Friday, June 30, 2023

1983 - Frink Scores in 'Chevron 50'


Rollie Frink won the Chevron 50 late model special at Hawkeye Raceway in Bluegrass, Iowa. Larry Dennis, owner of Chevron, hands Frink a check for his winning efforts. – Larry Bettis Photo

By Phil Roberts

Blue Grass, Iowa (June 30, 1983) – The Chevron 50, a late model special at Hawkeye Raceway, was rained out on Tuesday night but enjoyed clear skies on Thursday night.

Late models, the feature racing division, were joined by three-quarter midgets, bombers, mini-stocks, and IMA modifieds.

Davenport’s Rollie Frink dominated the late model competition, winning both his heat and the 50-lap main event. The feature victory for Frink, his first of the year at the quarter mile, was not an easy win. Although Frink led wire-to-wire, Rick Wages of Moline, Ill., challenged him in the early going and then Dave Birkhofer of Muscatine was hot on his heels in the closing stages of the race.

Frink would be chased across the finish line by Birkhofer, who was only a car-length behind him at the checkers. Jerry Conner of Pleasant Valley was third with Herschel Roberts f East Moline, Ill., fourth and Bruce Hanford of Davenport fifth.

Bob Dominacki of Bettendorf visited the winner’s circle in the bomber’s division for the fourth time this season. Jim Goodwin of Silvis, Ill., scored his first win of the season in the mini stocks while Jeff Marburger of Sabula took the win in the sportsman feature.

One of the more exciting races of the evening was the IMCA modified headliner. The position of three of the top five cars changed on the final lap.

Race-long leader Tom Herbert of Silvis, Ill., bothered by a tire going flat, dropped from first to second; Dale Fischlein of Davenport went from second to fifth; Randy Wages of Moline, Ill., managed to take his car from fifth place to victory lane.

The surprise last lap victory for Wages was his first of the season at the Raceway.

Results –

Late Model –

1. Rollie Frink, Davenport
2. Dave Birkhofer, Muscatine
3. Jerry Conners, Pleasant Valley
4. Herschel Roberts, East Moline, Ill.
5. Bruce Hanford, Davenport

IMCA Modified –

1. Randy Wages, East Moline, Ill.
2. Tom Herbert, Silvis, Ill.
3. Jim Mettlin, Cambridge, Ill.
4. Mike Schulte, Cedar Rapids
5. Dale Fischlein, Davenport

Sportsman –

1. Jeff Marburger, Sabula
2. John Durbin, Silvis, Ill.
3. Denny Anton Jr., Green Rock, Ill.
4. Gary Reinhart, Moline, Ill.
5. Ron Ver Gothem, Moline, Ill.

Bombers –

1. Bob Dominacki, Bettendorf
2. Don Vanderheyden, Moline, Ill.
3. Mel Reicks, Davenport
4. Darrell Beauchamp, Davenport
5. Brad Cook, Davenport

1956 – Pistone Wins Stock Car Race

"Tiger" Tom Pistone

Chicago, Ill. (June 30, 1956) – Tom Pistone of Chicago passed Curtis Turner of Roanoke, Va., on the 193rd lap Saturday and went on to win the 100-mile race for late model convertibles at Soldier Field before a crowd of 38,341.

The program was sanctioned by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.

Pistone, racing among the first six cars throughout the contest, won in a time of 1 hour, 35 minutes and 45.78 seconds. Turner had started the race in the pole position and led the first 192 circuits. Pistone and Turner were the only two competitors to complete the full 200 laps.

Bill Lutz of Louisville, Ky., finished third, two laps behind Pistone and Turner. Larry Odo of Chicago and Jim Massey of Burlington, N.C., finished fourth and fifth respectively, completing 197 laps.

Results –

1. Tom Pistone
2. Curtis Turner
3. Bill Lutz
4. Larry Odo
5. Jim Massey
6. Allen Adkins
7. Glen Wood
8. Bill Cornwall

Thursday, June 29, 2023

1978 - Sorenson Wins Olmsted Invitational

Dick Sorenson holds the checkers after winning the 40-lap invitational at Olmstead County Fairgrounds. - Kathy Hinrichs Photo 

Rochester, Minn. (June 29, 1978) – Dick Sorenson of Rochester, took home $1,000 for winning the 40-lap late model invitational at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds on Thursday night.

On lap 33, Sorenson was running behind Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, and Phil Prusak of Eau Claire, Wis., when Sanger’s engine let go. This put Sanger out of competition while Prusak ran into oil spewed from Sanger’s engine and lost his vision enough to allow Sorenson to sneak by for the lead.

Sorenson would run untouched the remainder of the way while Prusak held on to take runner-up honors. Red Steffen of Eau Claire, Wis., finished third followed by Jack Harder of St. Paul, Minn., and Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo, Iowa.

Results –

1. Dick Sorenson, Rochester, Minn.
2. Phil Prusak, Eau Claire, Wis.
3. Red Steffen, Eau Claire, Wis.
4. Jack Harder, St. Paul, Minn.
5. Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
6. Steve Egersdorf, St. Paul, Minn.
7. John Foegen, Winona, Minn.
8. Dave Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
9. Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.
10.Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

1983 - Shear Holds Off Trickle, Claims Spartan ARTGO

Joe Shear captured ARTGO Racing’s Michigan Challenge 100 at Spartan Speedway. – Stan Kalwasinski Photo

By Stan Kalwasinski

Mason, Mich. (June 28, 1983) – Leading from start to finish, Joe Shear wheeled his 1983 Thunderbird to victory in the ARTGO-sanctioned Michigan Challenge 100 at Spartan Speedway on Tuesday night.

