Sunday, July 31, 2022

1962 – Stoughton Pilot Blazes to Win

Bill Horstmeyer, shown here at the Minnesota State Fair, won the 15-lap feature at La Crosse in the Ernie Johnson Offenhauser. 

La Crosse, Wis. (July 31, 1962) – Bill Horstmeyer of Stoughton, piloting the Ernie Johnson #5 Offenhauser, shattered the 15-lap record Tuesday night in the championship feature at the La Crosse Interstate Fair big car races.

Horstmeyer was clocked in 6 minutes and 22.62 seconds by International Motor contest Association timer Verna Winkley. It broke the old mark (7:55.38) by more than a minute and a half set here by Jack Rounds of Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1958.

The 31-year-old electrical maintenance foreman for Oscar Mayer in Madison said after the race, “It helps when two guys are glued to your tail.”

He was referring to Jerry Daniels of St. Paul, Minn., driving a Buick conversion and Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla., behind the wheel of Hector Honore’s Offenhauser.

“It makes a difference,” Horstmeyer remarked. “I could hear them right behind me.”

Horstmeyer, married and the father of two boys, is a 16-year veteran of racing that includes stocks, motorcycles, midgets, and sprint cars.

Horstmeyer said his car started to pitch because of a broken right shock on the right rear. He was careful to avoid the holes on the third turn so as not to lose the lead he kept for all 15 laps.

The feature also brought a near serious accident – the crowd of about 3,000 gasped when Harold Leep of Wichita, Kan., sent his Offenhauser too high on the straightaway in front of the grandstand on the completion of lap 10.

Leep’s car bounced off the fence protecting the grandstand crowd. The car spun across the track and into the infield just behind the leaders and in front of the remaining 13-car field.

Leep, who set a new track record in time trials, had been running a close third behind Horstmeyer and Daniels when the accident occurred. Defending IMCA national champion Pete Folse moved into Leep’s spot.

National point leader Johnny Rutherford of Fort Worth, Tex., drove Larry Cahill’s Offenhauser to a fifth-place finish, right behind Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn.

Rutherford’s Beatson Chevy conked out in the 8-lap consolation. Harvey Konkel off West Allis won in a Chevrolet conversion in a new record time of 3 minutes and 28.52 seconds, eclipsing the old mark of 3 minutes and 38.35 seconds set by Ralph Donaldson of Jackson, Mich., in 1951.

Leep’s new qualifying mark of 24.03 seconds bettered Vern Chamberlain’s 1958 standard of 24.19 seconds.

Richert, Daniels, and Don Melton of San Bernadino, Calif., were heat winners.

Results –

Time trials – Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan. (24.03)
Heat #1 – Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
Heat #2 – Jerry Daniels, St. Paul, Minn.
Heat #3 – Don Melton, San Bernadino, Calif.
Consolation – Harvey Konkel, West Allis
Feature –
1. Bill Horstmeyer, Stoughton
2. Jerry Daniels
3. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
4. Jerry Richert
5. Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex.
6. Roger Lane, Kansas City
7. Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan.
8. Harvey Konkel
9. Sonny McDaniel, Houston, Tex.
10.Al Fredenberg, Madison
11.Don O’Riley, Los Angeles
12.Don Melton

Friday, July 29, 2022

1967 – Stott Laps Field at Chicago

Ramo Stott dominated racing action at Chicago's historic Soldier Field -
Ed Coffey Photo/Stan Kalwasinski Collection

Chicago, Ill. (July 29, 1967) – Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, driving a 1967 Plymouth, lapped the entire field at least once – to capture the 100-lap International Motor Contest Association late model stock car feature at Soldier Field on Saturday night.

Ernie Derr, the seven-time IMCA national stock car champion, was also lapped, the first time that’s happened in over five years. He still managed to hold on to finish second.

Racing before 9,237 spectators, Stott completed the century grind in 31 minutes and 3.27 seconds for his second IMCA victory on the Soldier Field track. He won the 75-lapper here on June 24.

Ike Knapp of Detroit, Mich., finished third and was followed by Dave Hirschfeld of Midlothian, Ill., and Frank Freda of Chicago.

Two Chicago area drivers, Rich Kleich and Bill Shoulders, would give Stott some problems early on in the feature but mechanical issues forced them both to the sidelines.

The two heat races were won by Paul Feldner of Colgate, Wis., and Shoulders. Shoulders also won the trophy dash.

Results –

Time trials – Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa (20.67)
Heat #1 – Bill Shoulders, Chicago
Heat #2 – Paul Feldner, Colgate, Wis.
Trophy dash – Bill Shoulders
Semi-main – Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
Feature –
1. Ramo Stott
2. Ernie Derr
3. Ike Knapp, Detroit, Mich.
4. Dave Hirschfeld, Midlothian, Ill.
5. Frank Freda, Chicago
6. Bob Malechek, Marshalltown, Iowa
7. Paul Feldner
8. Tom Klippel, Chicago
9. Bob Perry, Springfield, Mo.
10.Leon Bowman, Wichita, Kan.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

1955 – White Wins, Hilmer Sets Record

Herschel Buchanan (left) congratulates Bob Hilmer after the young Dysart, Iowa, driver established a new national one-lap record around the Sioux Empire half-mile. Buchanan had previously held the record. – Herb Qualset Photo

Sioux Falls, S.D. (July 28, 1955) – Don White, who had been beset by mechanical troubles for several weeks in his 1955 Oldsmobile, found the shoe on the other foot Sunday as he won the 100-lap feature for late model stock cars at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds.

It was the mechanical failure of another 1955 Oldsmobile which enabled White, the little Keokuk, Iowa, driver, to take first place.

Bob Hilmer of Dysart, Iowa, established a new national record of 29.770 seconds in his one-lap qualifying spin and then set a new national mark in winning his heat race. Hilmer, a comparative newcomer to late model stock car racing, sailed into the lead of the 100-lap feature and looked like he would stay there.

With only 11 laps to go, Hilmer’s car was forced to drop off the pace with a badly smoking front wheel bearing and White passed him as he limped around the track. On lap 93, Hilmer headed to the pit area, with his right front tire ablaze from the heat.

It was a bad break for Hilmer, who had burst into national prominence with a 100-mile victory here in June for his first major victory.

Steady driving Bill Harrison of Topeka, Kan., took second and Bob Potter of Duluth, Minn., was third.

The final was marred by a spill on the 90th lap when Chris Skadal of Des Moines flipped his brand-new ‘555 Chevrolet and was taken to a local hospital for overnight observation.

The track was exceedingly fast with 10 drivers topping Buchanan’s old mark of 31.48 seconds during time trials.

Buchanan’s car popped a tire on lap 83 while riding in third place behind Hilmer and White. He wound up ninth place after a tire change.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
3. Bob Potter, Duluth, Minn.
4. Paul Newkirk, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
5. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
6. Bob Brown, Springfield, Mo.
7. Roxy Dancy, Shreveport, La.
8. Delmar Donaldson, Burlington, Iowa
9. Herschel Buchanan, Shreveport, La.
10.DeWayne Lund, Anita, Iowa

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

1976 – Weedon Cops Open Class Competition at Fair

West Liberty, Iowa (July 27, 1976) – Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley took the lead on the opening lap and then kept it the rest of the way for the open late model feature win on Tuesday night at the West Liberty Fair.

Weedon, who started on the outside of the front row, pulled away from polesitter Steve Keppler of Marion at the drop of the green flag and never looked back.

Keppler, who turned the fastest lap during time trials, stayed on Weedon’s back bumper the entire time but was never good enough to overtake him.

