Friday, May 20, 2022

1972 – 12,557 See Fairgrounds’ Opener to Hoffman

Don Hoffman

Des Moines, Iowa (May 20, 1972) – A record crowd of 12,557 watched Des Moines’ Don Hoffman pilot his 1972 Monte Carlo to the late model stock car feature victory Saturday night in the season opener at the State Fairgrounds.

Virgil Webb of Des Moines survived three restarts and a duel with Larry Embrey of Grimes to take the 15-lap sportsman feature.

The crowd – 12,557 – was the largest ever for a Saturday night weekly program.

Hoffman, who led the time trials with a 26.53-second clocking on the half-mile oval, grabbed the lead early on in the 25-lap main event and held it through two cautions to post the victory over Marion’s Fred Horn and John Connolly of Delhi.

The sportsman feature was stopped three times – all due to mishaps before the first lap was completed. The field was reduced from 15 to 11 when the race finally got past the first lap.

Bill Lundington of Des Moines and Webb were sportsman heat winners.

In the 12-lap sportsman semi-main, won by Embrey in a 1965 Chevrolet, only two cars were remaining at the finish – the winner and Ed Perryman of Des Moines in a 1956 Chevrolet.

Bob Bonzer of Liscomb and Fred Horn of Marion were late model heat winners while Joe Merryfield of Des Moines won the semi-main.

Results –

Sportsman –
Heat #1 – Bill Ludington, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Virgil Webb, Des Moines
Semi -main – Larry Embrey, Grimes
Feature –
1. Virgil Webb
2. Larry Embrey
3. Bill Ludington
4. Mike Pinckney, Des Moines
5. Dave Farren, Des Moines
6. Ken Gerhart, Des Moines
7. Cliff Van Zandt, Des Moines
8. John May, Des Moines
9. Ed Perryman, Des Moines
10.Jim Brooks, Des Moines

Late Model –

Time Trials – Don Hoffman, Des Moines (26.53)
Heat #1 – Bob Bonzer, Liscomb
Heat #2 – Fred Horn, Marion
Semi-main – Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
Feature –
1. Don Hoffman
2. Fred Horn
3. John Connolly, Delhi
4. Dick Oldham, Des Moines
5. Bob Bonzer
6. Don Davidson, Des Moines
7. Jerry Roberts, Prairie City
8. John Carlson, Ankeny
9. Lefty Robinson, Des Moines
10.Victor Dicks, Des Moines
11.Bugsy Vincent, Nevada
12.Joe Merryfield
13.Phil Reece, Des Moines
14.Larry McGee, Woodward
15.Bill Davis, Des Moines

Thursday, May 19, 2022

1974 – Trickle, Jones and Miller are Prairie State 150 Winners

Dick Trickle (left) and Tom Jones both took 50-lap feature wins during the Prairie State 150. -
Keith Vercauteren Collection

Morris, Ill. (May 19, 1974) - The Prairie State 150 Sunday afternoon saw three different winners from three different states as Dick Trickle, Tom Jones and Butch Miller carried the three checkered flags.

Wisconsin's Trickle posted fast time and won the opening 50-lapper in convincing fashion. The second race was closer with Illinois' Jones just edging Joe Shear and Michigan's Miller took the finale in a side-by-side finish with Trickle.

The overall championship of the meet turned out to be Trickle with a first, second and the fastest time.

Trickle and Jones were the class of the opening two 50-lappers as each scored wins, Jones by the closer margin in the second race.

First 50-Laps

Al Weinrich and Lee Schuler paced the first 50-lap event for three laps before tangling in the first turn and bringing out the only yellow flag of the event as Dave Clower stalled on the track and Schuler was stuck in the infield.

Don Leach took the lead at the green and opened up a substantial lead over Tom Greenlee, Ed Hoffman, Bob Roper, Miller and fast timer Trickle

Trickle picked his way through the field using lapped cars to his advantage, often going three abreast as he moved to the front.

By the half-way point Leach was running wheel-to-wheel with Trickle and shortly Trickle was in the lead for good. Leach held on for second over Greenlee, Roper, Tom Reffner and Hoffman.

Second 50-Laps

Don Marmor of Elmhurst opened up a nice lead in the second 50 lapper until the third lap when Schuler and Ray Para bumped and spun in the third turn.

When the green flew again Marmor held the lead until the 8th lap when Jones passed him for top spot in the outside groove. Joe Shear took second from Vern Schrock five laps later and the race was on between these former Rockford Speedway rivals.

Jones, popular with the hometown fans, had to survive two more yellow flags in the closing laps as first Marv Palmer blew his engine on the front straight in the front of the leaders.

Then with five laps to go Vem Browne spun in the second turn bunching Jones and Shear up for an exciting finish. Jones maintained a one-car length margin at the checkered. Bill McEnery was a distant third followed by Schrock, Al Johnson and Ray Freeman.

Third 50-Laps

Larry Schuler shot into the lead in the featured third 50-lapper which started all of the top runners. Schuler soon opened up a quarter lap lead over Dave Clower and the rest of the field under two yellow flags ate up the young Schuler’s margin.

The first yellow came on lap 11 when Bill McEnery spun and then two laps later Clower dumped his engine on the backstretch piling up a number of cars. Lee Schuler, Clower and Ed Hoffman were knocked out of competition in the melee that occurred in the third turn.

After a lengthy yellow the young Schuler held the lead until the 17th lap when Butch Miller took the lead in the second turn with Trickle in hot pursuit.

The balance of the race kept the crowd on their feet as Trickle and Miller diced for the lead Miller opening up a margin when in the open and losing it back to Trickle in traffic

When Tom Urban spun in the third turn with a flat tire in the 42nd lap, the yellow flag set up a trophy dash to the checkered in the final eight laps

Trickle went to the outside in the final laps, but Miller was the master in this case as he edged Trick le into the third groove on the final turn.

Joe Shear drove a consistent race for third money while local drivers Larry Schuler, Roper and Jones fought it out for fourth Roper took that spot in the final lap followed by Schuler and Jones. Tom Reffner was sixth.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Butch Miller, Benton Harbor, Mich.
3. Don Leach, Rockford
4. Tom Greenlee, Rockford
5. Bob Roper, Lombard, Ill.
6. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
7. Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
8. Paul Bauer, Garden Homes, Ill.
9. Jerry Kemperman, Blue Island, Ill.
10.Jake Arnold, Rockford

Feature #2 –

1. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
2. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
3. Bill McEnery, Evergreen Park, Ill.
4. Vern Schrock, Middlebury, Ind
5. Al Johnson, Justice, Ill.
6. Ray Freeman, Crete, Ill.
7. Tom Musgrave, Mundelein, Ill.
8. Vern Browne, Wauconda, Ill.
9. Woody Church, Blue Island, Ill.
10.Don Marmor, Elmhurst, Ill.