The 40-year-old driver from Beloit, Wis., the second leading driver in this year’s ARTGO point standings, behind leader Dick Trickle, recorded his second main event win on the circuit this season, holding off the stiff challenges of both Trickle and Mike Eddy during portions of the 100-lap grind around the tricky, banked, quarter-mile paved oval.

A total of 21 cars started the contest with Shear jumping into the lead from his pole position. With the rest of the field jockeying for position, Eddy, the four-time ASA national champion, moved his Camaro up to challenge Shear for the number one spot. The Michigan ace got inside of Shear several times before being beaten back to second place by the hard-driving Shear. Eddy’s bid for first place came to an end on lap 29 when he did a 360-degree spin between turns three and four which brought out the yellow flag.

Shear continued to lead when green flag racing resumed, but he now faced the challenges of three-time ARTGO titlist and America’s winningest stock car driver, Dick Trickle. Trickle tired several times to get around Shear on the high side, but a couple of yellows spoiled his bid for first place.

The halfway mark saw Shear in command with Trickle, Butch Miller, and Dave Weltmeyer in the top four.

The duo of Shear and Trickle would eventually pull away from the rest of the field with Trickle content to ride the rear bumper of Shear’s racer. Trickle would mount another challenge at the three-quarter mark as he ducked inside of Shear. Shear would keep his foot into it and rode the outside groove, holding off the pesty Trickle for several go-rounds, who for a couple of moments, was the race leader.

As the race came to a close, Trickle would fall off the pace by a number of car lengths and when starter Bill Gronley waved the checkered flag, Shear held a four-car-length lead over Trickle, who was trailed by Miller, Tom Musgrave, and Jay Sauter.

Results –

1. Joe Shear, Beloit, Wis.
2. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
3. Butch Miller, Lawton
4. Tom Musgrave, Glenview, Ill.
5. Jay Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
6. Dave Weltmeyer, Harvey
7. Jim Weber, Roseville, Minn.
8. Jamie Neville, Minier, Ill.
9. Don Biederman, Oakville, Ont.
10.Jim Helland, Newark, Ill.
11.Chuck Roumell, Brooklyn
12.Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
13.Mel Walen, Shakopee, Minn.
14.John Croy, South Bend, Ind.
15.Al Schill, Franklin, Wis.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

1965 – Rookie Weld Takes Raceway Century

Kansas City’s Greg Weld stands in victory lane after winning the 100-lap USAC sprint car race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. – Bruce Craig Collection 

Indianapolis, Ind. (June 27, 1965) – United States Auto Club rookie Greg Weld won the Raceway Century at Indianapolis Raceway Park Sunday afternoon with an average speed of 85.870 miles per hour for the 100-lap sprint car contest.

Making his first appearance at IRP, the 21-year-old speedster from Kansas City hauled down $1,482 from a total purse of $7,500 for his 43 minute and 34.94 second ride.

He took over the top spot on lap 29 when race leader Arnie Knepper pulled into the pits. Weld was followed by another Kansas Citian, Carl Williams, and Roger McCluskey of Tucson, Ariz., with both drivers almost a lap behind.

Weld, who qualified for the outside of the second row, was never farther back than fifth, and had moved to second by lap 8. He rode about six-car-lengths behind Knepper until the Belleville, Ill., driver was forced to the pit area.

Weld, the Missouri chauffeur who is campaigning on the USAC circuits after honing his skill on the IMCA trail, had a serious challenger in Mario Andretti but the Nazareth, Penn., driver couldn’t quite find the power in his mount to get past Weld.

Andretti started on the pole position by virtue of fast qualifier Don Branson eliminating himself in the trophy dash. Branson, who set a new one-lap record of 93.206 miles per hour, was running fourth in the four-car dash, when he slid into the wall, putting his car out of further contention. The event was won by McCluskey.

Andretti took the lead from the pole position but lost it to Knepper on the next lap. He rode in second until the 89th lap despite clouds of smoke billowing from his engine the entire distance, only to come to a stop on the backstretch, out of fuel.

This set up the finishing positions by moving Williams and McCluskey into the second and third spots.

Weld said, “I was hoping we would work well today. We set what we thought was the right combination yesterday, and hoped it was the answer today”

The 100-lappr was free of any serious accidents, although brushes with the wall brought the 5,400 spectators out of their seats at times.

Ronnie Duman attempted to move up to fourth early in the race and got the tail of his car into the concrete. Gordon Johncock spun on lap 55 when he was also in the fourth position.

Pre-race favorite Johnny Rutherford eliminated himself from contention when he banged into the north wall on the first lap of his qualification run.

Another favorite, A.J. Foyt, developed engine trouble during his qualifying run. He would drop out on the 10th lap and be credited with 22nd place.

Results –

1. Greg Weld
2. Carl Williams
3. Roger McCluskey
4. Al Smith
5. Bruce Jacobi
6. Bobby Unser
7. Red Riegel
8. Bob Pratt
9. Arnie Knepper
10.Bobby Black
11.Sam Sessions
12.Mario Andretti
13.Dee Jones
14.Chuck Booth
15.Gordon Johncock
16.Jud Larson
17.Johnny Logan
18.Ronnie Duman
19.Bob Mathouser
20.Bud Randall
21.Jerry Daniels
22.A.J. Foyt

Monday, June 26, 2023

1982 – Kosiski sails to Missouri Championship

Joe Kosiski

Odessa, Mo. (June 26, 1982) – Joe Kosiski of Omaha, Neb., nailed his first victory at I-70 National Speedway Saturday night in the Missouri Stock Car Championships.