Mike Niffenegger of Kalona, last Saturday night’s winner, put on a late charge but settled for third.

Heat wins were recorded by Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Duane Steffe of East Moline, Ill., Curt Hansen of Dike and Bob Kosiski of Omaha, Neb. Larry Rummelhart of Riverside won the 15-lap semi-main.

John Simenec of Rock Island, Ill., returned after an absence of several weeks and won the sportsman feature, outdueling red hot Chuck Lukemyre of Tipton for the checkered flag.

Simenec owned the pole position and grabbed the lead right away, winning in a close duel.

Heat winners were Simenec and Lukemyre, with Randy Adams of Muscatine winning the semi-main.

Results –

Late Models –

Time trials – Steve Keppler, Marion (25.00)
Heat #1 – Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
Heat #2 – Duane Steffe, East Moline, Ill.
Heat #3 – Curt Hansen, Dike
Heat #4 – Bob Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
Semi-main – Larry Rummelhart, Riverside
Feature –
1. Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley
2. Steve Keppler
3. Mike Niffenegger, Kalona
4. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
5. Tom Steuding, Altoona, Wis.
6. Duane Steffe
7. Curt Hansen
8. Bob Kosiski
9. Roger Dolan, Lisbon
10.Dave Chase, Council Bluffs
11.Darrell Dake
12.Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
13.Tom Hearst, Wilton
14.Ken DeGood, Hills
15.Dave Birkhofer, Muscatine
16.Larry Jenkins, Wilton
17.Gary Webb, Davenport
18.Bill Beckman, Lisbon

Sportsman –

Heat #1 - John Simenec, Rock Island, Ill.
Heat #2 – Chuck Lukemyre, Tipton
Semi-main – Randy Adams, Muscatine
Feature –
1. John Simenec
2. Chuck Lukemyre
3. Ron Pallister, Wapello
4. Butch Cassady, West Branch
5. Roy Rees, Iowa City
6. Ron Boyse, Wellman
7. Dave Wheeler, Davenport
8. Mike Wheeler, Davenport
9. Lyle Kammerer, Davenport
10.Jerry Brumley, Iowa City
11.John Simenec,
12.Chuck Lukemyre, Tipton

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

1978 – Carson win Forester sprints

Shane Carson (left) won the Elder-Forester Invitational at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Carson is joined by runner-up Jimmy Boyd (right) and third place finisher Eddie Leavitt (center), - Morris "Beetle" Bailey Photo

Des Moines, Iowa (July 26, 1978) – Shane Carson of Oklahoma City took advantage of a good thing and won the Elder – Forester Invitational for sprint cars at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Wednesday evening.

Doug Wolfgang was in process of celebrating his birthday, when his engine let go just four laps from victory lane.

Jimmy Boyd of Dixon, Calif., took over but Carson went high on the cushion and took command on the 23rd lap.

Carson pocketed $1,000 for his victory in the Bob Trostle sprinter.

Sonny Smyser of Lancaster, Mo., led the first three laps of the feature race before relinquishing the lead to Wolfgang.

Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., finished third with Randy Smith of Norwalk, Iowa, fourth and Mike Brooks of Des Moines rounding out the top-five.

Cheryl Burgard of East Berlin, Penn., one of the few women drivers too compete in the state of Iowa, managed a seventh-place finish in the B-main.

Boyd started out the evening with a victory in the first 8-lap heat, with Ralph Blackett of Des Moines winning the second. Wolfgang scored the victory in the third heat and Leland McSpadden of Tucson, Ariz., was the fourth heat winner.

Veteran Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., won the B-main with Bobby Marshall of Dallas, Tex., on his heels.

The program was sanctioned by the National Speedways Contest Association.

Results –

1. Shane Carson
2. Jimmy Boyd
3. Eddie Leavitt
4. Randy Smith
5. Mike Brooks
6. Mike Pinckney
7. Ralph Blackett
8. Jack McCorkell
9. Bill Utz
10.Junior Gutknecht
11.Butch Bahr
12.Jerry Blundy
13.Bill Robison
14.Cliff Woodard
15.Bill Hudson

Monday, July 25, 2022

1970 - White Blows Engine: McCluskey Nabs Win

Sedalia, Mo. (July 25, 1970) – Don White, who had built a five-second lead over Roger McCluskey by the 95th lap, found himself pulling into the pits with his 1970 Dodge Charger the following lap with a blown engine and watching McCluskey take the checkered flag in the first-annual Falstaff 100 at the Missouri State Fairgrounds yesterday.

White, who was the United States Auto Club’s stock division champion in 1963 and 1967. held the lead in the national championship late model race for 74 laps; those came between the first and 50th laps and the 71st and 95th, when his engine gave way.

Defending USAC stock car division champion Roger McCluskey arrived just in time to qualify owner Norm Nelson’s 1970 Plymouth. McCluskey started on the 100-lap race on the outside pole position of the second row.

A massive 12-car pileup on the first turn of the initial lap delayed the race for approximately 45 minutes.

The accident occurred when Whitey Gerkin of Villa Park, Ill., clipped the rear end of Art Pollard’s 1969 Camaro, causing Pollard’s racer to spin off the inside guard rail. Cars behind Pollard were forced to spin themselves trying to avoid him.

As a result, six cars were forced into the pits, with damaged beyond repair for the day’s 100-mile feature event.

The only other crash of consequence came on the seventh lap when Glenn Bradley of Lincoln, Ill., flipped his Stocker coming out of the fourth turn.

Bradley was taken to Bothwell Hospital for X-rays, but his injuries were not believed serious.

McCluskey of Tucson, Ariz., spent the morning in Indianapolis, Ind. qualifying for today’s championship division road race. Following his qualifications run, he hopped in a plane and flew to Sedalia to run in the USAC stock car race.

Following McCluskey across the finish line was Butch Hartman of South Zanesville, Ohio, in a 1970 Plymouth.

Third and fourth positions went to Chrysler products as well. Third was grabbed by Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in a 1970 Dodge Charger, while Sal Tovella, Addison, Ill., behind the wheel of a 1969 Plymouth, finished fourth. Whitey Gerkin was the fifth-place finisher.

Keokuk, Iowa’s Don White set the fast time for the starting 30-car field with a clocking of 40.05 seconds and finished seventh behind Larry Berwanger. Eighth place went to Bay Darnell of Deerfield, Ill., in a 1970 Dodge Super Bee; Raybon Hinkle of Griffith, Ind., grabbed ninth place in a 1969 American Motors Rebel, while Paul Feldner, last year’s second-place finisher behind A.J. Foyt, was tenth in the cockpit of a 1969 Dodge Super Bee.

The highlight attraction of the late model show was to be A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., the defending champion of the Sedalia track in the United States Auto Club. Foyt, however, was confined to a bed in Indianapolis, suffering from influenzas.

Both his entry in the Falstaff 100 and today’s national championship division race at Indianapolis had to be withdrawn late Thursday.

Results –

1. Roger McCluskey
2. Butch Hartman
3. Verlin Eaker
4. Sal Tovella
5. Whitey Gerkin
6. Larry Berwanger
7. Don White
8. Bay Darnell
9. Rabon Hinkle
10.Paul Feldner
11.Tom Klippel
12.J.C. Klotz
13.Lefty Robinson
14.Steve Arndt
15.Earl Wagner
16.Woody Walcher
17.Larry Reddick
18.Jay Behimer

Sunday, July 24, 2022

1966 – Goldsmith Grabs Vol

Bristol winner Paul Goldsmith is flanked by Miss Bristol Speedway, Linda Cole (left) and Miss Firebird, Winky Louise (right). General manager Larry Carrier admiringly looks on. 

