Thursday, October 1, 2020

1967 – Walbeck Nabs $1,200 Rockford Crown


Marlin Walbeck accepts his trophy from Rockford promoter Hugh Deery after winning the National Short Track Championships. - Dennis Piefer Collection

Rockford, Ill. (October 1, 1967) – Marlin Walbeck, Rib Lake, Wis., finished the 200-lap National Short Track Championships a very thirsty, exhausted, but extremely happy driver.

After snatching the lead from Eric Johnson, Prairie View, Ill., on lap 128, he had no difficulty maintaining it the rest of the distance in winning the second annual event.

In this 50-miler on the high-banked, quarter-mile asphalt oval, Jim Sauter of Minneapolis led the first 18 circuits. Three laps later, however the Minnesota jockey was forced from competition when he was lapping another car and they both tangled, hitting the wall in the second turn.

Johnson inherited the lead after the cleanup and led until Walbeck took over for good.

In the consolation event, Danny Bellard of Beloit, Wis., cashed in when Jim Back, Vesper, Wis., momentarily lost control after the white flag flew.

Results –

1. Marlin Walbeck, Rib Lake, Wis.
2. Ron Wishard, Rockford
3. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
4. Bruce Sparrman, Excelsior, Minn.
5. Rich Bickle, Edgerton, Wis.
6. L.F. Lobstein
7. Nelson Drinkwine, Tomah, Wis.
8. Bud Schroeder, Tomah, Wis.
9. Whitey Gerken, Melrose Park
10.Darrel Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
11.Larry O’Brien, Harvard
12.Don Leach, Beloit, Wis.
13.Bob Meyer, Schaumburg
14.Eric Johnson, Prairie View
15.Rod Beyers, Stevens Point, Wis.
16.Dave Cox
17.Vaughn Gerke

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