Kosiski led all 40 laps with the hardest challenge coming from Billy Moyer Jr. of Des Moines, Iowa, with just five laps remaining. Kosiski shut the door fast as the two were moving through lapped traffic coming off turn four.

Moyer, with no place to go, set it sideways as Dave Bjorge of Austin, Minn., slipped past Moyer into second for the finish. Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., held fourth followed by Willy Kraft of Lakefield, Minn.

Joe’s younger brother Steve Kosiski, also from Omaha, got the night rolling with a sizzling new track record of 18.97 seconds, erasing the 19.10 second mark set by Larry Moore of Phenix City, Ala., just this past April. This marks the second time since I-70 National Speedway converted to dirt that Steve Kosiski set a new track record.

Kansas Citian Cecil Taylor, crew chief for the legendary Texas driver A.J. Foyt, said Steve Kosiski uses the race track the way it should be used and is one of the country’s smoothest and fastest drivers.

Mel Sorenson of Elkhorn, Neb., made it a Cornhusker State sweep of the feature events, winning the 20-lap sportsman main.

Results –

Time trials – Steve Kosiski, Omaha (18.97)
Heat #1 – Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
Heat #2 – Billy Moyer Jr., Des Moines
Heat#3 – Les Duellman, Fountain City, Wis.
B-main – Dwain Hanson, Lakefield, Minn.
Feature –
1. Joe Kosiski, Omaha
2. Dave Bjorge, Austin, Minn.
3. Billy Moyer Jr.
4. Larry Phillips
5. Willy Kraft, Lakefield, Minn.
6. Les Duellman
7. Dave Chase, Council Bluffs, Iowa
8. Eddie Adkins, Kansas City
9. Wayne Larson, Ames, Iowa
10.Al Urhammer, Radcliffe, Iowa

Sunday, June 25, 2023

1960 – Stott Wins Badger ‘100’ Before 4,000


Ramo Stott

De Pere, Wis. (June 25, 1960) – Ramo Stott, driving a 1960 Ford convertible, out sped Ernie Derr, last year’s winner, to win the second annual “Badger 100” late model stock car race before a paid crowd of 4,000 Saturday night at the Brown County Fairground track.

Derr, the International Motor Contest Association national champion, and Stott are both from Keokuk, Iowa.

There was no room for error as 13 drivers put on a dazzling display of speed and expert driving on the half-mile dirt track.

Derr, who finished second, drove a 1960 Pontiac. Dick Hutcherson, also from Keokuk, finished third in a 1957 Pontiac.

Stott and Derr were neck and neck for some of the race, but it was a more exciting contest for fourth position between Hutcherson and Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., before the former moved up to third.

Stott also paced the field in qualifying, timing in at 29.35 seconds.

In the 8-lap Australian Pursuit race, Ken Schultz of Wisconsin Rapids took first over Newt Bartholomew of Carlisle, Iowa. Dick Johnson of St. Paul, Minn., was third.

Joe Dolphy of New Brighton, Minn., won the first 10-lap heat, Mert Williams took the second heat, Don Nather was the third heat winner, and Derr won the fourth heat in a tight 1-2-3 finish with Stott and Hutcherson.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

1962 – King Cops Winchester Sprint

Bobby King

Winchester, Ind. (June 24, 1962) – Bobby King of Muncie, Ind., wheeled his Shahl Brothers Offy to a convincing win in the inaugural International Motor Contest Association big car sprint race at the new Winchester Speedway in a Sunday afternoon program that saw a host of records, including a new world mark, written into the record books.

Johnny White of Warren, Mich., established a new world’s record in time trials by turning a lap of 18.14 seconds, which figures out to 99.818 miles per hour. The old mark of 18.28 seconds was set by Don Branson of Champaign, Ill., in Dayton, Ohio, in 1960 in a United States Auto Club sprint car race.

King’s winning time in the 30-lap feature was 9 minutes and 38.77 seconds (a shade over 93 miles per hour), eclipsing the old mark of 10 minutes and 33.31 seconds set by Buzz Barton in 1954.

In a wholesale assault on the previous IMCA and Winchester half-mile record, eight drivers bettered the old mark of 19.14 seconds, set by Jim McWithey in 1954.

King, who posted the second fastest qualifying time of 18.29 seconds, grabbed the lead on lap 14 when the front-running White blew a motor, ending his chances.

King was immediately challenged by Johnny Rutherford of Fort Worth, Tex., for the lead but the local speedster extended his slim margin to about 75 yards at the checkered flag.

Following King across the finish line were Rutherford, Mickey Shaw of Berea, Ohio, Arnie Knepper of Belleville, Ill., and Calvin Gilstrap of Salem, Ind.

After White posted his new qualifying record and won his 7-lap heat race with a new IMCA record of 2 minutes and 13.35 seconds, bad luck set in for the likeable Michigander.

But White, apparently enthused after pocketing $500 for his world record effort, persuaded Tom York of South Bend, Ind., to give up his bright red Pontiac Special so that White, the current IMCA point’s leader, could fatten his point lead (and his wallet, with another $500 at stake for the feature winner).

But apparently it wasn’t White’s day because the borrowed machine belched a large cloud of smoke on the backstretch of lap 14 as the engine let go, allowing King to take over the top spot.

White provided most of the thrills for the 4,000 in attendance as he started the last in the eight-car heat and barreled his orange Offy into the lead as the pack passed the grandstand on the first lap. He won the race by almost a straightaway.

