Sunday, August 14, 2022

1966 – Atkins Wins Allentown USAC Tilt

Local businessman, Gene Fritzinger, presents Dick Atkins with the Great Allentown Fair trophy after his first career USAC sprint car victory. 

Allentown, Penn. August 14, 1966) - Dick Atkins of Hayward, Calif., broke a 14-year-old track qualifying record, then led from start to finish Saturday to win his first United States Auto Club sprint car feature race.

He drove the half-mile dirt track in 24.50 seconds to break the old mark of 24.65 seconds set by Tommy Hinnershitz in 1952.

Roger McCluskey, Tucson, Ariz., leader in USAC’s sprint car point standings, finished second with Don Branson, Champaign, Ill., third.

Behind Branson were Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Penn.; Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M., Ralph Liguori, Tampa, Fla.; Al Smith, Dayton, Ohio; Carl Williams, Kansas City, Mo.; Greg Weld, Kansas City; Dick Brown, Sam Sessions, Nashville, Mich.; Larry Dickson, Marietta, Ohio; George Snider, Bakersfield, Calif., and Chuck Booth, Dayton, Ohio.

Branson set a new mark in winning the first 8-lap heat race with a time of 3 minutes and 18.19 seconds. Ralph Liguori also rewrote the record book in the semi-feature with a 10-lap time of 4 minutes and 17.12 seconds.

McCluskey and Snider also won the heat races.

Results –

1. Dick Atkins
2. Roger McCluskey
3. Don Branson
4. Mario Andretti
5. Bobby Unser
6. Ralph Liguori
7. Al Smith
8. Carl Williams
9. Greg Weld
10.Dick Brown

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