Thursday, June 23, 2022

1972 – Mid-Season Title to Zwanziger

Bill Zwanziger admires his trophy after winning the mid-season title at Cedar Rapids. 

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (June 23, 1972) – Hard-charging Bill Zwanziger captured the 30-lap mid-season spectacular for late model stock cars amid a bit of controversy Friday night at Hawkeye Downs.

Zwanziger and Ed Sanger had different opinions on how it all came about, in one of the most closely contested duels on the half-mile dirt oval this season.

The season’s biggest crowd of 4,173 watched Sanger, the polesitter on the basis of being the point leader – lead for 26 laps before spinning out on the fourth turn of lap 27.

What took place created the controversy between the two pilots from Waterloo.

“Zwanziger spun me,” claimed Sanger. “There was no excuse for it. I had the high groove, and he knew there was nowhere to go down low because of the mud there.”

No, I didn’t get crossways – not until Bill hit me! And he hit me hard enough there was no saving it.”

Zwanziger didn’t see it that way.

“Ed hit a hole and came crossways,” he explained. “I put on the brakes – hard – and tried to miss him, but I tapped his rear end. I couldn’t help it.”

Whatever, the spin cost Sanger four places and Zwanziger sailed home scot-free in his 1970 Chevy. His triumph, Bill’s first feature of the campaign at the Downs, was worth $500.

Zwanziger made it evident that he was to be reckoned with from the sixth lap on. He, Keokuk’s Ramo Stott, and Iowa City’s John Moss were all in hot pursuit of Sanger and not much more than a quarter car length separated the quartet.

That trio fought for second place until the 23rd lap when Zwanziger took over for good.

“I could get under them (Stott, Moss), but the groove was up high, and they yanked me coming out of the turns. There were some holes in both corners, but my car works better in that situation.”

“I think it’s to my advantage because I can run through them.”

Three 1970 Plymouths trailed Zwanziger across the finish line. Moss was second, followed by Marion’s Fred Horn, who made a move on Stott with two laps left to claim third while Stott settled for fourth.

Sanger switched to his brother Karl’s 1964 Chevy for the feature because his pistons were burning out on his 1970 Monte Carlo. Karl Drove the Monte Carlo for the feature but retired after 19 laps.

Zwanziger also copped the Australian Pursuit while Washington’s Ron Perdock topped the semi-main. Heat winners were Stott, Cedar Rapids’ Bill McDonough, and Dysart’s Bob Hilmer.

Martelle’s Jerry Hull won the 10-lap street stock feature for the third time this season.

Results –

Heat #1 – Bob Hilmer, Dysart
Heat #2 – Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
Heat #3 – Ramo Stott, Keokuk
Semi – Ron Perdock, Washington
Australian Pursuit – Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
Feature –
1. Bill Zwanziger
2. John Moss, Iowa City
3. Fred Horn, Marion
4. Ramo Stott
5. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
6. Ron Perdock
7. Bob Hilmer
8. Chuck Wicher, Cedar Rapids
9. Walt Carney, West Branch
10.Al Mayner, Winthrop

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