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

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