Friday, April 30, 2021

1978 – Trickle Survives Wall, Wins Grundy ARTGO Opener

Spring Classic winner Dick Trickle is joined by ARTGO president Art Frigo in victory lane.

Morris, Ill. (April 30, 1978) – Dick Trickle overcame a mishap early in Sunday afternoon’s 100-lap ARTGO Spring Classic feature at the Grundy County Speedway to win the event in a photo finish over Denny Nyari and Larry Detjens. The victory, which was worth $1,855 to Trickle, was his ninth feature win of the young season, with triumphs in seven different states.

It was also Trickle’s third victory of the weekend, coming on the heels of a Friday win at Capital Super Speedway (Oregon, Wis.) and a Saturday night win in Elko, Minn.

Sunday’s race might more appropriately been called the Artic Classic, since unseasonably cold weather saw temperatures stay in the 40’s while a crisp North wind added to the chill factor throughout the afternoon.

Polesitter Steve Burgess paced the 22-car field through the first seven laps of the event,

A lot of action took place on lap 8. Bob Senneker took the lead from Burgess while Trickle, who was running several positions back in the pack, slid against the second turn wall and dropped an additional half-dozen spots.

The yellow flag came out at the conclusion of lap 8 when Bobby Dotter and Dave Evans collided with the first turn wall.

On the restart, Senneker was in command with Larry Phillips on second and Detjens in third.

Trickle pulled off a sensational three-car pass to vault into sixth place on lap 13 and continued to master the outer groove on the freshly repaved track, taking fifth from Mike Miller on the 22nd lap. Five circuits later Trickle moved ahead of Nyari to claim fourth.

Phillips bounced off the backstretch wall in heavy traffic on lap 31, allowing Detjens to gain the number two spot.

After another caution on lap 44, Detjens darted ahead of Senneker on the restart to claim the top spot and six circuits later Trickle moved into second place.

A broken lower radiator hose forced Miller to stall on the backstretch bringing out the yellow on lap 63 and on the restart Trickle grabbed the lead from Detjens.

With the track conditions slippery during the next few laps, dirt track ace Tony Izzo became one of the fastest drivers in the competition, and unlapped himself on the 78th circuit.

Another caution necessitated 11 laps from the finish, when Rusty Wallace, Burgess and Larry Nipple tangled in turn three, bunched the leaders for a dramatic sprint to the finish.

On lap 93 Nyari moved to the outside and passed Detjens for the runner-up position.

Then on the final lap Nyari swept wide pulling alongside Trickle as the pair headed for the finish. However, Nyari’s bid fell short and he had to settle for runner-up money, with Detjens finishing a close third. Tom Reffner finished fourth with Wallace in fifth.

Three-time Grundy late model driving champion Ed Hoffman set fast time with a near-record 15.65-second lap in time trials but failed to score in preliminary races. In the feature Hoffman dropped back steadily at the outset, then seemed to gain momentum midway through the contest, but was forced from action on lap 77.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Denny Nyari, South Bend, Ind.
3. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
4. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
5. Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Mo.
6. Tony Izzo, Bridgeview
7. Ted Musgrave, Grand Marsh, Wis.
8. Joe Shear, South Beloit
9. Larry Nipple, Albany, Wis.
10.Dave Evans, Crystal Lake, Ill.
11.Steve Burgess, Eau Claire, Wis.
12.Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
13.Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
14.Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
15.Arnie Christen, Mineral Point, Wis.
16.Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
17.Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
18.Chuck Sproull, Verona
19.Bob Strait, Flossmoor
20.George Hill, Oak Forest
21.Woody Church, Chicago
22.Bobby Dotter, Chicago

Thursday, April 29, 2021

1979 - Eddy wins Salem ASA Raider 150

Mike Eddy

Salem, Ind. (April 29, 1979) – Mike Eddy of Midland, Mich., continued his domination of American Speed Association events at Salem Super Speedway Sunday with a victory worth $3,055 in the Raider 150 as his competition wilted.

Eddy took the lead from Rick Knotts on lap 16, withstood challenges from Mark Martin and Randy Sweet, but had more than a full lap lead at the finish as others suffered assorted problems.

Sweet was running a strong second when a broken valve sidelined his Camaro with only 13 laps remaining, continuing a streak of bad luck that has Plagued Sweet throughout the young season.

Martin, who was Eddy’s most serious challenger through the middle 50 circuits, lost three laps when he had to pit under green to change a punctured tire on his Camaro.

A surprised Bob Sensiba finished second followed by Terry Senneker, Ray Young and Rodney Combs.

Rick Knotts grabbed the early lead from his pole position, but his Camaro gave way to Eddy and then faded into fourth place before retiring with transmission troubles at the 100-lap mark.

Terry Senneker brought out the first caution on lap 32 with a spin in turn two. Eddy was leading Knotts, Martin and Dave Roahrig. At that point things remained that way until Dave Watson brought out the second yellow by crashing into the main stretch wall on lap 47.

Several more cautions, including one for a yellow flag that broke off the rear of the pace car, dotted the event.

Eddy, Martin and Sweet continued their three-car dash until lap 117 when Martin stopped. Sweet’s misfortune, despite hi signal’s crew to “be patient,” sealed the win for Eddy.

Sweet established a new one-lap track record in time trials at 17.044 seconds (114.058 miles per hour), erasing hiss own record set in 1977 at 17.171 seconds.

Results –

1. Mike Eddy, Midland, Mich.
2. Bob Sensiba, Middleville, Mich.
3. Terry Senneker, Grand Rapids, Mich.
4. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill
5. Rodney Combs, Loveland, Ohio
6. Don Gregory, Columbus, Ohio
7. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
8. Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
9. Dave Evans, Crystal Lake, Ill.
10.Randy Sweet, Kalamazoo, Mich.
11.Don Johnson, Hillard, Ohio
12.David Hall, Grandview, Mo.
13.Tom Brown, Louisville, Ky.
14.Terry Shirley, Seymour, Ind.
15.Bob Theriault, Chicago

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

1963 – Foyt First at Yankee 300

A.J. Foyt

Clermont, Ind. (April 28, 1963) – A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., won a thrilling first running of the Yankee 300 stock car race in a 1963 Plymouth before a crowd of 15,000 fans Sunday afternoon at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

The 28-year-old winner of the 1961 Indianapolis 500 averaged 75.751 miles per hour for the 120 laps around the tricky 2.5-mile road course with 15 turns.

Foyt finished 23 seconds ahead of Lloyd Ruby of Wichita Falls, Tex., driving a 1963 Pontiac. Curtis Turner, the 42-year-old former NASCAR hotshot from Charlotte, N.C., was third, 1 minute and 41 seconds behind Foyt.

The lead changed 11 times on the ideal, sunbaked day for racing.

Foyt got the lead for keeps on lap 109 after USAC road racing champion Roger Penske of Gladwyne, Penn., was eliminated by a locked differential.

There were six different leaders.

Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., Speedway record holder who started on the pole, led the first 27 circuit before the rear end went out on his 1963 Mercury.

