Wednesday, May 31, 2023

1975 - Last Lap Victory for Osborn at Independence

Denny Osborn of Cedar Falls, who started near the rear of the field, captured the late model feature on the last lap at Independence Motor Speedway. Track promoter Vern Weber offers the checkered flag to Osborn. – Mike Chapman Photo

Independence, Iowa (May 31, 1975) – A 19th lap restart cost Duane Van Deest of Grundy Center the late model feature at the Independence Motor Speedway on Saturday night after building up a comfortable lead at that point.

Denny Osborn of Cedar Falls nipped Van Deest in the final turn coming around for the checkered flag to take the win after starting 16th in the field of 18 cars.

Van Deest moved up from the sportsman ranks just this year.

Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo captured the B-semi while Jack Mitchell of Cedar Falls got around Tom Fitzpatrick of Evansdale on the last lap to take the checkers in the A-semi.

Dave Bentley of Fairbanks led the first 11 laps of the 12-lap consolation as Bob Hesse of Waterloo got by Bentley on the last lap to take the win.

Heat winner were Dr. Al Mayner of Winthrop, Mitchell, and Bill Barthelmes of Troy Mills.

John Weers of Readlyn won the sportsman feature.

Results –

Heat #1 – Al Mayner, Winthrop
Heat #2 – Jack Mitchell, Cedar Falls
Heat #3 – Bill Barthelmes, Troy Mills
B-semi – Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo
A-semi – Jack Mitchell
Consolation – Bob Hesse, Waterloo
Feature –
1. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls
2. Duane Van Deest, Grundy Center
3. Al Mayner
4. Red Dralle, Evansdale
5. Glen Martin, Independence
6. Roger Klingfus, Waterloo
7. Darrell Sells, Waverly

1965 – Scotsman Fastest for Indy Payoff

Jimmy Clark shows off the latest headline after winning the Indianapolis 500. 

Indianapolis, Ind. (May 31, 1965) – Jimmy Clark, a shy lad outside of a racecar, gave Scotland its first Memorial Day 500-mile race winner Monday with a record-breaking run in a hybrid English American auto.

Only A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., twice winner of the long endurance grind, gave Clark much competition - and his transmission failed after he had led 10 of the early laps of the race around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Clark’s average speed of 159.686 miles per hour shattered Foyt’s year-old mark of 147.35 miles per hour.

Foyt was able to stay in front of Clark only one lap while the Scot was on the track and led the other nice circuits when Clark made one of his two quick pit stops for fuel.

“A bit of determination,” Clark said of his victory, the first at Indianapolis for a foreigner since Italy’s Dario Pesta won in 1916 in a French Peugeot.

Clark, a bachelor farmer from Duns, Scotland, outside of the racing season, finished second in his first attempt at the 500 two years ago and led last year until his left rear wheel collapsed.

He hinted that he might not attempt the Indianapolis grind this year. He commented that, “we have a lot of racing to do between now and then” and said he would think about it.

Clark has made it clear that he prefers road racing, at which he was world champion in 1963.

But whether he likes the closed courses or not, he had no superior on the old speedway. Nobody doubted that after his Monday victory.

He did it style, coming in waving a black-gloved hand above the cockpit of his car, about five miles ahead of 1960 and ’63 winner Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., and setting a record of 150.686 miles per hour for the event over the old speedway oval.

Jones coasted over the finish line out of fuel.

The result reversed the 1963 finish, when Jones edged Clark while the Lotus owner, Colin Chapman of London, was demanding that Jones be disqualified for leaking oil.

Clark’s car was the first foreign chassis to win since Wilbur Shaw’s 1940 victory in an Italian Maserati, but the Scot’s car was powered by a Ford engine.

Italian-born Mario Andretti of Nazareth, Pen., led a brilliant field of rookies to a third-place finish in an all-American Brawner Ford.

Masten Gregory of Rome, Italy, until recently of Paris, did one of the most remarkable driving jobs of the race until he was eliminated by mechanical troubles. In his British BRP car with a rear-engine Ford he charged from his 31st starting position to fifth place before retiring after 165 miles.

Clark was free of accidents and injuries – as contrasted to last year’s tragic holocaust which took the lives of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald. But there was a heavy toll of cars in the race, witnessed by a crowd estimated at 220,000.

Andretti was followed by Al Miller, Standish, Mich., fourth in a Lotus-Ford; Gordon Johncock of Hastings, Mich., in a Ford; rookie Mickey Rupp of Mansfield, Ohio, sixth in a Gerhardt Offenhauser; Don Branson, Champaign, Ill., seventh in a Watson-Ford.

Then came Bobby Johns, Miami, Fla., eighth in a Lotus-Ford; rookie Al Unser, Albuquerque, N.M., ninth in a Lola-Ford; and Eddie Johnson, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, 10th in an Offenhauser roadster.

The only other car running at the finish of the machine-wrecking race was a Vollstedt-Ford drive by Len Sutton of Portland, Ore.

Clark led 190 of the 200 laps and won $28,500 in lap prizes alone, $150 for each one led. Foyt led the other 10 laps.

The full amount of the purse and its division would not be known until victory dinner on Tuesday night. It amounted to more than $500,000 last year.

Of the 17 rear-engine Fords that started, eight were still running at the end, and only one of five Lotus Fords – Foyt’s – fell out.

Of the 10 rear-engine Offenhauser’s in the field, only one was still going when Clark received the checkers.

Only four of the old-time Offenhauser roadsters started but Eddie Johnson and Gordon Johncock nursed two of them home.

Results –

1. Jim Clark, Duns, Scotland
2. Parnelli Jones, Torrance, Calif.
3. Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Penn.
4. Al Miller, Roseville, Mich.
5. Gordon Johncock, Hastings, Mich.
6. Mickey Rupp, Mansfield, Ohio
7. Don Branson, Champaign, Ill.
8. Bobby Johns, Miami, Fla.
9. Al Unser, Albuquerque, N.M.
10.Eddie Johnson, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
11.Len Sutton, Portland, Ore.
12.Lloyd Ruby, Wichita Falls, Tex.
13.Johnny Boyd, Fresno, Calif.
14.Walt Hansgen, Bedminster, N.J.
15.Bud Tingelstad, Indianapolis
16.A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex.
17.Billy Foster, Victoria, B.C.
18.Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
19.Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M.
20.Jim McElreath, Arlington, Tex.
21.Masten Gregory, Rome, Italy
22. Ronnie Duman, Dearborn, Mich.
23.Bob Veith, Fort Bragg, Calif.
24.George Snider, Bakersfield, Calif.
25.Jerry Grant, Seattle, Wash.
26.Chuck Stevenson, Newport Beach, Calif.
27.Dan Gurney, Costa Mesa, Calif.
28.Chuck Rodee, Indianapolis
29.Joe Leonard, San Jose, Calif.
30.Roger McCluskey, Tucson, Ariz.
31.Bill Cheesbourg, Tucson, Ariz.
32.Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex.
33.Jim Hurtubise, North Tonawanda, N.Y.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

1973 – Lund wins Pennsylvania 100

Harlan, Iowa, native Dwayne "Tiny" Lund won the NASCAR Grand National East race at Selinsgrove Speedway. - Gary Miller Collection

Selinsgrove, Penn. (May 30, 1973) - Tiny Lund, of Cross, S.C., showed Selinsgrove Speedway fans why he is one of NASCAR's top all-purpose drivers.

The veteran pushed a borrowed Camaro to victory in the 100-lap Grand National East event on Wednesday. The event, co-sanctioned by NASCAR and ARCA, marked the first time the touring professionals appeared at Selinsgrove.

Lund started on the outside of the second row, and shortly after the first lap forged ahead of Ron Hutcherson, of Keokuk, Iowa, the defending point champion of ARCA.

