Cresco, Iowa (June 26, 1971) — Austin, Minn., driver Gerhard Wollenburg powered his 1967 Chevelle to an easy feature victory at the Howard County Speedway here Saturday night, but wasn’t relaxed until it was over.
Wollenburg started in the second row on the outside of the 15-lap, eight-car feature, pulled into first place on the second lap and won going away, even after two restarts that put the cars in single file.
He took the lead by going around Roger Hofner of Austin, Minn., on the outside of the second turn in the second lap. He then fought off surging Bobby Saterdalen of Oronoco, Minn., the final four laps.
“Tonight, things went very well for me,” said Wollenburg. “I made a couple of mistakes in the feature, by not getting set up right, but the car handled extremely well, in the feature that is,” he added.
Although ahead for 14 of the 15 laps and winner by several car lengths in front of Saterdalen, Wollenburg said, “It doesn’t matter how big a lead you have, you never have a race cinched. So much can go wrong,” he added.
Wollenburg won $300 for taking the first in the feature (his third this season) and $20 more for third in a 10-lap heat, and he guaranteed himself of staying in first place in the point standings at the Cresco track.
Saterdalen, driver of a 1971 Monte Carlo, had a good night too, winning $178 for his runner-up finish in the feature and a second in a 10-lap heat. He was third in the point standings but was 175 points behind Wollenburg.
Decorah's Em Fretheim brought many cheers from the 981 paid fans when he powered his 1969 Chevelle from last to first in the 12-lap semi-feature, passing Mason City’s Jack Pieper on the inside of the fourth turn on lap 9. Fretheim didn’t arrive until intermission and missed the two heat races but won $76 for the semi win.
Wayne Peters of Rochester, Minn. and Terry Messersmith of New Hampton, Iowa were the heat winners.
Peters took the lead in the third lap after previous leader Ron Huffman of Austin had engine trouble and dropped out. Messersmith went to the front in the second heat after Pieper dropped out after one lap with engine trouble.
Heat #1 – Wayne Peters, Rochester, Minn.
Heat #2 – Terry Messersmith, New Hampton, Iowa
Semi-main – Em Fretheim, Decorah
1. Gerhard Wollenberg, Austin, Minn.
2. Bobby Saterdalen, Oronoco, Minn.
3. John Leger, Austin, Minn.
4. Wayne Peters
5. Roger Hofner
6. Ron Klimesch, Delmar, Iowa
7. Ed Kirschbaum, Mason City
8. Roger Carmody, Osage