atlantic
6. Jack Henson, Stronghurst, Ill.
7. Don Bohlander, Glasford, Ill.
8. John Connolly, Delhi
9. Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley
10.Benny Hofer, Rock Island, Ill.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

1959 – S.T.A.R. Title Race to Lutz

Bill Lutz

Chicago, Ill. (July 7, 1959) – Two of the best stock car drivers that can be found anywhere, for more than 50 laps, waged one of the greatest duels that will ever be seen during the 75-lap STARS Mid-Season Championship at O’Hare Stadium before the biggest crowd of the year.

In the quartet were national and defending O’Hare champion Fred Lorenzen of Elmhurst, Ill., who was wheeling a 1956 Chevrolet, and current O’Hare point leader and 1958 Chicagoland champion Bill Lutz of Louisville, Ky., with his 1957 Chevy.

Finally winning out and going on to win by surprisingly comfortable margin was Lutz, who continues to pour it on in making the 1959 O’Hare championship race a one-man affair. Lorenzen finished in second, about a half-lap behind when his car pulled up sour during the closing laps.

The 19-car field found Lorenzen, the fastest qualifier in time trials, starting 13th with Lutz right behind him. As starter Art Kelly dropped the green flag, both immediately set sail for the frontrunners. Taking the lead at the onset was Chicagoan Neil Houston.

Lorenzen, with Lutz right behind, move into command on lap 9 as the torrid duel between the two began to take shape. And then it proceeded for the now famous 50 some laps with Lutz gradually making hamburger out of Lorenzen’s bumper.

He continued to hammer away with seemingly little effect as the pair continued to lap car after car – every other entry in the event at least two times. It was lap 61 when Lutz finally took over and then quickly moved into an easy margin of victory in the record time of 19 minutes and 53 seconds.

Results –

1. Bill Lutz
2. Fred Lorenzen
3. Whitey Gerken
4. Red Duvall
5. Don Oldenberg
6. Gene Marmor
7. Neil Houston
8. Tom Cox
9. Roy Martinelli
10.Butch Linden

Monday, July 6, 2020

1957 – White adds ‘Little 500’ to Growing Victory List

Johnny White 

Anderson, Ind. (July 6, 1957) – What might have been the closest finish in Little 500 history turned into a decisive triumph for Johnny White of Hazel Park, Mich., just 16 laps from the end of Saturday night’s ninth annual 500-lapper at Sun Valley Speedway.

White drove his black #37 Stevens Special, a GMC-powered sprint car owned by Hoy Stevens of Fredericktown, Ohio, to a 12-lap victory in the annual big car classic before a crowd of over 9,000 spectators from all parts of the country.

But as late as lap 484 White was involved in a red-hot duel with Red Amick of Muncie, Ind., who relieving Bob King of Muncie in the #2 Hall Farms Special, was riding a little over a lap behind the 24-year-old Michigan chauffeur and clipping off a second from the leader’s margin every time around.

Sixteen laps before the end, Amick pulled into the pit area with mechanical issues and that left a clear field for thee youthful White, who continued to live up to his reputation in the racing circles as one of the most promising drivers in the business.

When White took over on the 330th lap, which he never relinquished, he was the fifth driver to front the pack. King, piloting the Hall Farms car which Amick had qualified for the pole on the opening day of time trials, grabbed the lead on the first turn of the race and held it until lap 30. Then Amick, who before the race had switched to the twin-finned Chrysler-powered Archie Lacy Special from Houston, Tex., took over. He held the lead until lap 69, giving it up to Leon Clum of Wapakoneta, Ohio, driving the beautiful LaWarre Mercury Special from Lima, Ohio. Clum led only seven laps before he retired to the pits with a smoking rear end, allowing Amick back into the top spot.

Amick’s car quit on lap 131 and that left the way open for Ronnie Duman of Dearborn, Mich., to take over in the #18 Leonardo Mercury Special, who had been setting a smoking pace running in second.

