Friday, May 12, 2023

1972 – Williams Double Winner in Interstate Opener

La Crosse, Wis. (May 12, 1972) – Mert Williams, a nine-year veteran of dirt track auto racing, may never again run anything again but paved road after winning his heat and the feature race in the season’s first night of racing at La Crosse Interstate Speedway.

Williams, a Rochester, Minn., native, just broke into the paved circuit last year as an experiment after spending almost a decade on dirt tracks.

The Rochester speedster charged his Chevrolet Nova to the 25-lap feature win over Larry Detjens of Wausau and Jim Back of Vesper.

Williams also took the second heat with a surge on the final lap to out-distance Back while he placed third in time trials, just eight-tenths of a second behind fast qualifier Don Grant of La Crosse. Grant timed in 21.8 seconds.

Back redeemed himself in the trophy dash while Pete Mahlum grabbed the first heat.

Laverne Grandall of Portland won the hobby stock feature after Bob Tippery of La Crosse won the consolation.

Results –

Time Trials – Don Grant, La Crosse (21.8)
Trophy dash – Jim Back, Vesper
Heat #1 – Pete Mahlum, Onalaska
Heat #2 – Mert Williams, Rochester
Feature –
1. Mert Williams
2. Larry Detjens, Wausau
3. Jim Back
4. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa
5. Al Ward, Elba, Minn.

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