Sunday, May 28, 2023

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

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