Lund and Hutcherson waged a tremendous battle for the lead until the 50th lap when Hutcherson's 1971 Ford apparently developed handling problems.

With his chief competition struggling, Lund had little trouble in racing to the checkered flag.

N. D. Copley, of Hodgenville, Ky.. driving a Chevrolet, who started next to last, charged through the heavy traffic and finally caught Hutcherson on the 68th lap.

However, Copley was unable to close in on Lund, who was as impressive as the finish as he was at the start. Lund crossed the finish line six seconds in front of Copley. Hutcherson limped home third. The first three drivers all completed the 100 laps.

Gary Raymond, Miami, Fla., finished fourth in a Camaro. And David Boggs, of Morrisville, N.C., finished fifth in a Dodge Charger.

Dave Dayton, Indianapolis, Ind., posted quick time of the time night with a clocking of 27.30 seconds. Boggs and Elmo Langley won heats and Lund captured the trophy dash.

Results –

1. Tiny Lund
2. N.D. Copley
3. Ron Hutcherson
4. Gary Raymond
5. David Boggs
6. Bobby Watson
7. Wayne Andrews
8. A. Arnold
9. Neil Castles
10.Wayne Watercutter
11.Tom Culbertson
12.Ernie Shaw
13.Eddie Yarboro
14.Bobby Fleming
15.Wayne Trinkle
16.Frank Sandin
17.Vic Parsons
18.Elmo Langley
19.Tony Schiller
20.Jerry Hufflin
21.Dave Dayton
22.Jim Tobin
23.Ed Richardville

1968 – Turbine Falters – Unser Claims Indy 500

Bobby Unser waves to the crowd after winning the 1968 Indianapolis 500. 

Indianapolis, Ind. (May 30, 1968) – Bobby Unser, the hottest American driver this year, stomped out the turbine revolution Thursday in the 52nd edition of the 500-mile auto race. He won his first Indianapolis 500 with a record speed of 152.882 miles per hour.

The Albuquerque, N.M., member of the famous racing family, pulled ahead to stay with 22.5 miles to go as a leading turbine failed for the second straight year.

Joe Leonard of San Jose, Calif., climbed out of his ailing turbine with his head hanging, just as Parnelli Jones had done a year ago when the original turbine quit with 7.5 miles left in the endurance race.

That was when Unser, in and out of the lead all the way, whizzed by and captured first place for keeps.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Unser said in the garage area after the race. “I just could believe it.”

Could he have caught the whooshing Leonard turbine if it had not quit?

“That’s something I’ll never know,” Unser replied. “I was sitting there in the car wondering the same thing myself at the time.”

Two other Lotus turbines entered by Andy Granatelli also failed to finish. Graham Hill of London, the 1966 winner, crashed after losing a wheel. Another turbine driven by Art Pollard of Medford, Ore., stopped minutes after Leonard’s quit.

It was a great day for Dan Gurney, America’s International racer and car builder from Santa Ana, Calif. Not only did he finish the race in second, but his All-American Eagles finished first, second and fourth.

Gurney’s teammate, 1967 world champion Dennis Hulme of Australia, finished fourth behind Mel Kenyon of Lebanon, Ind., the United States Auto Club midget car champion last year. Lloyd Ruby of Wichita Falls, Tex., was fifth in the unofficial standings.

Unser’s victory came on the same track where his brother, Jerry, was killed in practice run in 1959.

Another brother, Al, crashed in the first turn on Thursday, when a wheel came off.

Bobby thought a broken gear shift had all but killed his chances for victory.

“I figured I was losing half a lap with the slow acceleration on each of the second and third pit stops,” he said. “I thought that finished me.”

Bobby was fighting a major handicap after the first of three compulsory pit stops. His low gear went out and he had to run in only high gear, pulling out of the pits. Although it cost him precious seconds, it was a handicap only when going out of the pits and didn’t hinder him on the track.

Leonard, who won the pole position with a record qualifying speed, led the first seven laps only to find himself being passed by Unser and his Eagle-turbocharged Offenhauser.

Bobby led through the 54th circuit and was passed by Ruby on lap 55.

Bobby got back out front again on the 91st, yielded it to Ruby again on the 112th and got it back again on lap 117.

It was Ruby again, 167 – 175, Leonard from 176 – 191, and then Unser the rest of the way.

Bobby had won three other United States Auto Club races thus far this season at Trenton, N.J., Phoenix, Ariz., and Las Vegas, Nev.

The curly-haired 34-year-old driver had an Eagle owned by Bob Wilke, a Milwaukee, Wis., businessman who also owned cars driven by former 500 winner Rodger Ward.

Results –

1. Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M.
2. Dan Gurney, Santa Ana, Calif.
3. Mel Kenyon, Lebanon, Ind.
4. Dennis Hulme, Tauranga, N.Z.
5. Lloyd Ruby, Wichita Falls, Tex.
6. Ronnie Duman, Indianapolis
7. Billy Vukovich, Fresno, Calif.
8. Mike Mosley, La Puente, Calif.
9. Sam Sessions, Nashville, Mich.
10.Bobby Grim, Indianapolis
11.Bob Veith, Santa Rosa, Calif.
12.Joe Leonard, Sam Jose, Calif.
13.Art Pollard, Medford, Ore.
14.Jim McElreath, Arlington, Tex.
15.Carl Williams, Grandview, Mo.
16.Bud Tingelstad, Hawthorne, Calif.
17.Wally Dallenbach, East Brunswick, N.J.
18.Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex.
19.Graham Hill, London, England
20.A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex.
21.Ronnie Bucknum, La Canada, Calif.
22.Jim Malloy, Denver, Colo.
23.Jerry Grant, San Diego, Calif.
24.Gary Bettenhausen, Tinley Park, Calif.
25.Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
26.Al Unser, Albuquerque, N.M.
27.Gordon Johncock, Hastings, Mich.
28.Larry Dickson, Marietta, Ohio
29.Roger McCluskey, Tucson, Ariz.
30.George Snider, Fresno, Calif.
31.Jim Hurtubise, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
32.Jochen Rindt, Pressassona, Switzerland
33.Marion Andretti, Nazareth, Penn.

1953 - Derr Wins Downs Stock Race in Close Finish

Ernie Derr

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (May 30, 1953) - Fifteen late model stock cars raced for 100 laps at Hawkeye Downs Saturday, but the winner wasn't determined until the last eighth of a lap in an incident which threatened trouble and brought 6,000 fans to their feet, many of them streaming onto the raceway.

Here was the picture…

Shorty Perlick of Minneapolis, the defending stock car champion of the International Motor Contest Association, had been leading since the 60th lap.

Ernie Derr of Keokuk was riding second as they entered the final turn. The cars were bumper to bumper and as Perlick's machine came out of the turn, it got a jolt from Derr’s bumper-riding car. Perlick spun and Derr roared over to take first with his 1953 Oldsmobile.

Derr took the checkered flag from the starter and went on his victory lap. Meanwhile, Perlick spun his car around and, as he finished his half-mile jaunt, Perlick drove straight at Derr.

The Keokuk winner dropped the checkered flag, grabbed the steering wheel with both hands and spun away.

IMCA officials, pit crews and fans converged on the scene with IMCA officials ordering both drivers to stay in their cars or be disqualified.

Don White of Keokuk led the race for 60 laps until a blown tire forced him to the pits. Then it was Perlick in the lead and Derr second with Derr several times riding side-by-side but unable to pass the IMCA champion.

When he returned to action, White almost “stood on the accelerator” and got up to third, edging out Chris Skadal of Des Moines.

Perlick chalked up a new IMCA 15-lap record in the second heat race when he turned the Downs oval in 8 minutes and 05.65 seconds, bettering the previous mark of 8:16.35.

