Tuesday, September 7, 2021

1980 - Ruttman Defeats Wallace’s Red Car

Joe Ruttman

West Allis, Wis. (September 7, 1980) - With his daughter's advice riding in his ear, Joe Ruttman at last defeated Rusty Wallace’s “little red car” at State Fair Park to take a commanding lead in the United States Auto Club stock car series standings.

Ruttman, having run second to Wallace in several consecutive races at the mile oval, set a track qualifying record of 31.90 seconds and 112.853 miles-an-hour Sunday.

Then, in his determination to defeat Wallace in the 250-mile 10th annual Governor's Cup race, he preceded Wallace's Firebird under the checkered flag by 18 seconds.

In fact, Wallace was the only other entry still on the same lap with Ruttman

“My little 5-year-old kept on telling me that I was slamming on the brakes and don't let that little red car beat you.’”

Ruttman, 34, of Upland, Calif., won $8,467 of the race's $40,725 purse, and now has 1,940 points in the USAC point standings compared with runner-up Wallace's 1,610.

His Phoenix averaged 97.692 miles per hour before a crowd of 10,805, the track's smallest of the season.

Sal Tovella finished third with Alan Kulwicki fourth and Bob Schacht rounding out the top-five.

Results –

1. Joe Ruttman
2. Rusty Wallace
3. Sal Tovella
4. Alan Kulwicki
5. Bob Schacht
6. Ken Schrader
7. Gordon Blankenship
8. Bay Darnell
9. Bob Brevak
10.John Olsen
11.Fred Zack
12.Brian Paulsen
13.Rick O’Brien
14.Herb Shannon
15.Kelly Williams
16.Terry Ryan
17.Dale Koehler
18.John Kennedy
19.Gene Coleman
20.Bill Venturini
21.Russ Peterson
22.Dick Trickle
23.Tom Meinberg
24.Arnie Christen
25.Frank Freda
26.Ramo Stott
27.Don White
28.Allan Sheppard
29.Dean Roper

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