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

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