Monday, July 11, 2022

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

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