Penske led laps 28 and 29 and then NASCAR ace Glenn “Fireball” Roberts of Daytona Beach, Fla., led lap 30 before making a pit stop.

He yielded to fellow Southerner Turner who kept it for laps 31 and 32. Dan Gurney of Costa Mesa, Calif., led lap 33 and 34 and then it was Roberts back in from on lap 35 through 44.

Penske then took command of thee chase and led from lap 45 through 79. Foyt passed him on the backstretch during the 80th circuit to lead for the first time.

When Foyt made a pit stop on lap 90, Penske was out front once again. Foyt experienced a badly handled pit stop which took almost 90 seconds.

Penske had things well in hand until lap 97 when Roberts passed him on lap 98 and led through 101.

Roberts, however, would spin out on the hairpin turn when his engine broke a rod and the car slid in its own oil on the 101st lap, yielding the lead back to Penske. Penske would hold it for only seven laps before breaking down himself.

Foyt would make a precautionary stop on lap 115, but this time it was a quick in and out and he maintained his lead.

Foyt waved a greeting to the crowd with his left hand as he took the checkers from starter Pat Vidan.

Total purse money for the event was $17,000, $2,000 more than the guaranteed sum. Lap prize money of $2,500 and an estimated $11,000 in accessory money put the total melon over $30,000. Foyt collected $6,650 for his victory.

Promoter Joe L. Quinn Jr. was extremely gratified at the crow response and announced the road race for late models would be made an annual fixture on Raceway Park’s schedule.

The only serious mishap was when Eddie Sachs of Fraser, Mich., slid off the course and smashed into the guardrail late in the race. He was not injured.

Results –

1. A.J. Foyt
2. Lloyd Ruby
3. Curtis Turner
4. Len Sutton
5. Norm Nelson
6. Don White
7. Andy Hampton
8. Sal Tovella
9. Bill Cheesbourg
10.Herb Shannon
11.Milt Curcio
12.Elmer Musgrave
13.Roger Penske
14.Gary Bettenhausen
15.Fireball Roberts
16.Roy Atkinson
17.Art Brady
18.Reb Wickersham
19.Arnie Gardner
20.Whitey Gerkin
21.Ken Finley
22.Dan Gurney
23.Eddie Sachs
24.Dave Lundman
25.Rodger Ward
26.Lee Drollinger
27.Parnelli Jones
28.Troy Ruttman
29.Bob Hurt
30.Paul Goldsmith

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

1974 – Dake in West Liberty Victory

West Liberty, Iowa (April 27, 1974) – It was bumper to bumper and side to side as drivers from all over came to race at the West Liberty Fairgrounds’ half-mile oval here Saturday night, under the supervision of Super Stocks, Inc., in the hands of Dale Gegner of Brighton, Iowa. Darrell Dake captured the feature event of the evening, after a thrill-packed program. On Dake’s bumper was Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, who stuck like glue, but couldn’t get around the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, veteran.

Weedon did set fast time in time trials with a 24.73 second clocking. Dake had second fastest time at 25.00 seconds flat. Third and fourth fastest were Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree, Iowa at 25.04 seconds and Mike Niffenegger of Kalona, Iowa, at 25.07 seconds.

The track record of 24.59 seconds is held by Jim Gerber of Long Grove, Iowa, and with the looks of the times this evening, could easily be broken before the season is over.

The late model events saw Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, taking the checkers in the first heat. Jim Burbridge of Delhi, Iowa, outlasted the pack in the second heat and Bill McArdle, traveling all the way from Shullsburg, Wis., went home with the third heat prize.

The Australian Pursuit saw Duane Steffe of Colona, Ill., keep out in front of the top-five point leaders to win that event and Ken Walton of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won the semi-main.

The capacity crowd saw many thrills and much excitement as all the races were very close, and only one mishap occurred as Jack Lueth of Davenport ended up going up and over the second turn wall in the first heat. He suffered extensive damage to the car but escaped unscathed.

Dave Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, swept the street stock program, winning his heat and feature event.

Results –

Time trials – Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa (24.73)
Heat #1 – Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
Heat #2 – Jim Burbridge, Delhi, Iowa
Heat #3 – Bill McArdle, Shullsburg, Wis.
Australian Pursuit – Duane Steffe, Colon, Ill.
Semi-main – Ken Walton, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Feature –
1. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2. Ron Weedon
3. Mel Morris, West Liberty, Iowa
4. Curt Hansen
5. Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree, Iowa
6. John Connolly, Delhi, Iowa
7. Bill Beckman, Lisbon, Iowa
8. Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
9. Bill Hopp, Muscatine, Iowa
10.Duane Steffe

Monday, April 26, 2021

1967 - Fred Lorenzen, Stock Car Racing Star, Retires

Fred Lorenzen

Charlotte, N.C. (April 26, 1967) - Fred Lorenzen, the biggest money winner in the history of professional stock car racing, announced Monday night he is retiring from the sport.

The 33-year-old former Elmhurst, Ill., carpenter's helper has been a star driver for Ford Motor Company since 1961. During that time, he set all-time money winning records, including a single' season's take of $113,570 in 1963 and close to one-half million dollars overall.

A bachelor, the curly haired Lorenzen often has been called "the Sandy Koufax of stock car racing."

At a dinner in his honor Monday night, Lorenzen said that, like Koufax, "I want to quit while I'm on top. I've won everything that you can win, and there's no way for me to go now but down."

Lorenzen, 5-3 and always impeccably dressed and tanned, said he has no immediate plans. He has no plans to marry and, because of careful investment of his earnings, he has financial security.

"I haven't spent a dime of the money I've earned racing," he said. "I live on other money, from endorsements and such things. I don't live big."

It has been known for several years that the golden boy of racing has invested in blue chip stocks and bonds. A close friend and associate said of him recently.

"The closest friend he has is his stock broker and about his only reading material is the Wall Street Journal."

Lorenzen holds the NASCAR records for the most victories, 21, in races of more than 250 miles; the most superspeedway triumphs, 12; the most triumphs in a row in major races, 5, and is the only man in NASCAR history to have completed the sport's grand slam with victories on each of the South's five superspeedways.

Lorenzen concentrated his efforts mostly in the sport's big money events, although he won on many of the shorter tracks. His success in the major events is reflected by total winnings in 1961 of $29,655; $44,600 in 1962, $113,570 in 1963, $72,385 in 1964, $77,965 in 1965, and $36,310 in 1966.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

1982 – Schulte wins IMCA ‘Spring Fever 100’

Vinton, Iowa (April 25, 1982) – Mike Schulte of Norway, Iowa, drove to victory Sunday in the Spring Fever 100 IMCA modified race at Vinton Speedway.

Schulte, the 1981 Iowa IMCA point champion, took the lead late in the event to pocket the $500 top prize. Mike Krall of Waterloo, Iowa, was second with Arlo Becker of Atkins, Iowa, third, Ron Hurst of Cedar Falls, Iowa, fourth and Mike Sampson of Evansdale, Iowa, fifth.