Bristol, Tenn. (July 24, 1966) – Plymouth-driving Paul Goldsmith of Munster, Ind., came up with an exhibition of late-race charging on Sunday afternoon and won the Volunteer 500 stock car race at Bristol International Speedway.

Fighting his way back from a two-lap deficit in the last 150 circuits, Goldsmith whittled away steadily from second spot at the margin separating him from Richard Petty of Randleman, N.C.

It wasn’t an easy task, but a couple of caution-flag slowdowns and the superior handling of his car helped Goldsmith eat up the racetrack.

Petty, complaining of a recent whiplash injury suffered in a previous wreck, gave up his car to relief driver Jim Paschal on lap 376. From then on it was just a question of time before Goldsmith caught up.

A crowd of 21,000 cheered on the Hoosier aircraft engineer’s pursuit, but only four laps remained when Goldsmith pulled in front of the bright blue Petty Plymouth for good, and at the finish he was only two car lengths ahead.

David Pearson of Spartanburg, S.C., was third in a 1966 Charger. Paul Lewis of Johnson City, Tenn., finished fourth in a 1965 Plymouth.

Goldsmith’s victory was worth $5,050. Time for the 500-lap, 250-mile contest was 3 hours and 12 minutes, a relatively fast race.

For the first 376 laps the race was primarily Petty’s with Goldsmith in the second spot, comfortable in a driving suit ingeniously cooled by circulating ice water.

After starting third, Petty took the lead of the 160th lap and gradually built up a commanding margin. At one time he was a full two laps ahead while Goldsmith and Pearson dickered over second place.

Top qualifier Curtis Turner of Charlotte, N.C., who astonished veteran racing analysts by placing a 1966 Chevrolet on the pole position, led the first 80 laps but eventually was forced to retire with a broken rocker arm.

Results –

1. Paul Goldsmith, Munster, Ind.
2. Richard Petty, Randleman, N.C.
3. David Pearson, Spartanburg, S.C.
4. Paul Lewis, Johnson City, Tenn.
5. Bobby Allison, Hueytown, Ala.
6. Elmo Langley, Charlotte, N.C.
7. John Sears, Ellerbe, N.C.
8. Gene Elliott, Shelby, N.C.
9. Henley Gray, Rome, Ga.
10.Blackie Watts, North Alexandria, Penn.
11.Hank Thomas, Winston-Salem, N.C.
12.Neil Castle, Charlotte, N.C.
13.J.D. McDuffie, Sanford, N.C.
14.Earl Brooks, Lynchburg, Va.
15.J.T. Putney, Arden, N.C.

Curtis Turner (47) and David Pearson (6) lead the field to green for the Volunteer 500.

Friday, July 22, 2022

1983 – Schiltz tops NASCAR field in Minnesota

Dick Schiltz

Fairmont, Minn. (July 22, 1983) – Dick Schiltz, a Minnesota native now living in Waterloo, Iowa, returned to his native soil Wednesday night and posted a convincing win in a NASCAR Grand American race at Fairmont Speedway.

The event marked the first time a NASCAR Grand American race had been held in Minnesota and was also the first NASCAR event ever staged on a dirt track in the Gopher State.

Schiltz is the current NASCAR central Region point’s leader in the Winston Racing Series and the Fairmont victory was one of eight he has posted thus far this season.

Finishing second to Schiltz in the 50-lap main event was Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa, third went to Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, fourth was Gary Tigges of Durango, Iowa, and fifth was Scott Braun of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

National Winston Racing Series point leader Mike Alexander of Franklin, Tenn., made only his second dirt track appearance ever and finished 15th in an asphalt car re-worked for dirt.

Alexander is the Southern Region leader in NASCAR but is the overall National leader on the basis of his 17 feature wins. Schiltz is third in that category with his eight feature wins and Richie Evans of Rome, N.Y., the Northeast Region leader, is second with 12 victories.

The Fairmont event drew 19 cars for the $10,000 purse.

Results –

1. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
2. Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
3. Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
4. Gary Tigges, Durango, Iowa
5. Scott Braun, Cedar Falls, Iowa
6. Red Dralle, Cedar Falls, Iowa
7. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls, Iowa
8. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Jim Burbridge, Delhi, Iowa
10.Herman Smith, East Point, Ga.
11.Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
12.Leon Plank, Eau Claire, Wis.
13.Curt Martin, Independence, Iowa
14.Em Fretheim, Decorah, Iowa
15.Mike Alexander, Franklin, Tenn.
16.Bob Hill, Story City, Iowa
17.Dan Dickey, Packwood, Iowa
18.Mike Smith, Ellsworth, Iowa
19.Gary Pedersen, Rutland, Iowa

Thursday, July 21, 2022

1964 – Pearson Guns Dodge to Win

Linda Vaughn gives David Pearson a kiss after he won the 200-lap NASCAR Grand National race at Lincoln, Penn. – Lloyd King Photo

Hanover, Penn. (July 21, 1964) – David Pearson, a relative newcomer to late model stock car racing, showed he’s learning his lessons well with an impressive victory in the Pennsylvania 200 on Tuesday night at Lincoln Speedway.

Pearson, a former NASCAR rookie of the year, who hails from Spartanburg, S.C., tooled a 1964 Dodge fielded by owner Cotton Owens.

He took the lead on the 121st lap, made one pit stop – that a quick trip in for fuel – and won out by little less than half a lap over Dick Petty, NASCAR’s leading money winner and point leader from Randleman, N.C.

Pearson, ranked fourth in the Grand National standings this season, averaged 82.65 miles per hour. He was clocked at 1 hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds for the 100-mile journey around Lincoln’s half-mile clay oval.

The fastest qualifier with an average speed of 86.1 miles per hour in the time trials, Pearson settled into the second spot until lap 121, then made his move to the top spot in determined fashion.

Bob Welborn of Asheville, N.C., who joined Pearson in the front row, with the second fastest qualifying speed of 85.7 miles per hour, was the victim of Pearson’s daring.

For the best part of the first 120 circuits, Welborn kept his 1964 Ford in the lead. Pearson had made a threatening gesture on lap 105 but dropped back on the run by the grandstand.

Then, on the 121st time around, Pearson stuck his nose in front of Welborn coming off the second turn, battled side-by-side down the backstretch and shot in front by the fourth turn.

Welborn lost control momentarily as he attempted to regain the lead and slipped all the way back to third as Petty, who had been within striking distance since the start, took over the runner-up spot.

Pearson gradually increased his margin over Petty before going in for fuel with 32 laps to go. His pit crew got the job done in rapid order and Pearson returned to the track still seven seconds to the good.

Twenty-one cars started the race but only nine were running at the finish. The third-place car, Jim Pardue, of North Wilkesboro, N.C., was five laps behind Pearson and Petty when the checkered flag waved. Pardue made two stops to change tires.

Welborn hit the rail on the third turn shortly after he lost the lead and gave way to a relief driver on the 162nd lap. Out for good on the 179th lap his car was 11th in the final standings.

Results –

1. David Pearson, Spartanburg. S.C.
2. Richard Petty, Randleman, N.C.
3. Jim Pardue, North Wilkesboro, N.C.
4. Wendell Scott, Danville, Va.
5. Doug Yates, Chapel Hill, N.C.
6. Curtis Crider, Timmonsville, S.C.
7. Al White, Buffalo, N.Y.
8. Doug Cooper, Gastonia, N.C.
9. Roy Tyner, Thomasville, N.C.
10.Bob Derrington, Houston, Tex.
11.Bob Welborn, Asheville, N.C.
12.Neil Castles, Charlotte, N.C.