White won the first heat in 8 minutes and 18.80 seconds with Les Snow of Bloomington, Ill., providing the main attraction as he moved his 1952 Hudson from the seventh-place start to second place money.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
2. Shorty Perlick, Minneapolis, Minn.
3. Don White, Keokuk
4. Chris Skadal, Des Moines
5. Dick Murren, Minneapolis
6. Les Snow, Bloomington, Ill.
7. Wally Dahl, Minneapolis, Minn.
8. Loren Fox, St. Paul, Minn.
9. Jerry Draper, Silvis, Ill.
10. Don Burdette, Carthage, Ill.
11. Matt Perlick, Minneapolis, Minn.
12. Gordon Howard, Marshalltown
13. Mike Gleeson, St. Paul, Minn.
14. Sonny Helm, Des Moines
15. Charles Magnison, Minneapolis, Minn.

Monday, May 29, 2023

1962 – Knepper passes Lawicki to win Little 500

Arnie Knepper drove the Pete Mocca Offenhauser to victory in the 1962 Little 500. IMCA's Gene Van Winkle (holding checkered flag) joins Knepper in victory lane.

Anderson, Ind. (May 29, 1962) – Starting in the middle of the front row and remaining among the top five until late in the race when he made his move, Arnie Knepper of Belleville, Ill., drove the Pete Mocca Offy to victory in Tuesday night’s 14th annual Little 500 at Sun Valley Speedway.

A crowd of over 12,000 saw Knepper pass Clare Lawicki, of St. Clair Shores, Mich., on the 481st lap, then pull away to win by a half-lap.

Knepper drove the Pete Mocca Offy and his machine became the second Offenhauser to win in the history of the speed classic here. Knepper succeeds Jim McElreath, of Arlington, Tex., as Little 500 champ.

Race fans elbowed and pushed their way into the stadium to see Vince Edwards, of Dr. Ben Casey TV fame, drive the pace car to start the 33 International Motor Contest Association sprint cars.

Five of the 33 sprint cars failed to make it around the quarter-mile, high-banked oval one lap after receiving the green flag which started the Little 500. Three piled up in the first turn, then two more spun out on the backstretch. However, no one was injured, and the race was re-started.

Johnny While, the 1955 Little 500 winner, set the early pace in Tuesday nights' event at Sun Valley. He boomed his orange Diz Wilson #71 through traffic to build up a sizable lead. Lawicki started closing ground after the half-way point of the race, then took the lead on the 438th lap.

Knepper passed Lawicki on the 481st lap, then managed to pull away by about 220 yards over the final 19 trips around the Sun Valley quarter-mile oval.

His average winning speed was just under 58 miles per hour.

Johnny Rutherford of Fort Worth, Tex., in the pole position Tuesday evening, was included in three and four-car duels throughout the race with Knepper, White and Lawicki.

Results –

1. Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
2. Clare Lawicki, St. Clair Shores, Mich.
3. Johnny White, Warren, Mich.
4. Russ Long, Yupica, Calif.
5. Johnny Rutherford, Ft. Worth, Tex.
6. Mickey Shaw, Berea, Ohio
7. Dick Gaines, Mitchell, Ind.
8. Harold Lancaster, Louisville, Ky.
9. Red Renner, Woodburn, Ind.
10.Herschel Wagner, Hickman Hills, Mo.
11.Dale Richardson, Kingman, Ind.
12.Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
13.Al Fredenberg, Madison, Wis.
14.Dick Kuenstler, Chicago
15.Bob Fiene, Arlington Heights, Ill.
16.Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
17.Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
18.Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
19.Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
20.Dave Robinson, Indianapolis

Sunday, May 28, 2023

1983 – Gawlinski Overall Victor in Illiana ARTGO Show

Frank Gawlinski holds the checkered flag after winning the second 50-lap feature in the Chicagoland Showdown at Illiana Motor speedway. The win, coupled with a runner-up finish in the first 50-lapper, clinched the overall crown for Gawlinski. – Don Thies Photo

By Stan Kalwasinski

Schererville, Ind. (May 28, 1983) – Frank Gawlinski nailed down first and second place finishes in the twin 50-lap features to take the overall title in ARTGO Racing’s fourth annual Chicagoland Showdown late model event at Illiana Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

Driving his 1982 Firebird, the 36-year-old Lynwood, Ill., charger evened up the score between Chicago-area drivers and Wisconsin racers in the annual event.

Gawlinski, a two-time Illiana track champion, claimed his first ARTGO feature win of the year, sharing his 50-lap victory honors with three-time ARTGO champion and current point leader Dick Trickle.

A field of 20 started the first 50-lapper with Jay Sauter pushing his Firebird into the lead. Gawlinski, who started seventh, moved up quickly to challenge for the top spot and began to work the outside to get around Sauter. Gawlinski drove hard into the third turn on lap 22, taking the high side around for first place.

In the process, Gawlinski made contact with Sauter’s right front fender, ripping it off and bringing out the yellow flag for debris on the track.

The slowdown allowed the likes of two-time ARTGO titlist Jim Sauter and Trickle to bunch up behind the new leader for the restart.

“I must have run over something on the track,” is how Gawlinski explained his car’s losing traction as he came out of turn four on the restart with Sauter and Trickle quickly moving by. Sauter, who won the Chicagoland event in 1981, stayed up front for three laps with fast qualifier Trickle making his move into the top spot on lap 26. The 34th circuit saw Gawlinski slip by Sauter for second and begin his quest for first place.

Complaining of a bad push after the race, Trickle held off the challenging Gawlinski to score his third main event on the circuit for 1983 and his 31st ARTGO career triumph. Rounding out the top five were Sauter, Tom Musgrave, and Tom Jones.

Polesitter Mike Chase brought the pack of 21 cars to the green and took the early lead over Bob Iverson, Joe Shear, and Gawlinski, who started eleventh. Trickle would fall off the pace and slide into the wet infield, bringing out the yellow flag.

With Trickle restarting at the rear of the field, Chase continued to show the way, with Iverson, Gawlinski, Shear, and Musgrave running like they were tied together. Gawlinski moved into second place on lap 29 and then moved in on Chase to put the pressure on the California pilot for the top spot.

Coming off turn four on lap 33, Gawlinski got along Chase on the frontstretch, with the pair exchanging paint, and Gawlinski taking over first place as they entered first turn. Coming out turn two, Gawlinski began to pull away and would never relinquish the lead, pacing the final 17 circuits and winning by almost a quarter-lap.

Chase settled for second with Iverson, Shear, and Musgrave completing the top-five. Trickle worked his way back through the field to finish eighth.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Frank Gawlinski, Lynwood, Ill.
3. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
4. Tom Musgrave, Glenview, Ill.
5. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
6. Mel Walen, Shakopee, Minn.
7. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
8. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
9. Burt Weitemeyer, Lansing, Ill.
10.Bob Iverson, Hyde, Mich.

Feature #2 –

1. Frank Gawlinski
2. Mike Chase, Bakersfield, Calif.
3. Bob Iverson
4. Joe Shear
5. Tom Musgrave
6. Jim Sauter
7. Tom Reffner
8. Dick Trickle
9. Burt Weitemeyer
10.Steve Burgess, Eau Claire, Wis.

1977 – Paul Collects $1,000 for SSCS Win at Neillsville

Roger Paul

Neillsville, Wis. (May 28, 1977) – Roger Paul may be asking himself why he hadn’t started racing at the Paul’s Neillsville Raceway earlier in his racing career as “The Original Flying Farmer” won the initial race of the $45,000 Super Stock Car Series on Saturday night.

Paul hadn’t been a Saturday night regular until last week when he won the feature which was worth $500. This week, the New London dairy farmer continued his hot streak with a $1,000 victory in the 50-lap main.

While Dame Fortune shined on Paul, bad luck was all the night’s fastest qualifier, Ken Walton of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, could salvage. Walton turned quick time of the 35-car field and started on the pole for the straight up start.