Feature #3 –

1. Butch Miller, Benton Harbor, Mich.
2. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
3. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
4. Bob Roper, Lombard, Ill.
5. Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
6. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
7. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
8. Bill McEnery, Evergreen Park, Ill.
9. Don Leach, Rockford
10.Tom Musgrave, Mundelein, Ill.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

1967 - First stock car race set for Friday night at Air-View

Monticello, Iowa (May 18, 1967) - The racing season officially opens in Monticello at Air-View Speedway Friday night at 8 o'clock, according to Independence Racing Association officials.

Races are now being held at Independence on Saturday nights and at Tunis Speedway in Waterloo every Sunday night.

The Monticello VFW will handle concessions and the drill team will be in charge of parking and policing. The Monticello Fire department will provide an ambulance and fire protection at every race.

Local drivers who will be back in action are Tom Hughes, who returns with his 1964 Ford and Al Iben, back with his 1961 Ford.

Many of the old veterans of this area will be back in revamped cars and several new cars and drivers will be showing up on the three ovals. Dave Noble is working on a 1964 Chevy and fellow Minnesotan Joe Wurst a 1963 Chevy.

Hard luck driver of 1966, John Hill, will try to change his luck in a 1966 Chevelle while Ty Burger, rookie of 1966, will open his second season of racing a 1965 Chevelle. Bob Hilmer of Dysart and Dick Heiden of Cedar Rapids will be piloting Chevrolets. Red Droste, Waterloo, will be driving a ‘66 Chevrolet also, report racing managers.

Chub Liebe of Oelwein, 1966 season champion, will be heading up the Ford operators this season along with Curt Hansen of Dike who has deserted his Pontiac for a 1964 Ford. Karl Sanger, Waterloo, a newcomer to oval racing, will move into the stock car circle from the drag strip ranks in a 1962 Ford while his brother, Ed Sanger, will be back with his Pontiac GTO.

Buzz Jensen purchased a 1962 Ford in the Chicago area and hopes to give some competition to Bill Zwanziger on the three-track circuit. Bill's 1964 Ford served him well in the last season and his mechanic, Roger Beck, says the car has been completely rebuilt and is expected to go even better than ever. Glen Martin, Waterloo, will have last year's Oldsmobile with it too being completely rebuilt from bumper to bumper.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

1953 – Snyder Sets Record in Mason City Win

Deb Snyder

Mason City, Iowa (May 17, 1953) – The 1952 king of dirt track racing doesn’t have any intention of giving up his throne.

Deb Snyder of Kent, Ohio, gave a brilliant demonstration of this fact on Sunday afternoon at the North Iowa Fairgrounds before an estimated 3,200 spectators at the International Motor Contest Association big car races.

This was Snyder’s first competition of the season in his new and powerful Offenhauser racer, and he took the only two events in which he was entered. He thoroughly shattered one record in his heat event and then won the 20-lap, 10-mile distance, the first time a feature race had been run here of that distance.

Snyder, who timed in fifth fastest in qualifying, was disgusted with his showing in time trials and then then set his mind and his throttle foot to work to make up for it in his first race. Bob Carpenter of Wabash, Ind., the big winner two weeks ago in Shreveport, La., was in the same heat as Snyder but it was no race.

He toured the seven laps in 2 minutes and 57.12 seconds to chip off more than 10 seconds off the previous track record of 3 minutes and 9.92 seconds, set by Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla., last year.

After the program, promoter Frank Winkley announced that Snyder’s time was the best ever posted in International Motor Contest Association competition. The old mark was set by the late Gus Schrader in 2 minutes and 57.99 seconds at the Minnesota State Fair in 1940.

The feature race was the standout on the program and one which had a strange twist. Mason City’s Leon DeRock was leading the field with Snyder in second and Carpenter third but on the fourth lap, Carpenter’s car quit on the east turn of the track when he accidently cut off the magneto switch and the race was stopped because of the danger.

The race was restarted with the drivers holding their places and 17 laps to go. DeRock’s car had gotten hot during the stop and water was lost but he continued to stay in front and led for 12 laps as he and Snyder waged a terrific battle for the lead.

Snyder would shoot ahead of DeRock on the homestretch and DeRock decided to pull into the pit area with the temperature rising. DeRock didn’t want to risk any further damage to his Offenhauser engine.

It was Snyder’s race in a walk for the remainder of the race. Carpenter, who was sent to the rear of the field after his car conked out, fought back from last place after the restart to finish second with Jim McWithey of Anderson, Ind., taking third.

Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla., who was running among the leaders early on, dropped out on lap 12 when a flying rock hit his arm.

Results –

Time trials – Bob Carpenter, Wabash, Ind. (24.70)
Heat #1 – Deb Snyder, Kent, Ohio
Heat #2 – Harry King, Tampa, Fla.
Heat #3 – Bill Mumford, Minneapolis
Consolation – Cecil Greenly, Webster City
Australian Pursuit – Stan Calloway, Miami, Fla.
Feature –
1. Deb Snyder
2. Bob Carpenter
3. Jim McWithey, Anderson, Ind.
4. Harry King
5. Stan Calloway
6. Clair Cotter, Austin, Minn.
7. Ernie Johnson, Christine, N.D.
8. Porky Rachwitz, Omaha

Monday, May 16, 2022

1970 – Fatality Mars Knoxville Super-Modified Card

Joe Saldana

Knoxville, Iowa (May 16, 1970) - It was Joe Saldana night at the super modified season opener at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville Saturday night. Saldana, from Lincoln, Neb., was anxious to race after pulling to Knoxville the last two weeks only to find the races cancelled due to rain. In a new car with a new number, Joe captured the 25-lap super modified feature, the trophy dash and his heat.

Saldana took the lead on the third lap and continued leading to the 25th lap and the awaiting checkered flag. Seemed that nothing could stop him as he won by a considerable margin over the rest of the field. Dick Sutcliffe from Kansas City, Mo., finished second ahead of Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., in third spot.

On the field of 31 supers, Jerry Blundy set the fastest time of 22.11 seconds around the one-half mile oval in his red #33.

The trophy dash was won by Joe Saldana. Saldana fought off the challenges of Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City for the trophy. Bill Utz was third and James Bond, fourth.

Saldana then put his red #2 super into the first to cop the first 10-lap heat by a wide margin. In second was Jay Woodside. Stacy Redmond of Mason City placed third followed by Flea Atkins.

Dick Sutcliffe took the lead on the first lap and was never headed to cop the second 10-lap heat. Sutcliffe was leading by one-fourth lap ahead of the second place Lennie Jensen at the checkers. Keith Hightshoe finished in a very close third.

The only flag of the evening came on the first lap of the second heat when newcomer Jay Opperman of Beaver Crossing, Neb., flipped wildly over the third turn fence, landing some 80 feet from the track. Opperman lost his life in that accident and the Van's Mobile Home Special super modified was totally demolished.

