Friday, October 30, 2020

1966 – Stott wins controversial IMCA finale at Shreveport


George England receives the checkered flag declaring him the winner of the 150-lap feature race at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds on Sunday. An official check afterwards by IMCA showed that Ramo Stott was actually the winner by over a full lap.

Shreveport, La. (October 30, 1966) – In one of the most exciting an controversial finishes in International Motor Contest Association history, Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, was declared the winner of the 150-lap IMCA stock car feature at the Louisiana State Fair Speedway on Sunday after George England had gotten the checkered flag in his 1965 Chevrolet with a blown right front tire.

The standing room only crowd saw England blow his tire on lap 145 with Stott charging closer a lap and a half behind. For the final four and a half laps, England gunned his Chevy around the half-mile course with Stott gaining all the time.

On the final turn, Stott pulled right behind England but was unable to pass the shuddering Chevy because he was blocked in. England took the checkered and the announced victory.

After the race, Stott’s pit crew were adamant that he was a lap or two ahead and had been signaling him to ease off and preserve a sure win since England was only running on three tires.

An official check by IMCA officials showed that Stott was actually the leader, and the winner. The mix-up came during a pit stop by England when Stott passed. The unofficial scoreboard in the infield did not record the pass and therefore showed England to still be the leader.

Both England and Stott were called to the timing booth where and official check showed the real results.

Ernie Derr, who wrapped up the IMCA championship by winning the 25-lap feature on Saturday, had to pull out of Sunday’s race on the first lap when the harmonic balancer broke on his Dodge Hemi. “One thing nice about the break, “said Derr, “it saved me a lot of sweat today.”

Butch Hall and Lewis Taylor teamed up for a battle for third and fourth positions with Hall finally pulling out, completing 146 laps to Taylor’s 145. Dean Roper of Fair Grove, Mo., was fifth driving a Ford.

Stott led the race for the first 50 laps before until he pitted for the mandatory 30 second stop. Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., who had given Stott such a bad time the day before, took over the lead with Ed Negre of Monett, Mo., right behind.

On lap 78, Negre pitted and Stott climbed into second place behind Phillips. Phillips went into the pits on the very next lap and Stott was back in front.

Driving his 1965 Plymouth flawlessly, Stott held on to the lead until the 117th lap when he pitted for a tie change. England then took the lead with Taylor right behind him.

Or so everyone thought…

But in an earlier pit stop by England, the scoreboard didn’t record the lap pass by Stott, which led to the big confusion at the end.

On lap 145, England’s right front tire blew and the spectators in the grandstand, not knowing of the error, watched anxiously as Stott came barreling around the oval.

Refusing to come in, England showed considerable poise in piloting his Chevy around the track, trying for what he thought was the win. On the final turn Stott pulled in right behind England and was bumper to bumper as they crossed the finish line.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott
2. George England
3. Butch Hall
4. Lewis Taylor
5. Dean Roper
6. Tony Barcelona
7. Bob Foster
8. Hughie Krana
9. Vic Elson
10.Paul Feldner
11.Tom Roller
12.Dale Keeling
13.Jack Witt
14.Joe Melichor
15.Roy Batson
16.Larry Phillips
17.Ed Negre
18.John Mickey
19.Karl Stauffer
20.Lenny Funk
21.Jerry Wolland
22.Bill Peck
23.Phil Cronin
24.Ernie Derr

1 comment:

  1. My girlfriend and I was at this race. We rode a bus to Shreveport fro Arcadia to see it. Today that girl and I have been married for 58 years. I am still a racer and a race fan. Love her and racing both.