With his controversial “Georgia Chassis” 1973 Camaro responding to every command, Walton blasted into the lead and set a torrid pace on the dry, slick dirt track.

Paul, who started the grind from the outside of the front row, dropped in behind Walton with third fastest qualifier, J.J. Smith of Appleton, tied to Paul’s rear bumper.

In the first 20 laps, the trio pulled away from the rest of the 20-car field as a five-car battled developed for the fourth position, a good half-lap behind. Green Bay’s Doug Larson led the quartet with Pete Parker, Red Steffen, asphalt star Dick Trickle and Tom Steuding in hot pursuit.

Steffen slipped to the inside of Parker’s 1973 Camaro on the 21st circuit and three laps later gained the fourth spot from Larson.

Misfortune struck Steffen on lap 26 when he broke a brake line in his 1976 Camaro and pulled off.

A mad scramble developed for thee open spot vacated by Steffen and Trickle prevailed. Parker, Steuding and Larson formed a tight convoy line behind Trickle, Larson moved up a notch when Steuding spun on lap 31.

Meanwhile, Walton opened up a three-second margin on Paul, but his race ended when a cut a right rear tire in the second turn on lap 33.

Paul then ran his 1976 Camaro as hard as he had to and lapped Parker five laps from the finish. He finished with a three-second cushion over Smith’s 1973 Camaro.

Smith earned $700 and Trickle $500 for their second and third-place finishes respectively. Parker claimed fourth place money and Lance Matthees of Winona, Minn., rounded out the top six.

Walton logged enough laps to finish 13th with Steffen 14th. Despite the dusty track conditions, all of the starting field finished the race.

Results –

1. Roger Paul, New London
2. J.J. Smith, Appleton
3. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
4. Pete Parker, Kaukauna
5. Doug Larson, Green Bay
6. Lance Matthees, Winona, Minn.
7. Bob Saterdalen, Oronoco, Minn.
8. Leon Plank, Mondovi
9. Jim Gruen, Eau Claire
10.Tom Steuding, Altoona
11.Tom Loos, Loyal
12.Axel Dahlberg, Mauston
13.Ken Walton, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
14.Red Steffen, Eau Claire
15.Kevin Stepan, Mosinee
16. Scott Hansen, Green Bay

Saturday, May 27, 2023

1977 - Wolfgang Grabs Capital Sprint Win

Doug Wolfgang came from the rear of the field to win the 30-lap sprint car feature at Capital Speedway. An ecstatic car owner, Bob Trostle, joins Wolfgang in victory lane. 

Holts Summit, Mo. (May 27, 1977) – Doug Wolfgang and his crew used a 20-minute span that covered a street stock race and intermission Friday night to rebuild the front end of his sprint car, which enabled the Des Moines, Iowa, speedster to get back in competition at Capital Speedway.

The end result was a walk-a-way victory for the hottest driver in the Midwest after the checkered fell on the 30-lap main event.

Wolfgang, who set fast time in qualifying, lapping the 3/8-mile dirt oval in 18.80 seconds, tore the front end from underneath his Bob Trostle-built sprint car during the third heat, an act that would have forced many a competitor to load up and head home.

But Trostle and his crew set to work on a job of rebuilding a car and less than 20 minutes later Wolfgang was winning the consolation event.

He would start 16th in the 20-car main event and was running in eighth less than two laps into the feature.

He overtook Chuck Amati of Marion, Ill., when the race leader blew a right tire trying to fend off Wolfgang. Amati would change his tire, start at the tail end of the field, and was soon knocking on Wolfgang’s door in a duel that had the crowd on its feet.

Amati was clearly the fastest car on the track as he slithered his way through the pack, gaining on Wolfgang.

Just as pulled alongside Wolfgang and the race for first began, another right rear tire let go putting Amati out of contention and clearing the way for Wolfgang to win.

Tom Corbin of Carrollton, Mo., coasted home in second followed by Butch Bahr of Lincoln, Neb. Ralph Blackett of Des Moines came home in fourth.

Missing from the field was Gary Scott of Holts Summit, Mo., the hometown favorite. Scott had flipped his car a week ago at Denison, Iowa, then crashed again in Davenport, Iowa, two days earlier, injuring his right leg.

Results –

Fast time – Doug Wolfgang, Des Moines (18.80)
Heat #1 – John Johnson Independence, Mo.
Heat #2 – Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
Heat #3 – Chuck Amati, Marion, Ill.
Consolation – Doug Wolfgang
Feature –
1. Doug Wolfgang
2. Tom Corbin
3. Butch Bahr, Lincoln, Neb.
4. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
5. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
6. David Dwyer, Columbia, Mo.
7. George Lasoski, Dover, Mo.
8. John Johnson
9. Jerry Johnson, Kirksville, Mo.
10. Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.

1961 – McElreath Takes Little 500 Classic

Jim McElreath is joined by his wife Shirley (left) and car owner Dizz Wilson (left) after the popular Texan won the Little 500.  

Anderson, Ind. (May 27, 1961) - Jim McElreath won the 21st annual Little 500 sprint car classic at Anderson's Sun Valley Speedway Saturday night raiding the lead all the rest of the way after assuming it on the 62nd lap.

The race was marred by a fatal accident, the first driver fatality in the history of Sun Valley Speedway which claimed the life of Frank Toth of Richmond, Ind.

Toth, the only driver who had started all 12 previous Little 500 events, had his #6 Ford climb over the left front wheel of the #5 driven by Hark Arnoldi of Detroit, Mich., while the two were moving through the main-stretch on the 88th lap. Toth's machine flipped end-over-end once, then rolled over sideways three limes coming to rest against the retaining wall on the first corner. The 35-year-old veteran was killed instantly.

Arnoldi’s machine veered into the infield momentarily, but he regained control of the car and continued in the race.

McElreath’s win marked the first time that an Offenhauser-powered machine had ever won the Little 500. There were only two Offenhausers entered in the field. The other, driven by Leroy Neumeyer of Compton, Calif., had mechanical issues during warmups and couldn’t start in the field.

Clare Lawicki of Madison Heights, Mich., who won the pole position for this year's Little 500 during the first day of qualifications on May 13, was second to McElreath in Saturday's classic.

Dick Pratt of Union City, Ind., took the lead in the #20 Wood-Welding Shop car on the lap and held it until McElreath took over on the 162nd circuit.

A crowd estimated at between 10,000 and 11,000, just short of the all-time record set at Sun Valley last year, witnessed the event.

Results –

1. Jim McElreath, Arlington, Tex.
2. Clare Lawicki, Madison Heights, Mich.
3. Red Renner, Dayton, Ohio
4. Dick Carter, Breckinridge, Mich.
5. Bill Kimmel, New Middletown, Ohio
6. Woody Huntington, Milroy, Ind.
7. Jim McCune, Toledo, Ohio
8. Al Beale, Toledo, Ohio
9. Jim Murphy, South Haven, Mich.
10.Bob King, Muncie, Ind.
11.Don Friend, East Detroit, Mich.
12.Johnny Noble, New Castle, Ind.
13.Hank Stickney, St. Clair Shore, Mich.
14.Dick Kuenstler, Chicago
15.Calvin Gilstrap, Salem, Ind.
16.Allen Barr, Columbus, Ind.
17.Leon Wieske, St. Clair Shores, Mich.
18.Rollie Beale, Toledo, Ohio
19.Dick Pratt, Union City, Ind.
20.Norm Rust, Novi, Mich.

Friday, May 26, 2023

1984 – Trickle Overall Winner in ARTGO Chicagoland

Dick Trickle took overall honors in the Chicagoland Showdown at Illiana Motor Speedway. – Photo by Andy Grod

By Stan Kalwasinski

Schererville, Ind. (May 26, 1984) – Wisconsin’s Dick Trickle was the overall winner in the ASA-ARTGO Challenge Series Chicagoland Showdown late model event at the Illiana Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

The fifth annual running of the Showdown event saw Trickle and Frank Gawlinski share victory honors in twin 50-lap feature competition. Trickle’s overall title makes the score in the annual Chicagoland battle Wisconsin drivers three, Chicago-area pilots two.