Greg Kastli of Waterloo was fast timer with a lap of 16.99 seconds on the quarter-mile Benton County Fairgrounds’ track. That gave Kastli the pole position for the 100-lap main.

Kastli drove into the lead from the start but fell out after 21 laps with a hole in his radiator. Arlo Becker took over the top spot and led for more than half the race when he was passed by defending track champion Jack Mitchell of Cedar Falls.

Mitchell, however, would lead for only a few laps when he dropped out with mechanical issues, setting up a battle between Schulte and Krall.

The modified event drew 39 cars, from both the Iowa and Illinois side of the Mississippi River.

The 50-lap altered street stock contest was won by Duane Van Deest of Grundy Center, Iowa, after a torrid battle with Merv Chandler of Walford, Iowa.

Results –

1. Mike Schulte, Norway
2. Mike Krall, Waterloo
3. Arlo Becker, Atkins
4. Ron Hurst, Cedar Falls
5. Mike Sampson, Evansdale
6. Bob Bowser, Cedar Rapids
7. Rollie Hahn, Grand Mound
8. Tom Fitzpatrick, Gilbertville
9. Mike Wheeler, Davenport
10.Max Leonard, Shellsburg
11.Jim Schmuecker, Vinton
12.Dan Higdon, Vinton
13.Jack Mitchell, Cedar Falls
14.Greg Seitz, Waterloo
15.Dave Swarts, Cedar Falls

Saturday, April 24, 2021

1949 – Parsons Wins 100-Miler at Arlington

Johnny Parsons accepts his trophy in victory lane. 

Arlington, Tex. (April 24, 1949) – Pathos mingled with methanol fumes and squirting mud at Arlington Downs as 30-year-old Johnnie Parsons of Van Nuys, Calif., made capital of another’s misfortune to win the 100-mile automobile race.

Parsons finished a lap and a quarter ahead of Rex Mays of Glendale, Calif., and Johnny Mantz of Gardena, Calif., was another lap behind in third place.

Myron Fohr, the reigning national champion, drove a steady but unspectacular race that enabled him to take fourth. Frank Burany of Milwaukee, Wis., was fifth.

Shorn of some of its glitter by a late start, and a field reduced to 11 cars, this third renewal of big car racing at Arlington Downs quickly resolved into a spirited battle between Parsons and young Troy Ruttman of Ontario, Calif.

After hours of waiting, a remarkably patient crowd of about 12,000 finally were rewarded when Parsons and Ruttman began jockeying for the lead on the third lap. Neither paid much heed to the slippery footing on the turns and the battle raged on for 50 laps before Parsons finally broke out front.

Ruttman, a tall, curly-haired youth of 22, was the sentimental favorite and when he dropped out 20 laps later the element of conflict was gone. Thereafter, Parsons led by half a mile or more and it was mostly a matter of waiting around to see if Parsons’ vehicle would hold together.

Ruttman had moved ahead on the third lap and managed to stay 440 yards ahead of Parsons until the 33rd trip. Then Parsons cut the advantage to a car length and twice just missed overtaking the youngster on turns. But he hit a soft spot on the backstretch, almost skidded out of control, and slipped a quarter of a mile behind.

Parsons came up again after 50 laps and finally passed Ruttman going into the west turn on the backstretch on lap 54. Ruttman was forced out on lap 73 with a broken steering arm and blistered hands.

Cutting sharply on the turns and generally driving like a man in a hurry, Parsons maintained a half-mile lead over Mays until lap 85 when he hoisted the advantage to a full lap.

Parsons and Mays then held their positions through the last nine laps and Mantz, who took third when Ruttman exited, coasted in third.

Mays experienced a driver’s nightmare on the final lap when he ran out of fuel as he entered the main straightaway. His car had just enough momentum to carry him across the finish line.

For an afternoon of leap-footed and often daredevil driving, Parsons collected 200 points towards the national AAA racing title and $2,600 in prize money. He was also rewarded with a kiss from his wife, blisters on his hands that forced him to greet friends with a two-finger shake, and a handsome trophy.

A nine-year racing veteran, Parsons won his last AAA event, October 10, 1948, at Du Quoin, Ill., in a race that cost Ted Horn his life. Parsons remembered Horn on Sunday.

“It was swell to take first, but we all miss Ted,” he said. Horn had won the last two races run at Arlington.

Parsons drove the 100 miles in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 40 seconds, averaging 85.15 miles per hour.

Mays won the pole position with a qualifying speed of 90.92 miles per hour.

Results –

1. Johnnie Parson
2. Rex Mays
3. Johnny Mantz
4. Myron Fohr
5. Frank Burany
6. Milt Fankhauser
7. Johnny McDowell
8. Troy Ruttman
9. Bayliss Levrett
10.Jimmy Davies

Johnny Parsons raises his hand in victory as he accepts the checkered flag.

Friday, April 23, 2021

1977 – Shryock, Kosiski win Omaha special


Omaha, Neb. (April 23, 1977) – Joe Kosiski of Omaha and Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa, withstood the challenges of 50 top late models to split the twin 50-lap features Saturday night at Sunset Speedway’s fifth annual $5,000 Spring Invitational.

The cold front which brought rain to delay the start of the races, stretched the program until midnight, before Kosiski and Shyrock claimed their $500 victories.

Shryock, in the first feature, took the lead midway through when Jack McDonald of Eldridge, N.D., broke a rear axle. Bill Rice of Des Moines, who had led early in the 50-lapper, finished second ahead of multi-time Sunset point champion Bob Kosiski of Omaha.

In the second feature, Joe Kosiski won his second big race in two weeks (he won the week before in Kansas City), by beating Kent Tucker of Aurora, Neb., to the checkered flag.

Drivers from Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota participated in an annual event that has seen Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, Bob Kosiski, Bill Martin of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Bob Saterdalen of Oronoco, Minn., win previous titles.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1.     1. Bob Shryock, Estherville, Iowa

2.     2. Bill Rice, Des Moines

3.     3. Bob Kosiski, Omaha

4.     4. Kent Tucker, Aurora, Neb.

5.     5. Tim Eliason, Duluth, Minn.

6.     6. Dwaine Hanson, Lakefield, Minn.

7.     7. Joe Kosiski, Omaha

8.     8. Duane Errett, Harlan, Iowa

9.     9.  John Oswalt, Kansas City

10   10. Jack McDonald, Eldridge, N.D.

Feature #2 –

1.     1. Joe Kosiski

2.     2. Ken Tucker

3.     3. Bob Kosiski

4.     4. Mike Dibben, Kansas City

5.     5. Tim Eliason

6.     6. Dwaine Hanson

7.     7. John Oswalt

8.     8. Duane Errett

9.     9. Ernie Brookins, Fargo, N.D.

       10. Bob Shryock

Thursday, April 22, 2021

1972 - Morris in Columbus Junction Victory

Columbus Junction, Iowa (April 22, 1971) – The Mississippi Valley Speed Club kicked off an action packed season opener on Saturday evening at the Louisa County Fairgrounds. The evening was chilly, but the racing action was hot.

