Tuesday, July 20, 2021

1963 – Weld’s Go 1-2 Before 9,000 at Knoxville

Newly crowned champion Greg Weld is interviewed in victory lane by track announcer Doc Lemon. 

Knoxville, Iowa (July 20, 1963) – Two Kansas City, Mo., brothers finished one – two in the oft-interrupted National Super Modified Championships on Saturday evening.

Greg Weld, a 21-year-old Kansas City junior college student, captured the 25-lap race and his 25-year-old brother, Jerry, finished right behind him.

Weld, the second fastest qualifier on Friday night, took the lead on the opening lap and kept a few hundred yards ahead of his closest pursuers before an estimated 9,000 race fans at the Marion County Fairgrounds.

The feature was delayed several minutes just as it was about to start when a spectator was seriously injured as the cars sped towards the start/finish line.

It was halted twice more by spinouts on lap 4 and 6and then interrupted again on lap 14 when a track official thought he had detected a car blocking a turn. That was a false alarm.

Jerry Weld moved ahead of fast qualifier Dick Fries of San Diego, Calif., with four laps to go. Fries settled for third place with Gordon Woolley of Waco, Tex., taking fourth and Wib Spalding of Granite City, Ill., rounding out the top five.

The injured spectator was identified as 20-year-old Danny Adams of Topeka, Kan. He was reported to have suffered a compound fracture of the right leg and facial burns caused when a live wire struck him.

Adams was standing beside a light pole near the fourth turn when a car driven by Shorty Burkholder of Goff, Kan., glanced off another vehicle and veered to the left, striking the youngster and pinning him against the pole. The accident also put Burkholder out of the race.

Jud Larson of Kansas City spun out on lap 4 and two other drivers hit the fence on lap 6.

Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., who qualified two cars for the main event, didn’t get to drive any.

He chose his Blue #33 for a heat race and when the engine blew up, he was out of action. Racing director Marion Robinson ruled that he could not race his Red #33 in the main event.

Results –

Heat #1 – Carl Williams, Kansas City
Heat #2 – Hobe Nowell, Logansport, Ind.
Heat #3 – Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
Heat #4 – Greg Weld, Kansas City
Heat #5 – Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
Consolation – Roy Robbins, Louisville, Ky.
Semi-main – Bud McCune, Brookfield, Mo.
Feature –
1. Greg Weld
2. Jerry Weld, Kansas City
3. Dick Fries, San Diego, Calif.
4. Gordon Woolley
5. Wib Spalding, Granite City, Ill.
6. Russ Hibbard, Marshall, Mo.
7. Carl Williams
8. Tom York, South Bend, Ind.
9. Ed VanderLaan, Grand Rapids, Mich.
10.Audie Schwartz, Muncie, Ind.

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