Tuesday, August 4, 2020

1973 – Kirkpatrick is Knox County Fair Winner

Larry Kirkpatrick guided Jim Utt's Chevrolet-powered sprint car to victory at the Knox County Fair. 

Knoxville, Ill. (August 4, 1973) – Larry Kirkpatrick of Wood River, Ill., driving the Jim Utt Chevrolet, won the 30-lap IMCA-sanctioned sprint car feature at the Knox County Fair.

Moving into the top spot from his sixth starting position, Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., held a comfortable lead over Buzz Rose of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Kirkpatrick for the first 23 circuits when the yellow flag waved, bunching the field.

When the green flag waved for the restart, Kirkpatrick took the high road up near the fence-line and got sufficient traction to move past Rose, and then Utz to grab the lead. Kirkpatrick would hold on to the lead for the final six laps with Utz right on his bumper at the finish.

Bill Utz set fast time in qualifying, racing around the half-mile in 25.08 seconds. Utz would also win the trophy dash and the first heat. Leonard McCarl of Bonaparte, Iowa and Ralph Blackett of Carlisle, Iowa won the second and third heats, respectively. Kirkpatrick was the 10-lap consolation winner.

Results –

1. Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.
2. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
3. Buzz Rose, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4. Gene Gennetten, Gladstone, Mo.
5. Ralph Blackett, Carlisle, Iowa
6. Jerry Camfield, Argenta, Ill.
7. Chuck Amati, Freeman Spur, Ill.
8. Leonard McCarl, Bonaparte, Iowa
9. Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.
10. Dean Shirley, Middletown, Ill.

Monday, August 3, 2020

1965 – First IMCA Win for Fries at La Crosse

Dick Fries

La Crosse, Wis. (August 3, 1965) – Newcomer Dick Fries of San Diego, Calif., upset the field Tuesday night at on a rain-slickened La Crosse Interstate Fair racetrack.

Fries, piloting a Chevrolet-powered big car, won the 20-lap grand championship feature event in the International Motor Contest Association-sanctioned action.

In the process, the California driver finished ahead of favorites Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., and Gordon Wooley of Waco, Tex.

Fries, the third-fastest qualifier behind Dale Reed of Wichita, Kan., and Richert, led the first two laps before losing the #1 position to the Minnesota driver.

Fries regained the pace on lap 9 and held it the rest of the way. Richert and Wooley, both driving Chevrolet-powered cars, held on to finish second and third respectively.

Ron Larson of Milltown, Wis.., after changing cars, roared off the backstretch on the first lap of the feature and 75 feet down an embankment. Neither he nor the car were hurt, and the race was stopped so he could re-enter.

Results –

Time Trials – Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan. (25.24 seconds)
Heat #1 – Tom Bigelow, Whitewater, Wis.
Heat #2 – Jerry Weld, Kansas City
Heat #3 – Ron Bellon
Semi-Main – Ron Larson, White Bear Lake, Minn
Feature –
1. Dick Fries, San Diego, Calif.
2. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
3. Gordon Wooley, Waco, Tex.
4. Dale Reed
5. John Hesselgrove, St. Paul, Minn.
6. Tom Bigelow
7. Jerry Weld
8. Ron Larson, Milltown, Wis.
9. Ron Bellon
10.Don Guida, Moorhead, Minn.
11. Sonny McDaniel, Pasadena, Tex.
12. Buzz Gregory, Speedway, Ind.
13. Paul Dorcic, Chicago Ridge, Ill.
14. Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
15. Roger Lane, Blue Springs, Mo.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

1964 - Parnelli Wins at Salem Track

Parnelli Jones

Salem, Ind. (August 2, 1964)—Keeping up with Jones was impossible Sunday as Parnelli Jones won the United States Auto Club’s 30-lap sprint car race on the half-mile track here.

Jones, driving A. J. Foyt’s Traco Special sprint car, set fast time of 18:11, won the 8-lap heat in record time of 2 minutes and 26.20 seconds and topped the day off with the feature win.

Other heat winners were Johnny Rutherford and Arnie Knepper with Nolan Johncock winning the 10-lap consolation race in the record time of 3 minutes and 11:60 seconds.

Parnelli, winner of the 1963 “500”, led wire to wire to collect $950 of the $5,000 purse. This was Jones' first sprint car race this year and his first victory in a sprint car since last November.

Don Branson, current USAC sprint car point leader, finished a distant second. Since A. J. Foyt didn’t compete, Branson was able to widen his lead. Foyt returns to sprint car competition next Sunday at Terre Haute.

Mario Andretti and Jud Larson supplied some real racing while dueling for fourth place. They ran wheel to wheel for several laps.

Results –

1. Parnelli Jones
2. Don Branson
3. Bud Tingelstad
4. Jud Larson
5. Mario Andretti
6. Johnny Rutherford
7. Arnie Knepper
8. Gordon Johncock
9. Mickey Rupp
10.Dave Norris

Saturday, August 1, 2020

1979 – Sanders wins KIJV South Dakota 100

Bill Sanders

Huron, S.D. (August 1, 1979) – The man with the longest haul won the longest race of the season as Bill Sanders of Muskogee, Okla., won the rain-delayed KIJV South Dakota 100

Nine days earlier, Sanders qualified for the pole position for the state’s best paying race by winning the first heat, but the feature was rained out.

For Sanders, the return trip was worth $2,200 as he grabbed the lead from Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on lap 57 and won by a straightaway over Eaker, who earlier in the evening, lowered the track record to 23.88 seconds on the final lap of the trophy dash.

Third and fourth place went to Denny Selting of Huron, S.D., and Willy Yost of Miller, S.D. Only the top four finishers were on the lead lap.

Pete Parker of Kaukauna, Wis., was the early leader, jumping from the outside of the front row and hanging on through four yellow flags and the challenges of Sanders and Eaker until lap 44 when Dennis Gross of Huron, S.D., lost oil pressure and came to a half in turn four.

Several drivers, including Sanders, used the stoppage to change tires. Sanders, in fifth place during the red flag, dropped back to seventh on the restart due to cold tires as Eaker took the lead from Parker. On lap 51. With his tires sufficiently heated, Sanders began his charge to the front, taking second from Parker on lap 55.

At this point the top 12 cars, six of them locals, were running virtually nose to tail. Sanders roared by Eaker two circuits later and ran away and hid, even after two more yellows closed the field.

Sanders’ win was relatively easy compared to some of the dogfights for lower positions that raged from start to finish leaving the huge crowd hoarse. Thirteen cars, out of the starting field of 34, finished the 50-lapper.

Results –

1. Bill Sanders, Muskogee, Okla.
2. Verlin Eaker, Mechanicsville, Iowa
3. Denny Selting, Huron, S.D.
4. Willy Yost, Miller, S.D.
5. Leon Plank, Eau Claire, Wis.
6. Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
7. Sheldon Reding, Harrold, S.D.
8. Gary Crawford, Independence, Iowa
9. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
10. Joe Salner, St. Cloud, Minn.
11. Galen Keas, Grand Island, Neb.
12. Dallas Lafferty, Reliance, S.D.
13. Kent Wilson, Miller, S.D.
14. Bill Christman, Bronson, Iowa
15. Ron Droog, Aberdeen, S.D.
16. Ken Farrell, New Hampton, Iowa
17. Britt Williams, Brookings, S.D.
18. Rich Wendt, Aberdeen, S.D.
19. Gary Nagel, Gettysburg, S.D.
20. Kenny Selting, Huron, S.D.
21. Dennis Gross, Huron, S.D.
22. Jim Cowan, Sturgis, S.D.
23. Ron Anderson, Webster, S.D.
24. Terry Kopecky, Miller, S.D.