The 25-lap feature started off with defending track champion Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree, Iowa, taking the lead until he developed mechanical trouble. Ron Prymek of Iowa City, Iowa took over with Mel Morris stuck to his bumper. On the 21st circuit, Prymek would get high up on the track, allowing Morris to slip by for the lead. The West Liberty, Iowa, veteran would hold on for the remaining four laps to pick up the victory.

Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, started the evening off by turning in the fastest time of 26.85 seconds on the half-mile. Perry Beckler of Tiffin, Iowa, turned in the second fastest time of 27.02 seconds while Larry Jenkins of Wilton, Iowa, was third fastest with 27.08 seconds.

Jim Gerber off Long Grove, Iowa, would pick up the first trophy of the season, winning the 5-lap trophy dash. He would also win the first heat ahead of Hemsted and Bill Schwader of McCausland, Iowa.

As the green flag came out for the second heat, Ed Haase of Fort Madison, Iowa hit the cement retaining wall in front of thee grandstand. His car made several rolls before coming to a rest on its wheels. Haase was taken to a local hospital for minor cuts and bruises.

The restart brought a battle between Ron Prymek, Mel Morris and Ray Guss of Milan, Ill., with Prymek holding off the two tough competitors and taking thee checkered flag.

Ron Weedon would start at the rear of the field for the third heat but by lap 4 was out in front and won easily.

The start of the fourth heat brought out the red flag as Jack Prouty of Bettendorf, Iowa, lost control of his car in front of the grandstand and hit the cement retaining wall. He received a cut above his eye. After the restart, Don Morgan of Muscatine, Iowa,, grabbed the lead and held on to win the event.

Veteran Charlie Moffitt of Stanwood, Iowa, picked up the checkered flag in the semi-main event ahead of Bill Douglas of West Liberty, Iowa

Results –

Fast time – Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa (26.85)
Trophy dash – Jim Gerber, Long Grove, Iowa
Heat #1 – Jim Gerber
Heat #2 – Ron Prymek, Iowa City, Iowa
Heat #3 – Ron Weedon
Heat #4 – Don Morgan, Muscatine, Iowa
Semi-main – Charlie Moffitt, Stanwood, Iowa
Feature –
1. Mel Morris
2. Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
3. Larry Jenkins, Wilton, Iowa
4. Bill Schwader, McCausland, Iowa
5. Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree, Iowa
6. Perry Beckler, Tiffin, Iowa
7. Jerry Reinhart, Moline, Ill.
8. Ed Mellecker, Iowa City, Iowa
9. Del Abney, Muscatine, Iowa
10.Walt Carney West Branch, Iowa

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

1974 - Maier takes Twin 100 at Odessa

Tom Maier is presented his trophy after sweeping the Twin-100's at Odessa. 

Odessa, Mo. (April 21, 1974) – Whether he started at the front or the rear, it was all Tom Maier on Sunday afternoon at I-70 Speedway as the Midland, Mich., driver wheeled his 1973 Camaro to victory in the Twin 100 season opener.

Maier, who drives a green colored car, supposedly an ill-fated color in racing circles, won what turned out to be easy back-to-back features. In the first 100-lapper, he outlasted Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., and in the second contest, he survived over Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., who provided some heroics by changing motors in between feature races.

The track opener attracted 43 late models and a crowd of 6,937 to the half-mile high-banked paved track.

Maier, who won the Springtime 200 here last year, and who also holds the one-lap qualifying record of 18.18 seconds, started the first feature in the second row. Jim Bickerstaff of Niles, Ohio, who set fast time in his ’73 Camaro, led the first lap. Then, Senneker, at the wheel of a ’73 Camaro, took over until a fuel pump fractured, and Maier, poised for the victory, was more than willing to take over.

In the second feature, when the field was inverted and Maier started dead last in the 30-car field, he steadily worked his way through traffic and a little commotion to better Phillips.

Phillips, driving a 1972 Camaro, was a front-row starter in the first race, but blew an engine on lap 20. During the running of the 20-lap Super Six Stock Car feature, Phillips and his crew changed motors and because of the low first-race finish, started on the front row for the second contest.

Phillips led most of the way, but Maier dashed through the field, overtook Phillips and won going away as Phillips’ second engine became ill. It finished with a hurting sound and it appear as though only seven pistons were working.

The first main event worked into a thing of beauty as Senneker, Bickerstaff, Maier, Dave Wall of Kansas City, Terry Bivins of Shawnee, Kan., and Fred Whisler of Independence, Mo., drove through traffic as If they were chained together.

Attrition, though, would take its toll and the front-runners narrowed down to Maier, Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and Bivins.

Trickle was driving a borrowed car. He had crashed Friday night in Madison, Wis., and again on Saturday in Rolla, Mo. He then commandeered a car he sold last year to Rolla owners. Trickle would finish with a second in the first race and a third-place in the second contest.

As is the pattern on this track, it was the out-of-towners who stole the show. Bivins did the best job of making it a race as he put on a late charge in the opener, but a sputtering engine halted his progress and he finished third. In the second feature, Bivins got tangled in a first-lap crash and switched mounts, but to no avail.

Maier collected $1,000 from each race of the $10,000 event. Trickle earned $1,007 for his second and third-place finishes.

“We were just guessing all the way, just shooting cold turkey,” Mair said from victory lane. “Our suspension was not set up, but we guessed right on the springs. It worked.”

As for the completely inverted start that placed him at the rear of the field for the second feature. “That was some tough driving through all of that junk. Maybe they could invert 10 or 15 cars, but not the whole damn field,” he remarked.

Maier, who said he won 78% of the features he entered last year, is 3 for 6 at I-70 Speedway.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Tom Maier, Midland, Mich.
2. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
3. Terry Bivins, Shawnee, Kan.
4. David Goldsberry, Bolivar, Mo.
5. Fred Whisler, Independence, Mo.
6. Joe Frasson, Golden Valley, Minn.
7. Joe Wallace, Peyton, Colo.
8. Ferris Collier, Lampe, Mo.
9. Terry Brumley, Springfield, Mo.
10.Willie Crane, Springfield, Mo.
11.Larry Ball, Springfield, Mo.
12.Doyle Dawe, Kansas City
13.Roy McClellan, Kansas City
14.Jerry Nussbaum, Oak Grove, Mo.
15.Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.

Feature #2 –

1. Tom Maier
2. Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
3. Dick Trickle
4. Jim Bickerstaff, Niles, Ohio
5. Dave Wall
6. David Goldsberry
7. Terry Brumley
8. Joe Frasson
9. Larry Ball
10.Terry Bivins
11.Troy Petty, Rogers, Ark.
12.Rick Kimberling, Slater, Mo.
13.Doyle Dawe
14.Larry Briggs, Kansas City
15.Mike Lutkie, Wichita

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

1969 – Tri-County 100-Lapper to Don White

Don White

West Chester, Ohio (April 20, 1969) – Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, maneuvered his paved-track 1969 Dodge Charger to a five-car-length victory Sunday afternoon in the 100-lap United States Auto Club late model stock car feature at Tri-County Speedway.

