Des Moines, Iowa (July 7, 1973) – Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids won the35-lap mid-season championship for late model stock cars at the State Fairgrounds on Saturday night before 8,888, but most of the attention was focused on the third-place finisher in the 15-lap sportsman feature.That was Mike Pinckney of Des Moines, who drove the last two laps of the race on only three wheels.
The episode sparked an argument between Denny Murray, a member of the track’s grievance committee, and officials. However, Pinckney was allowed to keep his finishing position.
Promoter Homer Melton stated there’s no rule that prohibits driving in that type of situation.
Several other drivers felt that Pinckney should have been black-flagged – sidelined – and so did he.
“I was expecting to get black-flagged,” he said after the race. “But when Beauchamp (flagman Johnny) didn’t, I decided to go all out.”
Pinckney, who had won the feature a week ago – his second of the season in his 1968 Camaro – was leading the race when his left front tire bounced off as cars came out of the fourth turn on the final lap.
“It just popped off,” he said. “I felt something funny as we came around the third turn, but I thought it was a tie rod.”
Mike held the lead until eventual winner Billy Geil took over down the front straightaway in his 1966 Chevelle.
Pinckney appeared headed for the first turn wall but regained control. He said the transmission popped out at that point.
Rookie driver Jerry Campbell of Des Moines gave a sterling performance and passed Pinckney on the back stretch to finish second in his 1965 Chevelle.
McDonough, the point leader, led all the way in the late model main event.
Stan Stover of Reinbeck, runner-up in points finished second in a 1972 Nova and Bill Wrich of Kennard, Neb., took third in a 1971 Monte Carlo.
“I totaled the car at Oskaloosa on Wednesday,” McDonough said. “We spent the last two days getting the car back in shape. And it worked super tonight.”
Stover gave McDonough a great battle for the first 10 laps, then fell back and eventually finished 100 yards behind the winner.
There was also a big battle for third between Wrich, George Barton of Ankeny, Bob Bonzer of Liscomb and Bob Kosiski of Omaha, Neb., in the middle stages of the race. McDonough was approximately half a lap ahead of Wrich at the finish.
Heat #1 – Jerry Campbell, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Larry Jackson, Des Moines
Heat #3 – Mike Pinckney, Des Moines
Semi-main – Larry Embrey, Grimes
1. Billy Geil, Des Moines
2. Jerry Campbell
3. Mike Pinckney
4. Fred Knapp, Des Moines
5. Art Moose, Des Moines
6. Larry Embrey
7. John Edwards, Des Moines
8. Bob Dishman, Des Moines
9. Jim Welshon, Indianola
10.Dave Farren, Des Moines
Late Model -
Heat #1 – Bill Wrich, Kennard, Neb.
Heat #2 -Phil Reece, Des Moines
Semi-main – Bill Rice, Des Moines
1. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
2. Stan Stover, Reinbeck
3. Bill Wrich
4. Bob Kosiski, Des Moines
5. George Barton, Ankeny
6. Bill Martin, Council Bluffs
7. Bill Rice
8. Phil Reece
9. Lefty Robinson, Des Moines
10.John Knapp, Des Moines