Officials said Opperman's car struck the wheel of another auto in the first lap of the second heat.

Ralph Blackett of Des Moines grabbed a good-sized lead to win the third 10-lap heat event. In the battle for second spot, it was Wib Spalding finishing second. Next across the finish line were Del Schmidt, Jerry Blundy and Bill Utz.

Bill Utz led all the way to victory in the 10-lap consolation. James Bond was second and Roger Abbott of Lincoln, Neb., in a close third. Following were Bob Fisher of Des Moines, Curt Houge of Ames, Steve Schultz of Chillicothe Mo., and Bruce Sommerfeld of Fort Dodge.

Results –

Time Trials – Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
Trophy dash – Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
Heat #1 – Joe Saldana
Heat #2 – Dick Sutcliffe, Kansas City
Heat #3 – Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
Consolation – Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
Feature –
1. Joe Saldana
2. Dick Sutcliffe
3. Jerry Blundy
4. Del Schmidt, Topeka, Kan.
5. Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
6. Bob Williams, Independence, Mo.
7. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
8. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
9. Bill Utz
10.Stacy Redmond, Mason City, Iowa

Saturday, May 14, 2022

1971 – Bowsher’s Own Tri-County Speedway

The Bowsher family get together in victory lane after Jack’s USAC stock car victory. From left to right, Jimmy, Tom, and Jack. USAC stock car supervisor Bob Stroud presents the trophy. 

West Chester, Ohio (May 14, 1971) – There really wasn’t any reason to believe that Springfield, Ohio’s Jack Bowsher couldn’t win the United States Auto Club’s 100-lap stock car main event at Tri-County Speedway on Friday night.

After all, the Bowsher clan has pretty much dominated stock car events here this season.

Earlier in the year, Jim Bowsher, the 18-year-old son of Jack, won a 25-lap main event at regular weekly program at TCS. The very next day, Tom Bowsher, Jack’s brother, won the 100-lap Automobile Racing Club of America stock car race.

After starting eighth in the 19-car main event, Jack moved his way through the field quickly, took the lead and never looked in his rear-view once, breezing to the checkered flag.

After the race, Bowsher admitted that he had learned something about the Tri-County dirt surface from Jim’s success earlier.

“I’d rather not say what kind of tires we used tonight, “Bowsher said. “But when Jimmy ran here, we tried three different sets of tires. We still didn’t have the right one’s on when we won it, but we learned a lot.”

Bowsher’s 1971 Ford Torino crossed the finish line almost a third of a lap ahead of Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, the two-time USAC national champion in a ’69 Dodge. Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, driving a ’69 Dodge as well, finished third.

Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., filling in for Indianapolis 500 driver Roger McCluskey, drove the defending USAC stock car champion’s 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner to fourth place, while Chuck McWilliams, a local favorite out of Walton, Ky., took fifth in a ’69 Plymouth.

Bowsher made the feature look easy and had a better racing test in the fast heat when he and Lem Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, dueled side-by-side for 10 laps. Blankenship finally nosed out Bowsher by a half-car length. Blankenship finished sixth in the feature.

Dave Whitcomb of Valparaiso, Ind., was fast qualifier in his 1970 Dodge Charger, turning the Tri-County half-mile in 22.18 seconds.

Butch Hartman of South Zanesville, Ohio, won the fast car dash in his ’69 Charger but was forced out of the feature on lap 82 when he lost a battery.

Results –

1. Jack Bowsher
2. Don White
3. Verlin Eaker
4. Norm Nelson
5. Chuck Walton
6. Lem Blankenship
7. Dave Whitcomb
8. Bay Darnell
9. Len Blanchard
10.John Reimer
11.Keith Ploughe
12.Roger Regeth
13.Butch Hartman
14.Mark Dinsmore
15.Dennis Groves
16.Paul Sizemore
17.Sal Tovella
18.Paul Feldner 
19.Steve Arndt

Friday, May 13, 2022

1962 – Big Car Sweep by Rutherford at Illiana

Johnny Rutherford accepts his trophy after winning the IMCA sprint car feature at Illiana. - Wayne Bryant Photo

Schererville, Ind. (May 13,1962) – Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex., driving the Beatson Chevy, scored his second major victory in 24 hours, when he swept the International Motor Contest Association sprint car program at Illiana Speedway before 5,000 fans.

Rutherford, who qualified the Beatson car on the pole for the “Little 500” the night before at Anderson, Ind., copped the second heat, the match race and the 25-lap feature from a 36-car field attracted for the opening of the modern half-mile asphalt track owned by Harry Molenaar.

His time for the 25 laps, which will go as a new record, was 10 minutes and 27.43 seconds.

Every heat provided new action as the veteran dirt aces accustomed themselves to the unorthodox grooves of the new flat asphalt track that was completed between rain storms the last two weeks.

Though there were many near-accidents, only one driver, Harvey Konkel of Milwaukee, was sent to the hospital for a checkup, then released, after he crashed the Schmidt Special into the outer guardrail during the consolation. Arnie Knepper spun on the 25th lap of the feature.

Visiting promoters and officials complimented owner Harry Molenaar and National Speedways, Inc., for the fine program and the snappy manner in which the events were run off.

Results –

Fast time – Mickey Shaw (22.22)
Heat #1 – Jerry Richert
Heat #2 – Johnny Rutherford
Heat #3 – Gordon Woolley
Match race – Johnny Rutherford
Consolation – Mickey Shaw
Feature –
1. Johnny Rutherford
2. Pete Folse
3. Bill Horstmeyer
4. Jerry Daniels
5. Harold Leep
6. Herschel Wagner
7. Ray Duckworth
8. Red Renner
9. Buzz Barton
10.Nolan Johncock
11.Arnie Knepper
12.Mickey Shaw

Thursday, May 12, 2022

1972 – Marshalltown Opener to Hovinga

Marshalltown, Iowa (May 12, 1972) – With threatening weather prevailing, Denny Hovinga of Laurens, Iowa, opened the 1972 racing season at Marshalltown on Friday night, recording a triple win on the high-banked Central Iowa Fairgrounds’ quarter mile.

Hovinga began the evening with a victory in the late model first heat, repeated in the A semi-main, and then captured the 20-lap feature.

Starting on the pole position, Hovinga’s Chevelle immediately jumped into the lead, and he continued to set the pace throughout the event as the rain began falling.

Defending track champion Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, stayed hot on Hovinga’s trail the entire distance, but remained content with second place in his familiar ’69 Torino.

Hansen did, however, score a win in the third heat, with Marshalltown’s Mike Keen scoring the victory in the second heat. The sportsman champ from last year, Waterloo, Iowa’s Keith Braun, bested a top field of late models in the B semi-main.