Results –

1. Bobby King, Muncie, Ind.
2. Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex.
3. Mickey Shaw, Berea, Ohio
4. Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
5. Calvin Gilstrap, Salem, Ind.
6. Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
7. Harvey Konkel, Milwaukee, Wis.
8. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
9. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
10.Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
11.Curly Boyd, Indianapolis
12.Buzz Rose, Palo Verde, Calif.
13.Bill Kimball, Louisville, Ky.
14.Jigger Sirois, Indianapolis
15.Johnny White, Warren, Mich.
16.Chuck Yost, Elyria, Ohio

Friday, June 23, 2023

1973 – Niffenegger Cops West Liberty Mid-Season Title

John Mullink (left) congratulates Mike Niffenegger after the "Flying Dutchman" won the mid-season championship for super stocks at West Liberty Raceway. - Dick Kleindolph Photo

West Liberty, Iowa (June 23, 1973) – Mike Niffenegger of Kalona, Iowa, was again in the limelight as he captured the checkered flag for the 35-lap Mid-Season Championship super stock feature event and the $500 first prize money plus another $100 donated by local merchants, at the Muscatine County Fairgrounds’’ half-mile.

The super stock point’s leader, “The Flying Dutchman” started on the pole with Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree, Iowa, alongside him on the front row. They, along with Mel Morris of West Liberty, fought tooth and nail for the top spot with Niffenegger able to fend off both drivers.

Hemsted would settle for second while Bob Helm of Andalusia, Ill., took third. Don Morgan of Muscatine and Perry Beckler of Tiffin rounded out the top five finishers.

The evening began with Ron Prymek of Iowa City charging his Mustang to take fast time with a time of 25.15 seconds. Niffenegger (25.36) and Morris (25.70) were right behind Prymek in qualifying.

Morris would capture the trophy dash and the first heat while Niffenegger would score the win in the second heat and Hemsted would secure the victory in the third heat. Bill Douglas of West Liberty was the winner of the semi-feature.

In sportsman action, Ken DeGood of Iowa City won the feature event over Dave Birkhofer of Muscatine and Gene Hearst of Muscatine.

Results –

Fast time – Ron Prymek, Iowa City (25.15)
Trophy dash – Mel Morris, West Liberty
Heat #1 – Mel Morris
Heat #2 – Mike Niffenegger, Kalona
Heat #3 – Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree
Semi-main – Bill Douglas, West Liberty
Feature –
1. Mike Niffenegger
2. Ron Hemsted
3. Bob Helm, Andalusia, Ill.
4. Don Morgan, Muscatine
5. Perry Beckler, Tiffin
6. Mel Morris
7. Wayne Settles, East Moline, Ill.
8. Del Abney, Muscatine
9. Larry Rummelhart, Riverside
10. Ron Prymek

Thursday, June 22, 2023

1956 – Beauchamp Thrills 5,184 With 100-Lap Victory


Johnny Beauchamp accepts his trophy and the checkers after winning the 100-lap IMCA stock car feature at Playland Speedway. 

Council Bluffs, Iowa (June 22, 1956) – Class and experience proved itself as Johnny Beauchamp lapped the field twice en route to winning the 100-lap stock car feature at Playland Speedway Friday night, before a full house of 5,148.

The points leader in the International Motor Contest Association added to his list of accomplishments by returning to the scene of his greatest triumphs and displaying both daring and skillful driving.

Beaten twice by Omaha’s Bob Burdick in earlier preliminary races, Beauchamp redeemed himself in the main event.

He started in the second row but raced into the lead ahead of Burdick after six laps. He kept increasing his margin by lapping car after car until the 33rd lap.

On this go-round, he passed fourth-place Mel Kreuger of Anita. Two laps later, he zoomed by third-place Sonny Morgan of Beaumont, Tex. By this time, he was a half lap ahead of Burdick and moving away nicely.

By lap 48 he had caught Burdick and as he lapped him on the backstretch, Burdick pulled off the track with a loose wheel. When he returned to the track nine laps later, Beauchamp was still widening the gap on the rest of the field.

The Harlan favorite, twice a local champion, continued to pad his lead ad re-lapped all but Krueger with 22 laps to go.

From there on, Beauchamp played it safe, taking all corners tightly. It was obvious that no one could beat him but himself. He passed Morgan again on the 97th tour.

After the race, he said, “You never know if it’s in the bag until you get the checkered flag. It was just a question of my car holding up.”

His Chevy held up quite nicely and his official time for the 100 laps was 33 minutes and 20.02 seconds.

Beauchamp was beaten by Burdick in the first heat, a 15-lap thriller. In the 8-lap trophy dash, Burdick busted through on the outside and passed both Morgan and Beauchamp on the last corner of the last lap to win by the proverbial “headlight.”

Before the races began, the crowd was partisan towards Beauchamp, who had set three world’s records last week at Oskaloosa, but Burdick won them over with his two victories.

Beauchamp, however, had no trouble regaining their confidence with his two-lap victory, and was mobbed by well-wishers in victory lane.

Bud Burdick, Bob’s older brother and former Playland champion, was noticeably absent. He was at home resting after an emergency appendectomy. Don White of Keokuk, the 1954 and ’55 IMCA stock car champion and Beauchamp’s chief rival, also missed the program. He was back home installing a new motor in his car.

Results –

1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan
2. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
3. Mel Krueger, Anita
4. Sonny Gross, Quincy, Ill.
5. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
6. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
7. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
8. J.B. Martin, Richmond, Mo.
9. Merle Gerry, Council Bluffs
10.Chris Skadal, Des Moines

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

1969 – Montgomery Nabs Feature

Dean Montgomery

Des Moines, Iowa (June 21, 1969) – Dean Montgomery of Milan, Ill., led the entire 25 laps of the late model main event on a fast State Fairgrounds track Saturday night for his first feature victory. The sportsman feature, won easily by point leader Don Hoffman of Des Moines, provided most of the excitement for the 6,500 in attendance.