1959 – Grand Forks ‘100’ to Hutcherson


Grand Forks, N.D. (July 21, 1959) – Ernie Derr grabbed an early lead and held it until the 35th circuit when his engine blew. Bob Kosiskie, driving a Thunderbird, moved into the lead, and held off the threat of Darrell Dake until the lap 90, when a front wheel broke on the backstretch. Dake inherited the lead until he spun a third of a lap later, almost rolling his car in the process.

When Dake spun, Hutcherson, running fourth, sped around Lenny Funk and moved into the lead. He held strong the remaining nine laps to take the checkered flag in the 100-lap afternoon contest.

Hutcherson displayed heads up driving when he grabbed the lead from his fourth position at the time of the wheel failure to race leader Kosiskie and Dake’s spinout.

Results –

1. Dick Hutcherson
2. Lenny Funk
3. Scott Cain
4. Frank Richards
5. Darrell Dake
6. Sonny Morgan
7. Newt Bartholomew
8. Ralph Wilhelm
9. Roland Wilson
10. Bob Kosiskie
11. Ken Schultz
12. Jerry Draper
13. Pete Van Oudenhoven
14. Mert Williams
15. Ernie Derr
16. Buzz McCann

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

1974 - Knoxville Victory to Dawley

Knoxville, Iowa (July 20, 1974) – “The track was good, and the car felt great. I think we’re getting the car in shape,” Daryl Dawley of Sioux Falls, S.D., summing up his third feature win at the Marion County Fairgrounds this season. Until 1974, feature wins had eluded Dawley, who now possesses three.

Roger Rager of Mound, Minn., led the first two circuits of the 20-lap finale until engine failure led him to the pits. Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., took over and was on top for the next three laps until Dawley charged by him on lap 6 and ran untouched the rest of the way.

Finishing behind Dawley were Leavitt, Ralph Parkinson Jr. of Kansas City, Mike Thomas of Des Moines, and Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo.

Dawley also set quick time in qualifying, touring the half-mile in 21.31 seconds.

Rager won trophy dash and first heat while Bill Miller of Prairie City, Iowa and Wayne Holz of Lincoln, Neb., were the second and third heat winners respectively. Leavitt outdistanced Lonnie Jensen of Lincoln, Neb., to win the 10-lap consolation.

Results –

Fast time – Daryl Dawley, Sioux Falls, S.D. (21.31)
Trophy dash – Roger Rager, Mound, Minn.
Heat #1 – Roger Rager
Heat #2 – Bill Miller, Prairie City, Iowa
Heat #3 – Wayne Holz, Lincoln, Neb.
Consolation – Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
Feature –
1. Daryl Dawley
2. Eddie Leavitt
3. Ralph Parkinson Jr., Kansas City
4. Mike Thomas, Des Moines
5. Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo.
6. Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.
7. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
8. Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
9. Bill Miller
10. Mackie Heimbaugh, Des Moines

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

1977 – Hansen wins Boone Grand National

Boone, Iowa (July 19, 1977) – “Hansen-Sanger Unlimited” did well in the Grand National XI late-model stock car races at the Boone Speedway Tuesday night.

Curt Hansen of Dike led the 50-lap feature over the 3/8-mile dirt track and Ed Sanger of Waterloo finished second. Hansen's winning share was $1,250 and Sanger pocketed $800.

Sanger owns the cars that the two drove and Hansen's responsibility is to build the engines.

Hansen has won 10 of the last 13 features in which he has participated and has grossed more than $24,000 from stock car racing for the year. He had attempted to qualify for the feature event, three times but this is the first year he made it.

Don Hoffman of Des Moines gave Sanger a tough battle for second place. Hansen, however, had it easy, winning by about 100 yards over Sanger.

Denny Rosenberg of Grimes won the 25-lap sportsman feature and Arvid Borcher of Marshalltown captured the 15-lap street stock feature.

Results –

1. Curt Hansen, Dike
2. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
3. Don Hoffman, Des Moines
4. Steve Keppler, Marion
5. Stan Stover, Reinbeck
6. Bill Rice, Des Moines
7. Ron Tilley, Council Bluffs
8. Fred Knapp, Des Moines
9. Bob Kosiski, Omaha
10.Bill Kirk, Salix
11.Dick Schiltz, Waterloo
12.Red Dralle, Waterloo

Monday, July 18, 2022

1976 – Watson Wins ‘White’ Race

Dave Watson

Kaukauna, Wis. (July 18, 1976) – Dave Watson, behind the wheel of the Nielsen Enterprises’ 1976 Camaro, flashed to victory in the second race of the “Red, White and Blue” State Championship Series on Sunday afternoon at Wisconsin International Raceway before a crowd of 5,691.

Watson, a former state titlist from Milton, took the lead on the 16th lap when he wrestled the spot away from Roger Regeth of Kimberly on the front chute.

Ray Young of Dolton, Ill., paced the field of 24 starters for one lap before Regeth put his Camaro into the lead. Regeth stretch his margin to six car lengths while Watson, the top qualifier in the 51-car field, began to move up. Watson moved into second position by lap 13 and began to slice at Regeth’s lead. In three laps, Watson took control of the race with his new car that had only been raced for one week.

The cars tightened up behind Watson on the 21st lap when a spin by John Reimer of Caledonia brought out the yellow flag.

John Ziegler, the defending state champion, moved into second place past Regeth on lap 29 with his 1975 Camaro. However, the Madison driver could not catch Watson and finished the 55-lap event five car lengths off the pace.

Doug Strasburg of Johnson Creek finished third in his 1973 Camaro followed by Joe Shear of South Beloit, Ill., in another 1973 Camaro and Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, driving a 1970 Mustang, and Regeth.

Pete Parker of Kaukauna led the 25-lap semi-feature until the last lap when he was passed by Conrad Morgan of Dousman as the two Camaro drivers entered the first turn.

Parker and Morgan had battled for the lead the entire distance and brought the crowd to its feet as they came out the fourth turn side-by-side with Morgan winning by mere inches in the lower groove.

Larry Schuler of Lockport, Ill., won the first 20-lap qualifier rather easily but the second 20-lap qualifier was much closer as Regeth outbattled Parker in the early stages of the event and held off Beloit’s Gary Hemmerling at the finish line.

Watson topped qualifications with a time of 20.812 seconds.

Results –

1. Dave Watson, Milton
2. John Ziegler, Madison
3. Doug Strasburg, Johnson Creek
4. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
5. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
6. Roger Regeth, Kimberly
7. Al Schill, Franklin
8. Rich Somers, Stevens Point
9. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
10.Jerry Kemperman, Blue Island, Ill.
11.Jim Back, Vesper
12.Tom Musgrave, Arlington, Ill.
13.Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
14.Dave Evans, Crystal Lake, Ill.
15.Larry Nipple, New Albany

Saturday, July 16, 2022

1969 - Stewart Wins Oskaloosa Main

Tom Stewart

by Ida May Van Genderen

Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 16, 1969) - It was an extra-long night of racing at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds half-mile oval Wednesday night. The 38-car field put on some wild races with plenty of spin outs providing the thrills.

Tom Stewart of Washington piloted his #17 Chevelle to victory for the 15-lap super stock main. Stewart took the lead on the first lap from his pole starting position and was never headed.

Stewart was challenged hard by Mel Morris of West Liberty in what was a bumper-to-bumper duel for most of the race.

