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

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