Gawlinski, the defending Showdown champion, wheeled to victory in the opening 50-lapper. The Lynwood, Ill., driver recorded his first Challenge Series win of the season, defeating Trickle by little more than a car length at the checkers. Rounding out the top five were Mark Martin, Bobby Dotter, and Burt Weitemeyer.

Trickle, the four-time ARTGO champion, came back to capture the second 50. The Wisconsin Rapids racer, who currently leads the Challenge Series point standings, nailed down his second feature win of the season.

Holding about a four-car-length lead at the checkered flag, Trickle bested Mel Walen, Scott Hansen, Larry Schuler, and Joe Shear.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Frank Gawlinski, Lynwood, Ill.
2. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
3. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
4. Bobby Dotter, Chicago
5. Burt Weitemeyer, Lansing, Ill.
6. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
7. Mel Walen, Shakopee, Minn.
8. Rich Bickle Jr., Edgerton, Wis.
9. Al Schill, Franklin, Wis.
10.Scott Hansen, Green Bay, Wis.

Feature #2 –

1. Dick Trickle
2. Mel Walen
3. Scott Hansen
4. Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
5. Joe Shear
6. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
7. Bobby Dotter
8. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire, Wis.
9. Rich Bickle Jr.
10.Mike Kelly, Vulcan, Mich.

1973 -Nabbefeldt Killed at Dells Speedway


Lyle Nabbefeldt

Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (May 26, 1973) – The first fatality at the Dells Motor Speedway in its history happened Saturday night when Lyle Nabbefeldt, 38, of Nekoosa, was killed during time trials.

Nabbefeldt, a 14-year racing veteran, was killed almost instantly when his throttle on his late model Chevrolet stuck coming down the front straightaway.

The car struck the retaining wall, almost climbed over, took out a section of fencing, and landed upright.

It appeared as though Nabbefeldt’s seat belt broke, after striking the wall. He was rushed to a Baraboo hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Drivers at the race donated the $2,200 purse to Sally Nabbefeldt, wife of the former driver.

The Dells track record was broke twice Saturday night as Jim Back of Vesper broke his own record of 14.541 seconds by lapping the track in 14.411 seconds.

Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids won the 30-lap feature.


Thursday, May 25, 2023

1958 – Burdick Thrills Fans with Ozarks Sweepstakes Win

Bob Burdick accepts his trophy after driving to victory in the Ozark Sweepstakes. Gene Van Winkle (left) and Al Sweeney, president of National Speedways, Inc., make the presentation.

Springfield, Mo. (May 25, 1958) – Young Bobby Burdick, a chain-smoking race car driver from Omaha, Neb., ran off with the 50-lap Ozark Sweepstakes race Sunday afternoon in one of the best auto racing shows ever presented at the Springfield Fairgrounds.

Burdick grabbed the pole position by virtue of posting fast time in qualifying and his 1958 Ford was never behind as he turned the half-mile track 50 times in 26 minutes and 50.29 seconds.

However, Burdick was pushed by Sonny Gross of Quincy, Ill., in a 1957 Pontiac, which was never more than 25 yards behind the entire way.

It was the first feature win of the 1958 season for the 22-year-old, who won 40 features last season.

An estimated crowd of 3,000 watched the smooth-running program. There were five preliminary events and the feature.

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, driving a 1958 Ford, ran off with two events, the National Speedways Dash, and the Sinclair Handicap.

Besides finishing second in the feature, Gross won the Inaugural Dash. Jerry Roedell of Peoria, Ill., won the Triumph Dash and Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., walked off with the semi-feature.

The three sport cars that entered the event didn’t fair well on the dirt track. The number one sports car on the track, and probably the crowd favorite, was Loyal Katskee of Omaha, Neb., in a 1957 Ferrari. He failed miserably in his first race but grabbed runner-up honors in the American Triumph Dash after leading nine of 10 laps. It was the first time on a half-mile dirt track for Katskee.

Results –

1. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
2. Sonny Gross, Quincy, Ill.
3. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Eddie Harrow, Corpus Christi, Tex.
6. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
7. Jerry Roedell, Peoria, Ill.
8. Bob Short, Carlisle, Iowa
9. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
10.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

1974 – Hartman Cops Knoxville USAC Race

Butch Hartman is interviewed in victory lane after winning the 100-lap USAC stock car feature at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville. Promoter Marion Robinson is ready to make the trophy presentation. - B.E. Tappa Photo

Knoxville, Iowa (May 24, 1974) – South Zanesville, Ohio’s Butch Hartman captured the United States Auto Club stock car main event, a 100-lap race, on the Marion County Fairgrounds’ half-mile dirt oval on Friday night.

Keokuk, Iowa’s Ramo Stott led for 60 laps until a broken ball joint forced him out of contention, giving Hartman the lead.

Hartman bobbled in the third turn on lap 70 allowing second-place runner Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, to pull into contention with Hartman for 18 circuits until Derr encountered problems as he was about to lap Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., giving Hartman a larger advantage over Derr and sealing the victory.

Hartman had earlier set the pace in time trials, with a fast time of 23.70 seconds, a new track record. That broke the old record of 23.99 seconds set by Don White of Keokuk, Iowa.

In the 4-lap trophy dash, Stott finished ahead of Derr, Hartman and White.

Fred Zack of Milwaukee won the 15-lap consolation followed by Gary Wroan and Mickey Flora.

Results –

1. Butch Hartman
2. Ernie Derr
3. Irv Janey
4. Larry Phillips
5. Don White
6. Dave Whitcomb
7. Norm Nelson
8. Fred Zack
9. Steve Drake
10.Bay Darnell
11.Art Borme
12.Mickey Flora
13.Paul Feldner
14.Jim Marshall
15.Herman Huffman
16.Ramo Stott
17.Jim Tobin
18.Ken Rowley
19.Gary Wroan
20.Sal Tovella
21.Bill Wrich
22.Lefty Robinson
23.Larry Cope
24.Cleve Smith

Sunday, May 21, 2023

1978 - Miller Captures ASA Hartford 'Blossom 100'

A happy Butch Miller (standing, far right) is joined by his crew after winning the ASA-sanctioned Strawberry Blossom 100 at Hartford Motor Speedway. – Tom DeVette Photo

Hartford, Mich. (May 21, 1978) – Hometown favorite Butch Miller of nearby Lawton, won his first career American Speed Association race by taking the lead from Ray Young on the 58th lap of the Strawberry Blossom 100 at the Hartford Motor speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Miller, the day’s second fastest qualifier, played a waiting game early on and then made a series of impressive passes at the midway point of the race to score the victory.

Sunday’s feature field was increased to 25 as Mark Martin completed an engine transplant moments before driver introductions.

Fast heat winner, Ed Hoffman started on the pole position for the 100-lapper but Young outgunned him to the first turn and proceeded to lead the first 57 circuits. Meanwhile, Hoffman held second spot with Bob Senneker passing Joe shear for third place on lap 4.

Earlier, Senneker had established a new track record in qualifying with a time of 19.471 seconds, but a faulty fuel pump sent him into the pits after only five laps, ending any chance of victory.

Young continued his strong run by maintaining a comfortable margin over Hoffman, Shear, Dick Trickle, and Miller.

The first yellow flag flew on lap 16 when Gene Christie coasted to a stop at the top of the fourth turn with ignition failure.