Duman went into the pits on lap 284 but his crew got him out in 37 seconds and was still leading King by two laps when he rejoined the race. But Duman had to make another pit stop on lap 329 and that was when White charged into the lead.

In the meantime, Amick had jumped into the Hall Farm car and set out to catch the speeding Michigan driver. On the 248th lap, Amick spun and lost four laps but still retained second place. He spun again on lap 375 but once again held on to second place, as he restarted quickly.

The last stages of the race developed into a exciting two-car duel with White having to push hiss machine to stay ahead of the determined Amick. On lap 414, White made a pit stop in which he lost four laps but still retained a two-lap advantage over the Muncie pilot. Amick soon passed White to cut the lead to a lap.

Amick’s car was the last to drop out of the race and 20 cars were still on the track when the checkered flag waved.

White became the second non-Hoosier in a row to win the Little 500 following Bob Cleburg’s victory last year. Cleburg, from Madison, Wis., qualified last year’s winning car for this year’s race but demolished it in another race and didn’t start Saturday night.

A former Little 500 winner, Red Renner of Woodburn, Ind., placed second, 12 laps behind White. Arnie Knepper of Belleville, Ill., grabbed the last podium spot, finishing third. 

Results -

1. Johnny White, Hazel Park, Mich.
2. Red Renner, Woodburn, Ind.
3. Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
4. Bob King, Muncie, Ind. (Red Amick relief)
5. Al Miller, Roseville, Mich.
6. Curly Boyd, Anderson, Ind.
7. Wayne Alspaugh, Anderson, Ind. (Pete Allen relief)
8. Johnny Roberts, Saginaw, Mich.
9. Frank Toth, Richmond, Ind.
10.Zane Howell, Muncie, Ind.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1970 – Derr Bests Field at Odessa

Erne Derr

Odessa, Mo. (July 5, 1970) - Veteran IMCA stock car driver Ernie Derr walked off with the first-place prize of $1,000 Sunday afternoon at I-70 Speedway in front of 9,500 racing fans.

Derr, who also picked up $100 for setting the fast time, paced Fred Whisler and Terry Bivins across the finish line in the 100-lap feature.

The only other two events of the evening were the trophy dash, which was won by Dave Wall, the current point leader at I-70 Speedway, and a consolation feature, which was copped by Tom Faircloth.

Sedalia racer Donnie Cooper in a 1969 Dodge, placed fourth in the consolation and 11th in the feature.

Derr, who comes from a long line of Keokuk, Iowa, stock car specialists, piloted his 1969 Dodge ahead of Whisler for most of the race, although Whisler was able to lead for some 25 laps.

Finishing behind Derr, Whisler and Bivins were Irv Janey, Gary Martin and Jim Hager.

For the veteran Derr, it was his second win in as many nights, as he also copped a 200-lap feature at the Mid-America Fairgrounds Saturday night.

Results –

Time trials – Ernie Derr
Trophy dash – Dave Wall
Consolation – Tom Faircloth
Feature –
1. Ernie Derr
2. Fred Whisler
3. Terry Bivins
4. Irv Janey
5. Gary Martin
6. Jim Hager
7. Chuck Janey
8. Frank Spencer
9. Jerre Wichman
10.Jim Anderson

Saturday, July 4, 2020

1957 – Burdick Win Topeka Stock ‘200’

Bob Burdick receives his trophy after winning the 200-lapper at Topeka. 

Topeka, Kan. (July 4, 1957) – Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb., 22-year-old who is setting a blistering pace more seasoned drivers find difficult to match, added the July 4th Kansas International 200-lap late model stock and sports car classic to hi growing list of victories, before 7,500 spectator at the Kansas Free Fair.

Burdick flashed his 1957 Ford into the lead on the first lap and refused to give up the position throughout, though hard-pressed by Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa, during the early stages.

Beauchamp, the 1956 IMCA national champion, running a brand new motor, pressed too hard and the motor overheated, forcing an early pit stop, which dropped the “Flying Frenchman” too far back to recover a challenging spot behind Burdick.