A four-car pileup, resulting when John May’s 1959 Plymouth went into a spin, occurred just seconds after the start of the race. May, however, wasn’t part of the crash.

Marvin Korns’ 1957 Chevy flipped end-over-end and received extensive damage when it knocked down a portion of the south retaining fence.

Slim Doonan and Lynn Komrie, winner of the semi-main event, escaped injuries and refused medical attention.

But it was Joe Merryfield and Korns taken to the Des Moines General Hospital, Merryfield for a possible hand fracture and Korns for observation.

Montgomery’s victory was unchallenged by runner-up Bob Hilmer, the current point leader from Dysart, who had worked his way back from a last-row starting spot, and third-place finisher Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids.

Montgomery won the first heat while Hilmer won the second. The semi-main winner was John Connolly of Delhi.

Results –

Sportsman –

Trophy dash – Don Hoffman, Des Moines
Heat #1 – Mike Brooks, Knoxville
Heat #2 - Don Hoffman
Semi-main – Lynn Komrie, Van Meter
Feature –
1. Don Hoffman
2. Mike Brooks
3. Larry Embrey, Panora
4. Mike Pinckney, Des Moines
5. Dave Fielder, Des Moines

Late Model –

Heat #1 – Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
Heat #2 – Bob Hilmer, Dysart
Semi-main – John Connolly, Delhi
Feature –
1. Dean Montgomery
2. Bob Hilmer
3. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
4. Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk
5. John Connolly
6. George Barton, Ankeny
7. Stan Stover, Reinbeck
8. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
9. Bill Moyer, Des Moines
10.Roger Dolan, Lisbon

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

1958 – Quality, Not Quantity as Derr Wins


Sioux Falls, S.D. (June 20, 1958) – Quality not quantity was on hand Friday night as IMCA’s touring late model stock car drivers invaded Soo Speedway.

Only seven of the IMCA-sanctioned drivers made an appearance. Luckily, the top drivers in the point standings were on hand. Otherwise, it would’ve been a dismal evening for the large crowd on hand.

Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, driving a 1957 Pontiac, copped the 100-lap feature on the banked, quarter-mile dirt track. Finishing second was Derr’s brother-in-law, Don White, also of Keokuk, Iowa, driving a 1958 Ford.

Following them were a pair of Harlan, Iowa, drivers, Duane Lund in a ’56 Chevrolet, and Johnny Beauchamp, in a ’57 Chevy.

Bob Burdick of Omaha, Neb., had the feature sacked up in his 1958 Ford until being forced out with front end trouble on the 67th lap while being far out in front of the rest of the field.

Another contender, Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, shelled his 1957 Chevrolet while running a strong third on lap 54.

In addition, Murray Folsom of Mechanicsville was on hand as billed. The rest of the entry list failed to show.

Promoter Frank Winkley of Auto Racing, Inc., refunded half of the $2 admission to all of the fans in attendance, estimated between 3,000 to 3,500. Winkley explained that he knew no reason why the drivers didn’t appear. All, he said, had signed entry slips promising to be here.

Among the drivers scheduled to appear who not show were Dick Santee, Newt Bartholomew, Bob Hilmer, Lloyd Jorgenson, Chub Liebe, Herb Shannon, Frank Richards, Sonny Gross, Bud Burdick, Bob Potter, Doc Narber, and Les Dykes.

Monday, June 19, 2023

1971 – USAC Win ‘Greatest Ever’ for Smith

USAC sprint car winner Mitch Smith is joined by the legendary Tommy Hinnershitz in victory lane. – Bob Zeller Photo

Mechanicsburg, Penn. (June 19, 1971) – Super sprint star Mitch Smith, of Linglestown, Penn., scored his “greatest win ever” Saturday night when he romped to victory in a special 40-lap United States Auto Club sprint car event at the Williams Grove Speedway.

Smith, driving a racer that had never been on the speedway before, also posted two new track records as he completed his clean sweep.

He said afterwards, “I have to give all the credit to my mechanic, Dick Hench. He had this car handling beautifully.” (The car is a new Floyd Trevis sprint.)

A happy Gary Wasson, who owns the car, said, “We’ve won many races in recent years, but this one will have to go down as our greatest.”

Smith, who competes at Williams Grove every week, started sixth in the 20-car field, and at the end of the first lap, was running third, ahead of Greg Weld, Dick Tobias, and Don Nordhorn.

Coming down the front stretch, he slipped into the runner-up slot on the second lap, passing Rollie Beale of Toledo, Ohio. He took over the lead on the backstretch, catching early pace setter, Jim Oskie, of Maywood, Calif.

At the finish, Smith was a quarter-lap ahead of Tobias, of Lebanon, Penn. Tobias finished just ahead of Nordhorn, with Larry Dickson of Marietta, Ohio, in fourth, and Rollie Beale, in fifth.

Results –

1. Mitch Smith
2. Dick Tobias
3. Don Nordhorn
4. Larry Dickson
5. Rollie Beale
6. Lee Kunzman
7. Gary Bettenhausen
8. Lennie Waldo
9. Jim Schaeffer
10.John Anderson

Sunday, June 18, 2023

1977 - Trickle Dominates Capital ARTGO

Dick Trickle 

Oregon, Wis. (June 18, 1977) – If the other drivers Saturday night in the ARTGO Father’s Day Weekend spectacular at the Capital Super Speedway got tired of hearing Dick Trickle’s name mentioned, you could hardly blame them. The show was the first half of a two-day doubleheader.

