Saturday, June 12, 2021

1973 - Connolly Scores Illowa 101 Victory

John Connolly of Delhi, Iowa, won the Illowa 101 at Davenport. IMCA official Larry Shipley (left) presents the trophy while Woody Brinkman (right) presents the checkered. – Beetle Bailey Photo

Davenport, Iowa (June 12, 1973) – John Connolly of Delhi, Iowa, took the lead on lap 70 Tuesday night and held on to win the Illowa 101 International Motor Contest Association late model stock car race at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.

Connolly, driving a 1969 Ford Torino, notched $500 for his efforts before an estimated crowd of 3,500.

Second place went to Gary Brooks of Grand Prairie, Tex., driving a 1972 Monte Carlo.

Connolly took an early lead on the fourth lap, being challenged by Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, Iowa, for the entire early portion of the race.

Weedon passed Connolly on the backstretch on the 27th circuit and a three-car battle ensued between the two drivers and Jim Tobin of Hudson, Ill.

Connolly lost his windshield on lap 55 and was forced to the pit area with Weedon taking control and Tobin settling into second. A flat tire on lap 68 pushed Weedon to the sidelines, allowing Tobin to move into the lead for the first time.

On lap 70, Tobin’s engine began to overheat, helping Connolly to open up a commanding lead and breezing to the win. Just eight cars finished the race.

Martha Wideman of Lufkin, Tex., the first woman driver in IMCA history, finished eighth in the-car field.

Results –

Heat #1 – Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa
Heat #2 – Jim Tobin, Hudson, Ill.
Feature –
1. John Connolly, Delhi, Iowa
2. Gary Brooks, Grand Prairie, Tex.
3. Tom Frasher, Jefferson City, Mo.
4. Ron Weedon
5. Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa
6. Ron Dendy, Arlington, Tex.
7. Robert Gander, Bunceton, Mo.
8. Martha Wideman, Lufkin, Tex.
9. Jim Tobin
10.Larry Lynch, Garland, Tex.

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