As Burdick streaked to two new Kansas Free Fair track records, Beauchamp came from far back to take third place, behind Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa.

Burdick set a new 200-lap record of 1 hour, 42 minutes and 13.68 seconds, and 51 minutes and 22.91 seconds for 100 circuits. His 28.74 second mark was also the fastest time trial effort.

Results –

1. Bob Burdick, Omaha
2. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
3. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
4. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan
6. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
7. Bill Harrison, Topeka
8. Bill Chennault, Kansas City
9. Bob Hardy, Beaumont, Tex.
10.Dick Jepsen, Hoxie, Kan.
11.Bob Dugan, Waukegan, Ill.
12.Johnnie Edwards

Friday, July 3, 2020

1960 – Branson Posts Record at Salem

Don Branson

Salem, Ind. (July 3, 1960) – Don Branson, Champaign, Ill., defending United States Auto Club Midwest sprint champion, posted a record 88.205 miles an hour Sunday in winning the 15-mile feature race at the Salem Speedway.

Branson’s feature speed broke the record he set here last year as he grabbed his third victory this season in sprint car racing.

Parnelli Jones, South Gate, Calif., a newcomer to the USAC circuit, placed second. Jones led 24 of the 30 laps in his Fike Plumbing Special.

Branson, who won at Terre Haute and Milwaukee, drove the Bob Estes racer, the same car he piloted in winning the Midwest title last year.

Third in the feature was A. J. Foyt, Houston, followed by Jim Hurtubise, Lennox, Calif.; Elmer George, Indianapolis, and Eddie Sachs, Allentown, Penn.

Jones won the first 8-lap heat and Foyt set an 8-lap record when he won the second heat in 2:35.87. Hurtubise won the third preliminary. 

Branson covered the distance in 10:12.31 to take a lion’s share of the $5,200 purse. His total for winning the feature, placing in a heat and being fastest qualifier was $1,042.50.

Although there were no mishaps, Jim Hemmings of North Vernon, Ind., thrilled the 6,000 fans on the first lap of the consolation race when he spun in the second turn but kept going.

Results –

1. Don Branson
2. Parnelli Jones
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Jim Hurtubise
5. Elmer George
6. Eddie Sachs
7. Ronnie Duman
8. Roger McCluskey
9. Gene Force
10.Jim Packard
11.Shorty Templeman
12.Bud Tinglestad
13.Tom McClellan
14.Al Miller

Thursday, July 2, 2020

1977 - Senneker Captures Crown in Capital ARTGO Monza

Bob Senneker is presented the trophy by ARTGO president Art Frigo after winning the SuperAmerica 150 at Madison. 

Oregon, Wis. (July 2, 1977) – Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., was the big winner in Saturday night’s SuperAmerica 150 Monza Classic for late models at the Capital Super Speedway, as he set fast time and won two of the three 50-lap feature races to take home $1,740 in the ARTGO-promoted card. Senneker’s archrival, Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, edged him to win the other 50-lap feature.

Trickle’s victory helped him to a second-place finish behind Senneker in the event’s overall standings. Larry Detjens finished third overall, and was followed by Joe Shear, Steve Arndt and Mike Miller.

Senneker opened the program by blistering the half-mile track with a near-record 18.671-second lap in time trials.

In the first 50-lap feature, Senneker skillfully worked his way through the field and passed Arndt for the lead on lap 17.

By that time, one of the pre-race favorites, Tom Reffner, had already been forced to withdraw his 1974 Javelin because of engine problems.

However, Senneker’s engine continued to run at peak efficiency and he went on to take the checkered ahead of Trickle, Detjens, Arndt, Miller and Tom Jones.

Larry Schuler, one of the winningest drivers in the nation a year ago, was running fourth late in the contest, but spun on lap 40 when part of his rear suspension broke on his Camaro.

The second 50-lapper was slowed by an early yellow flag when John Spear had his car’s engine blow in turn on of lap 3, sending several cars spinning.

Shortly after action resumed, Senneker passed Jones to claim first place on lap 4.