Trickle, of Wisconsin Rapids, won every event he entered, taking $1,800 of the $13,000 purse. Trickle won the 100-lap finale, the 50-lap feature for the odd-numbered qualifiers, the “King of the Hill” contest and was fast qualifier.

Trickle, driving his 1977 “White Knight” Firebird, took the lead in the 100-lap feature on the 45th lap after Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., who had led from lap 25, suddenly pulled into the pit are with a broken rocker arm. Engine trouble came as no surprise to Senneker, who had earlier missed the opening 50-lap event because of motor issues.

Only Larry Detjens of Wausau and Joe Shear of South Beloit, Ill., finished the 100 laps still on the same circuit as Trickle. Detjens trailed Trickle throughout the feature but finished seven car lengths behind the winner. Shear followed in third, followed by Jim Pierson, Steve Burgess and Larry Phillips, who had to restart in the rear after he and Tom Reffner spun on lap 64.

After winning the 50-lap feature for even-numbered qualifiers, Larry Schuler of Lockport, Ill., experienced little luck in the main event. He tangled with Senneker on lap 4 and dropped out nine laps later with suspension problems.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
2. Larry Detjens, Wausau
3. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
4. Jim Pierson, Janesville
5. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire
6. Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
7. Gary Hemmerling, Beloit
8. Bob Carnes, Kalamazoo, Mich.
9. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
10.Everett DeWitt, Janesville

Saturday, June 17, 2023

1956 – Sedalia Race to Mundy

Sedalia, Mo. (June 17, 1956) – A heavy track failed to stop Frank Mundy as he won the NASCAR national convertible championship at the Missouri State Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon.

Mundy’s winning time for the 100 laps on the 1-mile dirt oval was 1 hour, 24 minutes, and 8 seconds. The Atlanta, Ga., driver piloted a 1956 Dodge.

The race was delayed almost two and a half hours as trucks tried to smooth out the track after overnight thunderstorms left the racing surface a muddy quagmire.

Jim Massey of Burlington, N.C. driving a Chevrolet, took runner-up honors, finishing three laps behind the winner. Glen Wood of Stuart, Va., driving a Ford, was third, finishing five laps behind the winner.

Results –

1. Frank Mundy, Atlanta, Ga.
2. Jim Massey, Burlington, N.C.
3. Glen Wood, Stuart, Va.
4. Bill Brown, Roseland, Ill.
5. Don Oldenberg, Highland, Ind.
6. Art Binkley, New Albany, Ind.
7. Possum Jones, Mango, Fla.
8. Bob Welborn, Greensboro, N.C.
9. Jimmie Lewallen, Archdale, N.C.
10.Jimmy Thompson, Monroe, N.C.

Friday, June 16, 2023

1968 – Derr Pilots ’68 Dodge to Lincoln Win

Lincoln, Neb. (June 16, 1968) – There have been harder cakewalks for Ernie Derr, but Ramo Stott, who worked like a beaver this winter, is still wondering what was wrong.

The two racing veterans were hooked up in a rare tie for first place in the IMCA point standings going into Sunday’s late model stock car action at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds. They aren’t anymore…

Derr waltzed to victory in the 50-lap feature while Stott settled for third. Actually, Ramo was happy that he finished.

There’s something drastically wrong with my car,” the Keokuk, Iowa, native pointed out after the races. “During the last 25 laps, I thought for sure it was going to blow.”

After the first heat, Stott pronounced his 1968 Plymouth, “flatter than a pancake”. Later he put in new spark plugs. That didn’t help either.

Sandwiched in between was another mechanical failure. The transmission went out and only a furious installation of new parts allowed Stott to compete in the feature.

Ramo couldn’t have felt bad though. He could just consider the plight of nearly half the 23 drivers on hand. No fewer than 11 went to the pits to stay during the afternoon’s action.

Consider Lenny Funk, known as “Mr. Bad Luck” on the circuit. During the season, the Otis, Kan., driver has finished only two features. Sunday, he didn’t even come close…far from it.

His engine blew on, believe it or not, the third lap of pre-race warmups. “That’s the fourth engine I’ve blown this year,” Funk said, shaking his head.

Then there was Blaine Morrow of Mt. Joy, Ill. Involved in an eight-car pileup on Saturday night at Des Moines, Morrow spent all afternoon trying to get his car to run…to no avail.

A four-car tangle on the first lap of the feature finished Ole Brua of Albert Lea, Minn., who had the fastest time in qualifying, and Butch Hall of Russell, Minn., Both car sustained front end damage.

For the 45-year-old Derr, it was just another win among many over the last two decades. The mustached veteran, who seems to go on forever, confirmed he has no plans to retire.

“Heck,” he smiled. “I have to eat, don’t I.”

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Lewis Taylor, Shawnee, Kan.
3. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Ron Larson, White Bear Lake, Minn.
5. Fred Whisler, Independence, Mo.
6. Dale Keeling, Waynesville, Mo.
7. Frank Scadoris, Lincoln, Neb.
8. Sandy Sandstrom, Kansas City
9. Karl Stoufer, Independence, Iowa
10.Ken Pankratz, Mosinee, Wis.
11.Buzz McCann, Minneapolis
12.John Bolen, Topeka, Kan.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

1980 – Stott Holds Off Hartman in American 100

Ramo Stott

Springfield, Ill. (June 15, 1980) – Veteran Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, made the most of Father’s Day by holding off the late challenges of Butch Hartman to win the United States Auto Club “American 100” late model stock car race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon.

