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.

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