Rick Knotts triggered the day’s only spectacular spill as he his engine let go on lap 24 as he entered the third turn. Knotts went over the embankment with fire spurting from the engine compartment. Several other cars spun, and Don Rand followed Knotts off the track and into a cluster of tires. The race was red flagged on lap 34 so Rand’s battered car could be extracted. He was unhurt.

The green flag came out for good on lap 35 and again Young opened up a comfortable lead over Hoffman, Trickle moved by Shear for third on lap 42 followed by Miller and Denny Nyari.

Miller then proceeded to pick off Trickle on lap 52 and Hoffman on lap 55. Three laps later, Miller powered by Young for the top spot.

Trickle would fall off the pace on lap 65 and eventually finish 13th, two laps off the pace. John Anderson, a pre-race favorite, finished 17th after being black-flagged on lap 87 for a fluid leak.

A close race developed for second place in the final 10 laps between Young and Nyari with Young hanging on to take runner-up honors. Nyari settled for third followed by Shear and Ed Howe.

The win for Miller was very popular as he graduated from nearby Benton Harbor High School in 1966 and had run some of his first races at Hartford, some 10 years ago.

Results –

1. Butch Miller, Lawton
2. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
3. Denny Nyari, South Bend, Ind.
4. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
5. Ed Howe, Beaverton
6. Ed Hoffman, Niles, Ill.
7. Johnny Benson, Grand Rapids
8. Dick Anderson, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
9. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
10.Mark Malcuit, Strasburg, Ohio
11.Bob Strait, Flossmoor, Ill.
12.Ed Cooper, Clark Lake
13.Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
14.Randy Sweet, Bremen, Ind.
15.L.J. Lines, Greensboro, Ind.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

1972 – Rookie Wins Little ‘500’ Crown

Jeff Bloom is joined by the Little 500 queen, Denise Bever, after winning the 24th annual event.

Anderson, Ind. (May 20, 1972) – Jeff Bloom, a rookie from Elkhart, Ind., and the youngest driver competing in the race at 22 years of age, won the Little 500 sprint car classic at Anderson Speedway on Saturday night.

Bloom took the lead for the first and only time on lap 458. He passed Butch Wilkerson of Bloomington, Ind., who had pitted after leading the race from lap 345.

Wilkerson finished second and Ray Wright, also of Elkhart, Ind., was awarded third place unofficially.

Wilkerson led the race from the first lap to the 71st circuit, with Bob Kinser of Bedford, Ind., leading for two laps before Wilkerson reclaimed the lead again. Wilkerson would lead until lap 303, after which Kinser took over again. Kinser pitted after 345 laps and was unable to restart his car. Wilkerson assumed command once again with Kinser out of action.

Bloom, piloting his own Chevy-powered machine, started in the 22nd position and steadily worked his way to the front of the field. He grabbed the lead 42 laps away from the finish. His winning time was 2 hours, 12 minutes, and 10.09 seconds for the 500-lap contest.

The trouble-free race was marred by only one accident and a fire in the pit area, which involved Kenneth Kleet, a crewman with Chuck Amati of Greenfield, Tenn. Kleet was burned when Amati’s car caught fire during refueling early on in the race. He was treated for minor burns at an area hospital and released.

The track, which in many past years had become a mixture of oil, water, and hot tar, held up remarkably well and was still holding traction as the race came to a close.

A near-record crowd of over 12,000 saw the race. The race was sanctioned for the first time by the Anderson-based American Speed Association. Previous Little 500’s had been sanctioned by the International Motor Contest Association.

Results –

1. Jeff Bloom, Elkhart
2. Butch Wilkerson, Bloomington
3. Ray Wright, Elkhart
4. Dave Scarborough, Largo, Fla.
5. Ron Fisher, Kokomo
6. Mike Johnson, Martinsville
7. Steve Lehnert, North Olmstead, Ohio
8. Bob Luscomb, Orlando, Fla.
9. Tucker Nunnery, South Point, Ohio
10.Ron Semelka, Wauseon, Ohio
11.Ray Kenens, Lafayette
12.Dale Looper, Fort Worth, Tex.
13.Leon Thickston, Bloomington
14.Ron Koehler, South Bend
15.Richard Jackson, Kokomo
16.Bob Papoy, Salem
17.Bill Harter, Hagerstown
18.Jim Murphy, South Haven, Mich.
19.Ed Angle, Flora
20.Bob Kinser, Bedford

Friday, May 19, 2023

1979 - Swindell Bags Indy WoO Go

Sammy Swindell

Indianapolis, Ind. (May 19, 1979) – Sammy Swindell won the 35-lap feature to claim overall first place honors in Saturday night’s World of Outlaws sprint car program at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Ron Shuman won the first of two scheduled 33-lap features, but a four-hour rain delay which occurred after Shuman’s triumph, necessitated the cancellation of the second 33-lapper on the one-mile dirt oval. The finale, which was originally slated to be contested at a distance of 34 laps, was then lengthened to 35.

Swindell’s victory earned him a $4,800 share of the event’s total purse of $20,000.

Rick Ferkel followed Swindell to the finish line in the 35-lap headliner. Roger Rager placed third with Lee Osborne in fourth and Kerry Norris fifth.

Swindell averaged 100.89 miles per hour in posting his win, despite two cautions periods for minor incidents.

Shuman crossed the finish line ahead of Lealand McSpadden, Dub May, Lee James, and Johnny Anderson in the 33-lap chase. Despite one yellow flag, Shuman averaged 102.59 miles per hour, only 2 miles per hour slower than Dub May’s fast qualifying lap of 104.556 mile per hour, which topped the field in time trials.

Results –

35-lap Feature –

1. Sammy Swindell
2. Rick Ferkel
3. Roger Rager
4. Lee Osborne
5. Kerry Norris
6. Jerry Stone
7. Lee James
8. Ron Shuman
9. Dub May
10.Steve Craft
11.Shane Carson
12.Mike Johnson
13.Lealand McSpadden
14.Danny Frye Jr.
15.Steve Kinser
16.Doug Wolfgang
17.Gary Grissom
18.Eddie Leavitt
19.Bob East
20.Johnny Anderson
21.Pancho Carter
22.Bobby Allen
23.Danny Smith
24.Greg Staab
25.Jack Hewitt
26.Allen Barr

33-lap Feature –

1. Ron Shuman
2. Lealand McSpadden
3. Dub May
4. Lee James
5. Johnny Anderson
6. Eddie Leavitt
7. Danny Frye Jr.
8. Jerry Stone
9. Shane Carson
10.Bob Christian
11.Doug Wolfgang
12.Jerry Nemire
13.Jim Lipkey
14.Johnny Parsons
15.Allen Barr

Thursday, May 18, 2023

1958 – Derr Snares Hawkeye ‘300’ Title

Ernie Derr (center) accepts his trophy after winning the Hawkeye 300 at Cedar Rapids. IMCA official Jake Bozony (left) makes the presentation while his brother-in-law Don White (right), who finished second in the race, join them in victory lane. – Bob Kerns Photo

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (May 18, 1958) – More than 12,000 fans turned out at Hawkeye Downs on Sunday afternoon to watch veteran Ernie Derr of Keokuk capture the Hawkeye 300 stock car title.

In the process, the former International Motor Contest Association stock car champion rolled his 1957 Pontiac to an IMCA world record for 300 laps on a half-mile track. He negotiated the distance in 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 50.55 seconds. The old mark, set on the same track in 1957 by Bill Brown, was 2 hours, 39 minutes, and 13.91 seconds.

Despite the record, the opening race of the 1958 campaign was not as exciting as some in the past. There were early battles for position among the top three spots, but Derr was never headed and at the halfway point, really took charge.

Part of the enjoyment was eliminated by the heavier than usual dust barrage that chased some of the fans out of the box seats. Despite the weekend rains, a strong wind dried the track quickly and carried dust from the west turns directly into the stands.

