Huron, S.D. (August 28, 1979) - Somehow, between all the caution flags and confusion, the Challenge Cup VII race finally ended with Dick Schiltz of Waterloo, Iowa, joining an elite group of late model drivers who have won the coveted race.Challenge Cup VII kicked off the 1979 South Dakota State Fair Tuesday night and offered grandstand viewers a five-hour racing show.
The lead changed hands four times with Schiltz leading at the start of the race and at the all-important finish. Sandwiched between were bids by Huron's Dennis Selting and Waterloo, Iowa’s Tom Bartholomew to establish control.
Selting, last year’s Challenge Cup champion, led for just one lap, but remained near the front of the 27-car field to place second Bartholomew was third, followed by Joe Kosiski of Omaha, Neb., and Sheldon Reding of Harrold.
A total of 42 late models were on hand, bidding for a start in the rich late model main, which paid $1,200 to the winner The race offered a total purse of $8,500.
The large purse could be blamed for some of the delays in the racing program as drivers were constantly struggling for an improved position, even when that position was not entitled them.
Several restarts were hampered by drivers failing to take their correct spot in the line-up.
Problems aside, the Challenge Cup VII race was considered a success by promoter Tony Dean. The 42 late models represented some of the Midwest’s finest racing machines and competition was constantly fierce.
Schiltz started on the outside front row position in the 50-lap main event and he utilized that spot to establish early control. For 16 laps he was untouchable, then Selting slipped by for a brief stay in the lead The next lap. Bartholomew took the lead and led until Schiltz moved back on top in lap 39.
Schiltz, a heat winner and ninth place finisher in the highly successful KIJV South Dakota 100 held earlier this month, was one of six heat winners in Challenge Cup. The remaining heats were won by George Jundt of Aberdeen, Dwaine Hanson of Lakefield, Minn., Bartholomew, Selting and Reding.
Willie Yost of Miller won the consolation.
Heat #1 – George Jundt, Aberdeen
Heat #2 – Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
Heat #3 – Dwaine Hanson, Lakefield, Minn.
Heat #4 – Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
Heat #5 – Dennis Selting, Huron
Heat #6 – Sheldon Reding, Harrold
Consolation – Willie Yost, Miller
1. Dick Schiltz
2. Dennis Selting
3. Tom Bartholomew
4. Joe Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
5. Sheldon Reding
6. Dwaine Hanson
7. Em Fretheim Decorah, Iowa
8. Bob Shryock, Estherville, Iowa
9. Willie Yost
10.Dave Knott, Wabbaso, Minn.
11.Dallas Lafferty, Reliance
12.Galen Kea, Grand Island, Neb.
13.Dennis Gross, Huron
14.Willy Kraft, Lakefield, Minn.
15.Roland Small, Watertown
16.Len Ferguson, Rapid City
17.Ron Droog, Aberdeen
18.Bill Kirk, Salix, Iowa
19.Wayne Steenhoven, George, Iowa
20.Bill Rice, Des Moines
21.Gary Nagel, Gettysburg
22.Billy Moyer, Jr., Des Moines
23.Cliff Lantz, Pukwana
24.Randy Schilling, Gettysburg
25.Roger Saathoff, Bruce
26.Dave Weisz, Aberdeen