White, driving the car over the half-mile dirt, took the lead on the 95th lap from Jerry Smith of Medina, Wis., who settled for second in a 1967 Plymouth.

Smith led for 11 laps after Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, spun out and lost three laps before returning. Eaker, who wound up third, was driving White’s dirt-track car that he just purchased. Eaker had paced the field of 20 drivers for 66 circuits.

A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and defending USAC stock car national champion, lost oil pressure in his 1969 Ford Torino and never made the race.

Roger McCluskey of Tucson, Ariz., finished fourth in a 1969 Plymouth and Paul Feldner of Colgate, Wis., was fifth in a 1967 Ford.

Results –

1. Don White
2. Jerry Smith
3. Verlin Eaker
4. Roger McCluskey
5. Paul Feldner
6. J.J. Smith
7. Jay Behimer
8. Glen Bradley
9. Dave Whitcomb
10.Lefty Robinson
11.Dave Hirschfield
12.Jack Knippel
13.Dale Jett
14.Butch Hartman
15.Baldy McLaren

Sunday, April 18, 2021

1976 - Record 6,271 fans witness Helfrich, Gaines victories

Tom Helfrich

Haubstadt, Ind. (April 18, 1976) - Dick Gaines, Floyd Knobs, Ind., and Haubstadt’s Tommy Helfrich each took home top money and a beautiful three-foot trophy for winning the Wright Motors-Don Jackson, Cliff Johns Memorial Twin 50’s at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt Sunday night.

As the gates opened on the 1976 season, one could see the fans coming from every direction. The stands filled early and still they came. By the time the final tally was taken, 6,271 eager racing fanatics had filed through the gates to witness the first race of the season. It was a record crowd at the Haubstadt oval with the previous best being 5,072 at last year’s opener.

The sprint car feature was the first of the twin 50’s. As starter Wayne Allen, Princeton, waved the green flag, 22 cars steered around the quarter-mile track. Gaines, starting sixth, advanced every lap and overtook early leader Bobby Marshall, Dallas Texas, on the 17th circuit.

At the halfway point Gaines held the top spot, followed by Chuck Amati, Marshall, Butch Wilkerson, driving the Centertown Motors car which Cliff Cockrum piloted to two straight championships at Tri-State, and Evansville's Larry Goad.

On lap 26 Rick Ferkel, the famous “outlaw” sprint car driver, moved in to fifth position, ahead of Goad. On the 35th circuit, Wilkerson worked his way past Marshall for third.

The yellow flag came out on lap 38 when a torsion arm came off Goad’s car and debris had to be removed from the racing surface in the first turn.

When the green flag dropped again Ferkel slipped by Marshall for fourth spot. With five laps to go Doug Wolfgang moved into fifth position ahead of the faltering Marshall.

The top five spots were unchanged from that point to the finish and Dick Gaines crossed the line first with Amati, Wilkerson, Ferkel and Wolfgang following.

Sprint heat winners were Rick Ferkel, Larry 'Buckwheat’ Gates, and Chet Johnson. Russ Racine won the 15-lap semi-feature which was red-flagged after 12 laps when 1975 ‘Rookie of the Year’ Tom Goad lost control of his car. Goad hit the turn three wall and flipped once. He was uninjured.

Bobby Marshall set fast time with a 14.979 second lap.

In the late model segment, it was all Tom Helfrich. The 'Haubstadt Hustler’ led from start to finish as he crossed the finish line waving to the huge crowd.

Helfrich started on the outside front row. He beat Wayne Coakley, Paducah, to the first turn and the 25-year-old chauffer really turned it on.

On the second lap Jerry Inman, Bruce, Miss., spun his D-7 car while running third. That allowed Jesse Ladd, also of Paducah, and Haubstadt’s Charlie Dewig to move up in the ranks. Dewig was followed by Jim Scales and Jerry McKinney.

On lap 14 Dewig lost control and spun in turn four, while Ladd was passing Coakley for second place. After 25 laps, or halfway, it was Helfrich, Ladd, Coakley, McKinney and Scales.

Scales, Chandler, spun his #98 Camaro in turn four on lap 30, dropping him back in the order. Frank Law, Algree, Ky., then moved into the top five for the first time of the evening.

Lap 36 saw McKinney move ahead of faltering Wayne Coakley. With 10 laps remaining, Doug McCammon, Palestine, Ill., began his late charge to the front. He m oved into fifth place behind Coakley.

On lap 42 McCammon passed Coakley and McKinney to capture third. On the 45th trip around, McCammon slipped under Ladd for second place and that’s where he ended up.

Buck Eden created some excitement by spinning down the front straightaway and brought out the yellow flag on lap 47. The yellow allowed the cars to close the gap on Helfrich. This gave McCammon his best chance for the lead with just two laps to go, but when the green flag came out again, the talent of Helfrich was too much for his foes and the three -time defending champion was the first under the checkered flag. Helfrich was followed by McCammon, Ladd, McKinney, and Fred Gerteisen.

Charlie Mounce, Russ Petro and Gary Kueling won the late model preliminary events. Helfrich ’s 17.295 second lap was the best in qualifications.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

1971 – Swanson cops Vinton ‘Spring Championship’

Vinton, Iowa (April 17, 1971) – Cal Swanson of Reinbeck, Iowa, bested some of the Midwest’s top late model stock car drivers Saturday night to capture the Spring Championship at the Benton County Fairgrounds’ dirt oval.

Swanson banked $350 for his feature win, his first and only checkered of the evening, as more than 2,100 fans watched the thrilling action on the renovated quarter-mile.

Many race fans were turned away on a perfect night for racing as the Cedar Valley Racing Association, sponsors of the first big race for 1971, posted “standing room only” signs outside the entrance a half hour before the program started.

Arlo Becker, the Atkins, Iowa, charger, squealed around the oval to capture second place, followed by Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, and Waterloo, Iowa’s Bill Zwanziger rounding out the top five.

More than 35 late models signed in for the annual event, which saw Hansen, Glen Martin of Independence, Iowa and Zwanziger take checkered flags in heat races. Becker outran Bill Beckman of Lisbon, Iowa, to capture the semi-main. Cedar Rapids’ Bob Ballard won the consolation ahead of Larry Wasserfort of Waterloo.

Red Droste of Waterloo, always a threat in any race, was limited to a second place in the third heat, and blew a motor in the semi-main, keeping him out of the main event.

Results –

Heat #1 – Curt Hansen, Dike
Heat #2 – Glen Martin, Independence
Heat #3 – Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
Semi-main – Arlo Becker, Atkins
Consolation – Bob Ballard, Cedar Rapids
Feature –

1. Cal Swanson, Reinbeck
2. Arlo Becker
3. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
4. Curt Hansen
5. Bill Zwanziger
6. Bill Beckman, Lisbon
7. Ron Lint, Cedar Rapids
8. Dan Nesteby, Waterloo
9. Larry Wasserfort, Waterloo
10.Max Overturf, Cedar Rapids

Friday, April 16, 2021

1967 – Derr Sets Three New Records

Ernie Derr is greeted by starter Russ Brown after winning the Pelican 200. 

