Wednesday, February 3, 2021

1965 – Golden Anniversary Opener to Woolley

Gordon Woolley with Hector Honore

Tampa, Fla. (February 3, 1965) – Gordon Woolley, thee former IMCA national champion from Waco, Tex., won the 25-lap sprint car feature here at the Florida State Fair on Wednesday before 6,500 fans as IMCA kicked off it’s 50th year of auto racing.

Woolley drove Hector Honore’s Black Deuce to it’s 424th feature win, qualifying for the main event via a consolation victory, which was the 682nd preliminary win for the historic car and its owner.

“Irish” Jim McCune of Toledo, Ohio, finished second, driving the Ray Smith Chevy and Pittsburgh’s Dave Lundy, piloting the Swiontek Chevy, grabbed third.

Heat races were won by Larry Cannon of Danville, Ill., Bill Brown of Danville, N.J., and Wib Spaulding of Granite City, Ill. Tampa’s Buzz Barton won the 5-lap match race for the six fastest cars in time trials.

Woolley, who received injuries on four different occasions during competition last year, made a strong comeback in the first IMCA sprint car race of the year. He took the lead at the onset, and although pressed closely at times by Barton, managed to stay out front the entire distance.

The 47-year-old Barton hooked wheels with Woolley twice coming out of the fourth turn, brushing the outer wall both times.

Woolley received $605 for his competitive effort, plus an additional $50 for setting fast time in qualifying.

After the race Woolley mentioned, “I believe things will change for me this season. I started off badly here last year and wound up the rest of the year in a bad way. Maybe this good start means that I’ll get back to championship form. I know Hector would like to get it back.”

Results –

Heat #1 – Larry Cannon
Heat #2 – Bill Brown
Heat #3 – Wib Spaulding
Match race – Buzz Barton
Consolation – Gordon Woolley
Feature –
1. Gordon Woolley
2. Jim McCune
3. Dave Lundy
4. Jim Moughan
5. Johnny Meyers
6. Larry Cannon
7. Bill Brown
8. Greg Weld
9. Wib Spaulding
10.Buzz Barton
11.Sam Sessions
12.Carl Williams

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