The win put Stewart up a notch in the point standings. Tom now holds down second place behind point leader Morris. Joel Rasmussen of Gilbert held off John Moss of Iowa City to place third with Moss coming in fourth.

Don Hoffman of Des Moines collected his first trophy dash of this season at Oskaloosa. Clarence Grubb was second and Ron Van Roekel of Pella was third.

Tom Stewart also won the first heat race. Stewart grabbed the lead from Joel Rasmussen on the sixth lap for the win. Mike Niffenegger and John Moss were in third and fourth spots.

Don Hoffman captured the crash-marred second heat race. Frank Orr of Brooklyn was second followed by George Derry and Joe Merryfield.

The red flag was dropped on the second lap when Charles Allison of Ottumwa and Harold Sanders of Montezuma tangled coming out of the fourth turn slamming into the inside guard rail.

Allison glanced off the rail and managed to gain control and keep the car on the track coming to a halt in the first turn. Sanders wasn’t as fortunate and crashed through the inside guard rail heading toward the judges stand. He then spun and slid to a crashing halt against the pit fence next to the infield concession stand. Neither driver was injured in the mishap.

Mel Morris copped the third heat by a wide margin over second place car, Pokey West. Mike Keen was third with a considerable lead over Bob Bonzer in fourth.

Del Stokke of Ames won the eight-lap Australian Pursuit race ahead of Joel Rasmussen and Tom Stewart.

Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree was the victor of the 10-lap consolation race. Twenty-three cars started the event with only nine finishing due to the many spin outs causing the red flag to be out four times.

Results –

Trophy Dash - Don Hoffman, Des Moines
First Heat - Tom Stewart, Washington
Second Heat - Don Hoffman
Australian Pursuit - Del Stokke, Ames
Consolation - Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree
Feature -
1. Tom Stewart
2. Mel Morris, West Liberty
3. Joel Rasmussen, Gilbert
4. John Moss, Iowa City
5. Pokey West, West Chester
6. Bob Bonzer, Liscomb
7. Mike Niffenegger, Kalona
8. Bill Newman, Burlington

1961 – Tunis Mid-Season Title to Zwanziger

Deloris Woore presents the mid-season championship trophy to Bill Zwanziger. 

Waterloo, Iowa (July 16, 1961) – “We played it cool” and “It was running hot” were the remarks made Sunday by winner and runner-up after the 50-lap mid-season championship had concluded before a near-record crowd of 5,860 at Tunis Speedway.

Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo, proved why he’s the leading point man in the Cedarloo Racing Association, as he out-raced Stanwood’s Charlie Moffitt for the title.

The crowd was 12 short of the all-time paid attendance record of 5,872, set in 1957. Track officials also estimated that approximately 2,500 children watched for free.

Zwanziger was in contention the entire way but trialed Gene Peterson, Arnie Spore, both of Waterloo, and Moffitt for most of the race.

On the 40th lap, Zwanziger, the point leader at Tunis for the last four years, powered past Moffitt for the lead and pulled ahead to win.

“We made up our minds to play It cool,” said Zwanziger, speaking for himself and car owner Gordon Bentley, Fairbanks.

Moffitt credited his antifreeze from keeping his water from boiling over. On lap 13, his crank pulley snapped and caused the car to heat up. “It was running hot, and I was lucky to finish,” said Moffitt.

Zwanziger was the fourth driver to lead in the 50-lapper.

Bob Hilmer, Dysart, was way out in front and running well for the first 15 laps when his engine suffered a broke valve, forcing him to the pits. Moffitt was second at the time and took over the top spot and kept the lead for the next 12 laps before action came to a complete halt on lap 27. Bob Dautremont, Iowa City, rolled his car several times but was uninjured.

Shortly after the restart, spore temporarily took over as Moffitt was forced to go to high ground on the track in order to keep his engine cool. Dirt in his spark plug holes slowed Spore down, allowing Moffitt to take over the lead again.

Zwanziger took over the second spot by this time and trailed Moffitt by less than a car length for five circuits.

The finish was a reversal of last season’s finish when Moffitt won the mid-season title over Zwanziger.

Results –

1. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
2. Charlie Moffitt, Stanwood
3. Gene Peterson, Waterloo
4. Cal Swanson, Reinbeck
5. John Moss, Iowa City
6. Arnie Spore, Waterloo
7. Keith Knaack, Vinton
8. Bill Hopp, Muscatine
9. Gerry Holbach, Waterloo
10.Dale Osborn, Cedar Falls

Friday, July 15, 2022

1979 - Jones Wins USAC Sprints as New Bremen Reopens

Norman "Bubby" Jones

New Bremen, Ohio (July 15, 1979) - Bubby Jones drove to victory Sunday in a USAC sprint car feature to help Earl Baltes reopen the New Bremen Speedway.

The race was the first on dirt at the track since 1967. Work began on the facility in early spring with the removal of the asphalt surface.

The first car to take to the new dirt surface was Dave Peperak’s #77. The times the drivers turned in at the revitalized track were not as spectacular as the opening, however, as the drivers struggled in their search to find the right route around the oval.

In their quest to achieve the ideal groove, speed was sacrificed for safety.

The track record of 19.12 seconds set by Parnelli Jones in 1962 remained safe. Larry Rice’s quick time of the day, 19.76 seconds, was a full six hundredth of a second off the 17-year-old mark.

As the day progressed, the track became more and more treacherous. Each qualification run and heat race left the surface more slippery.

By the time the feature race was run, the track was glass-like which made passing attempts rare.

The track was dampened before the feature, and Jones used that aspect to his advantage by taking the lead on lap 5. He started in the fifth spot.

Rich Vogler, who started 10th, jumped nine spots to challenge Jones for the lead.

The burning sun and cars’ pounding combined to quickly dry out the track again. That development slammed the door on Vogler’s hopes for a win.

Jones steered his sprinter nearly the entire 40 laps in the high groove, unfortunately for Vogler, because that was the only way he could have passed Jones.

In winning his sixth feature of the season. Jones increased his point total to 453, 29 better than Tom Bigelow.

Sheldon Kinser, Billy Cassella and Bigelow lost ground to Jones. Kinser and Cassella were forced out by mechanical troubles Bigelow ran the feature on seven cylinders after burning a piston earlier in the day

Pancho Carter, seventh in the standings, missed the event. He was driving his championship car at a race in Michigan.

Results –

1. Bubby Jones
2. Rich Vogler
3. Larry Rice
4. Mack McClellan
5. Chuck Gurney
6. Dana Carter
7. Tom Bigelow
8. Bob East
9. Jeff Bloom
10.Bob Wilmot
11.Bill Casella
12.Red Bledsoe
13.Gary Gray
14.Jerry Weeks
15.Bruce Walkup
16.Junior Parkinson
17.Johnnie Parsons
18.Gary Bettenhausen
19.Greg Leffler
20.Jerry Carman

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

1982 – Steve Kosiski Takes ‘Gopher 50’

Steve Kosiski won the third annual Gopher 50 at the Steele County Fairgrounds. He's joined by trophy girl Brenda Vanderhorst. – John Vass Photo

Owatonna, Minn. (July 13, 1982) – Steve Kosiski of Omaha, Neb., took the lead on the 29th lap and went on to win the third annual Gopher 50 late model race, held this year at the Steele County Fairgrounds.

This year’s event attracted 63 cars from the central states area and officials of the Blooming Prairie Jaycees, the event promoter, said an estimated 5,500 spectators attended.

Dwaine Hanson of Lakefield took the lead from his outside front row starting position and held the top spot for the first 28 circuits before Kosiski powered past for the lead. Kosiski maintained the top spot the rest of the way, while Hanson held on for runner-up honors.

