Sunday, April 30, 2023

1983 – Schiltz Captures ‘Pepsi Spring Championship’

Des Moines, Iowa (April 30, 1983) – Dick Schiltz of Waterloo scored his first NASCAR Grand American victory of 1983 Saturday night as he topped a stellar field of late models in the Pepsi Spring Championship at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Schiltz held off Bob Hill of Randall for the victory while Ed Sanger of Waterloo took third. Scotts Sells of Waverly finished fourth and Denny Osborn of Cedar Falls – winner of first two NASCAR events in Iowa this year – grabbed fifth place.

Jack Mitchell of Cedar Falls debuted a new IMCA modified and captured the feature race in that division as he topped Dean Schroeder of Iowa Falls, Mike Hackbarth of Marion, Mike Schulte of Norway, and Bob Bowser of Cedar Rapids.

Late model heat wins went to Schiltz and Martin Bennett of Des Moines. IMCA modified heat wins went to Hackbarth and Mitchell.

Results –

Late Model –

Heat #1 – Dick Schiltz, Waterloo
Heat #2 - Martin Bennett, Des Moines
Feature –
1. Dick Schiltz
2. Bob Hill, Randall
3. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
4. Scott Sells, Waverly
5. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls
6. Jim Anderson, Des Moines
7. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown
8. Gary Webb, Davenport
9. Denny Rosenberg, Des Moines
10.Frank Ince, Des Moines

IMCA Modified –

Heat #1 – Mike Hackbarth, Marion
Heat #2 - Jack Mitchell, Cedar Falls
Feature –
1. Jack Mitchell
2. Dean Schroeder, Iowa Falls
3. Mike Hackbarth
4. Mike Schulte, Norway
5. Bob Bowser, Cedar Rapids
6. Bernie Juliar, Hudson
7. Denny McCaw, Marengo
8. Howard Stinger, Cedar Rapids
9. Merv Chandler, Cedar Rapids
10.Steve Stinger, Hiawatha

1961 - Ernie Derr cops 100-lap stock race at North Iowa Fairgrounds

Ernie Derr

Mason City, Iowa (April 30, 1961) - A trio of hotshot drivers dominated the International Motor Contest Association late model stock racing last season. Finishing in order in the final point standings were Ernie Derr, Ramo Stott and Dick Hutcherson.

An estimated 2,400 fans were on hand Sunday at the North Iowa fairgrounds to see the first big racing event of the season in the upper Midwest area. The finish in the 100-lap feature? Just the way they stood last year - Derr, Stott and Hutcherson.

Clearly, they were the class of the field. In fourth place was another Keokuk driver, Jerry McCredie. By coincidence, he was driving Derr’s car in which he swept honors last year, a 1960 Pontiac. Derr now is driving a 1961 Pontiac while Stott and Hutcherson have 1961 Fords.

The winning time was 51 minutes and 19.59 seconds. That's pretty sharp considering Paul Burrow of Sycamore, Ill., went into the fence just reaching the straightaway on the northeast part of the track. There were eight slow-down laps while the wrecker pulled the car away. He was not injured. The accident happened on the 13th lap.

The first four finishers were the only drivers to complete 100 laps. Chub Liebe of Oelwein took fifth and was lapped once. Derr collected $385 of the total prize pot of $2,000 for his day's efforts.

The three-time IMCA national champ dogged Stott for the lead through the early part, finally passing him on the outside on the west turn in the 24th lap. The first three were in close order the remainder of the way.

McCredie had the fastest qualifying time of the day, 29 seconds flat for the half-mile oval. Ron Snow of Red Wing, Minn., took the first heat race over five miles as he held the lead all the way. Liebe took the second heat race and McCredie won the consolation.

This was an excellent field of 22 drivers, most of them in 1960 and 1961 models. Only 12, however, were in the running at the finish of Sunday’s feature.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk
3. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
4. Jerry McCredie, Keokuk
5. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
6. Don Harvey, Rockford, Ill.
7. Ron Snow, Red Wing, Minn.
8. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
9. Bob Reynolds, Edmonds, Okla.
10.Bill Moyer, Des Moines

Friday, April 28, 2023

1974 – Marshall Drives to Salem ASA Win

La Marr Marshall

Salem, Ind. (April 28, 1974) – La Marr Marshall of Louisville, Ky., the master race-car builder and master set-up man, finally tweaked his own car as expertly he does for others and annihilated a strong field in the 100-lap main for the American Speed Association “Circuit of Champions” late model stock cars.

Marshall, after 11 years of competing on the high-banked half-mile Salem Speedway, drove beautifully to his first win, lapping even second-place finisher Mike Eddy of Kawkawlin, Mich.

Marshall by no means had it easy in recording his first ASA victory as Don Wilbur of West Carrollton, Ohio, led the first 29 laps of the race with Marshall and Gene Payne of Owensboro, Ky., hanging on hi rear bumper. On lap 29, Wilbur’s engine expired, allowing Marshall to shoot into the lead still hotly contested by Payne. Payne’s transmission would break, and Marshall would enjoy a small lead over Don Higgins of New Castle, Ind.

Higgin’s Camaro appeared to have adequate power to pull Marshall down the straightaway, but the Louisville driver drove expertly and deeply into the corners to repel his charges. Higgins would have a ball joint snap on lap 37, sending him on a frightening reverse spin down the backstretch at over 100 miles per hour, bringing out the caution flag.

Charging Larry Clemons of Sellersburg, Ind., driving a 1973 AMC Javelin, prepared by his brother Bill, slashed his way into second-place and managed to keep the high-flying Marshall in his sights until his left rear axle broke on lap 66, causing him to part with a left rear wheel and spin violently into the infield.

With all clear conditions following Clemons’ spin, Eddy took over second-place, but Marshall still kept his foot to floor and lapped Eddy on lap 73. Marshall maintained his considerable advantage until the final flag and Denny Miles punctuated the final lap by blowing his engine coming down the main stretch as the checkers waved.

Stalled in the middle of the track, several pursuing cars had to take evasive action to miss Miles.

Results –

1. La Marr Marshall
2. Mike Eddy
3. Shorty Hinshaw
4. Dave Cope
5. Jim Hines
6. Dennis Miles
7. Don Keevin
8. Al Straub
9. Ray Fullen
10.Andy Vertrees
11.Larry Clemons
12.Harold Scott
13.Gene Christie
14.Wayne Pratt
15.Jackie Neal
16.Charlie Glotzbach
17.Don Higgins
18.Sheldon Bowser
19.Don Wilbur
20.Paul Cox
21.Gene Payne
22.Gene Fullen
23.Bill Kimmel
24.Clyde Brown

Thursday, April 27, 2023

1984 – Wolfgang Wins NSCA Sprint Main at West Liberty

Doug Wolfgang

By Jeff Broeg

West Liberty, Iowa (April 27, 1984) – Bobby Davis Jr. may have taken the checkered flag first, but it was Doug Wolfgang who claimed the top prize in the National Speedways Contest Association winged sprint car feature at West Liberty Raceway on Friday night.

The sprint car feature got off to a rocky start when fast qualifier Tim Green and T.J. Giddings tangled in the second turn, with both drivers taking some hard rolls. Neither driver was injured but both cars were sidelined.

Danny Smith of Hendersonville, Tenn., sped to the lead on the restart and looked comfortable in that position. As Smith began to close on slower traffic, Wolfgang made some breathtaking moves through lapped cars to get by Smith on lap 11. Davis also managed his way around Smith and gave chase to Wolfgang.

The field tightened on lap 19 when the caution came out for Randy Smith of Norwalk, whose ride had caught fire down the front stretch. Smith scrambled out of his car uninjured.

With six laps remaining and a single file restart, Davis was looking for a jump on Wolfgang, and that he did. When the green flag flew, Davis had already zipped past the leader on the outside coming out of turn four.

Wolfgang tried desperately to retain the lead, but Davis shook loose in traffic to take the apparent victory. But the win was later given to Wolfgang after some post-race discussion and NSCA officials penalized Davis one position for jumping on the restart.

Danny Smith finished third followed by Rocky Hodges of Des Moines and Cliff Woodward of Kearney, Mo.

Results –

Time trials – Tim Green, Carmichael, Calif.
Heat #1 – Doug Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Heat #2 – Bobby Davis Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
Heat #3 – Tim Green
Feature –
1. Doug Wolfgang
2. Bobby Davis Jr.
3. Danny Smith, Hendersonville, Tenn.
4. Rocky Hodges, Des Moines
5. Cliff Woodward, Kearney, Mo
6. Todd Mack, East Grand Forks, Minn.
7. Marlon Jones, Sioux Falls, S.D.
8. Tod Bishop, Harrisburg, Ill.
9. Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
10.Mark Shaffer, Newton

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

1970 – Droste Cops Tipton Spring Championship

Tipton Spring Championship winner Red Droste is presented his trophy by Hawkeye Racing News’ Keith Knaack. Flagman Cy Bohr presents the checkers.

Tipton, Iowa (April 26, 1970) – Red Droste continued his winning ways Sunday night, taking home the feature prize at the Eastern Iowa Spring Championship late model stock car race at the Cedar County Fairgrounds.

Earlier in the afternoon, Droste had won the Spring Championship at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Vinton.

Droste also won the third heat. In both events, he had to fight off a determined Pokey West of Westchester.

Bill Barthelmes of Tory Mills and Bud Darting of Wilton thrilled the fans with their duel in the semi-main, with Barthelmes getting the checkered.

Perry Beckler of Tiffin won the first heat and Ed Sanger of Waterloo won the second. Ernie Speth of Davenport piloted his Ford to the consolation win.

Results –

Heat #1 – Perry Beckler, Tiffin
Heat #2 – Ed Sanger, Waterloo
Heat #3 – Red Droste, Waterloo
Semi-main – Bill Barthelmes, Troy Mills
Consolation – Ernie Speth, Davenport
Feature –
1. Red Droste
2. Pokey West, Westchester
3. Skip Kennedy, Dubuque
4. Bob Helm, Rochester
5. Bill Barthelmes
6. Ed Sanger
7. Ed Brown, Dubuque
8. Blackie Lyons, Cascade
9. Jim Havill, New Liberty
10. Pat Blake, Clarence

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

1976 – Omaha Invitational to Saterdalen

Omaha, Neb. (April 25, 1976) – What appeared to be a hopeless seven-hour journey to rain-soaked Omaha, turned into a splashing success as Bob Saterdalen of Oronoco, Minn., overcame the odds to win the 4th annual $5,000 Spring Invitational at Sunset Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

After a day-long rain and Saturday night cancellation, Sunday brought clear skies and a wide smile to Saterdalen’s face as he picked up $1,150 and a tall trophy for his 100-lap feature win.

Saterdalen’s 1975 orange Camaro took the lead when Bill Kirk of Salix, Iowa, blew an engine with only 19 laps remaining in the race. Kirk headed the 22-car field after passing Waterloo, Iowa’s Karl Sanger on the 33rd revolution.

Finishing behind Saterdalen was Kent Tucker of Aurora, Neb., Only five other cars finished the race on the water-logged racing surface: Bill Beckman of Lisbon, Iowa, Dave Chase of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Glen Robey of Omaha, Karl Sanger and Keith Leithoff of Omaha. Robey made the feature via winning the 12-lap consolation.

Defending Sunset Speedway point champion Bob Kosiski of Omaha was running a strong third in the 100-lapper when he broke a drive shaft on lap 25 and was finished for the day.

Forty premier drivers from a four-state area qualified for the race that saw Ed Sanger (1973), Bob Kosiski (1974), Bill Martin (1975) grab victory in previous years. Sanger chose not to attend the race and Martin finished a disappointing 10th.

Pole-sitter Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa, who qualified by edging Saterdalen in a thrilling speed dash for heat winners, exited with car troubles and was credited with finishing 11th.

Results –

Heat #1 – Chuck Bosselman, Grand Island, Neb.
Heat #2 – Bob Saterdalen, Oronoco, Minn.
Heat #3 – Bob Shryock, Estherville Iowa
Heat #4 – Ferris Collier, Lampe, Mo.
Speed dash – Bob Shryock
Consolation – Glen Robey, Omaha
Feature –
1. Bob Saterdalen
2. Kent Tucker, Aurora, Neb.
3. Bill Beckman, Lisbon, Iowa
4. Dave Chase, Council Bluffs, Iowa
5. Glen Robey
6. Karl Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
7. Keith Leithoff, Omaha
8. Bill Kirk, Salix, Iowa
9. Ferris Collier
10.Bill Martin, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Monday, April 24, 2023

1971 – Morris Wins MVSC Opener

Mel Morris won the Mississippi Valley Speed Club season opener at Columbus Junction. 

Columbus Junction, Iowa (April 24, 1971) – Mel Morris of West Liberty charged from his fourth row starting position to pick up the checkered flag at the Mississippi Valley Speed Club races here on Saturday.

Morris trailed Lem Blankenship of Keokuk, Iowa, early on in the contest but took the lead midway when Blankenship was forced to retire with mechanical problems.

Mel’s Dodge Charger hadn’t been running well in earlier events although he did have second fastest time in qualifying, but when feature time rolled around, he ran away from the field.

Finishing second behind Morris was Ron Prymek of Iowa City who also took over the lead in the MVSC point standings. Pokey West of West Chester, Iowa, who came on strong towards the end of the race, finished third and Mark Mosier of Washington, Iowa, who got far behind early but passed cars steadily to take fourth.

The rest of the evening belonged to Pokey West. He won all three events, starting with time trials with a time of 26.57 seconds around the big half-mile. Morris posted a time of 26.74 seconds and Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree, Iowa, was third fastest at 27.23 seconds.

West won a tension-packed trophy dash from Prymek. Prymek led as they took the white flag, but West came down low in turn three and the two drivers came out of turn four side-by-side. Pokey beat Prymek by a bumper at the finish line.

In the first heat, Pokey worked his way up behind Blankenship, then picked hi favorite corner - turn four - and gave race fans and instant replay of the trophy dash.

Mark Mosier of Washington, Iowa, looked like he would pick up the victory in the second heat until he spun on lap 6, allowing Larry Jenkins of Wilton, Iowa, to score the win. Bryan Buchele of Muscatine, Iowa, took top honors in heat three.

Mosier would try again in the fourth heat and succeed, winning handily. Gary “Tex” Redlinger of Wellman, Iowa, won the 7-lap consolation.

Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, started on the pole of the 15-lap semi-main and stayed in front the whole way.

Results –

Time Trials – Pokey West, West Chester, Iowa
Trophy Dash – Pokey West
Heat #1 – Pokey West
Heat #2 – Larry Jenkins, Wilton, Iowa
Heat #3 – Bryan Buchele, Muscatine, Iowa
Heat #4 – Mark Mosier, Washington, Iowa
Consolation – Gary Redlinger, Wellman, Iowa
Semi-Main – Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
Feature –
1. Mel Morris, West Liberty, Iowa
2. Ron Prymek, Iowa City, Iowa
3. Pokey West
4. Mark Mosier
5. Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
6. Bill Newman, Burlington, Iowa
7. Ron Perdock, Washington
8. Earl Wagner
9. Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree, Iowa
10. Don Morgan, Muscatine, Iowa

Sunday, April 23, 2023

1961 – Late Model 100 to Goldsmith

Paul Goldsmith

Dayton, Ohio (April 23, 1961) – Paul Goldsmith of St. Clair Shores, Mich., won his third USAC late model stock car race of the season, taking the 100-lap feature with an average of 89.87 miles per hour. Goldsmith, who had won previously at Phoenix and Los Angeles, collected $750 for his efforts.

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, who holds the one-lap record at Dayton Speedway, which he set last season, chased Goldsmith across the finish line in a close finish. A lap behind were Bill Shoulders of Waukegan, Ill., Whitey Johnson of Hammond, Ind., and Les Snow of Bloomington, Ill.

Twenty-two cars started the feature with 18 finishing. Time for the 100-lap feature was 36 minutes and two seconds.

Goldsmith, driving a 1961 Pontiac, was in second place behind Bill Cheesbourg of Tucson, Ariz., from lap seven to lap 38. Cheesbourg started to slow and Goldsmith scooted by a lap later. Cheesbourg would retire four laps later with a broken axle. Goldsmith was never headed after that.

Results –

1. Paul Goldsmith, St. Clair Shores, Mich.
2. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Bill Shoulders, Waukegan, Ill.
4. Whitey Johnson, Hammond, Ind.
5. Les Snow, Bloomington, Ill.
6. Gene Marmor, Schiller Park, Ill.
7. Don Oldenburg, Highland, Ind.
8. Bill Lutz, Chicago, Ill.
9. Sal Tovella, Chicago, Ill.
10.Dave Lundman, Libertyville, Ill.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

1973 - Springtime 200 Flag to Maier

Tom Maier enjoys the spoils of victory after winning at I-70 Speedway. 

Odessa, Mo. (April 22, 1973) – Tom Maier, Midland, Mich., took Dick Trickle’s four-race winning streak at I-70 Speedway here Sunday in the Springtime 200 and literally grounded it to a screeching halt.

Maier, driving a 1970 Chevelle, wasn’t about to let leader Trickle nudge his 1970 Mustang past him and put another lap on him on the 194th circuit of the 200-lap contest.

As the two drivers were flying down the frontstretch, Trickle, who led most of the race, attempted to get past Maier on the outside. There wasn’t enough room, and Trickle’s right rear tire scraped the retaining wall. On the following lap, the tire was virtually flat. And on lap 196, with the tire shredded and running on the rim, he was black flagged.

Two laps later, Trickle pulled into the pits and finished behind Maier, Larry Phillips of Springfield, and David Goldsberry of Bolivar, in fourth place.

The race looked like the usual cut-and-dry finish for Trickle, who won 67 feature events in 1972, is noted for. He bolted from his pole position on the first lap, beating Goldsberry to the first turn.

For the first 134 laps, Trickle held the lead. On that lap, he pitted for gas and a fresh right rear tire, yielding the lead to Phillips.

However, Phillips had gambled that his 22-gallon gas tank was big enough to get him through the entire race. It wasn’t, and on lap 189, he made a quick pit stop for fuel.

Trickle regained the lead, only to lose it to Maier, who had made his pit stop early, under yellow.

Trickle lost nearly two laps in the pits, while Maier’s crew got him back on the track without losing a lap.

All Maier did was stay close to Trickle and Phillips and it paid off in big dividends - $2,000 in fact – his winning share of the $12,000 purse.

Rounding out the top five was Vance Cook of Jonesboro, Ark.

Although Trickle didn’t win the main event, he grabbed the spotlight during time trials, clocking a 18.55 second lap, bettering Dave Wall’s 1972 mark by .02 seconds. Wall drives out of Kansas City.

The time of the race – 1 hour, 13 minutes and 22.18 seconds – was more than three minutes faster than the clocking of Ernie Derr’s 200-lap victory here in 1969.

An estimated crowd of 3,000 viewed the feature, which had been postponed twice for inclement weather.

Results –

1. Tom Maier, Midland, Mich.
2. Larry Phillips, Springfield
3. David Goldsberry, Bolivar
4. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
5. Vance Cook, Jonesboro, Ark.
6. Joe Wallace, Lawrence, Kan.
7. Bob Williams, Independence
8. Fritz Wilson, Denver, Colo.
9. Roger Heim, Hume
10.Don Conner, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
11.Don James, Minneapolis, Minn.
12.Bill Crane, Kansas City
13.Jerry Nussbaum, Oak Grove
14.Gene Chapman, Independence
15.Tom Karrick, Kansas City
16.Jon Backlund, Independence
17.Jim Evert, Richmond

Friday, April 21, 2023

1963 – Hutcherson Gets Pelican 200 Victory

Pelican 200 winner Dick Hutcherson is interviewed by IMCA secretary Mike Heffron while Bernie Carlson presents the checkers and Auto Racing Inc's Frank Winkley looks on approvingly. 

Shreveport, La. (April 21, 1963) – Dick Hutcherson, a 30-year-old dirt track veteran with some four seasons on the road already packed under his seat belt, initiated the International Motor Contest Association’s 1963 stock car racing campaign with the smell of exhaust smoke at State Fair Speedway on Sunday afternoon as he wheeled his Ford mount home in front of a 19-car field in the 10th annual Pelican 200.

The bang was supplied by the 1963 Ford Fastback with a canary yellow paint job, carrying the #3 and splashed with red stripes and blue lettering.

Hutcherson’s powerful sedan showed its rear bumper to the remainder of the pack throughout the final 146 laps.

Ramo Stott, like Hutcherson a native of Keokuk, Iowa, guided his pale blue 1963 Plymouth into second place over the 100-mile haul; Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., in a 1963 Ford, landed third; and Eddie Harrow of Corpus Christi, Tex., in a ’63 Chevrolet, tooled his cream and orange mount to a fourth place finish.

Ernie Derr, the ringleader of the Keokuk Komets, and defending champion of the Pelican 200, experienced mechanical problems with his 1963 Pontiac and retired after lap 164. He eventually ended up in 11th place.

“I couldn’t have made it another five laps,” said an exhausted Hutcherson, his overalls soaking in sweat and dirt.

Hutcherson, no worse than third in the national point standings since he joined IMCA in 1959, and runner-up to Derr last season, smashed one Shreveport record en route to his triumph. His time of 45 minutes and 30.56 seconds after 100 laps – broke the 45 minutes and 45.38 second record he posted last October during the State Fair.

Dick’s first Pelican 200 victory – putting him in a class with such notables as four-time winner Don White, two-time champion Ernie Derr, Johnny Beauchamp, Sonny Morgan and Ramo Stott – was witnessed by a crowd estimated at more than 10,000 by Auto Racing Inc’s Frank Winkley, the biggest turnout ever recorded for a Louisiana State Fair Speedway stock car event.

Hutcherson, who pocketed $700 of the $4,000 purse, rewarded the record gathering by lapping the entire field as early as the 96th circuit. Only Stott was able to get the lap back on the 170th round.

Results –

1. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
4. Eddie Harrow, Corpus Christi, Tex.
5. Jim Washburn, Keokuk, Iowa
6. Bob Reynolds, Edmonds, Okla.
7. H.B. Bailey, Houston, Tex.
8. Ralph Wilhelm, Milwaukee, Wis.
9. Phil Cronin, Houston, Tex.
10.Pat Henry, Beaumont, Tex.
11.Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
12.Jerry Douglas, Wichita Falls, Tex.
13.Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
14.John Mickey, Columbus Junction, Iowa
15.Don Rittman, Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

1980 – Gregory Gains ASA Salem Super Show

Don Gregory pops the bubbly while his crew looks on after the Columbus, Ohio, driver won the ASA Raider 200 at Salem Super Speedway.

Salem, Ind. (April 20, 1980) – Don Gregory outran the competition to win the Raider 200 for American Speed Association late model at Salem Super Speedway Sunday. He won by two car lengths over Bob Senneker who found Mike Eddy right on his tail at the finish.

Gregory took the lead in the 200-lap grind from Eddy when the latter pitted on lap 153. Eddy had led from lap 7 when he got around Randy Sweet and looked like a sure winner in most convincing fashion at the mid-point of the race. Eddy, however, decided to postpone his pit stop until late in the contest as many of the lead contingent pitted at thee halfway mark under caution.

Eddy and Dick Trickle postponed their pit stops and were finally able to catch a caution at the three-quarters mark. When the green flew for the for the final dash to the finish, Gregory was leading a freight train consisting of Bob Senneker, Eddy and Sweet. As this quartet weaved its way through traffic, Sweet was able to give both Senneker and Eddy the shuffle as Randy slid into the runner-up position and began working on the smooth-running Gregory.

Sweet’s engine would soon sour, taking him off the pace and dropping him back to a tenth-place finish. Senneker and Eddy would settle back into the second and third spots but were no match for Gregory in the end.

Results –

1. Don Gregory
2. Bob Senneker
3. Mike Eddy
4. Dick Trickle
5. Mark Martin
6. Terry Senneker
7. John Martin
8. Harold Scott
9. J.T. Hoff
10.Randy Sweet
11.Ryl Magoon
12.Ken Harrison
13.Dave Watson
14.Greg Webb
15.Bob Strait
16.Terry Shirley
17.Larry Brooks
18.Bob Sensiba
19.Denny Caves
20.Butch Miller
21.Terry Cater
22.Dave Jensen
23.Jeep Pflum
24.Doug Klein

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

1986 - Fischlein tops 'Spring Championship'

Dale Fischlein won the annual Spring Championship at West Liberty Raceway. John Oberthein makes the trophy presentation. - John Vass Photo

West Liberty, Iowa (April 19, 1986) – The promise of many laps of exciting stock car racing brought fans from near and far to the West Liberty Raceway for the annual Spring Championship – and a purse in excess of $16,000 attracted nearly 130 competitors.

An unofficial pit area count registered 26 NASCAR late models, 56 IMCA modifieds, 29 street stocks and 16 bombers. Twenty events filled the evening program on the half-mile dirt.

Davenport, Iowa, native Dale Fischlein, now residing in Independence, Iowa, went from a heat disqualification and a last place start in the late model 50-lap feature to the winner’s circle.

Fischlein captured the third heat but was disqualified when his car failed to meet the minimum weight. Fischein started dead last in the main event but grabbed the lead from Rollie Frink of Davenport on the 37th circuit. Fischlein led the rest of the way, except for lap 46 when Frink took over shortly, as the two drivers battled it out. Frink would finish second.

The early going in the feature was also exciting with Steve Johnson of Low Moor, Iowa, leading the first three laps before being passed by Jay Johnson of Wapello, Iowa, who led through lap 18. Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, was in command of laps 19 through 21 before being overtaken by Jay Johnson, who would lead again, this time to the halfway mark.

Dolan found his way to the front again at lap 26 and led for three laps until Frink took over on lap 30 and led to lap 33. Dolan took over again on lap 34 only to experience a flat tire during a caution period. He would get it changed but would restart at the rear of the field.

On the restart, Frink would get the jump and lead the next two circuits before Fischlein grabbed the top spot.

Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who finished fourth in the feature and was credited with that position, but was not awarded any NASCAR points for failing to cooperate with technical inspectors after the race during a routine inspection.

In the IMCA modified feature, there was a tremendous see-saw battle in the first half between Gus Hughes of Monticello, Iowa and Steve Boley of Le Claire, Iowa. But the match race ended when Boley’s mount overheated and headed for the pits. Hughes was eventually overtaken by Butch Cole of Kewaunee, Ill., who went on to win the non-stop 20-lapper.

Larry Richardson of West Liberty survived the crash-filled 15-lap street stock feature to post the win while Lyle Pearson of Martelle, Iowa, won the bomber main event.

Results –

Late Model -

1. Dale Fischlein, Independence, Iowa
2. Rollie Frink, Davenport, Iowa
3. Bill Breuer, Wapello, Iowa
4. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
5. Curt Martin, Independence, Iowa
6. Bob Lekander, Burlington, Iowa
7. Johnny Johnson, Wapello, Iowa
8. Terry Gallaher, Hannibal, Mo.
9. Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
10.Jay Johnson, Wapello, Iowa

IMCA Modified - 

1. Butch Cole, Kewaunee, Ill.
2. Gus Hughes, Monticello, Iowa
3. Merv Chandler, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4. Terry Ryan, Davenport, Iowa
5. Rick Wages, Davenport, Iowa
6. Bruce Current, Maquoketa, Iowa
7. John Irwin, Lost Nation, Iowa
8. Rich Smith, Davenport, Iowa
9. Greg Roorda, Mitchellville, Iowa
10.Glen Woodard, Des Moines

Sunday, April 16, 2023

1983 – Wallace Tops ‘Western World’ Late Models


Phoenix, Ariz. (April 16, 1983) – Joe Wallace of Kansas City played a waiting game, and it paid off with a $3,500 paycheck in the Western World Late Model Stock Car Championships on Saturday night at Manzanita Speedway.

Wallace started third in the 40-lap championship race and was content to run behind early leaders Larry Phillips and Roger Saathoff before taking command on the 15th circuit.

Once out front, Wallace was able to maintain his lead and finish ahead of Red Dralle of Evansdale, Iowa, Don Hoffman of Des Moines, Iowa, Fred Lundock of Gillette, Wy., and Mike Gibson of Phoenix.

Wallace explained that he was really in no hurry. “I was surprised that Phillips failed to pull away from us. Once he was out (on lap 4) I knew I could beat the yellow car (Saathoff) because he was real loose and my car was getting faster as the track dried out.”

A smoking engine sent Phillips to the pit area and gave the lead to Saathoff, who had shared the front row with Phillips at the green flag. Saathoff held the lead until Wallace powered by and then the South Dakota driver was forced to pit with a flat tire and dropped out of contention.

Carl Trimmer, Arizona’s best hope for a win, ran with the leaders until lap 15 and then a sour engine forced him to retire.

Nine drivers finished on the lead lap as the main event was clearly the night’s best race.

It took forever to run the 12-lap consolation as 13 drivers fought it out for the five transfer spots to the semi-main. After numerous yellow flags it was Ron Droog of Aberdeen, S.D., winning with Dana Finley of Albuquerque, Jerry McCurdy of Mesa, Mark Pierre of Albuquerque, and Frank Loverock of Norwalk, Calif., chasing Droog across the finish line.

Pierre was unable to answer the call for the semi-main so sixth place finisher Kim Wheeler of Huron, S.D., took his place. He would make the best of the opportunity as he managed to avoid several crashes to finish second and earn a spot in the feature.

Ken Hobson of Mira Loma, Calif., charged from his fifth row starting spot to win the semi-main. A crash in that race eliminated two-time Western World winner George Brazil. Finishing behind Hobson and Wheeler were Loverock, Finley, and Phil Hertel.

Results –

1. Joe Wallace
2. Red Dralle
3. Don Hoffman
4. Fred Lundock
5. Mike Gibson
6. Dean Vance
7. Roger Saathoff
8. Mike Moran
9. Bill Cheesbourg
10.Ivan Russell
11.Bill Brandon
12.Terry Belcher
13.Ray Adams
14.Richard Blaney
15.Frank Outlaw
16.Fred Trentadue
17.Marion Smiley
18.Carl Trimmer
19.Dwain McCarty
20.Kim Wheeler
21.Ken Hobson
22.Larry Phillips

Friday, April 14, 2023

1957 – Beauchamp Sets Two Marks, But Burdick Takes Feature


Shreveport, La. (April 14, 1957) – Johnny Beauchamp, the driving wizard who two weeks ago copped the Pelican “300,” set two world records Sunday afternoon at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds during the death-marred Southland Sprint Championships.

With a crowd of 6,283 looking on, death struck during time trials. Orville Richardson of Beaumont, Tex., was killed when his car overturned on a curve. It was the first track fatality since 1941 when Gus Schrader of Newhall, Iowa, was killed here.

But the speedsters continued at the records. Beauchamp, a smart veteran with a fuel injected Chevrolet, posted a world mark of 4 minutes and 48.73 seconds in the first heat race, and came pack to post a 5-lap record in a four-car event with a time of 2 minutes and 23.99 seconds.

However, the in the 30-lap feature, Beauchamp was forced to take a backseat to Bob Burdick, a 22-year-old driver from Omaha, Neb., with a 1956 Ford.

The feature see-sawed most of the way with the lead changing hands four times. Burdick used some fancy driving techniques to whiz past Beauchamp on the final bid. Robert “Doc” Narber of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was a close third.

The speedway was in the finest condition of it’s history with Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, piloting a brand-new 1957 Ford, setting a new fairgrounds standard for one lap in qualifying. He was clocked in 27.95 seconds on the lightning fast half-mile.

In the time trials, White, who was knocked out early in the Pelican “300” with motor issues, beat out Burdick, Narber, and Beauchamp to earn the pole position.

Beauchamp and Roxy Dancy, of Shreveport, were heat winners and consolation race went to White.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

1980 - Detjens Romps to Victory in Spring Classic

Wisconsin's Larry Detjens won ARTGO Racing's 80-lap Spring Classic stock car race at the Rockford Speedway. ARTGO's John McKarns interviews Detjens after his victory. - Stan Kalwasinski Photo

By Stan Kalwasinski

Loves Park, Ill. (April 13, 1980) – Cold weather and hot competition were the key words Sunday afternoon at Rockford Speedway as ARTGO Racing opened its 1980 late model stock car racing season with Larry Detjens winning the 80-lap Spring Classic.

A good crowd chilled by weather that battled the 40-degree mark saw the 34-year-old Detjens wheel his 1979 Camaro to victory on Hugh Derry’s high-banked, quarter-mile paved oval.

It was ARTGO Win number three for the Wausau, Wis., speedster who ranks third on the ARTGO all-time point sheet.

A field of 20 faced starter Bill Gronley’s green flag for the start with Michigan ace Fred Campbell putting his 1980 Camaro into the lead from his outside front row starting spot.

The race was just one lap old when the first yellow flag was displayed for slippery track conditions caused when Don Collins bean losing lubricant from his mount’s differential.

After the green flag reappeared, Campbell, the 1979 Berlin (Mich.) Raceway champion, stayed on top through eight circuits with Larry Schuler pressing for the lead. Campbell and Schuler tangled momentarily on lap 9 coming off turn four, giving Detjens the rest of the closely-knit freight train a chance to get by.

With 12 laps down and Detjens leading, the yellow flag flew once again, as Campbell, who was in the process of regaining some of the ground he lost, came to a halt on the backstretch suffering from transmission problems.

Detjens, being dogged by six-time Rockford champion Joe Shear, Mike Miller, Mark Martin, and Dick Trickle, was still on top on lap 18 when the caution light flashed again as Tom Reffner and Dave Weltmeyer both contributed their share to making the racing surface a bit slippery.

Back under full racing conditions, Detjens staved off repeated challenges by Shear, and at the end of 25 laps it was Detjens, Shear, Miller, Martin, Trickle and Schuler. Before the halfway mark, Trickle seemingly made quick work of both Martin and Miller and set hi sights on the leading duo.

With 40 laps recorded in the books, Detjens still held onto the number one spot, closely followed by Shear, Trickle, Miller, Martin, and Schuler. With a combined 1,200 feature wins among them, the top six battled bumper-to-bumper, lap after lap.

With the race winding down, Detjens was granted a little relief as Trickle began to pressure Shear for second place with Miller trying to overhaul Trickle.

When the checkered flew, Detjens had his first comfortable lead of the afternoon, a couple of car lengths over Shear, who was followed closely by Trickle, Miller, and Martin.

Martin, the 21-year-old driver from Batesville, Ark., and two-time ASA champion, set a one-lap mark during time trials as he piloted his 1980 Camaro around the quarter mile in 13.416 seconds, bettering his old mark of 13.476, set during the 1978 National Short Track Championships.

Results –

1. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
2. Joe Shear, South Beloit
3. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
4. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
5. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
6. Larry Schuler, New Lenox
7. Ed Hoffman, Bensenville
8. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
9. John Knaus, Rockford
10.Pat Schauer, Watertown, Wis.
11.James Bond, Blue Island
12.Bill Venturini, Chicago
13.Bobby Dotter, Chicago
14.Willie Goeden, Kewaskum, Wis.
15.Don Collins, Antioch
16.Butch Mierendorf, Lake Mills, Wis.
17.Dave Weltmeyer, Harvey
18.Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
19.Fred Campbell, Battle Creek, Mich.
20.John Speer, Janesville, Wis.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

1987 - Ed Kosiski scored Quincy ‘Tour’ Victory

Ed Kosiski, the youngest of the Kosiski racing family, won the Busch All-Star Tour race at Quincy Raceway. Quincy Raceway promoter/owner Bob Scott joins Kosiski in victory lane. – Kathy Root Photo


Quincy, Ill. (April 12, 1987) – Ed Kosiski of Omaha, Neb. – youngest of the three racing Kosiski brothers – captured the NASCAR Busch/Winston All Star Tour Sunday evening at Quincy.

Kosiski took over the lead when Mitch Fretheim of Decorah, Iowa, suffered a flat tire, while leading the event and he went on to lead the rest of the way.

Fretheim was fast qualifier of those timing (feature qualifiers through heats) and led from the onset before dropping out.

Rollie Frink of Davenport, Iowa, was second, Sonny Findling of Kirksville, Mo., ran third while Joe and Steve Kosiski, both of Omaha, Neb., ran fourth and fifth respectively.

A field of 45 late models participated in the event.

In support racing, Harold Hyslop off Quincy scored his first-ever feature win in the sportsman main event and Jim Brown of Hannibal, Mo., was the bomber feature winner.

Results –

1. Ed Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
2. Rollie Frink, Davenport, Iowa
3. Sonny Findling, Kirksville, Mo.
4. Joe Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
5. Steve Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
6. Steve Fraise, Montrose, Iowa
7. Dave Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa
8. Curt Martin, Independence, Iowa
9. Jim Swank, Hamilton, Ill.
10.Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls, Iowa
11.Gene Claxton, Kansas City
12.Lem Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa
13.Rick Kimberling, Boone, Mo.
14.Jay Johnson, Wapello, Iowa
15.Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

1981 – Moyer captures ‘Spring Fever’ at Cedar Rapids

The Moyers, Bill Jr. (left) and Bill Sr., had plenty of reason to smile after Bill Jr. drove to victory in the Spring Fever Opener at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (April 11, 1981) – Despite threatening skies, the second annual Spring Fever season opener was held Saturday night at Hawkeye Downs Speedway with a pair of Des Moines, Iowa, drivers and a brother combo from Omaha, Neb., providing the fans most of the thrills.

Billy Moyer Jr. won the late model feature race when he took over from fellow townsman Don Hoffman midway through the 50-lap feature when Hoffman fell out of the action with mechanical issues.

Hoffman had passed both Moyer and Steve Keppler of Marion, Iowa on lap 10 to take the lead. He paced the 25-car field for the next 19 laps before heading to the sidelines.

Meanwhile, the Kosiski brothers were working their way through the field of cars. Older brother Joe started eighth and younger brother Steve had started in ninth. Late in the race they began a charge after Moyer, but ran out of time and laps, finishing second and third respectively.

Keppler took fourth place and Gary Webb of Davenport, Iowa, rounded out the top five.

When Hoffman took the lead, passing both Moyer and Keppler, the most surprised person of all was Moyer.

“I knew he was going to have to try the high groove sooner or later,” Moyer said. “I was running second and I sure wasn’t going to try it. I figured as soon as I got up high and made a move, I’d be running third. Then, Don flew by us both and I’d knew I’d better get outside or forget it.”

Hoffman built a five-second lead by lap 14 when action was red-flagged after Tim Murray of Des Moines and Ken DeGood of Hills, Iowa, collided in turn three.

On the restart, Moyer became glued to Hoffman’s bumper and the pair roared off a seven second lead over Keppler, who held down the third spot at the time.

On lap 29, Hoffman slowed leaving turn four, pulling abruptly into the infield, retiring for the night. Moyer steadily pulled away from the field, building his lead to eight seconds over Keppler by lap 31.

Steve Kosiski took over second place on lap 33 and his brother Joe followed into third place a couple of laps later. They closed the gap between themselves and Moyer but could not mount a serious challenge in the final 16 laps of the race.

Defending champion Leon Plank of Eau Claire, Wis., had a rough night, falling out of his heat race with mechanical issues, missing the semi-feature while undergoing repairs and then exiting the main event after only six laps. Plank was added to the feature as a champion’s provisional.

Despite heavy rains in the area for two days prior to the race, the track held up well under the onslaught of cars and an estimated 2,200 fans were on hand to witness the action.

Results –

Heat #1 – Johnny Johnson, Morning Sun
Heat #2 – Steve Keppler, Marion
Heat #3 – Billy Moyer Jr., Des Moines
Semi-main – Ken Walton, Viola
Feature –
1. Billy Moyer Jr.
2. Steve Kosiski, Omaha
3. Joe Kosiski, Omaha
4. Steve Keppler
5. Gary Webb, Davenport
6. Johnny Johnson
7. Bill Zwanziger Waterloo
8. Ray Guss Sr., Milan, Ill.
9. Gary Crawford, Independence
10.Dennis Hovinga, Pocahontas
11.Lance Matthees, Winona, Minn.
12.Duane Steffe, Colona, Ill.
13.Rick Wendling, Hazelton
14.R.J. Bruggeman, Dubuque
15.Ken Walton
16.Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
17.Don Hoffman, Des Moines
18.Greg Hunter, Independence
19.Ken DeGood, Hills, Iowa
20.Denny Miller, Cedar Rapids
21.Ron Prochnow, Menomonie, Wis.
22.Ron Jackson, Burlington
23.Gary Henderson, Independence
24.Tim Murray, Des Moines
25.Leon Plank, Eau Claire, Wis.

Monday, April 10, 2023

1949 – 9,000 Watch as Grim sets Racing Record


Alabama State Fair manager R.H. McIntosh presents a smiling Bobby Grim his trophy for winning the IMCA big car 20-lap race at Fair Park. Starter Al Sweeney (second from left) and car owner Hector Honore far right) join in the celebration. 

Birmingham, Ala. (April 10, 1949) – A new star has risen in the auto racing elements. He is young, 23-year-old Bobby Grim of Indianapolis.

Sunday at the Alabama State Fairgrounds, Grim thrilled a crowd of 9,000 by winning the 20-lap feature. His time of 9 minutes and 3.40 seconds set a new 10-mile dirt track record. The old mark of 9 minutes and 8.32 seconds was set by Emory Collins at Des Moines, Iowa.

In turning in his record victory, the young Grim beat out such stars as Frankie Luptow of Detroit, Deb Snyder of Kent, Ohio, and Red Redmond of Richmond, Va.

The victory brought Grim added points to his national dirt track total. In addition, he received a trophy from the Alabama State Fair Authority.

After four laps of the feature race, the outcome was never in doubt. Grim maintained his lead throughout the race and held a 10-car-length edge at the finish.

In addition to the feature, Grim took home two other top honors. He turned in the fastest qualifying time, 26.03 seconds for the half-mile, and also won a match race, nipping Red Redmond by a car-length in three laps.

Grim almost made it again in the Alabama Inaugural, losing to Snyder in a close 5-lap race.

Frank Luptow was not to be left out, taking the National Speedway 5-lapper with Bert Hellmueller of Louisville, Ky., winning the American Triumph 5-lapper.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

1978 – Carter Wins USAC Inaugural

Pancho Carter tames the high banks of Winchester.

Winchester, Ind. (April 9, 1978) – Duane “Pancho” Carter, still on the mend from serious injuries suffered in a December crash, made it two USAC sprint car wins in a row by leading all the way in the 40-lap feature at Winchester Speedway on Sunday.

On Saturday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Carter marked his comeback by winning the season-opening USAC 40-lapper.

As in Saturday’s race, the fastest qualifier on Sunday was Tom Bigelow, who would be the only driver to record a time under the 16-second mark.

Carter qualified fourth, with Gary Bettenhausen and Bob Frey in second and third, respectively.

Larry Rice qualified fifth fastest and started in the front row of the feature, in which the six fastest qualifiers are inverted on the starting grid. He finished sixth after blistering his right rear tire.

“It was an experimental tire,” Rice said, adding that the crew had other tires to choose from. “It started blistering about midway through the race. We just made the wrong choice.”

Bigelow was moving through the pack when his car tangled with Frey’s on lap 9. The collision put Frey out of action, but Bigelow was able to continue although his front suspension was damaged. The damage caused a tire to blister, and Bigelow was forced to slow his pace, resulting in a ninth-place finish.

Finishing second in the race was Billy Cassella, with the defending USAC national sprint car champion Sheldon Kinser in third and Gary Bettenhausen in fourth. Dana Carter, Pancho’s brother, rounded out the top five finishers.

Results –

1. Duane Carter
2. Billy Cassella
3. Sheldon Kinser
4. Gary Bettenhausen
5. Dana Carter
6. Larry Rice
7. Bubby Jones
8. Chuck Gurney
9. Tom Bigelow
10. Greg Leffler
11. Jeff Bloom
12. Rich Leavell
13. Roy Hicks
14. Malcom Lovelace
15. Bruce Walkup
16. Ron Shuman
17. Eddie Leavitt
18. Bob Frey
19. Mack McClellan
20. Mark Alderson

Saturday, April 8, 2023

1973 – Trickle Cops MASCAR Race on Rolla Oval

Dick Trickle

Rolla, Mo. (April 8, 1973) – The top winner among the nation’s stock car drivers, Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids Wis., came from the back of the pack on Sunday to capture the $11,000 Rolla 200.

Trickle arrived here late on Saturday, too late for time trials, and had to take the last slot in the 26-car field.

Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., who turned the top qualifying time of 17.60 seconds on Saturday, led 77 of the 200 laps before ignition trouble forced him to the pits. He was able to get back on the track but had to settle for fifth place.

Joe Shear of Beloit, Wis., took over where Phillips left off and held it for 25 circuits before Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., grabbed the lead on lap 103. Senneker would yield the top spot to Trickle 38 laps later.

Trickle still had to fight off the challenges of Senneker, who was 200 feet back at the checkered flag.

Race officials said the time for the 100-mile race was 1 hour and 28 minutes, the fastest 200-lap race ever sanctioned by Mid-America Stock Car Association of Racing (MASCAR).

Trickle holds the one-lap qualifying record at Rolla with a time of 17.09 seconds.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
3. Tom Maier, Midland, Mich.
4. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
5. Larry Phillips, Springfield
6. Dave Goldsberry, Springfield
7. Bob Frueh, Rolla
8. Vance Cook, Jonesboro, Ark.
9. Franklin Davis, Springfield
10.Don Klein, St. Louis
11.Kenny Schrum, St. Louis
12.Ken Schroeder, St. Louis
13. Bill Travers, St. Louis
14.Vern Brunner, Chicago
15.Dave Gramm, St. Louis
16.Dale Roper, Fair Groves
17.Ron Todd, Springfield
18.Bernie Ford, St. Louis
19.Eddie House, St. James
20.Chet McDowell, Rolla


Friday, April 7, 2023

1978 - Kosiski Takes 'Spectacular" Opening


Bob Kosiski of Omaha collected a trophy and a $1,000 check for winning Lakeside Speedway’s “Spring Spectacle of Speed” in Kansas City.

Kansas City, Kan. (April 7, 1978) – Several smoldering stock car questions were either answered or confirmed for more than 4,000 race fans who attended the Spring Spectacle of Speed late model special at Lakeside Speedway on Friday night.

First things first...

Yes, they do have tremendous dirt track racing in Iowa as more than a dozen drivers from the Hawkeye State proved. Second, Jerry Inmon of Bruce, Miss., gave proof positive that his recent victories in Florida were no fluke. Third, Terry Bivins of Wellsville, Kan., despite saying he “gets depressed” over racing, tries harder than anyone to win, and fourth, when it comes to winning big races, Bob Kosiski of Omaha is as tough as they come.

Kosiski won the 30-lap feature, and may well have anyway, because he was the second fastest qualifier. But it wasn’t until Inmon’s engine went sour that Kosiski took command. Inmon returned to the race on seven cylinders and managed an eighth place finish.

Bivins, struggling with a overheating car, almost didn’t make through the feature but a caution flag midway allowed precious minutes for his Camaro to cool off and continue.

From then on, Bivins chased Kosiski with near blinding fury until a car-crunching crash on the 23rd circuit eliminated Bivins, Kansas City’s John Oswalt and Kent Tucker of Aurora, Neb.

Kosiski was home free after that and admitted afterwards, “Once I was ahead, I wasn’t really worried. I saw some of the other cars smoking so I figured I was going to be okay.”

Oswalt said he was not satisfied with his new car, and at one point was thinking of pulling it out of the race.

“Then, I caught a hole (coming out of the fourth turn),” Oswalt said. “I was trying to keep out of the main competition by staying low. I should have pulled in.”

His late model bounced on the track and into the fence. It then bounced back into the line of traffic where Tucker was charging hard.

“I was trying to pass two cars,” said Tucker of his car being in the high groove on the straight, and then tangling with Oswalt.

The two cars were dead pigeons on the track as Kosiski and Bivins came flying around. Bivins was making up ground rapidly by using the high groove while Kosiski was going as smoothly as possible by using the middle of the track. They had been dueling bumper-to-bumper for almost four laps.

Kosiski, in front, saw Oswalt and Tucker and ducked down low to avoid them. Bivins, eating Kosiski’s dust, could not.

“I was in a mud storm,” Bivins explained after he smacked straight into Tucker’s car. Tucker was again hurled into Oswalt. “I didn’t see either of them until it was too late.”

Kosiski had a cake walk for the last seven laps after that, finishing comfortably ahead off Dave Chase of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Bob Shryock of Estherville, Iowa. Denny Hovinga of Pocahontas, Iowa, was fourth and Johnny Johnson of Morning Sun, Iowa, took fifth.

Curt Houge of Ames, Iowa, set fast time in qualifying, with a clocking of 24.723 seconds while Kosiski’s time was 25.007 seconds. Houge’s engine blew after only few laps into the start of the main event, but he did win the opening heat race.

Inmon, who last year competed in 95 features and won 54 of them, won the third heat and was dominating the feature before he had to begin his 550-mile trek back to Mississippi with a sick engine. Inmon was third fastest in qualifying with a time of 25.017 seconds.

Bill Rice of Des Moines, Iowa, who won the second heat, also pulled in during the feature with a smoking engine. Shryock, who scored 30 feature victories in 1977, won the fourth heat. Bivins won the fifth heat. Duane Steffe of East Moline, Ill., won the 15-lap consolation race.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

1985 - Blaney wins Granite City ‘Outlaws’ event

Granite City, Ill. (April 6, 1985) – Dave Blaney of Hartford, Ohio, reached a milestone Saturday night as he won his first career World of Outlaws sprint car feature at Tri-City Speedway.

But it was 12 hours later before Blaney was able to celebrate his victory.

Saturday night’s program of Ron Shuman's Easter Extravaganza show was run as the preliminary segment of the scheduled weekend doubleheader after Friday’s original opener was rained out. However, when Sunday’s card also fell victim to the moisture, Saturday’s results were declared official and Blaney had his first WoO feature win.

Blaney had to survive three flips and an hour rain delay during the 20-lap main event. The 22-year-old led the opening four circuits around the big half-mile clay oval before Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio, took over for two rounds. After the rain delay, Blaney pushed his way back into the lead and left the pack behind at the finish.

Blaney won $3,950 in becoming the fifth different winner in as many World of Outlaw races this season.

Hewitt earned the runner-up position and won $2,250 after starting on the pole. Sammy Swindell of Bartlett, Tenn., claimed third and earned $1,815.

Series’ point leader Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Ind., finished fourth and Bobby Davis Jr., of Memphis, Tenn., rounded out the top five.

Bobby Allen of Hanover, Pa., established a new track record in qualifying, touring the track in 19.49 seconds. Scott Ritchhart, Rodney Ritter, Steve Kinser and Jeff Swindell were heat winners while Rocky Hodges scored the victory in the B-main.

Ritchhart, of Lincoln, Ill., turned over during a five-car pileup on the start of the feature with Ronnie Daniels of Memphis, Tenn., flipping during a second-lap melee. Brad Doty of Fredericksburg, Ohio, flipped in turn three prior to the rain delay.

Results –

1. Dave Blaney
2. Jack Hewitt
3. Sammy Swindell
4. Steve Kinser
5. Bobby Davis Jr.
6. Ron Shuman
7. Tim Green
8. Danny Smith
9. Jeff Swindell
10.Tod Bishop
11.Terry Gray
12.Rodney Ritter
13.Scott Ritchhart
14.Rich Vogler
15.Jac Haudenschild
16.Brad Doty
17.Rocky Hodges
18.Ronnie Daniels
19.Danny Lasoski
20.Steve Butler
21.Bobby Allen
22.Mark Kinser

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

1981 – Smith Sails to Win in Sedalia Sprints

Randy Smith captured the NSCA sprint car feature during the “Frostbuster 10,000” at the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Joining smith in victory lane is car owner Guy Smith and flagman Denny Duchene. – Dean Malone Photo

Sedalia, Mo. (April 4, 1981) – A hearty band of race fans assembled at the Missouri State Fairgrounds Saturday night to watch Randy Smith of Norwalk, Iowa, race home the winner in the sprint car half of the annual “Frostbuster 10,000.”

The event, sanctioned by the National Speedways Contest Association, was held on the half-mile dirt oval at the fairgrounds and drew drivers from as far away as California.

Smith started on the outside of the front row and roared into the lead at the drop of the green flag. Although pressured by Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, S.D., Smith was credited with leading every lap of the 30-lap race for winged sprint cars.

In fact, Wolfgang once passed Smith, but a caution flag negated that effort and Smith breezed home from there after the restart. Wolfgang would later retire with a flat tire.

Fans and drivers alike were stunned to silence on the third lap of the last chance race after a grinding crash left two drivers hospitalized, one in critical condition.

The mishap occurred when Tommy Thomas of Tulsa, Okla., lost control of his sprinter, bounced off the inside guardrail and was hit by oncoming traffic, upending his mount. Jerry Burdick of Independence, Mo., slammed full speed into Thomas’ car. Curt Grogan of Kansas City also became involved but suffered no injuries.

Thomas was taken to a Sedalia hospital and then transferred to the University of Missouri hospitals in Columbia listed in critical condition with cut to head, skull fracture and neck injuries. Burdick was hospitalized in Sedalia with leg pains and possible spleen damage.

Finishing second to Smith in the main event was the “One-Armed Bandit” Check Amati of Freeman Spur, Ill., while Ricky Hood of Memphis, Tenn., wound up third. They were the only cars on the same lap as Smith at the end and both were nearly a full lap behind.

Heat win were recorded by Sonny Smyser of Lancaster Mo., Smith, Hood, Wolfgang, and defending NSCA champion John Stevenson of St. Paul, Minn., who dropped out of the feature with mechanical woes. Joe McCarthy of El Paso, Tex., won the last chance race.

Despite cool temperatures, an estimated 3,500 race fans were on hand for the evening’s program.

Results –

1. Randy Smith, Norwalk, Iowa
2. Chuck Amati, Freeman Spur, Ill.
3. Rick Hood, Memphis, Tenn.
4. Jerry Potter, Kansas City
5. Joe McCarthy, El Paso, Tex.
6. Bill Baker, Mexico, Mo.
7. Cliff Woodward, Kearney, Mo.
8. Mark Shaffer, Newton, Iowa
9. Bobby Williams, Independence, Mo.
10.Chad Ward, Kansas City
11.Cliff Blundy, Dahinda, Ill.
12.Rick Howard, Kansas City
13.Doug Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, S.D.
14.John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
15.Wayne Kronk, Fulton, Mo.
16.Chris Maurer, Colfax, Iowa
17.Jon Backlund, Kansas City
18.Danny Lasoski, Dover, Mo.
19.Jerry Johnson, Kirksville, Mo.
20.Pat McKeehan, Windsor, Mo.
21.Tim Green, Carmichael, Calif.
22.Bobby Layne, Kansas City
23.Mike Brooks, Knoxville, Iowa
24.Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.

Monday, April 3, 2023

1966 – Knepper Wins Eldora; Rutherford Injured

Things were flying at Eldora – sprint cars, dirt clods, etc. Winner Arnie Knepper holds up a railroad spike that somehow flew into his sprint car during the wild 30-lap USAC feature. 

Rossburg, Ohio (April 3, 1966) - The two faces of fate were in attendance for the United States Auto Club’s opening Midwest sprint car race here yesterday.

It was a smiling face the fickle lady beamed on Amie Knepper as he drove his Chevrolet-powered sprinter to victory in the 30-lap feature. It marked the first time the 35-year-old veteran from Belleville, Ill., had won a USAC feature, and it was a happy Arnie indeed who received the plaudits of the crowd.

For last year’s USAC sprint champion, Johnny Rutherford, fate cast a frown and one of the most popular race drivers on the circuit found himself in serious trouble.

The dirt surface of the Eldora Speedway began to develop some bad ruts during the running of the feature race and Johnny had the misfortune to hook his front wheel in one of these coming out of number two turn.

Johnny’s speeding sprinter was hurled over the outer wall of the high banked track nose first and did a complete somersault in the air before landing in a ravine, about 40 feet deep, outside the backstretch.

It was in the landing that fate’s frown turned into a smile as the flying race car hit nose first and bounced to a stop on its wheels. He was conscious when help arrived on the scene but severely injured. If the car had landed upside down…

In minutes - they seemed like hours to this observer – Johnny was on his way to the hospital in Greenville, Ohio. After a preliminary examination he was transferred to Saint Mary’s Hospital, Dayton, Ohio, where special treatment was available. He was listed in ‘‘satisfactory” condition by hospital spokesman last night at press time after having an extensive x-ray examination.

The extent of his injuries was not released but a track spokesman said there would be a new condition report this morning.

The 28-year-old Rutherford, who makes his home in Fort Worth, was scheduled to drive the A.J. Watson built Leader Card rear engine Ford - powered car in this year’s Indianapolis 500.

The accident halted the race in the 13th lap, and it was re started from that point after Rutherford was on his way to the hospital.

First place turned into a two-way battle between Knepper and Roger McCluskey. It was a slam-bang affair that had the nervous fans - and reporters - on their feet for the remaining 17 laps.

McCluskey managed to get the lead from Knepper going through number one turn on the 21st circuit but Amie squeezed back in Ironton the backstretch and held off the hard charging Roger for the rest of the way home.

Everyone heaved a sigh of relief when the checkered flag fell.

Jud Larson, the Kansas City earth mover, made an early bid for his second feature win of the young season but a flying clod of dirt broke the windshield out of his Offenhauser powered sprinter.

Jud said after the race, “That piece hit me in the face and when I threw it out of the car, damn if it didn’t blow back and hit me again. That’s when I decided I’d better slow down before I threw it out next time.”

Larson was never able to make up the distance he lost trying to get rid of the errant piece of plexiglass.

Don Branson gave the crowd a thrill when he set a new track record making his qualifying run. Rutherford had set the record last fall when he circled the half-mile oval in 17.92 seconds. Branson calmly slammed his Leader Card Sprinter around the high banks in 17.81 seconds.

Rutherford was awarded a jacket before the feature race began for being the only man to circle the track at an average speed of over 100 miles per hour. The management promised to buy Grandpa Branson a jacket to match Johnny’s. Branson’s speed figured out to an even 101 miles per hour.

Larson won the first 8-lap heat race and was followed across the finish line by Branson and USAC national driving champion Mario Andretti.

Larry Dickson set a new 8-lap record in winning the second heat. Dixon drove the eight laps in 2 minutes and 30.52 seconds. Knepper finished second with Wib Spaulding third.

McCluskey won the third heat followed by Bobby Unser and Al Smith. Red Riegel was hit in the right eye on the fourth lap by a flying hunk of Ohio. Riegel managed to keep his car under control until he could get it stopped - he received a king-sized shiner.

Rutherford won the 10-lap semi-feature without too much trouble with Greg Weld taking second and Dick Gaines finishing third.

Finishing behind Knepper in the feature were: McCluskey, second; Larson, third; Unser, fourth and Branson, fifth

Results –

1. Arnie Knepper
2. Roger McCluskey
3. Jud Larson
4. Bobby Unser
5. Don Branson
6. Larry Dickson
7. Mario Andretti
8. Ronnie Duman
9. Dick Gaines
10.Al Smith
11.Wib Spaulding
12.Greg Weld

Johnny Rutherford takes a ride out of the park at Eldora.