Stott assumed the lead on the 57th trip around the one-mile dirt oval, overhauling young Rusty Wallace. Until that time, Wallace and Hartman kept a thin, but enthusiastic crowd at the edge of their seats with some close side-by-side action.

Actually, Stott’s day did not start with a flourish, as the former USAC national stock car champion could only maneuver his Camaro to a ninth-fastest qualifying spot. Meanwhile, Hartman broke the track record with a time of 35.73 seconds (110.756 mph), breaking the old record of 37.11 set by Don White in 1967.

Hartman was able to take advantage of a moist surface, which disappeared quickly. In all, 15 drivers timed in under the old mark.

Despite being dry, the surface was in excellent condition, after being treated with liquid chloride all week.

Hartman and Bay Darnell started in the front row as the field of 28 cars took the green, but it was Wallace quickly moving up from his third place stating position to take second and immediately challenge for the lead.

Darnell was having some problems when a water hose gave way and the Lake Bluff, Ill., pilot was forced to pit under green. After a couple of additional laps, Darnell was forced out with a faulty head gasket.

Having passed Darnell before his mechanical problems, third-place Russ Peterson was closing in on the leaders. However, a transmission seal gave up the ghost and Peterson headed for the pits.

After a couple of cautions slowed the action, Wallace continued to lead but Hartman was setting up to move to the front.

The South Zanesville, Ohio shoe took the lead back on lap 28 but Wallace remained close behind. The chase lasted until the 55th circuit when the big hemi in Stave Drake’s Dodge Magnum blew, causing the car to go up in flames as it slowed down on the front straightaway.

Wallace took advantage of the ensuing caution to pit for fuel, but Stott, who had been running in the top-five all day, assumed the lead on lap 57. Herb Shannon of Peoria also moved in between Wallace and the leader, while Hartman was running third.

One more caution slowed the field on lap 74 and when the green flag flew on lap 78, both Wallace and Hartman had designs on closing in on Stott.

Hartman broke away from Wallace with about 20 laps remaining and steadily cut down the split time between himself and the leader. Both Stott and Hartman were running well below the track record as they fought lap after lap.

By the 91st lap, Hartman was right on Stott’s rear bumper, looking for the one break which would put him in the winner’s circle. Stott’s strategy was to stay a bit higher out of the turns while Hartman elected to dive into the corners.

As the two chargers came out of turn four and saw stater Duane Sweeney’s checkered flag, only a front-end spoiler separated the two drivers. At the finish, it was Ramo by barely a nose.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott
2. Butch Hartman
3. Rusty Wallace
4. Bob Brevak
5. Dean Roper
6. Don White
7. Sal Tovella
8. Rich Clement
9. Fred Zach
10.Alan Kulwicki
11.Terry Ryan
12.John Kennedy
13.Dick Potts
14.Gordon Blankenship
15.Corrie Stott
16.Tom Meinberg
17.Butch Garner
18.Joe Ruttman
19.Herb Shannon
20.Steve Drake
21.Russ Peterson
22.John Olsen
23.Ken Schrader
24.Ken Rowley
25.Bruce Hill
26.Bay Darnell
27.Frank Cabrera
28.Gary Brooks

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

1984 – Helm Tops “Pabst 100’ Field at East Moline

Bob Helm

East Moline, Ill. (June 12, 1984) – Bob Helm, Milan, took his car to the limit Tuesday night and raced away from a top field of late models with a stunning upset victory in the fifth annual Pabst Blue Ribbon 100 at East Moline Speedway.

Helm garnered $2,000 for the win.

Helm not only defeated the top drivers from around the East Moline area, but he also defeated some of the best drivers from throughout the United States. Cars came from as far away as River Grove and Springfield, Ill.; St. Louis, Mo., and various other towns from Northern and Southern Illinois, not to mention Eastern Iowa.

Helm could only muster a second place finish in both the trophy dash and third heat but managed to save enough to win the big feature event.

Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, Ken Schrader of Fenton, Mo., and Darrell Marmor of Rover Grove were heat winners while Dick Schiltz of Waterloo, Iowa, won the semi-main.

When the feature began, there were five different track champions in the lineup – Gary Webb of Davenport, Iowa, Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Iowa, Dick Taylor of Springfield, John Provenzano of Aurora, and Ed Sanger of Waterloo.

The race featured only two cautions and after 62 laps, Webb held the lead with Helm a close second. Elm took over the lead on the 69th lap and Dolan slipped up to take over second place.

From there on, it was bumper to bumper racing with Helm keeping the lead, only to have Dolan on his rear bumper. At the finish it was Helm taking the checkered flag, much to the delight of the huge crowd on hand.

Results –

Trophy dash – Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo.
Heat #1 – Roger Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa
Heat #2 – Ken Schrader
Heat #3 – Darrel Marmor, River Grove
Semi-main – Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
Feature –
1. Bob Helm, Milan
2. Roger Dolan
3. Gary Webb, Davenport
4. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
5. Rock Wages, Moline
6. Dick Taylor, Springfield
7. Jerry Wolland, Peoria
8. Don Bohlander, Glasford
9. Mark Powell, Davenport, Iowa
10.Bob Wood, Metamora

1952 – Harrison Cops 100-Mile Run

 The field zooms down the front stretch at the start of the 100-miler at Nashville. Eventual winner Bill Harrison is driving the car at the extreme right. Don White (6) is at the far left, moments before crashing into the south turn.

Nashville, Tenn. (June 14, 1952) – “Wild” Bill Harrison of Topeka, Kan., slithered his 1952 DeSoto through the tight turns of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds dirt track on Saturday afternoon to win the International Motor Contest Association strictly stock car race and in doing so, established a new record.

