Tom Hearst capped off a dominant season at Hawkeye Downs by capturing the 35-lap season championship. - John Vass Photo
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 29, 1980) – 1980 is a year Tom Hearst will not soon forget.The 33-year-old stock car driver from Wilton led from start to finish en route to capturing the 35-lap season championship feature race at Hawkeye Downs on Friday night.
It was Hearst’s fifth win of the season at the Downs, and it capped a brilliant season for the happy-go-lucky veteran.
“I just planned to go out there and be consistent,” said Hearst while accepting congratulations from some of his faithful followers.
“It was a little slick out there,” added Hearst, “But it didn’t seem to bother me.”
Waterloo’s Ed Sanger kept up with Hearst for the first 21 laps before the Downs regular season points leader pulled away and cruised to paydirt.
Sanger checked in as runner-up with Cedar Rapids’ Mike Frieden coming home in third place.
Frieden, who is known locally as “the man without a sponsor,” battled it out with Viola’s Ken Walton for that spot throughout the race before he slipped past Walton on the 34th circuit to finish his best season ever on a high note.
Chopper Safley of Marion won the season championship in the street stock division and Scott Braun of Cedar Falls won the sportsman title.
Heat #1 – Rick Wendling, Hazelton
Heat #2 – Mel Morris, West Liberty
Heat #3 – Karl Sanger, Waterloo
1. Tom Hearst, Wilton
2. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
3. Mike Frieden, Cedar Rapids
4. Ken Walton, Viola
5. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
6. Duane Steffe, Colona, Ill.
7. Roger Dolan, Lisbon
8. Steve Keppler, Marion
9. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls