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

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