Shreveport, La. (April 16, 1967) – Seven-time IMCA national champion Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the nation’s premier dirt track experts as he piloted his 1967 Dodge Coronet to three new track records en route to victory in the fastest Pelican 200 stock car classic in the history of the event.

Derr, a resident of Keokuk, Iowa, grabbed his first track mark in the time of 45 minutes and 4.61 seconds over 100 laps. He broke another track for 150 laps in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 44.25 seconds and his third standard were for 200 laps in 1 hour, 31 minutes and 39.42 seconds.

The champion withstood the challenges of Ramo Stott, the defending Pelican king, and Lenny Funk.

It was the official season opener for the International Motor Contest Association stock car season which will find the drivers competing throughout the Midwest and returning here in October for the season finale.

Derr said he made the final preparations to car in Keokuk before starting his trip to Shreveport. He didn’t touch the engine after arrival. Prior to the race, he took the car out for several test laps for testing of the gear ratio and engine. He said he felt secure in his bid for the title from the start of the race.

Instead of time trials, promoter Frank Winkley called for the top eight drivers in the final standings of the 1966 season to undergo a 10-lap preliminary heat for deciding starting positions. Seven other drivers who were newcomers to IMCA had a drawing spot for their positions.

Derr won the preliminary in 4 minutes and 34.55 seconds with Funk finishing second. Stott encountered trouble in his steering mechanism when he was involved in a smashup in the third turn.

Derr and Funk unreeled an early battle for the lead. Derr paced the first two laps, Funk pushed ahead on the third but Derr regained the top spot on the fourth and held forth until the Kansas wheat farmer overtook the Iowan on the seventh. Derr went back in front on the tenth with Funk and Stott trailing. Funk again pushed ahead on lap 15, Derr was back ahead on lap 17but Funk regained the pace on lap 23.

Derr went ahead on the 29th while touring the half-mile in 25.78 seconds and Funk nosed ahead on lap 30.

Tire trouble sent Ken Christie of Springfield, Mo., ramming his 1967 Dodge Charger into the guard rail on lap 39. Funk pitted for the required 30 seconds on lap 54 and returned to the pits on lap 68 while losing six laps to Derr and Stott.

Derr and Stott both went into the pits on the 92nd lap and after making the trek around the oval, Stott returned to the pits. Two laps later, Stott was back in the pits for a tire change and Derr pitted again on lap 97.

Lewis Taylor of Shawnee, Kan., driving a 1967 Plymouth, spun in the northeast corner on lap 102 and was sidelined with an engine cut in half. Funk experienced engine troubles of his own on lap 153, pitted and then returned to action.

Stott finished second behind Derr, two laps down to the leader. Funk finished third, five laps down.

Promoter Winkley said the crowd of 8,500 which overflowed into the infield was his second largest since inauguration of the Pelican race.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
4. Phil Cronin, Houston, Tex.
5. Dale Keeling, Dixon, Mo.
6. Norm Hall, Russell, Minn.
7. George England, Dallas, Tex.
8. Ken Christie, Springfield, Mo.
9. Lewis Taylor, Shawnee, Kan.
10.Joe Melichar, Albuquerque, N.M.
11.J.J. Stubblefield, High Ridge, Mo.
12.Tony Barcelona, Houston, Tex.
13.Billy Bayles, Monroe, Lou.
14.Emory Fretheim, Decorah, Iowa
15.Paul Feldner, Colgate, Wis

Thursday, April 15, 2021

1978 - Niffenegger Wins Liberty's 'Spring Championship'

West Liberty, Iowa (April 15, 1978) – Over 6,000 race fans were at the West Liberty Fairgrounds Saturday evening for the annual ‘Spring Championship’, which opened with the weekly stock car season. A total of 54 late models from seven states were on hand, with drivers competing for a $10,000 purse.

Mike Niffenegger of Kalona, Iowa, took home the $1,000 top prize by winning the 30-lap late model feature race. Gary Crawford of Independence, Iowa, earned $800 for finishing second. Niffenegger also finished second in his heat and was second fastest qualifier on the day.

The feature was made up of the 20 fastest qualifiers, with the top six inverted. Fastest qualifiers were Bob Kosiski of Omaha, Niffenegger, Tom Hearst of Wilton, Iowa, Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, and John Simenec of Rock Island, Ill. Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, had the pole with Simenec on the outside front row.

Simenec grabbed the lead at the drop of the green and held off his challengers for 17 circuits. On lap 18, Simenec’s “Tri-City Buggy” developed engine problems, forcing him to the pit area.

Niffenegger, who had been running second, took over the top spot and never relinquished for the final 13 laps, although he was given some very tough competition from Gary Crawford and Bill Martin of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Late model heat wins went to Duane Steffe of Colona, Ill., Jim Burbridge of Delhi, Iowa, Bill Martin, Curt Houge of Ames, Iowa, and Bill Breuer of Wapello, Iowa.

Results –

1. Mike Niffenegger, Kalona, Iowa
2. Gary Crawford, Independence, Iowa
3. Bill Martin, Council Bluffs, Iowa
4. Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
5. Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
6. Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa
7. Duane Steffe, Colona, Ill.
8. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
9. Bob Kosiski, Omaha
10. Ted Zieman, Mason City, Iowa
11. Steve Keppler, Marion, Iowa
12. Johnny Johnson, Morning Sun, Iowa
13. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
14. John Simenec, Rock Island, Ill.
15. Del Schmidt, Topeka, Kan.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

1974 - Bettenhausen Grabs Hulman Classic Title

Gary Bettenhausen tames Terre Haute.

Terre Haute, Ind. (April 14, 1974) - Gary Bettenhausen won the 4th annual Tony Hulman Classic for United States Auto Club sprint cars yesterday to cap a day’s furious racing activity at the Terre Haute Action Track. In doing so, he captured the record for number of consecutive feature wins in a sprinter, breaking out of a tie with Jim Hurtubise, who won an unprecedented 5 straight.

The Tinley Park, Ill., native who now drives out of Indianapolis, started 13th in the field, but worked his way through the field and finally got past George Snider, the winner of the inaugural Hulman Classic three years ago, on the 34th lap.

He held it the rest of the way, fending off challenges offered by Snider, Jan Opperman, and A.J. Foyt to take the 40-lap event.

Foyt put on one of the better showings in the Hulman as he found the high road to his liking and began passing easily from his 12th starting position.

But he could do no better than seventh through the latter stages of the rare until the 38th circuit, when a yellow was flagged for an accident.

Trying to get position to make a run for the crown and its big purse, he bolted to the outside barrier and was accused by USAC officials of passing under the yellow His apparent fourth place finish was declared foul and he was put 15th in the unofficial standings.

