Monday, July 19, 2021

1959 – Bettenhausen Wheels Ford to Victory

Tony Bettenhausen proudly holds his trophy after winning the 150-miler at Milwaukee.

West Allis, Wis. (July 19, 1959) — Tony Bettenhausen of Tinley Park, Ill., took the lead on the first lap and never gave it -up as he drove his 1958 Ford to an easy victory in a 150-mile late model stock car race Sunday.

In winning his first stock car race here since 1955, Bettenhausen - the national big car champion last year – collected $3,560. He was clocked in 1 hour, 47 minutes and 1.62 seconds, or 84.8 miles an hour.

A crowd of 21,555 saw the race, slowed when 19 laps were run under the caution flag. There were four minor wrecks but no injuries.

Bettenhausen finished 15 seconds ahead of runner-up Nelson Stacy of Cincinnati who won $2,397. Stacy drove a 1957 Chevrolet while third-place Darel Dieringer of Indianapolis wheeled a 1958 Ford.

Racine's Norm Nelson made a good showing for 41 miles, when he encountered engine trouble. He pulled out after 94 miles. The only other Wisconsin driver — Al Shear of Beloit — blew his engine after 25 miles.

Results –

1. Tony Bettenhausen
2. Nelson Stacy
3. Darel Dieringer
4. Don White
5. Red Duvall
6. Bob James
7. Elmer Musgrave
8. Gordon Gorman
9. Jimmy Bryan
10.Bill Cheesbourg
11.John Dodd Jr.
12.Sal Tovella
13.Jack Bowsher
14.Bill Shoulders
15.Bill Lutz
16.Don Oldenberg
17.Cliff Rowland
18.Bob Schultz
19.Ralph Baker
20.Mike Klapak

Tony Bettenhausen takes the checkered flag at Milwaukee. - Pete Fileca Collection

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