The wind also curtailed the speeds by drying the track too rapidly. The best time trial was Don White’s 27.10 second as no other driver was able to break the 27-second barrier, although some cars were clocked under 27 seconds during the actual race. The 300-lap record was largely due to the fact that there were no accidents, and that speed was curtailed only briefly by two cautions.

The first came on the 86th lap when leader Jerry Roedell of Moline, Ill., lost control in the fourth turn and bumped two other cars. One spun out but all cars were able to resume under their own power. The other came on lap173 when Ramo Stott of Keokuk spun on the same turn. The pace was slowed as he was towed to the infield.

Don White, who did an amazing job of driving in finishing behind his brother-in-law, was the early leader. He took over the car that was being driven by Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., when his auto broke down on the 46th lap. He lost four laps in the process but eventually worked his way up to second place in Funk’s 1957 Chevrolet.

When White’s car dropped out, Jerry Roedell took over and set the pace until making a pit stop on at the halfway mark and surrendering the lead to Derr. He never regained the lead but still managed an impressive third place finish despite a spinout on the 234th lap.

Roedell was the surprise of the 33-car field, while defending IMCA champion Johnny Beauchamp and Bob Burdick were the hard-luck drivers. Beauchamp’s new car wasn’t ready, and he competed in an older model. He stayed among the leaders in the early going but was eventually forced out and finished 16th.

Burdick was never in the lead but was a consistent challenger and was the only threat to Derr in the late stages before he retired due to motor issues with only 14 laps to go. Burdick had cut Derr’s lead from a full lap to less than a half-lap when he went to the sidelines.

Finishing behind Derr and the White/Funk combination was Roedell in third, Chub Liebe of Oelwein in fourth and Doc Narber of Cedar Rapids in fifth.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
2. Don White, Keokuk/Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
3. Jerry Roedell, Moline, Ill.
4. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
5. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids
6. Frank Richards, Marion
7. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
8. Dick Santee, Bell, Calif.
9. Bill Starr, Colona, Ill.
10.Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
11.Bob Hilmer, Dysart
12.Fred Voight, Peoria, Ill.
13.Bob Carpenter, Carlisle
14.Whitey Traeder, Milwaukee
15.Bob Short, Des Moines
16.John Beauchamp, Harlan
17.Ramo Stott, Keokuk
18.Murray Folsom, Cedar Rapids
19.Lloyd Jorgenson, Audubon
20.Ralph Wilhelm, Milwaukee
21.Art Brady, Peoria, Ill.
22.Clarence Bolton, Hutchinson, Kan.
23.Bruce Nystrom, Oshkosh, Wis.
24.Bob Ward, Creston
25.Jere O’Day, Fond du Lac, Wis.
26.Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
27.Russ Gross, Quincy, Ill.
28.Don Lewis
29.Bob Potter, Duluth, Minn.
30.Ben Prietzel, Twin Rivers, Wis.
31.Don White
32.Les Dykes, Davenport
33.Bill Ross

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

1981 – Another Win for Senneker in Winchester ASA 200

The "Bluebird" Bob Senneker won the ASA-sanctioned 200-lapper at the high-banks of Winchester Speedway. He's joined in victory lane by the trophy queen and his crew.\

Winchester, Ind. (May 17, 1981) – In what is getting to be a regular Sunday afternoon ritual, Bob Senneker won the 200-lap Circuit of champions portion of the Memorial 300 American Speed Association event at Winchester Speedway, recording his third win in four outings.

Senneker again demonstrated his lay-back-and-wait, patiently smooth style, keeping early leaders Butch Miller and Mark Martin in his sights before taking the lead from Martin with 24 laps remaining.

Martin came in second, trailing the Michigan ace by two seconds at the finish. Alan Kulwicki turned a steady and fast ride into a third-place finish and rookie Pat Schauer was fourth, rounding out the lead lap finishers.

A pre-race hot laps incident prevented Senneker from starting the race, as he incurred suspension damage when he spun and bumped the cars of Dave Jensen and Jack Drolema after another car had split an oil line directly n their path.

Fast work by both the Senneker crew and volunteers had his Camaro ready by starting time.

Butch Miller, who has seemingly become faster with each outing, won the pole position for the 200 with a blistering 15.985 second qualifying lap around the fast, half-mile, high-banked track, and then proceeded to lead thee race’s first 81 circuits.

At that point, a caution caused by a Drolema spin, started a rush to the pits, including Miller, Dick Trickle, Schauer, Mattin, Mike Eddy and Senneker.

Superb pit work had Martin out first, followed by Trickle, Schauer and Senneker.

Martin appeared able to handle all challengers after green flag racing resumed, but Trickle hooked up and made spectacular gains until a left rear tire went flat just past the halfway mark.

With Trickle two laps down as a result of a tire change and Eddy faced with the same fate with a voltage regulator failure, Senneker was left to take up the challenge of Martin.

Running laps just a tenth of a second slower than his qualifying times, Senneker was able to move up on Martin’s bumper with 30 laps remaining., then powered underneath Martin in turn three on lap 176 for good.

Another spectacular drive by John Martin netted him a fifth-place finish after missing time trials and starting 23rd.

Results –

1. Bob Senneker
2. Mark Martin
3. Alan Kulwicki
4. Pat Schauer
5. John Martin
6. Butch Miller
7. Don Gregory
8. Mike Eddy
9. Terry Senneker
10.Bill Venturini
11.Doug Klein
12.Dave Watson
13.Dick Trickle
14.Harold Scott
15.John Knaus
16.Ken Harrison
17.Bob Sensiba
18.Ray Young
19.Jack Drolema
20.Bob Strait
21.L.J. Lines
22.Dave Jensen
23.Ryl Magoon

Monday, May 15, 2023

1983 - Baldry Outruns Shear to Win WIR Bud 50

Terry Baldry receives congratulations from Jim Warmington, Budweiser Midwest representative, after winning the Budweiser Spring Classic 50 at Wisconsin International Raceway. – Tim Hannagan Photo

By Gary Vercauteren

Kaukauna, Wis. (May 15, 1983) – Terry Baldry, driving a 1983 Camaro, scored the biggest win of his career Sunday afternoon at Wisconsin International Raceway as he outraced Joe Shear to capture the Budweiser Spring Classic 50-lap late model feature.

With a crowd of 6,718 watching, Baldry came from deep in the field to pass Shear for the lead on the 36th round.

“I would have to say, this is the biggest win of my career,” the defending Fox River Racing Club champion said. Baldry had not won a late model feature on the half-mile Kaukauna paved oval until the end of the 1982 season,

“We’ve come a long way the last couple of years,” he continued.

Al Schill came from his second row starting spot to nail down the top spot for the first seven laps before surrendering the lead to Shear, who had started one row back.

Shear and Tom Musgrave pulled away from the rest of the pack. Meanwhile, Baldry worked his way to the front and moved into the third spot past Schill on the fourth lap, taking Californian Mike chase along with him.

Baldry, chase, and Jay Sauter then battled for the third position until lap 13 when Chase and Sauter collided in the fourth turn, bringing out the only yellow flag of the contest.

The restart tightened up Baldry, Chase, and fast qualifier Bob Iverson behind Shear and Musgrave.

Baldry then passed Musgrave for second on the 24th lap on the backstretch and closed up tight behind Shear on the 27th lap. From lap 29 through 36, Shear and Baldry ran door-to-door with Baldry finally getting by for the lead entering the first turn on the 36th circuit.

Iverson moved into third past Musgrave on lap 37 but was unable to get by Shear after waging a spirited tussle for that spot. Musgrave settled for fourth with Tom Reffner passing chase for fifth with four laps remaining.