Tom Steuding of Eau Claire, Wis., was third, followed by Steve Egersdorf of St. Paul and Craig Lange of Slayton.

Rounding out the top-10 were Lance Matthees of Winona, Kevin Geer of New London, Pete Parker of Kaukauna, Wis., Ron Jackson of Burlington, Iowa, and Bruce Busho of Owatonna.

Jackson made the outstanding drive of the night as he started dead last in the 30-car field and worked his way up to ninth on the rough racing surface that took its toll on man and machinery throughout the evening.

Two other drivers who started in the rear of the field because of poor finishes in their respective heats, Leon Plank of Mondovi, Wis., and Dave Bjorge of Austin, moved to the outside groove and began charging to the front. However, their drives, which had the standing room only crowd on its feet, was short-lived as Bjorge fell out when he lost a drive belt and Plank was forced to retire when he lost a radiator hose – both within the first 15 laps.

Results –

Heat #1 – Kevin Geer, New London
Heat #2 – Dwaine Hanson, Lakefield
Heat #3 – Les Duellman, Fountain City, Wis.
Heat #4 – Steve Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
B-main #1 – Craig Jacobs, Des Moines, Iowa
B-main #2 – Bob Saterdalen, Oronoco
Feature –
1. Steve Kosiski
2. Dwaine Hanson
3. Tom Sing, Eau Claire, Wis.
4. Steve Egersdorf, St. Paul
5. Craig Lange, Slayton
6. Lance Matthees, Winona
7. Kevin Geer
8. Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
9. Ron Jackson, Burlington, Iowa
10.Bruce Busho, Owatonna
11.Kenny Farrell, New Hampton, Iowa
12.Mike Smith, Ellsworth, Iowa
13.Jerry Holtkamp, Williams, Iowa
14.Phil Prusak, Eau Claire, Wis.
15.Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
16.Bob Saterdalen, Oronoco
17.Leon Plank, Eau Claire, Wis.
18.Ron Goss
19.Darrell Zweifel, Rochester
20.Joe Salner, St. Cloud
21.Lynn Idler, Ionia, Iowa
22.Dave Bjorge, Austin
23.Willy Kraft, Lakefield
24.Red Dralle, Evansdale, Iowa
25.Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
26.Les Duellman
27.Joe Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
28.Craig Jacobs

1958 – 10,300 Watch White Capture 150-Mile Race

Don White enjoys the spoils of victory as Carol Fleck of Oskaloosa, Iowa, reigning Miss Iowa, plants a kiss on White’s cheek after he won the Iowa International.

Des Moines, Iowa (July 13, 1958) – Keokuk, Iowa, veteran Don White captured an accident-jammed 150-mile Iowa International stock car race in record time before 10,300 spectators at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon.

Only 15 of the original 33 starters were running when the checkered flag waved ending the 300-lap grind in 2 hours, 55 minutes and 27.65 seconds, a new track record.

White’s winning time, which beat the old mark of 2 hours, 55 minutes and 33.22 seconds set by Bob Burdick of Omaha a year ago here, came in spite of 14 cautions flags flapped during the race.

Burdick finished second, one lap down. Frank Lies of Wichita, Kan., squeezed into third and Loyal Katskee’s badly dented Ferrari, which set a new time trail record of 28.86 seconds on Saturday, came in fourth.

Two-time International Motor Contest Association champion Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, made a thrilling escape on lap 155 when his car caught fire on the west turn.

Running in second place at the time, Beauchamp had just finished a pit stop for fuel. A piece of metal from Bud Burdick’s car bounced off the track into Beauchamp’s motor, severing the fuel line and starting the fire.

Beauchamp re-entered the race as a relief driver for Herb Shannon of Peoria, Ill. The former champion side-swiped Oelwein’s Chub Liebe in a crash on lap 194, sat out more than a dozen laps for repairs and got back on the track in time to finish 15th.

Keokuk’s Ernie Derr, brother-in-law to Don White, pulled into the pits with a blown motor on lap 115. A third Keokuk driver, Ramo Stott, running amongst the leaders, broke a spindle and hit the east wall on lap 261 but still managed to earn ninth-place money without finishing because he had covered more laps than did six drivers still running at the end.

White hauled down $1,000 while Burdick collected $700.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
3. Frank Lies, Wichita, Kan.
4. Loyal Katskee, Omaha, Neb.
5. Bob Potter, Duluth, Minn.
6. Sony Gross, Quincy, Ill.
7. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
8. Bob Ward, Creston, Iowa
9. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
10.Bob Short, Des Moines
11.Byron Sueper, Omaha
12.Bruce Nystrom, Oshkosh, Wis.
13.Jere O’Day, Fond Du Lac, Wis.
14.Sandy Slack, Los Angeles
15.Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
16.Shorty Eberts, Avondale, Mo.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

1981 – 4,502 see Shear Capture ‘White’ Race

Joe Shear won the second leg of the Red, White, and Blue State Championship Series at Kaukauna. 

By Gary Vercauteren

Kaukauna, Wis. (July 12, 1981) – Joe Shear scored a two-car length victory in the second race of the Red, White and Blue State Championship Series for late model stock cars Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 4,502 at Wisconsin International Raceway.

Shear edged Jim Sauter in the 70-lap main event after a torrid duel for the lead for much of the race among four drivers, Shear, Sauter, Alan Kulwicki, and Dick Trickle.

After the event, it was found that Sauter’s engine had an illegal carburetor mounted on it, so he was officially dropped to last place in the Super America-sponsored event.

Larry Detjens came off his front row starting spot to lead the main event for the first five circuits before Wayne Lensing shot past him to take the lead.

Alan Kulwicki zoomed past Lensing on the backstretch of lap 10 to take charge. Sauter dropped into second place on lap 11 with Trickle following past Lensing. By the 12th round, Sauter and Trickle moved up to challenge Kulwicki when the race saw its first yellow flag when Terry Baldry and Jim Vandenberg tangled on the front stretch.

Kulwicki was able to hold back Sauter and Trickle on the restart while shear moved up to fourth place on lap 26, making it a four-car battle for the top spot.

Sauter bumped into the rear of Kulwicki’s car coming out of the fourth turn of lap 40 causing a chain reaction bumper tag that moved Sauter, Trickle and Shear back a few car lengths.

Trickle pulled past Sauter on lap 42 for second and began to move up on Kulwicki’s rear bumper.

Trickle continued to pressure Kulwicki for the lead with Sauter and Shear fighting it out for third. The race got so intense that Shear brushed the front stretch wall on lap 48, in an attempt to get around Sauter.

On the 52nd lap, Wayne Lensing spun in turn one bringing out the yellow flag. This time, Trickle was forced to pit. He had a problem with his headgear. The Wisconsin Rapids ace re-entered the contest, starting at the rear of the field.

Sauter dropped inside of Kulwicki on lap 55 to take the lead on the fourth turn with Shear also getting past Kulwicki.

Shear powered past Sauter on the backstretch of lap 60 as a light drizzle began to fall. Shear paced the final 10 laps without any pressure from Sauter. On the final few laps of the race, Jim Pierson slid past Kulwicki for third.

With Sauter’s disqualification, Pierson was moved up to second place with Kulwicki finishing third. Trickle, after having to go to the rear, made a valiant charge through the field and finished fourth. Ted Musgrave rounded out the top five.