D. Arthur Nesteby of Waterloo made a good showing in the feature, finishing third. Keen followed in fourth and Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa, rounded out the top five.

Red Dralle of Waterloo, Iowa, was running a strong third in the feature until a flat tire forced him to the sidelines with less than two laps left.

One of the top drivers in the sportsman division in 1971, Jim Rader of Newton, Iowa, captured the feature race.

Results –

Heat #1 – Denny Hovinga, Laurens, Iowa
Heat #2 – Mike Keen, Marshalltown, Iowa
Heat # - Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
A-semi – Denny Hovinga
B-semi – Keith Braun, Waterloo, Iowa
Feature –
1. Denny Hovinga
2. Curt Hansen
3. D. Arthur Nesteby, Waterloo, Iowa
4. Mike Keen
5. Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
6. Larry Wasserfort, Bedard, Iowa
7. Del McDowell, Ames, Iowa
8. Chris Maurer, Colfax, Iowa
9. Jim Burger, Cedar Falls, Iowa
10.Joe Schaefer, Waterloo, Iowa

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

1952 – Perlick Sets New Record at Davenport

Davenport, Iowa (May 11, 1952) – Dom “Shorty” Perlick is the new holder of a new record for 100 miles in International Motor Contest Association competition, following his flashy victory at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon.

Despite a muddy track, Perlick roared his stock car over the distance in 1 hour, 58 minutes and 34.72 seconds while a crowd of 3,000 watched in amazement.

The former record for the distance was held by Tommy Melvin, set at the Iowa state Fair in 1950.

Early in the race, Herschel Buchanan of Shreveport, La., and Jimmy Clark of Fort Worth, Tex., threatened to make it a three-way duel with Perlick for the championship.

However, Clark was forced to make a pit stop and after he returned to the track, the best he could muster was a 12th place finish.

The victory at the Davenport half-mile gave Perlick a full command of the leadership in the IMCA stock car point standings.

Buchanan would settle for second, followed by Bob Denny of Fort Worth, Tex., taking a distant third.

Results –

1. Dom Perlick, Minneapolis, Minn.
2. Herschel Buchanan, Shreveport, La.
3. Bob Denny, Fort Worth, Tex.
4. Bob Duggan, Tampa, Fla.
5. Don White, Keokuk
6. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
7. Gene Harmon, Lincoln, Neb.
8. Russell Gross, Quincy, Ill.
9. Dick Nau, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
10.Glen Larson, Aurora, Ill.
11.Bob McEllrath, Waterloo
12.Jimmy Clark, Fort Worth, Tex.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

1972 - Moss tops Oskaloosa field

Iowa City's John Moss won the super stock main event at the Mahaska County Fairgrounds in Oskaloosa. - Beetle Bailey Photo

Oskaloosa, Iowa (May 10, 1972) – John Moss of Iowa City was the victor at the Southern Iowa Speedway on Wednesday night. A
record-breaking field of car was on hand as 72 cars participated in the evening’s events before a capacity crowd of enthusiastic fans. Because of the great crowd, the driver’s payoff, originally set at $3,000, was raised to $3,585.

“Big” John grabbed the lead at the drop of the green and held on the entire race for the feature win in the super stock division. Moss had a fair size lead on the rest of the 20-car field when the checkers came out.

At the initial start Moss did not have the lead as newcomer Jim Gerber of Long Grove jumped in front only to have that nullified by a red flag when four cars had a mix-up between turns three and four.

The original restart gave Moss the chance he needed, and he was on his toes when the green flag dropped a second time.

Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, in his first appearance at Oskaloosa, finished a distant second behind Moss. Both drivers were piloting Plymouths.

Holding down the third spot was last week’s winner, Don Hoffman of Des Moines. Hoffman held off Stott until the final few laps when Stott managed to pass him.

Rounding out the top five finishers were Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, and Jim Gerber of Long Grove, Iowa.

Joe Merryfield of Des Moines had a look at starter Jack Thompson’s black flag when he lost his hood in the last third of the race. Joe was holding fourth place when he was forced to pull out of the race.

Hoffman, Moss, Gerber and Stott were heat winners. Because of the large number of cars, it was decided that two consolations would be run. Bob Hilmer of Dysart won the first consy while Dan Clement of Rhodes grabbed the second.

In sportsman action, Cliff Van Zandt of Des Moines won the 10-lap feature.

Results –

Heat #1 – Don Hoffman, Des Moines
Heat #2 – John Moss, Iowa City
Heat #3 – Jim Gerber, Long Grove
Heat #4 – Ramo Stott, Keokuk
Consolation #1 – Bob Hilmer, Delhi
Consolation #2 – Dan Clement, Rhodes
Feature –
1. John Moss
2. Ramo Stott
3. Don Hoffman
4. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
5. Jim Gerber
6. Ron Prymek, Iowa City
7. Bill Martin, Council Bluffs
8. Curt Hansen, Dike
9. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
10. Pokey West, West Chester

Monday, May 9, 2022

1976 - Young wins Grundy County ARTGO

Ray Young holds the checkers after winning the ARTGO series opener.

Morris, Ill. (May 9, 1976) - With most of the top drivers in the Midwest assembled at the Grundy County Speedway Sunday afternoon for the CAM 2 Motor Oil Classic, it turned out to be a familiar face in the winner’s circle as Ray Young of Dolton won the 100-lap race by one car length over Bob Senneker of Dorr, Michigan.

Young took the lead in lap 32 when Dick Trickle dropped out of the race. Bobby Allison, the featured driver Sunday in the ARTGO Racing promotion, dropped to seventh in the final standings after having his door ripped off in the early going.

Senneker posted the fastest time of the afternoon in the qualifications before a standing room only crowd under ideal weather conditions. His time of 16-seconds was a new record and Randy Sweet and Joe Shear also qualified in under the old record of 16.16 seconds.

Mike Miller won the opening CAM2 12-lap trophy dash with an impressive win over Senneker and Trickle. Other wins in the preliminaries went to USAC regular Bay Darnell of Deerfield, Bob Roper of Chicago and Tom Musgrave, now of Friendship, Wis. Ted Musgrave won the 20-lap semi-feature and Lenard Reimer of Janesville, Wis., took the 10-lap consolation race following the 100-lap race.

With the large crowd on hand, promoter Art Frigo of ARTGO Racing declared a bonus to the drivers with all of the feature starters receiving an extra $50. Young’s winnings were $1,650 for the afternoon.

Tony Izzo of Bridgeview led the first nine laps of the Classic but then pulled out with a blown engine calling for the first of the event’s two yellow flags.

Two-time Grundy champion Tom Musgrave took the lead at that point with Trickle passing him in lap 21 for the top spot. When Trickle dropped out in the 32nd lap, Young shot in front and won the rich race much to the delight of the home track fans.

