Des Moines, Iowa (August 19, 1962) – Pete Folse was only two miles away from a $700 payday on Sunday at the Iowa State Fair, but it might as well have been a thousand as far as the veteran Tampa, Fla., dirt track champion was concerned.
Colby Scroggin of Eagle Rock, Calif., claimed the 20-lap big car feature before 13,500 fans as Folse, the three-time International Motor Contest Association titleholder, watched from the pit area.
Folse, dogged by bad luck for most of the 1962 campaign, had the main event won with a 300-yard lead over the rest of the field when his car blew a rear-end gear on the 16th lap of the 10-miler.
Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex., and Herschel Wager, Hickman Mills, Mo., finished second and third respectively. Johnny White of Warren, Mich., romped home in fourth place.
The victory was the ninth in his last eleven starts for Scroggin, the 37-year-old roofer who pilots Kenny Worth’s fuel-injected Chevrolet.
But it was only the second victory for the California Racing Association leader in two years of competition in IMCA-sanctioned affairs.
Ill fortune also struck another driver as Johnny Rutherford, the IMCA point leader, blew up the engine in his Dave Beatson Chevrolet during heat action. Rutherford had led 35 cars through time trials with a time of 24.65 seconds on the half-mile.
It wasn’t a totally wasted afternoon for the Ft. Worth, Tex., star, as he took over Gordon Herring’s Offenhauser out of Denver, Colo., a car qualified for the 14th spot. Rutherford managed to earn a sixth-place finish in the feature, worth $150 in winnings.
Scroggin’s triumph, plus second fastest time in qualifying and two fourth-place finishes in heat races bulked his total to $810 for the afternoon.
For the first 15 laps of the feature, it appeared that Folse had the Hector Honore Offenhauser buzzing. He had a 50-yard lead on Scroggin at the end of four laps and continued to widen his margin as the laps clicked off.
“I’d never have caught him,” Scroggin admitted afterwards.
Another of the luckless drivers was Harold Leep, who drove the Lempelius Offy to victory in the Hawkeye Futurity in June.
Leep didn’t place in a qualifying heat and was fifth in the consolation – one spot away from a berth in the feature.
Time trials – Johnny Rutherford, Ft. Worth, Tex. (24.65)
Heat #1 – Russ Long, Los Angeles
Heat #2 – Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
Heat #3 – Buzz Rose, Indianapolis
Trophy dash – Jerry Daniels, St. Paul, Minn.
Consolation – Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
1. Colby Scroggin, Eagle Rock, Calif.
2. Gordon Woolley
3. Herschel Wagner, Hickman Mills, Mo.
4. Johnny White, Warren, Mich.
5. Jerry Daniels
6. Johnny Rutherford
7. Russ Long
8. Jack Brunner, Los Angeles
9. Buzz Rose
10.Ted Ready, St. Paul, Minn.
11.Ned Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.
12.Jerry Manns, Wood River, Ill.