USAC officials were to make their decision on the outcome of Foyt’s appeal.

Jackie Howerton sped to the lead at the start and held that spot for the first 18 laps before making contact with the turn one wall, allowing Snider to slip by and take charge for the next 15 circuits.

Snider would build a slight lead until Bettenhausen made a daring move on lap 34 to get past him for the top spot. Opperman would also manage to get by Snider for second-place, setting up an exciting finish with Bettenhausen for the remaining six circuits.

Bettehausen, in addition to winning the feature, took the final heat race. He started dead last in that one and took the lead on the eighth and final lap. Other heat winners were Don Nordhorn, Mel Cornett and Lee Osborne. Bruce Walkup nipped Tom Bigelow in the 10-lap semi-main.

Bettenhausen earned approximately $7,000 from a $36,790 purse.

Results –

1. Gary Bettenhausen
2. Jan Opperman
3. George Snider
4. Duane Carter Jr.
5. Sheldon Kinser
6. Billy Cassella
7. Mel Cornett
8. Greg Leffler
9. Rollie Beale
10.Don Nordhorn
11.Tom Bigelow
12.Joe Saldana
13.Butch Wilkerson
14.Bruce Walkup
15.A.J. Foyt
16.Johnny Parsons
17.Jackie Howerton
18.Lee Osborne
19.Bill Puterbaugh
20.Chuck Booth

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

1969 – Snow Runs Away with Salem 100

Les Snow

Salem, Ind. (April 13, 1969) – Les Snow of Bloomington, Ind., capped a record-breaking Sunday afternoon at Salem Speedway with a half-lap victory over Bobby Watson in the 100-lap ARCA late model stock car feature.

Snow, driving a 1969 Plymouth, outjumped Benny Parson’s Ford Torino on the start and was never headed, coming home a runaway winner in 34 minutes and 32 seconds for the 50 miles on the high-banked half-mile paved oval.

Both Snow and Watson, who drove a ’69 Super Bee Dodge, finished a lap ahead of the 25-car field.

Snow’s clocking erased Parson’s year old mark of 34 minutes and 55 seconds. Earlier, Parsons broke his own one-lap qualifying record of 20.02 seconds with a new mark of 19.48 seconds, Parsons’ 1969 Ford Torino Cobra is fitted with a 427-wedge engine, the “Boss 429” power plant being an illegal engine on the ARCA Circuit.

Parsons ran second for the first 35 laps trailed by Andy Hampton in his 1969 Charger and Watson. On the 36th go-round, Watson got hot and zoomed by his two rivals to take second, but at the halfway mark popped a tire and the resulting pit stop dropped him deep in the field, moving Iggy Katona and his 1967 Charger into fourth place.

The only yellow flag of the day came on lap 85 when Forrest Haliburton blew a tire and hit the wall.

Katona finished fourth with Ramo Stott’s ’69 Plymouth in fifth place.

An interested spectator at Salem was Charlie Glotzbach, recently resigned from NASCAR racing.

Results –

1. Les Snow
2. Bobby Watson
3. Benny Parson
4. Iggy Katona
5. Ramo Stott
6. Dave Dayton
7. Elmer Davis
8. Bill Kimmel
9. Andy Hampton
10. Paul Sizemore

Monday, April 12, 2021

1964 – Foyt Cops Feature Race

Always one to draw a crowd,  A.J. Foyt has a audience as he changes a tire prior to race action. 

Mechanicsburg, Penn. (April 12, 1964) – A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., started slow but came on strong Sunday to win the 30-lap race for United States Auto Club sprint cars at Williams Grove Speedway.

Foyt, starting in the sixth spot as 4,700 fans looked on, took the lead on the 19th lap and came home a 15-length winner over Johnny White of Warren, Mich. Jimmy Maguire of Dunellen, N.J. was third.

Foyt’s winning time was 13 minutes and 24.51 seconds.

Foyt took the leaders one-by-one to slip ahead and pull away.

He moved into third place on the 10th lap while White was holding about a length-and-a-half margin on Maguire.

The Texas driver went by Maguire on the 14th lap and went to the outside on the 19th lap to pass White and race home a victor.

Results –

1. A.J. Foyt
2. Johnny White
3. Jim Maguire
4. Jud Larson
5. Gordon Johncock
6. Chuck Hulse
7. Bob Mathouser
8. Chuck Engel
9. Chuck Arnold
10. Mario Andretti

Sunday, April 11, 2021

1976 – Bivins to Victory Lane at I-70

Terry Bivins

Odessa, Mo. (April 11, 1976) – A flat tire put Terry Bivins out of contention in the feature event for the late model stock cars last week at I-70 Speedway, but the Shawnee, Kan., driver had everything in his favor Sunday afternoon as he put his 1976 Camaro into victory lane.

Terry Brumley, who started the feature on the pole, led the first few laps before Bivins took over. David Goldsberry, looking for his second straight feature victory, also made it past Brumley and with “Tiger” Bob Williams and Brumley, kept the heat on Bivins until Brumley went out with mechanical issues on lap 9.

Bivins stretched out his lead to about 100 yards at the finish. Goldsberry, Williams, Dave Klingsporn and Jerry Nussbaum rounded out the top five finishers.

Bivins competed last week in the 1974 Chevelle that he competed in last year but chose to run his new Camaro after running third at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla., Friday night.

“We bought the Camaro in Indiana,” Bivins said. “And rebuilt it over the winter. We tore it down to the bare frame and roll cage and “Bivinized” it.”

Bob Williams set fast time with a one-lap orbit of 18.85 seconds. Bivins won the trophy dash. Brumley was the winner in the fast heat while Klingsporn took the middle heat and Dick Turner nabbed the slow heat.

Results –

Time trials – Bob Williams, Independence, Mo.
Trophy dash – Terry Bivins, Shawnee, Kan.
Fast heat – Terry Brumley, Springfield, Mo.
Middle heat – David Klingsporn Monett, Mo
Slow heat – Dick Turner, Kansas City
Feature –
1. Terry Bivins
2. David Goldsberry, Bolivar, Mo.
3. Bob Williams
4. David Klingsporn
5. Jerry Nussbaum, Oak Grove, Mo.
6. Roger Arnhart, Kansas City
7. Denny Roberts, Independence, Mo.
8. Steve Privett, St. Charles, Mo.
9. Rod Hayes, Bates City, Mo.
10.Charlie Kinard, Vida, Mo.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

1982 - Phillips Class of 'World Championships'

Larry Phillips

Phoenix, Ariz. (April 10, 1982) – Missouri’s Larry Phillips was in a class by himself in the finals of the RC Cola/7-Up Western World Championships for late model stock cars at Manzanita Speedway.

Although the line-up for the 40-lap feature was studded with driving stars, no one could match Phillips and his lightning fast Camaro. Phillips started alongside Bill Cheesbourg but easily beat the Tucson veteran into the first turn. Even though he had to endure several cautions and a red flag for refueling purposes, Phillips still managed to lap all but nine cars en route to a $3,500 payday.