Results –

1. Terry Baldry, Omro
2. Joe Shear, Beloit
3. Bob Iverson, Hyde, Mich.
4. Tom Musgrave, Glenview, Ill.
5. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
6. Mike Chase, Bakersfield, Calif.
7. Conrad Morgan, Dousman
8. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire
9. Jay Sauter, Necedah
10.Jim Weber, Roseville, Minn.
11.Rich Somers, Stevens Point
12.Gary Roehrborn, Kimberly
13.Arnie Christen, Mineral Point
14.Gordie Sannes Jr., De Pere
15.Bobby Weiss, Montello

1955 – White Cops Corn Belt Title

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (May 15, 1955) – Don White of Keokuk, a veteran in IMCA late model stock car racing, carried off top honors at Hawkeye Downs on Sunday in the 100-mile Corn Belt Championship.

He won the title in the first race event of the season before one of the largest crowds in several years, an estimated 10,000, who filled the fairgrounds’ facilities.

The unexpected large crowd caught race officials short and long lines of cars jammed roads heading towards the fairgrounds and double lines of ticket seekers stretched for several blocks. The program was an hour late in starting.

White won the 200-lap feature in 1 hour, 54 minutes and 23.8 seconds, leading home Cedar Rapids’ Robert “Doc” Narber by nearly two laps. There were no serious accidents but about 15 laps were run under the caution flag.

Driving a 1955 Oldsmobile, White ran fourth in the early going as Narber, one of IMCA’s newest stars, led the race for the first 85 laps. Narber won the pole position in his 1955 Chevrolet with the fastest time of the day, 31.13 seconds.

He dueled with another Chevrolet, driven by Marvin Copple of Lincoln, Neb., through the early laps. But Copple was nearly rolled out of the race when Bill Harrison of Topeka, Kan., bumped him on the 64th lap, and both drivers wound up in the pit area with mechanical issues.

White moved up after that point to challenge Narber but was unable to pass the Cedar Rapids driver until the 85th lap, when White’s brother-in-law, Ernie Derr of Fort Madison, battled with Narber while White slipped past both drivers easily.

Derr, who made a total of three pit stops, was several laps out at the time and was never in contention for Sunday’s top prize as he finished fifth.

Although losing out to the IMCA point leader, Narber turned in one of his finest performances to date, taking second easily ahead of Russell Gross of Quincy, Ill. Delmar Donnellson of Burlington was fourth with Derr taking fifth.

Two cars, a ’53 Hudson driven by Gross and a ’55 Oldsmobile piloted by Donnellson, made no pit stops. White and Narber might have finished without a stop but White came in briefly on lap 167 during a caution period for a splash of gas and Narber also stopped a lap later to check on clutch trouble.

All told, 22 cars made 39 pit stops with only 11 cars running at the end.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk
2. Robert Narber, Cedar Rapids
3. Russ Gross, Quincy, Ill.
4. Delmar Donnellson, Burlington
5. Ernie Derr, Fort Madison
6. Bob Brown, Springfield, Mo.
7. Archie Nepstad, Rochester, Minn.
8. Ben Prietzel, Macomb, Ill.
9. Marvin Copple, Lincoln, Neb.
10.Bob Beason, Cedar Rapids
11.Wayne Chadwick, Des Moines
12.Ted Keith, Kahoka, Mo.
13.Gordon Howard, Aurora, Ill.
14.Carroll Hilmer, Waterloo
15.Gene Richmond, Springfield, Mo.
16.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
17.Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
18.Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
19.Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
20.Tiny Lund, Harlan
21.Red Droste, Waterloo
22.Froggy Droz, Ottumwa

Sunday, May 14, 2023

1972 – Phillips Doesn’t Wait Around for Ark-La-Tex Reward

Larry Phillips

Shreveport, La. (May 14, 1972) – Larry Phillips had just enough time to win the Ark-La-Tex 100 stock car race at State Fair Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

The tall, dark-haired driver, who was the feature winner in a Saturday night race in Fort Smith, Ark., led from start to finish in the 100-lapper here to collect the $1,000 first place check.

But he couldn’t stick around to collect his purse. He had to board a plane for another race that began in three hours in his hometown of Springfield, Mo.

Phillips, who won the race in the time of 36 minutes and 34 seconds, was the first heat winner as well and started the main event on in the pole position. He left a combined check of $1,255 for his day’s work with a member of his pit crew who towed his Chevrolet back to Missouri.

Phillips was never in trouble in the race. The big question was who would finish after him.

A battle for second developed between Keokuk, Iowa’s Ernie Derr, Dean Roper of Springfield, Mo., and Baton Rouge’s Warren Hughes during the first 25 laps. However, Roper was forced out with about half the race remaining and Hughes took command of second for good. He collected $700 for his efforts.

Derr lost out his bid for third by one second to latecomer Larry Schild of Houston, Tex., and had to settle for fourth place. Schild, the winner of the third heat, won $500 in the feature while Derr took home $400.

Chuck Arnold of Jackson, Miss., finished fifth among the field of 22 that made it into the feature and collected $300. Only 15 cars completed the race.

The race was the first sponsored locally by the MId-America Stock Car Racing Association and drew an estimated 500 spectators.

Results –

1. Larry Phillips
2. Warren Hughes
3. Larry Schild
4. Ernie Derr
5. Chuck Arnold
6. Gene Newsome
7. Freddy Cook
8. Charles Wright
9. Ron Chumley
10.Vance Cook
11.Wayne Stallsworth
12.C.H. Cave

Saturday, May 13, 2023

1984 - Ard Outlasts Kulwicki in Milwaukee Red Carpet 200

Sam Ard waves to the crowd after his win Sunday afternoon in the Red Carpet 200 NASCAR sportsman late model race at the Milwaukee Mile. Dick Richards of Red Carpet Industries makes the presentation. – Weber Brothers Photo

West Allis, Wis. (May 13, 1984) – It didn’t take Sam Ard long to adapt to the Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway’s mile, paved oval.

Appearing at the track for the first time in his career, Ard breezed to victory in Sunday afternoon’s Red Carpet 200-mile NASCAR late model sportsman event, outrunning home state pilot Alan Kulwicki to pick up the triumph.

Ard, who had not driven on the track prior to practicing for the event on Saturday, crossed the finish line about two seconds ahead of Kulwicki to nail down his fourth victory on the circuit this season and his second in a row.

Dick Trickle led a contingent of four drivers who finished one lap down, by placing third; Bobby Allison outdueled his son, Davey, to claim fourth place money, and Dale Jarrett came in sixth.

Trickle dominated Saturday’s time trials, turning a lap at 112.984 miles per hour to earn the pole position for Sunday’s 200-miler.

Trickle then put that advantage to good use at the outset of the contest, grabbing the lead at the green, while Kulwicki, who had started second in the 26-car field, fell to sixth after being bumped from behind.

Ard, who started third, annexed the lead for the first time by passing Trickle on the fourth mile. The circuit’s defending champion retained the top spot until lap 67, when he pitted for the first time, giving the frontrunning position to Kulwicki, who had recovered nicely from his earlier problems.

When Ard returned to action he found himself in sixth place, but the 45-year-old Asheboro, N.C., pilot fought his way back into contention and regained the lead on the 104th circuit.

Ard pitted for the second time on lap 111, again relinquishing the lead to Kulwicki in the process. However, when Kulwicki brought his car in for servicing on the 117th mile, Ard moved back on top for good.

Ard averaged 97.026 miles per hour in winning the event, which was slowed by caution flags six times for 26 laps.

Results –

1. Sam Ard
2. Alan Kulwicki
3. Dick Trickle
4. Bobby Allison
5. Davey Allison
6. Dale Jarrett
7. Tommy Houston
8. Jack Ingram
9. Joe Thurman
10.Ed Berrier
11.Bill Venturini
12.Jeff Hensley
13.Bob Brevak
14.Dickie Boswell
15.Bob Schacht
16.Charlie Luck
17.Glenn Jarrett
18.Ronnie Silver
19.L.D. Ottinger
20.Fred Zack