At the half-way point, Young held a commanding lead over Joe Shear, Musgrave, Dave Watson and Senneker. In the final 50 laps Senneker made his charge to the front, but even a yellow flag for Bob Strait’s spin the 70th lap couldn’t give Senneker enough advantage to catch Young at the checkered flag.

Joe Shear finished third in the Classic with Musgrave fourth followed by Tom Reffner of Rudolph, Wis., Dave Watson of Beloit, Wis., and Allison, of Hueytown Ala. Ed Hoffman was eighth, a lap down followed by Rusty Wallace of St. Louis, Mo., and Jerry Kemperman of Blue Island.

Following the race Young said this was his biggest win ever and also said he was glad “a local guy finally won a big one.”

Results –

1. Ray Young
2. Bob Senneker
3. Joe Shear
4. Tom Musgrave
5. Tom Reffner
6. Dave Watson
7. Bobby Allison
8. Ed Hoffman
9. Rusty Wallace
10.Jerry Kemperman
11.Bob Roper
12.Ted Musgrave
13.Bob Strait
14.Randy Sweet
15.Dave Evans
16.Rick Haase
17.Dick Trickle
18.Tom Jones
19.Bill Venturini
20.Al Weinreich
21.Bay Darnell
22.Mike Miller
23.Tony Izzo
24.Hal Davis

Sunday, May 8, 2022

1970 - Herman Makes Foes Wise in 100-Lapper

Herman Wise takes a victory lap after winning at Sun Valley. 

Anderson, Ind. (May 8, 1970) - Herman Wise just goes “where the money is” and often he picks up a chunk of that money.

Wise drove fast and hard for 100 laps Friday night to win the American Speed Association-sanctioned sprint car feature at the Sun Valley Speedway.

After surviving a pair of spins, Wise lapped cars like he was the only horse on the merry-go-round. The Atlanta, Ga., driver went from pole to pole after turning the night's quickest lap as nearly the last qualifier.

“This is a brand-new car,” said Wise as he chatted with fans after the race. “I turned the crank on it yesterday (Thursday) before I left home just to see if it would run. We have some things to do to the car before it's really ready, though.”

Wise and his brother form a team. They formed the team out of necessity.

“We don't have any place to run sprints down home,” drawled Wise like a true rebel.

“Everyone has gone to the late models, and I just don't like the stocks that well.

My brother was able to help me with the financing and we have a mechanic to turn the wrenches just the way we like, so here we are.”

“We just go where the money is and I like Indiana money as well as any. I've got a lot of work to do before we get ready to take it to Pennsylvania. They’ve got some hot ones over there and we're not ready for them yet. But we will be,” Wise vowed.

Wise had an oil problem midway in the race but a few laps under the caution light was all he needed to cure the ill. He ran the final 10 laps like a trophy dash, and no one was about to catch him.

Three top drivers sat out the night's activities.

Lee Brayton of Coldwater, Mich., put his STP Special through the guard rail in the fourth turn in qualifications and snapped a piece of the frame near the left front wheel.

Brayton and his crew had a lot of work ahead to bend a piece of tubing to replace the broken piece of frame. They also needed to cut the front axle to insert a plug. The axle was also damaged in his time-trial spin.

Buzz Gregory of Indianapolis, the popular winner of last year's Little 500, had magneto trouble and never got untracked.

“We did some welding on the mag,” said Gregory, “and when you do that, you lose all the magnetism. We tried to find another one tonight but couldn't. We had what we needed at home but that didn't help.

Butch Wilkerson of Bloomington also had magneto problems and did not run Friday night. Wilkerson never actually got his car running and jokingly told bystanders that his fast lap was “when the push truck took me all the way around.”

Results –

1. Herman Wise, Atlanta, Ga.
2. Bill Harter, Hagerstown, Ind.
3. Mark Caldwell, Bunker Hill, Ind.
4. Don Walker, Atlanta, Ind.
5. Al Murie, Kansas City
6. Rocky Fisher, Kokomo, Ind.
7. Bill Roynon, Tampa, Fla.
8. Jerry Powell, Indianapolis
9. Ron Perkins, Wood River, Ill.
10.Wayne Fisher, Bloomington, Ind.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

1980 – Gundaker Wins as Engine Conks Out

Kevin Gundaker

Oskaloosa, Iowa (May 7, 1980) – A month ago, Iowans dominated the National Speedways Contest Association late model stock car races at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia.

The opposite was true on Wednesday night as out-of-state drivers took control of the NSCA feature at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds.

Kevin Gundaker of St. Louis, Mo., led from lap 16 to capture the 30-lap feature over the big half-mile track. Pete Parker of Green Bay, Wis., was second and Bob Kosiski of Omaha was third.

The first Iowan to finish was Bill Moyer Jr. of Des Moines who finished fourth.

Gundaker won by about 50 yards despite that the engine in his Camaro blew on the backstretch of the last lap.

“I had to back off,” Gundaker remarked afterwards. “I only brought one engine with me and I still want to race at Cedar Rapids this weekend.

The car was smoking badly when the car coasted to a stop on the front stretch. “The oil pressure light flashed on when I entered the backstretch.”

Don Hoffman of Des Moines, the NSCA point leader, finished sixth and retained his lead in the standings.

Kosiski led the first lap before Parker took over on lap 2. He was passed on lap 16 by Gundaker, who is the point leader at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., where he races weekly.

Results –

1. Kevin Gundaker, St. Louis, Mo.
2. Pete Parker, Green Bay, Wis.
3. Bob Kosiski, Omaha
4. Billy Moyer Jr., Des Moines
5. Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.
6. Don Hoffman, Des Moines
7. Johnny Johnson, Morning Sun
8. Roger Dolan, Lisbon
9. Darrell Sells, Waverly
10.Ken Walton, Viola
11.Galen Schaefer, Topeka, Kan.
12.Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
13.Duane Steffe, Moline, Ill.
14.Billy Collins, Elsberry, Mo.
15.Bill Davis, Des Moines

Thursday, May 5, 2022

1958 – White Challenges IMCA Aces

Promoter Frank Winkley (right) hands the checkered flag to Don White after the Keokuk, Iowa, driver won his third Gulf States championship. 

Shreveport, La. (May 5, 1958) – Stock car drivers on the International Motor Contest Association circuit have been issued a verbal challenge by former IMCA national champion Don White, winner of the 1954-55 speed titles, White, an automotive parts dealer in Keokuk, Iowa, predicted a few days ago that he will return to the stock car throne this year.

At the same time, he told some of his competitors that he would be the man to beat in the annual Gulf States 100-miler.

Monday night it was White who blistered the Louisiana State Fair Speedway to take his third Gulf States championship. He blazed into the lead on the second lap and later lapped the field of 14 drivers. A pit stop narrowed his lead with Bob Burdick, the 22-year-old daredevil from Omaha, Neb., battling to overtake the champion.

Burdick posted the best time – 28.79 seconds – to take the pole position with White and IMCA speed king Johnny Beauchamp coming in with identical 28.83 second times.

White toured the 50 laps on the half-mile oval in 24 minutes and 15 seconds and he was clocked in 36 minutes and 26 seconds for the first 75 laps. His time for the first 100 laps was 48 minutes and 55 seconds and he had 150 laps under his belt in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 56.58 seconds. White’s time for the 200-lapper was 1 hour, 40 minutes and 13.37 seconds.

The race was exciting with several mishaps marring the chances of other drivers. Eddie Schultz was temporarily sidelined by the loss of his wheel on lap 49 and Beauchamp’s car caught on fire and was put out of action on lap 90.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Bob Burdick, Omaha. Neb.
3. Ernie Derr, Fort Madison, Iowa
4. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
6. Murray Folsom, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
7. Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
8. Bob Shorts, Carlisle, Iowa
9. Clarence Bolton, Hutchinson, Kan.
10.Eddie Schultz, Des Moines, Iowa
11.Les Dykes, Davenport, Iowa
12.Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
13.Bob Hardy, Beaumont, Tex.
14.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

1974 – Senneker Wins Springtime 200

Odessa, Mo. (May 4, 1974) – Bob Senneker showed everyone at I-70 Speedway’s high-banked oval who had the fastest car when he shattered the one-lap record in qualifying Saturday night, then went on to best a field of some of the fastest stock car drivers in Mid-America in winning the 200-lap feature, the Springtime 200.

Senneker, who hails from Dorr, Mich., qualified his blue 1973 Camaro at 18.01 seconds, shattering the old record of 18.18 seconds set by Tom Maier of Midland, Mich., in I-70’s National Championship 300 race last July.

Senneker started on the pole but lost the lead to Tom Maier, driving a 1973 Camaro. Senneker chased Maier until lap 61 when he pitted for fuel. Terry Brumley of Springfield, Mo., driving a 1968 Camaro then took over second place. Brumley would take the lead when Maier pitted on lap 76, but Senneker slipped by Brumley on lap 104 and then led the field the rest of the way in winning the $2,500 first prize.

The yellow came out 11 times during the race, as the torrid pace used up tires and engines.

“I think good fortune can be credited as the reason we were able to win today,” Senneker remarked. “The car hooked up great for qualifying, but the engine was running sick at the end, the others just happened to have more trouble than I did.”

Results –

1. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
2. Terry Brumley, Springfield, Mo.
3. Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
4. Ron Todd, Springfield, Mo.
5. Ferris Collier, Lampe, Mo.
6. Larry Ball, Springfield, Mo.
7. Dan Conner, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
8. Dean Roper, Springfield, Mo.
9. Tom Maier, Midland, Mich.
10. Bill Crane, Claycomo, Mo.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

1969 – Fairgrounds’ Opener to Horn

Fred Horn is congratulated by co-promoters Homer Melton (left) and Johnny Beauchamp after his season opening win in Des Moines.

Des Moines, Iowa (May 3, 1969) – Fred Horn of Mario guided his 1967 Plymouth to victory in the 25-lap late model stock car event in the season opener at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday night.

Don Hoffman of Des Moines won the sportsman feature before a crowd estimated at 6,500.

Horn trailed John Connolly of Delhi by less than a car length the first 13 circuits, then grabbed the lead coming out of turn three. He never relinquished the top spot for the remaining laps.

Connolly settled for runner-up honors and Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids captured the last podium spot.

The sportsman feature was a battle for survival as 15 cars started but only three finished the race.

There was a spectacular crash in the sportsman semi-main involving four cars. Ed Perryman of Des Moines careened into Lynn Komrie’s car which was leading.

Perryman’s car skidded out of control, rolled twice, and caught on fire. He scrambled from the burning wreckage unscathed.

Irving Phillips of Oskaloosa won the event and Dean Montgomery of Milan, Ill., started last and won the 15-lap late model semi-main.

Results –

Sportsman –

Time trials – Don Christenson, Harlan (28.80)
Heat #1 – Don Christenson
Heat #2 – Irvin Phillips, Oskaloosa
Semi-main – Irvin Phillips
Feature –
1. Don Hoffman, Des Moines
2. Roy Dishman, Des Moines
3. Larry Embrey, Panora
4. John May, Des Moines
5. Del Enos, Des Moines

Late Model –

Time trials – Fred Horn, Marion (26.48)
Heat #1 – Bill Moyer, Des Moines
Heat #2 – John Connolly, Delhi
Semi-main – Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
Feature –
1. Fred Horn
2. John Connolly
3. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
4. Bill Moyer
5. Dean Montgomery
6. Dick Oldham, Des Moines
7. Lem Blankenship, Keokuk
8. Bob Hilmer, Dysart
9. Joe Alsin, Ankeny
10.Tom Hughes, Monticello

Monday, May 2, 2022

1982 – Dickson Cops Springfield Silver Crown

Front-row starters Larry Dickson (18) and Keith Kauffman prepare prior to the 100-mile Silver Crown race at the Springfield Mile. Dickson would go on to score the victory over Ken Schrader.

Springfield, Ill. (May 2, 1982) – What a difference a year can make. At least, that’s how three-time USAC sprint car king Larry Dickson views his racing career.

“It’s been a year since I was able to finish a dirt car race. But it seems like it was worth it now,” Dickson told a crowd of 6,000 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds after winning the United States Auto Club’s 100-mile Silver Crown contest.

“Last year it seemed like every time out, I’d blow an engine,” he continued. “I just couldn’t get it going. Late in the season, I was running last in a race when I decided to park the car and call it a season because I did not want to ruin my record of not finishing a race. So far, things have worked out differently this year.”

Dickson, who recorded the fastest time (32.845 seconds) in Saturday’s qualifications, used the pole position to his advantage as he held the lead for the first 79 laps of the event’s 100 laps. Not bad for a guy whose car was running on only seven cylinders for most of the race.

“I lost a cylinder at some time, but it didn’t really hurt me any,” said Dickson, who averaged 99.217 miles per hour. “It did take speed away from me in the straightaways but actually helped me a lot in the corners.”

Second-place finisher Ken Schrader, who finished one second behind Dickson, said he knew the lost cylinder would not hurt Dickson.

“He wasn’t in any trouble,” Schrader said afterwards. “When the track gets as slick as it did today, a dropped cylinder doesn’t hurt at all.”

Schrader took the lead on lap 80 when Dickson had trouble lapping a slower moving Rich Vogler.

“I tried to pass Rich down low and got into some loose dirt,” Dickson remarked. “All of a sudden, I saw a lot of dust flying and I thought I had lost a tire and was ready to pull in. I slowed down and that’s when Ken got by me.”

