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.
Heat #1 – Bill Moyer, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
Semi-main – Ramo Stott, Keokuk
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