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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

1978 – Rice Wins McGinnis Memorial





Davenport, Iowa (September 8, 1978) – Des Moines’ driver Bill Rice overcame a last-lap challenge to grab the checkered only a half-car length ahead of Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, to win the Dick McGinnis Memorial race at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds on Friday night.

Rice, driving a lightweight 1977 Camaro, has run only a handful of times on the half-mile oval at Davenport. His car is too light to make weight rules so he appears only for open competition events when weight rules are waived.

Dolan made his bid on the fourth turn, running low beside Rice. The two cars bumped together along the straightaway before Rice squeezed through for the victory.

Gary Webb of Davenport, Iowa, finished third followed by John Connolly of Delhi, Iowa. Steve Keppler of Marion, Iowa, took fifth.

USAC driver Terry Ryan of Davenport, Iowa, driving Ronnie Weedon’s Trans-Am, finished third in his heat and tenth in the feature.

Rice and Dolan both won heat races and finished one-two in the Race of Champions. Gary Webb and John Connolly also won heat races. Steve Keppler won the crash-marred 10-lap semi-main.

Rice, the point champion at Eldon, Iowa, this year, boycotted the Des Moines track because of weight limitations.

Results –

1. Bill Rice, Des Moines
2. Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
3. Gary Webb, Davenport, Iowa
4. John Connolly, Delhi, Iowa
5. Steve Keppler, Marion, Iowa
6. Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
7. Johnny Johnson, Morning Sun, Iowa
8. Bob Helm, Andalusia, Iowa
9. Ray Guss Sr. Milan, Ill.
10. Terry Ryan, Davenport, Iowa

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