But six laps later, a similar thing happened to Schrader and Dickson capitalized, moving back into the lead, this time for good.

“I got into some loose dirt in turn one and dropped out into the boonies,” Schrader said.

Ron Shuman finished third while Joe Saldana and Larry Rice rounded out the top five.

Of the 24 cars that started, 15 were still running when the checkered flag dropped.

Results –

1. Larry Dickson
2. Ken Schrader
3. Ron Shuman
4. Joe Saldana
5. Larry Rice
6. Chuck Amati
7. Mark Alderson
8. Bill Puterbaugh
9. Jerry Nemire
10.Keith Kauffman
11.Bill Vukovich
12.Walt Kennedy
13.Rich Vogler
14.Doug Wolfgang
15.Sammy Swindell
16.Danny Smith
17.Tom Bigelow
18.Gary Bettenhausen
19.Jack Hewitt
20.Bob Ciccone
21.Gary Gray
22.Jeff Swindell
23.Sheldon Kinser
24.Steve Kinser

1982 – Smith Wins Springfield World of Outlaws

Danny Smith

Springfield, Ill. (May 2, 1982) – Danny Smith of Hendersonville, Tenn., led from start to finish in winning the World of Outlaws 40-lap feature at the one-mile Illinois State Fairgrounds. The sprint cars were run prior to the USAC Sliver Crown program scheduled that same day.

Sammy Swindell grabbed second with Doug Wolfgang taking third. Rick Ferkel and Steve Kinser rounded out the top five finishers.

Ferkel posted what is reputed to be the fastest time clocked on any mile dirt track in the country (27.90 seconds) during qualifications.

“I knew I had to run hard from the start because the first 20 laps didn’t really count,” said the 23-year-old Smith. “I ran as hard as I could from the pole position because I wanted to stay out in front for the last 20 laps.”

The 40-lap contest was divided into two 20-lap segments because the World of Outlaw cars aren’t equipped to hold enough fuel to race on a one-mile track for 40 circuits.

Most World of Outlaw tracks are anywhere from quarter mile to five-eighth mile ovals. The entire field was red flagged after 20 laps and restarted in single file order following the mandated pit stop.

“Near the end of the first 20 laps, Sammy was starting to catch me,” Smith remarked. “I got into a lot of heavy traffic and my tires were worn. I was able to put on a fresh set during the stop and they held up.”

Results –

1. Danny Smith
2. Sammy Swindell
3. Doug Wolfgang
4. Rick Ferkel
5. Steve Kinser
6. Brad Doty
7. Dave Wickham
8. Dub May
9. Ed Lynch
10.Todd Bishop
11.Shane Carson
12.Jeff Swindell
13.Rick Ungar
14.Ron Shuman
15.Tom Corbin
16.Ken Schrader
17.Larry Martin
18.Tim Gee
19.Greg Stash
20.Johnny Coogan
21.Cliff Blundy
22.Gary Gray
23.Bobby Davis Jr.
24.Bobby Marshall

Saturday, April 30, 2022

1967 - Daniel’s fortune, Wente’s misfortune at Winchester

Jerry "Scratch" Daniels

Winchester, Ind. (April 30, 1967) - Dame Fortune cast a dirty frown at Bob Wente on the 29th lap of the feature race at the high-banked Winchester oval, Sunday.

Wente started on the pole position and at the drop of the green flag charged into the lead. He masterfully drove his high-powered sprinter through traffic and had the race all sewed up until his gearbox failed just one lap from victory.

Jerry “Scratch” Daniels, St. Paul, Minn., inherited the lead from Wente and went on to capture the 30-lap feature.

The action was fast and furious when the practice session began shortly after noon. Ralph Liguori, veteran USAC driver, spun going into the first turn causing Harold Smith, Dayton, Ohio, to lock-up his #51 Smith Chevy. They both kissed the outer retaining wall inflicting minor damage to both racers. Neither driver was injured in the slight mishap.

Qualifications were well off the current track record of 17.18 seconds, held by Gordon Johncock. The best time of the day was turned in by Karl Busson, Toledo, Ohio, of 17.80 seconds. Busson, driving the #94 Cedoz Chevy, was making his first appearance on the Winchester oval.

In the first 8-lap heat race, Bob Wente, St. Louis, Mo., showed Karl Busson, the fastest qualifier, and Bruce Walkup, Downey, Calif., the short way around the high-banked oval as they finished second and third, respectively.

Scratch Daniels, feature winner, also captured the second 8-lapper. He started on the outside of the first row and was never headed. Finishing second behind Daniels was Sam Sessions and third went to Mickey Shaw. Bud Randall caused the yellow caution flag to fly when he looped his sprinter going into the backstretch.

Butch Wilkerson, driving the #93 Iddings Special, won the accident-marred third heat. Bud Randall got into trouble again spun and flipped upside down. The unlucky driver wasn’t seriously injured, thanks to the good ol’ roll bar.

Aside from a few broken teeth and a sore tongue, Randall was okay.

Rollie Beale, winner of the Eldora opener, captured the semi-feature over hard charging Al Smith and newcomer Duke Cook.

Fourteen cars lined up for the feature race behind Bob Wente, driving the #16 Dunseth Chevy, and Karl Busson, in the #95 Cedoz Chevy. After five laps, Wente had a comfortable four second lead over Busson. While Wente was threading his way through traffic, Sammy Sessions decided he didn’t want to finish in 7th, in the exact same spot.

While Sessions and Walkup were battling for third, Scratch Daniels was giving Busson fits. Daniels was constantly pressing Busson for second. With about four laps to go, Busson’s Chevy blew, causing his racer to spin against the wall.

Daniels now had second position. The Minnesota speedster was too far behind Wente to catch up, so he settled himself for second place. However, Lady Luck stepped into the picture. She frowned at Bob Wente, causing his gearbox to let go, and smiled at Scratch Daniels (again), giving him the lead and the win.

Results –

1. Jerry Daniels
2. Bruce Walkup
3. Sam Sessions
4. Mickey Shaw
5. Al Smith
6. Rollie Beale
7. Chuck Engel
8. Larry Dickson
9. Dee Jones
10.Jerry Poland

Friday, April 29, 2022

1962 – Nelson First at Raceway Park

Norm Nelson pits during the running of the 200-lap USAC stock car race at IRP. He would go on to win the event. 

Clermont, Ind. (April 29, 1962) – Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., maintained his grasp on first place in the national stock car standings by winning a 200-lap event at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Sunday.

A crowd of more than 8,000 fans watched Nelson roar into the lead on lap 194 and stay ahead to pick up the $1,090 winner’s share.

Nelson shot into first place when race leader Len Sutton of Portland, Ore., blew a tire on his 1961 Pontiac. Earlier, Paul Goldsmith of St. Clair Shores, Mich., had been forced out of the race by mechanical troubles after leading the first 141 circuits.

Goldsmith qualified for the pole position at 80.07 miles per hour, a new track record.

Another accident sidelined A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., the 1961 Indianapolis 500 winner. Foyt was riding in second place when his 1961 Pontiac blew a tire a crashed against the outside wall. Foyt was not hurt.

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, finished second and Sutton concluded his tire repair in time to place third. Rodger Ward of Indianapolis was fourth and Nelson’s teammate, Milt Curcio, also of Racine, rounded out the top five.

Results –

1. Norm Nelson
2. Don White
3. Len Sutton
4. Rodger Ward
5. Milt Curcio
6. Whitey Johnson
7. Dick Rathmann
8. Paul Goldsmith
9. Bob Slensby
10.Gene Marmor
11.Herb Shannon
12.Elmer Musgrave
13.Eddie Meyer
14.Whitey Traeder
15.Neil Houston
16.A.J. Foyt
17.Bill Cheesbourg
18.Dave Lundman
19.Eddie Sachs
20.Dick Passwater
21.Skeeter Wyman
22.Bill Shoulders
23.Roy Atkinson
24.John Rostek
25.Whitey Gerken
26.Roger Shears
27.Ray Berry
28.Ted Rosenski
29.Jim Locke

Thursday, April 28, 2022

1973 – Dosher Battles for Topeka Win

Thad Dosher 

Topeka, Kan. (April 28, 1973) – Bill Utz’s misfortune turned out to be Thad Dosher’s big break Saturday night in the sprint car opener at the Mid America Fairgrounds, and the Topeka, Kan., driver made the most of it to claim the 30-lap feature and the $500 top prize that went with it.

Dosher and Utz were battling for second place midway through the contest, while Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo., the pole starter, was making off with the contest in relatively easy fashion.

On the 17th lap, Darryl Dawley of Sioux Falls, S.D., spun in turn four. Utz didn’t see him in time to dodge, clipping the front of Dawley’ car, causing hi own to roll, taking him out of action.

On the restart, Dosher inherited second place and the new ball game ate up all of Sutcliffe’s lead.

Dosher tried to pass on the first lap of the restart, but Sutcliffe held him off and then built up a nice little lead through the next two circuits.

But on the 20th lap Dosher closed the gap. The two went down the backstretch on the 21st lap side-by-side. Dosher was on the outside and rode the rim of the track through the turns and got his R&H Farms Special ahead coming down the homestretch.

After that, the battle was for third, with Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City losing it, then regaining it from Don Mack of East Grand Forks, N.D.

Gene Gennetten of Gladstone, Mo., rounded out the top five.

Dosher started eighth in the 20-car field and quickly move to third after only nine laps to set up the struggle with Utz, of Sedalia, Mo., which ended in disaster for the Missourian.

Dosher and Sutcliffe each won a heat race and demonstrated in those short tests that their machines were the class of the 55-car field which broke all records at the half-mile track for entries.

Results –

Trophy dash – Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
Heat #1 – Dave Skari, Grand Forks, N.D.
Heat #2 – Bill Robison, Topeka
Heat #3 – Thad Dosher, Topeka
Heat #4 – Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo.
B-feature – Stan Borofsky, Kansas City
Feature –
1. Thad Dosher
2. Dick Sutcliffe
3. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
4. Don Mack, East Grand Forks, N.D.
5. Gene Gennetten, Gladstone, Mo.
6. Stan Borofsky
7. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
8. Roger Larson, Solomon, Kan.
9. Dave Skari
10.Dean Ward, Lincoln, Neb.
11.Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
12.Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

1968 – Dolan Wheels to Surprise Des Moines Win

Des Moines, Iowa (April 27, 1968) – Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, and his 1967 Dodge Charger tried to use his bag of tricks at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday night, but found Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, and his 1962 Ford convertible a little too tough to trick.

Dolan piloted his pink convertible to the checkered flag in the 25-lap late model feature as well as the first heat in the first night of weekly racing at the half-mile, co-promoted by Homer Melton and Johnny Beauchamp.

Dolan, in only his second year of late model racing, drew the pole position and led from start to finish.

Derr started in seventh but the 1967 IMCA national champion quickly moved into third place behind Dean Montgomery and his 1967 Chevelle.

But then, from nowhere, came Buzz McCann, the 15-year veteran from Minneapolis, Minn., who slipped by Derr for third.

Derr would regain third on lap 20, then move past Montgomery for second on lap 22. He tried to use his bag of tricks on Dolan, his lone rival for first place. Dolan would exhibit a beautiful defensive role, even as Derr continuously bumped on Dolan’s fender for the remaining few laps. Dolan would remain cool as a cucumber and hold on for the win as Derr would have to settle for second.

Fred Horn of Marion, Iowa, the 24-year-old rookie in late model racing, thrilled the 5,500 race fans in attendance. Driving Ramo Stott’s 1967 Plymouth “Hemi”, Horn put on a driving clinic holding off Derr in the 15-lap semi-feature.

Dick Gustin of Des Moines, driving a 1955 Chevrolet, took top honors in the sportsman feature, leading all 15 circuits in taking the win over Jack Piper of Mason City, Iowa, and Dan Patton of New Sharon, Iowa.

Results –

Heat #1 – Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
Heat #2 – Buzz McCann, Minneapolis, Minn.
Semi-main – Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa
Feature –
1. Roger Dolan
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
4. Buzz McCann
5. Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
6. Tom Hughes, Monticello, Iowa
7. John Connolly, Delhi, Iowa
8. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Verlin Eaker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
10.Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

1968 – Late Surge Decides Season Opener

John Connolly drove Chuck Thompson's Ford to victory in the season opener at Davenport. - Jim Wilmore Collection

Davenport, Iowa (April 26, 1968) – John Connolly, Delhi, moved in front of the field with two laps remaining and won the late model feature race going away in the season opener at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds on Friday night.

Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn., appeared to have the feature wrapped up but with a little over two laps remaining, he went to the pit area with engine problems. Connolly moved up from his second position to inherit the top spot and gain the victory.

Drivers were pushing their machines extremely hard for the opening night of the season and thus, many cars were knocked out of contention for various mechanical issues.

After winning his heat race, Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley was unable to complete the remainder of the feature due to mechanical problems. Red Droste of Waterloo was also hampered with engine problems.

Don Bohlander of Peoria and Williams were the early front-runners in the feature, but Connolly came on strong in the late stages of the 25-lapper.

Results –

Heat #1 – Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley
Heat #2 – Verlin Eaker, Cedar Rapids
Heat #3 – Tom Hughes, Monticello
Semi-main – Rich Miller, Davenport
Feature –
1. John Connolly, Delhi
2. Verlin Eaker
3. Don Bohlander, Peoria, Ill.
4. Tom Hughes
5. Jerry Reinhart, Moline, Ill.
6. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
7. Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.