Des Moines, Iowa (August 28, 1965) – Jim Moughan of Springfield, Ill., wheeled himself into the International Motor Contest Association’s sprint car point leadership Saturday afternoon with a surprising triumph in the 15-mile feature before 7,000 race fans at the Iowa State Fair.
Gordon Wooley of Waco, Tex., the point leader entering the contest, did not compete. He was in a hospital in Belleville, Kan., being treated for injuries suffered in a modified crash there on Friday night.
A costly spin on lap 5 of the 30-lap feature kept Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., from becoming the first driver to score a sweep in the Iowa State Fair sprint car program in nine years.
It also set Richert back fourth place in the point standings, after he finished 13th in the feature, one spot out of the money.
Moughan, never headed in the finale, was followed to the finish line by Tom Bigelow of Whitewater, Wis., Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., Dean Mast of Dover, Ohio and Rollie Beale of Toledo, Ohio, all driving Chevrolet-powered outfits.
It wasn’t an all-Chevy show, however, as Buzz Barton of Tampa, Fla., brought a lusty cheer from the crowd after winning the third heat in the Roy Thomas Offenhauser – one of the few of the four-cylinder outfits still competing.
The triumph – the third of the season for Moughan – plus a third-place finish in the consolation, sent the new IMCA point leader in front of Woolley, 1,435 to 1,300.
The only record set by the sprint cars was for the length of the program, 1 hour and 45 minutes with an unscheduled 5-lap match race, 3 8-lap heat races, an 8-lap consolation and the 30-lap feature. They had to restart one race and three others delayed by the caution yellow.
Bigelow, a comparative newcomer out of the midget ranks, took over third place with his runner-up showing behind Moughan. Bigelow now has 1,117 points and Richert is at 992.
The Minnesota contender, who has won seven features this season, was attempting to pass Moughan on the inside of the third turn, when he grazed the infield plank-fence. The impact threw Richert into a spin against the wall.
By the time Richert recouped, he was two laps behind the leaders and never had a chance.
Heat #1 – Norm Baker, Webster City, Iowa
Heat #2 – Bob Coulter, Long Beach, Calif.
Heat #3 – Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.
Match Race – Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
Consolation – Jerry Richert
1. Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill
2. Tom Bigelow, Whitewater, Wis.
3. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
4. Dean Mast, Dover, Ohio
5. Rollie Beale, Toledo, Ohio
6. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
7. Jerry Weld, Kansas City
8. Ron Larson, Milltown, Wis.
9. Jay Woodside, Overland Park, Kan.
10. Bob Coulter
11. Buzz Barton
12. Norm Baker