There was only one car that may have been able to run with Phillips. Don Hoffman of Des Moines, Iowa, made it into the feature by virtue of winning the 20-lap semi-main and was on his way to the front when disaster struck prior to the halfway point. Hoffman had moved his Camaro into fifth place and was challenging Cheesbourg for fourth when he jumped the cushion and slammed into the retaining wall, ending a beautiful drive.

While there was really no contest for the front spot, the action was hot and heavy behind Phillips. Throughout most of the race, there were six or seven cars in contention for the runner-up spot. Mike Gibson and Carl Trimmer swapped the second position two or three times and George Brazil Jr. was in the thick of the battle and finally took over that spot with only three laps remaining. However, tough luck that has plagued him the past two weeks struck again s he blew an engine on the white flag lap and pushed his car across the finish line in tenth.

Trimmer edged Charlie Swartz for second, Cheesbourg took fourth and Steve McGuire grabbed fifth.

Hoffman, who had problems during the qualifying races, was not seriously challenged in the semi. He started fifth and was in front before the first lap was completed.

The excitement in the semi was created by Roger Saathoff. The South Dakota driver started 15th and drove his way to second place even though he was losing his clutch in his Camaro. Gaylord Lippert finished third with his Thunderbird and qualified for the feature when Red Dralle scratched. However, Lippert had to scratch a well when his mount lost oil pressure. Saathoff would last only a few laps in the feature before his transmission went out.

Results –

1. Larry Phillips
2. Carl Trimmer
3. Charlie Swartz
4. Bill Cheesbourg
5. Steve McGuire
6. Mike Gibson
7. Ivan Russell
8. Bill Black
9. Buddy Murphy
10.George Brazil Jr.
11.Bill Brandon
12.Ken Hobson
13.Jim Maguire
14.H.D. Jackson
15.Herb Laing
16.Gary Thomas
17.Art Adams
18.Fred Lundock
19.Jerry McCurdy
20.Terry Green
21.Don Hoffman
22.Roger Saathoff

Friday, April 9, 2021

1972 - 'Big D' Struggles to Elko Victory

Dan Prizborowski

Elko, Minn. (April 9, 1972) – Although the weather that greeted race fans at Elko Speedway on Sunday afternoon was of the mid-winter variety, the type of racing presented was more like the heated competition of mid-summer.

Dan Prizborowski of Savage, Minn., took late model feature honors but not before Minneapolitan Dick Giles and Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., issued a 22-lap challenge that forced the popular driver to go all out in his bid for the opening checkered flag ride of the season.

Giles, driving a sparkling new Ford, had won both his heat and the trophy dash while Williams was second in his heat and third in the dash. Prizborowski was fourth in his heat, but because the top heat winners were inverted for the main event, the defending track champion found himself on the pole position.

But, with only five laps gone, both Giles and Williams had already moved through traffic to touch Prziborowski’s bumper and from there on, the trio battled lap after lap, never more than a car length apart.

Despite constant pressure from Giles and Williams, though, Prizborowski was able to hold on, winning by a couple of car lengths at the checkers. Williams settled for second while Giles finish third. Dick Stang of Prior Lake was fourth and Larry Smith of Shakopee rounded out the top five.

Giles and Larry Behrens of Northfield were heat winners. Giles was also the trophy dash winner and Norm Setran of Bloomington was the consolation victor.

Meanwhile, 45 hobby stocks checked in and produced the same close-knit action. Joe Ritchie of Minneapolis was the feature winner followed by Dewey Gustafson of St. Paul and Al Pearson of Richfield.

Sunday’s doubleheader was accident free except in warmups when John Boegeman of Shakopee flipped his Superamerica Chevy but escaped injury.

The biggest surprise to track owner/operator Phil Stewart was the splendid turnout of fans, nearly 2,200 total.

“With the temperature around 35 degrees I anticipated maybe a quarter of this for fans but with 1,700 passing through the turnstiles plus the youngsters, I was pleasantly pleased,” Stewart said. “With warmer temps, we’ll be on our way.”

Results –

Late Model –

1. Dan Prizborowski
2. Mert Williams
3. Dick Stiles
4. Dick Stang
5. Larry Smith
6. Norm Setran
7. Mike Miller
8. Larry Behrens
9. Harry Bahr
10.Ray Forsythe
11.Mike Murgic
12.Dave Noble

Hobby Stocks –

1. Joe Ritchie
2. Dewey Gustafson
3. Al Pearson
4. Lynn Peterson
5. Mike Blass

Thursday, April 8, 2021

1956 – White Wins Gulf States Marathon

Don White accepts his Gulf States Championship trophy from country and western singing star, Johnny Horton. 

Shreveport, La. (April 8, 1956) – An Iowa speed demon looms as the favorite in the 1956 chase for the International Motor Contest Association stock car championship.

Don White, IMCA’s 1954 and ‘55 national champion, began defense of his crown Sunday afternoon by shattering a world’s IMCA 50-mile record while taking first place in the second annual Gulf States Championship race at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds.

White, the driver of a 1956 Dodge, finished the 100-lap marathon in 50 minutes and 8.15 seconds to shatter a previous record – 51 minutes and 51.25 seconds – which he established on September 1, 1955, at Sioux Falls, S.D.

The two-time national stock car champion annexed his latest triumph in what was one of the most exciting races promoted here in recent years. His Gulf States success climaxed a three-event program.

Johnny Beauchamp, driver of a 1956 Chevrolet from Harlan, Iowa, led the field to take the checkered flag in the opening 15-lap event, winning in 7 minutes and 57.8 seconds. He was followed by Newt Bartholomew of Carlisle, Iowa, Shreveport’s Roxy Dancy and Bobby Brown of Springfield, Mo.

The second 15-lapper was captured by White in 7 minutes and 39.8 seconds. Preacher Durr, driving Herschel Buchanan’s Ford Thunderbird, finished second ahead of Dick Houdek of Wichita, Kan.

Two drivers made trouble for White in the main event. Roxy Dancy grabbed the lead on the first lap and stayed ahead of the talented field for the first 48 trips around the half-mile dirt oval. Beauchamp overtook Dancy on lap 49 and he retained the lead until the 68th go-round when his car started overheating and White assumed command until the end.

White won his Gulf States crown before a capacity crowd which also had spectators watching the action from the infield.

Herschel Buchanan, Shreveport’s veteran driver, was fastest qualifier with a time of 30.65 seconds. Unfortunately, Buchanan was forced to withdraw from competition after timing his car, which gave the pole position to the second fastest qualifier, Roxy Dancy with a time of 30.91 seconds.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
3. Preacher Durr, Shreveport
4. Dick Houdek, Wichita, Kan.
5. Shorty Ebert, Kansas City, Mo.
6. Ralph Dyer, Shreveport
7. Roxy Dancy, Shreveport
8. Bobby Brown, Springfield, Mo.
9. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
10.Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa