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

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