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

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