Results –

1. Joe Shear
2. Jim Pierson
3. Alan Kulwicki
4. Dick Trickle
5. Ted Musgrave
6. Wayne Roffers
7. Tom Reffner
8. Jim Back
9. Steve Moll
10.Conrad Morgan
11.Jim Vandenberg
12.Rich Somers
13.Terry Baldry
14.Wayne Lensing
15.J.J. Smith
16.Jerry Wood
17.Dennis Lampman
18.Larry Detjens
19.Jim Sauter

1970 – Derr Wins Fifth Iowa 300

Ernie Derr is presented his trophy after winning his fifth Iowa 300 late model stock car race in Des Moines. Iowa State Fair secretary Kenneth Fulk (far left) makes the trophy presentation and Woody Brinkman presents the checkers. 

Des Moines, Iowa (July 12, 1970) - Lady Luck was gracious to Ernie Derr of Keokuk again Sunday when he won the Iowa 300 new-model stock car race at the State Fairgrounds after leading only the last 38 laps.

And it was a heart-breaking affair for Fred Horn of Marion. He led for 230 of the 300 laps before a crowd of 9,000 and lost the lead permanently to Derr because of “unnecessary pit stops”.

He also missed second-place money because of an accident on the 294th lap. He and Ron Hutcherson of Keokuk collided at that point and Horn later accused “Hutch” of deliberately running into him. Hutcherson, who was runner-up, denied doing so.

Horn’s car received severe damage to both left wheels, but he continued to stay in the race and nabbed third, two laps back of Derr and Hutcherson.

Derr, 48, who was initiating a 1970 Dodge Charger, had fallen two laps behind Horn when Fred pulled into the pits on the 259th lap. Horn wasn't in very long, but he had to return on lap 260 and 261 because the crew failed to get the gas cap back on.

Derr was able to close the gap and he worked his way inside of Horn in the second turn of lap 262 and surged ahead for his fifth career Iowa 300 victory.

He earned $1,200 for winning, received $100 appearance money as the defending International Motor Contest Association champion, was presented a check for $100 from SK Tool for being the mechanic of the winning car and also earned $60 time trial money for a total of $1,460.

His son Mike, celebrating the first anniversary of his racing debut, finished fourth, one spot better than he did in the 1969 150-mile event. He won $450.

Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids, who is runner-up to Derr in IMCA point standings and had been considered one of the top challengers to end Derr's current domination in this series, finished fifth and Mel Morris of West Liberty was sixth.

Eight mishaps brought out the caution flag for a total of 21 laps. There were no injuries or serious accidents.

Hutcherson, driving a 1970 Ford Torino, was the fastest qualifier, covering the half-mile in 26.49 seconds. He earned $100 for that and was paid $850 for finishing second.

The top six qualifiers were inverted, and Horn was placed on the pole position. He led for the first 10 laps then yielded to Morris.

Horn passed Morris on the 23rd circuit but Morris, who is working for rookie of the year award, went ahead again on lap 24 and held the lead through lap 43. From then on it was Horn until his fateful pit stop.

Derr had come on from nearly a half-lap deficit and tried to pass Horn on the 186th lap. However, Horn held him off and Derr went into the pits three laps later and fell nearly 2 1/2 laps behind before he returned to action.

Derr's winning time was 2 hours and 46 minutes.

Race promoter Al Sweeney had offered $100 to anyone setting one-half lap, 100-lap, 200-lap and 300-lap records. However, there were no new marks.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ron Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa
4. Mike Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
6. Mel Morris, West Liberty, Iowa
7. Sonny Morgan, Blue Earth, Minn.
8. Gary Martin, California, Mo.
9. Butch Hall, Russell, Minn.
10.Vern Covert, Topeka, Kan.
11.Bob Perry, Springfield, Mo.
12.Chuck Wicker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
13.Roger Brown, Waverly, Iowa
14.Jerre Wichman, Kansas City
15.Tom Beck, Waterloo, Iowa
16.Dean Wallace, Peabody, Kan.
17.Sandy Sandstrom, Kansas City
18.Bill Schwader, McCausland, Iowa
19.Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa
20.Larry Sponsler, Des Moines
21.Bill Stark, Des Moines
22.Glen Arnold, Sweet Springs, Mo.
23.Bob Henry, Madrid, Iowa
24.George Barton, Ankeny, Iowa

Monday, July 11, 2022

1978 – Trickle claims Rockford ARTGO 100

Dick Trickle accept his trophy after winning the 100-lap ARTGO late model feature at Rockford. ARTGO’s Art Frigo makes the presentation to Trickle in victory lane.

Loves Park, Ill. (July 11, 1978) – Dick Trickle inherited the lead with five laps to go and held on to edge Rusty Wallace in the 100-lap ARTGO-promoted late model special at Rockford Speedway, before the largest crowd ever to witness a stock car show in the recent history of the track, Tuesday night.

Trickle took home $1,730 of the event’s $11,000 purse for his efforts.

Mark Martin led the 22-car feature for the first 63 laps before heading to the pit area with an overheated engine. He held nearly a half-lap lead on hi nearest rival, Mike Miller, at the time of departure.

Miller, who had skillfully worked his way forward from his tenth starting position, inherited the lead when Martin withdrew and looked like a sure winner as the green flag remained out until the closing stages of the event.

With Trickle, Wallace, Neil Bonnett, Larry Detjens and Joe Shear dicing for the runner-up position, the yellow flag came out on lap 94 when the throttle in Leonard Reimer’s car stuck wide open, sending him into the fourth turn wall at full speed.

Reimer didn’t require hospital attention, but clean-up operations for the mishap took nearly 10 minutes.

As the green flag was about to come out again, Miller detected a slow leak in his right rear tire, possibly cause by debris from Reimer’s accident, and pulled into the pits.

Miller’s visit to the pits turned first place over to Trickle, with Wallace in second place for the resumption of all-out racing.

Wallace tried desperately to pass Trickle in the final rounds and drew even with the pacesetter in turn one on the final lap, but Trickle was up to the challenge and surged to a half-car-length lead over the Missouri pilot at the finish.

NASCAR star Bonnett brought his short track car home in third and was followed by fast qualifier Ed Hoffman, who took fourth when Joe Shear spun after his car’s distributor cap broke on the final lap.

Miller, who restarted at the rear of the pack following his late pit stop, moved up three positions in the final five circuits and rounded out the top five finishers.

The mid-week special was the first ARTGO event ever run at Rockford and marked the first time NASCAR Grand National drivers ever competed on the quarter-mile track.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Rusty Wallace, Arnold, Mo.
3. Neil Bonnett, Hueytown, Ala.
4. Ed Hoffman, Niles
5. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
6. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
7. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
8. Doug Strasburg, Johnson Creek, Wis.
9. Joe Shear, South Beloit
10.Bobby Allison, Hueytown, Ala.

1969 - Montgomery nabs D'Port Mid-Season Title

Davenport, Iowa (July 11, 1969) – Dean Montgomery withstood a strong field in a grueling 50-lap race on a hot, muggy night to take the mid-season championship at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds on Friday night.

The veteran driver charged his 1967 Chevrolet to the front on the 19th lap, and he was never headed the remaining distance. Only Jerry Reinhart, who placed second, challenged his leadership for the final 31 circuits.

Ron Weedon of Pleasant Valley, who by virtue of winning the mid-season point title, picked the outside of the front row to start the race. He picked his groove on the opening lap and led the first 10 laps.

It was on the 16th tour that Weedon started experiencing mechanical issues and started falling back into the field. Montgomery moved to the front on the 19th lap and started his hard drive for the checkered flag.

Jim Gerber of Davenport, who started on the pole position, pushed Montgomery until he also went to the pits with motor trouble on lap 22.

