Thursday, June 30, 2022

1973 – Sutcliffe Out; Jones Wins Knoxville

Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., is congratulated by Knoxville Raceway promoter Marion Robinson of Des Moines after Jones won his first career winged sprint car feature at the historic half-mile oval. - Beetle Bailey Photo

Knoxville, Iowa (June 30, 1973) – Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., took advantage of Dick Sutcliffe’s mechanical problems to win the “Spring Nationals” sprint car feature race Saturday night at the Marion County Fairgrounds.

Jones won by three car lengths over Roger Larson of Solomon, Kan., in a record time of 10 minutes and 39.76 seconds for the 30-lap race on the half-mile dirt track.

Sutcliffe, shooting for his fourth straight feature win at Knoxville, charged to the front on lap 5 and stayed there until lap 15 when drive line problems forced him to the sidelines.

Jones took over from there and led the remaining 10 circuits for his first-ever victory at the historic track. He averaged 84.8 miles per hour to capture the $1,000 top prize before a crowd of 6,285.

His time broke the record previously held by Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., who finished third in the contest.

Results –

Time trials – Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo. (20.32)
Heat #1 – Jon Backlund, Kansas City
Heat #2 – Harold Gutknecht Jr., Pleasantville
Heat #3 – Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.
Heat #4 – Stacy Redmond, Mason City
B-main – Jon Backlund
Feature –
1. Bubby Jones, Danville, Ill.
2. Roger Larson, Solomon, Kan.
3. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
4. Darryl Dawley, Sioux Falls, S.D.
5. Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
6. Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.
7. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville
8. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
9. Jon Backlund
10.Larry Kirkpatrick

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