However, the red flag would fly at the mid-point when John Burbridge of Milwaukee crashed in turn three after his throttle apparently stuck. Burbridge was knocked unconscious and was taken to a local hospital for x-rays.

The stoppage allowed the rest of the field to close up on Senneker and when the green reappeared, Shear surged into the lead.

Senneker retaliated by passing Shear on lap 31 and then led the rest of the wat to chalk up his second feature triumphant of the afternoon.

Shear settled for runner-up honors with Detjens third. Trickle, who started at the back of the pack following a tire change after the first 50, came on to take fourth. Arndt and Fred Bender rounded out the top six.

Trickle needed only three circuits to get around Miller to take the lead in the final 50-lapper. Senneker annexed second place on lap 31 and made a strong run at the leader in the final few laps but came up 1.3 seconds short at the checkered

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
2. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
3. Larry Detjens, Wausau
4. Steve Arndt, Janesville
5. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
6. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
7. Larry Nipple, Albany
8. Everett DeWitt, Janesville
9. Thom Laimon, Hales Corner
10.Billy Kuhn, Blue Island, Ill.

Feature #2 –

1. Bob Senneker
2. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
3. Larry Detjens
4. Dick Trickle
5. Steve Arndt
6. Fred Bender, Sun Prairie
7. Mike Miller
8. Tom Jones
9. Billy Kuhn
10.Larry Nipple

Feature #3 –

1. Dick Trickle
2. Bob Senneker
3. Joe Shear
4. Larry Detjens
5. Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
6. Fred Bender
7. Mike Miller
8. Steve Arndt
9. Billy Kuhn
10.Larry Nipple

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

1978 – Salt City 100 Opener to Pancho

Duane "Pancho" Carter is joined by his crew after winning at Syracuse. 

Syracuse, N.Y. (July 1, 1978) – Duane “Pancho” Carter started the Fourth of July weekend with a bang at the New York State Fairgrounds, Saturday afternoon, by driving Johnny Capels’ Golden Greek Chevy to victory in the Salt City 100, the opening event of the USAC Championship Dirt series.

Carter accomplished the victory despite the fact that he damaged a wheel on his racer in a bout with the wall on lap 25, an incident which left some ill effects on the vehicle’s handling. Then in victory lane, the car’s right rear tire went flat.

Gary Bettenhausen, driving the Oberdorfer Special, scrambled from his 17th starting position in the 28-car field to finish second, just a little over 2 seconds behind the victorious Carter.

Bettenhausen had narrowed Carter’s advantage to just 1.1 seconds late in the contest, but slower traffic allowed the winner to expand his advantage in the closing circuits.

Bill Engelhart, Jim McElreath, Dana Carter and Bubby Jones, who finished third through sixth respectively, were the only other drivers to complete the event’s 100 miles.

Carter started on the pole by virtue of setting fast time with a 35.142-second (102.442 miles per hour) in time trials and led the first 25 laps.

Bubby Jones got by Carter for the lead on lap 26 and stretched his advantage, leading by 2 seconds at the lap 40 mark.

As the race reached the midpoint, Jones would have his problems getting around the slower cars and Carter took full advantage of the situation to vault back into contention.

On lap 50, Jones slid to high and Carter darted underneath him to regain the lead for good.

Carter averaged 91.347 miles per hour in notching the victory, his third of his career in the division.

Results –

1. Pancho Carter
2. Gary Bettenhausen
3. Bill Engelhart
4. Jim McElreath
5. Dana Carter
6. Bubby Jones
7. Bill Cassella
8. Will Cagle
9. Roger Rager
10.Jerry Miller
11.Mike Johnson
12.Robert Smith
13.Roy Hicks
14.Larry Rice
15.Jerry Weeks
16.Bill Burks
17.Gary Irvin
18.Steve Chassey
19.Larry Dickson
20.Greg Leffler
21.Jackie Howerton
22.Mark Alderson
23.Steve Cannon
24.Sleepy Tripp
25.Arnie Knepper
26.Ron Shuman
27.George Snider
28.Joe Saldana