Reinhart picked up second position and by lap 30 he was close behind the leader. Don Bohlander of Peoria, Ill., was third and Ray Guss of Milan, Ill., was fourth.

Reinhart threatened Montgomery’s lead on a couple of occasions during the remainder of the race, but the Milan, Ill., driver always managed to stay in front.

Going into the final lap of the race, Montgomery had two-car-length lead over Reinhart, but the Moline, Ill., driver made one last valiant bid for the win. When the checkered flag waved, Montgomery and Reinhart went under it bumper-to-bumper.

Bohlander held on to third while Lem Blankenship of Keokuk, who had lost considerable ground after a spinout, recouped nicely, and finished fourth. Ray Guss rounded out the top five.

Russ Haack of LeClaire started on the pole and was never headed in the novice feature.

Results –

1. Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
2. Jerry Reinhart, Moline, Ill.
3. Don Bohlander, Peoria, Ill.
4. Lem Blankenship, Keokuk
5. Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
6. Benny Hofer, Rock Island, Ill.
7. Lyle Behne, Davenport
8. Dick Nesteby, Dubuque
9. Lloyd Ewing, Kewanee, Ill.
10.Ernie Speth, Blue Grass

Sunday, July 10, 2022

1973 - Mueller Roars to State Championship

Eau Claire, Wis. (July 10, 1973) - Experience, like it has so many times before, paid off for Harold Mueller Tuesday night at the Eau Claire Speedway.

Mueller, the popular, long-time star of stock car racing in northwestern Wisconsin, added more sparkle to his glittering driving record by blazing to the victory in the Wisconsin Late Model Dirt Track Championship before 900-plus fans at the speedway.

The prestigious triumph made Mueller $500 richer and the new owner of the Russ Laursen Memorial Trophy. And he also got a well-deserved kiss from reigning Miss Wisconsin, Judy Heike.

The starting field of 12 top cars from Minnesota and Wisconsin was much smaller than expected for the event, but the race couldn’t have been much better even had there been 20 starters.

Unfortunately, defending State Champion Tommy Nesbitt of Thunder Bay, Ontario was unable to compete. Nesbitt suffered a broken engine in racing last weekend. 1971 champ Dave Morgan of Rice Lake and strong-running Tim Lorenz of Ladysmith were also absent because of similar problems.

Giving Eau Claire a sweep of the first three places, Phil Prusak piloted his Chevrolet Monte Carlo to second place and Red Steffen, also in a Monte Carlo, stormed to the finish line in third place.

Mueller began the feature in the number five position beside Steffen, by virtue of his 19.71-second time trial. Prusak won the pole position with a 19.43 trial, while Cumberland’s Brent Laursen started in the number two spot (19.54). The second row had Rice Lake’s Jerry Amundson (19.61) on the inside and Tom Steuding of Eau Claire (19.69) on the outside.

The race began in perfect fashion as the green flag was dropped on a super tight-knit field. Mueller shot right into third place before one lap was over, although Prusak and Laursen were setting the pace.

Prusak and Laursen continued their dogfight until, going into the first turn on lap 4, Laursen charged into the corner too hard and collided with Prusak.

Both cars got crossed up momentarily by the contact and Mueller, close behind, quick as a cat, shot by on the inside and took the lead with a burst of power.

Prusak made an impressive move and assumed second place behind the fleeing 1973 Moose Peterson Chevrolet Laguna, driven by Mueller. The incident involving Laursen and Prusak allowed Amundson to move into third place.

At the halfway point in the 30-lap event, Mueller was steadily building on his lead, with Prusak second, Amundson third, Steffen fourth, Kenny Mann fifth and Leon Plank sixth.

With 20 laps gone by, Mueller began weaving his way past the slower cars, but most of the attention was on Prusak and Amundson, who were in a stiff battle for the second spot.

Near the end of lap 23 at least four cars bunched up heading out of turn four. Amundson, Plank and Mann tangled together and drifted toward the guardrail.

The bunch broke up without much damage, but Amundson, who got caught in the middle, lost considerable ground. The incident gave Mueller and Prusak a few precious seconds to move away from the rest of the field and Amundson chose to drop out in lap 24.

With Mueller cruising comfortably, the grueling race concluded, with virtually no place changes in the last six circuits. Mueller's winning margin was in excess of one-fourth lap over Prusak. Steffen was about five seconds behind the second place Prusak.

Mann, driving a 1973 Plymouth Barracuda, took fourth place money. Ronny Goss of Eau Claire in a 1968 Ford was fifth, Laursen finished sixth and Plank seventh.

Mueller’s championship race victory came just 11 days after he made the switch from the asphalt circuit to finish the season on dirt tracks.

Results –

1. Harold Mueller, Eau Claire
2. Phil Prusak, Eau Claire,
3. Red Steffen, Eau Claire
4. Kenny Mann, Cottage Grove, Minn.
5. Ronny Goss, Eau Claire
6. Bret Laursen, Cumberland
7. Leon Plank, Eau Claire
8. Dave Adams, Cameron
9. Fred Prudohl, Winona, Minn.
10.Tom Steuding, Altoona

Saturday, July 9, 2022

1972 - McCluskey Wins Disputed Miller 200

Roger McCluskey is congratulated by car owner Norm Nelson after his victory at Milwaukee. 

West Allis, Wis. (July 9, 1972) – Roger McCluskey was the unofficial winner Sunday in the Miller 200 stock car race, with a protest by second-place finisher Jack Bowsher leaving the official result in doubt until Tuesday or Wednesday, according to United States Auto Club officials.

McCluskey, of Tucson, Ariz., passed Bowsher with four laps left when one of Bowsher's tires began losing air, then drove his 1970 Plymouth Superbird to what seemed to be a victory in the race at the State Fair Park one-mile track.

Bowsher, of Springfield, Ohio, had led for 119 laps in a 1971 Ford, and claimed afterwards he was leading at the finish.

He told USAC officials that instead of finishing five seconds behind McCluskey, he was actually ahead by almost a lap. He claimed he gained the advantage early in the race when McCluskey made two pit stops for tire changes.

USAC officials said their scoring tapes and charts, along with those kept by Bowsher, would be sent to Indianapolis for review, with a decision expected Tuesday or Wednesday.

McCloskey averaged 89.644 miles per hour in the unofficial victory, as 54 laps were run under caution flags for a series of minor accidents.

He said afterwards that he was afraid he was out of the race after his two early pit stops.

“When I had two tires go, I thought I'd had it,” he said. “But we switched to a harder compound tire, and they wore well.”

Bowsher's tire problems ended just after the race when the tire went completely flat, and the soft tire slowed him down noticeably.

“I saw Bowsher slowing down. He slowed even more, so then I thought I’d put the heat on him,” McCluskey said. “I didn’t run as hard as I could have, but it was enough to leave him behind.”

Total purse for the race, before a crowd of 27,961, was $55,250, with $8,552 going to the winner and $6,542 to the second-place driver.

Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, was third in a 1972 Plymouth and won $3,833, and Don White, also of Keokuk, took fourth and $2,450.

Results –

1. Roger McCluskey
2. Jack Bowsher
3. Ramo Stott
4. Don White
5. Butch Hartman
6. Bud Tingelstad
7. Lem Blankenship
8. Gordon Johncock
9. Gary Bettenhausen
10.Terry Ryan
11.George Giesen
12.John Reimer
13.Jim Hurtubise
14.Ray Bolander
15.Ed Hoffman
16.Frank Freda
17.Bay Darnell
18.Ted Dolhun
19.Roland Van Arsdale
20.Harold Fair