Some 10,000 speed enthusiasts watched E.V. Derr of Fort Madison, Iowa, take second place in an Oldsmobile 88 and Jerry Wimbush of Atlanta grabbed third place money, driving the same vehicle.

Harrison’s time was 1 hour, 40 minutes and .685 seconds. He collected $500 and $50 in lap money.

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, did a spectacular four-time roll through the outside rail in the south turn on the very first lap of the race but miraculously escaped injury. His 1952 Olds 88, only 10 days old, tumbled through 13 sections of the wood fence. Paling and posts tore through his windshield and the back seat was littered with wood.

Blistering the track for the first 57 circuits, Gober Sosebee of Atlanta set the big crowd buzzing with his daring maneuvers. Sosebee was all over the track in his 1952 Chrysler, cutting into the turns with no braking and throwing dirt with skidding recoveries.

He and Harrison started a duel for first place going into the 55th lap and it took “Wild” Bill two laps to subdue the Cherokee Indian arrow.

Sosebee picked up $100 in lap money but finished sixth after mechanical trouble.

Defending IMCA national champion Hershel Buchanan, who speared his way around the track in 54.61 seconds to pace all qualifiers, drove a beautiful race in his 1951 Nash. The Shreveport, La., throttle-master finished fourth after being seventh at the 60-mile mark. He mentioned after the race that his speedometer was flirting with a true 100 miles per hour in the long stretches of the track.

Bill Holland, famed Indianapolis 500 pilot, was well up in the race until the 43rd lap when he went into the pits for mechanical aid. His hood jammed and the crew was unable to service the motor in his Hudson Hornet, forcing him out of the race.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

1982 – Trickle edges Eddy in Winchester ASA

Dick Trickle receives the winner’s smooch from Miss Winchester Amy Howard after the Wisconsin ace won the AMS/OIL 200. – Don Thies Photo

Winchester, Ind. (June 13, 1982) – A close battle seemed a foregone conclusion, Mike Eddy had led 150 laps of the “AMS/OIL 200” ASA Circuit of Champions event at Winchester Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

But when the green flag flew coming off a caution with five laps to go, Dick Trickle caught Eddy and the two battled furiously for the remaining distance, frequently sideways and sliding, often touching at more than 130 miles per hour. The result was Trickle taking his first ASA win in 21 frustrating months, by less than a car length.

Eddy, the fastest qualifier, point leader, and winner of the last two ASA races, said after the epic fight, “The car must’ve vapor-locked coming off the last caution. I couldn’t believe it – I went all over the racetrack trying to slosh fuel, hoping it would clear up.”

“I didn’t race hard until the end,” an obviously elated Trickle said afterwards. “I just saved my tires and waited.”

Poised immediately behind the duo and waiting to take advantage of what looked like an inevitable crash in the waning laps was Alan Kulwicki, who brought his Firebird home in third, two laps back.

Eddy had been awesome throughout the race, relinquishing the lead only once on a caution at lap 50 as he pitted early and returned prepared to leave the remaining contenders when they were forced to pit later in the race.

Kulwicki took over at that point and led until lap 71 when Bob Senneker took the lead and blasted away from the pack.

While lapping Jack Drolema on lap 94, Senneker’s car apparently had an oil cooler rupture, greasing his tires and sending him up into Drolema in the third turn and then on a wild series of gyrations atop the guardrail that severely damaged both cars.

With the race restarted, Eddy immediately took the lead and had a seemingly uninhibited ability to pull away at will until the caution again flew on lap 190 when Bobby Dotter grenade his engine.

With a glut off oil to clean up, scoring stopped at the prescribed lap 195 in accordance with ASA “last five under green” rule, and there was speculation along pit row as to whether Eddy had enough fuel left due to his early pit stop.

Taking the green, Eddy’s 1982 Firebird ran perfectly into the first turn, albeit with Trickle’s 1981 Camaro in hot pursuit. It’s when Eddy entered the backstretch, his mount began to sputter.

Eddy immediately suspected low fuel instead of the actual vapor lock, made abrupt maneuvers to slosh his precious remaining fuel, but Trickle took advantage of the situation and flashed past him before Eddy’s car eventually caught and he rocketed after him.

For slightly over four harrowing laps that had a large sunny day crowd going berserk, the two veterans ran side-by-side, sliding wildly and rubbing bodywork, but it was Trickle coming off the final turn and down to the checkered with a scant eight-foot margin.

Trickle’s victory was worth $5,340 from a $32,100 purse.

sults –

1. Dick Trickle
2. Mike Eddy
3. Alan Kulwicki
4. Buddy Schrock
5. Harold Fair
6. Don Gregory
7. Chuck Roumell
8. Butch Miller
9. Ken Harrison
10.Bobby Dotter
11.Don Ely
12.Kent Stauffer
13.John Wilson
14.Doug Klein
15.Greg Guzzo
16.John Knaus
17.Rick Rhonemus
18.Dennis Vogel
19.Bob Senneker
20.Jack Drolema
21.Dave Jensen
22.Jim Tuning
23.Glenn Ohlmann
24.Mickey Flora
25.Bob Strait
26.Tom Harrington
27.Terry Senneker

Sunday, June 11, 2023

1979 - Hoffman Wins West Fargo Invitational

Don Hoffman (right) and Gary Crawford led an Iowan parade at the late model invitational at Red River Valley Speedway. – Al Steinberg Photo

West Fargo, N.D. (June 11, 1979) – Don Hoffman of Des Moines led a parade of Iowa drivers Monday night in the late model invitational at Red River Valley Speedway.

Hoffman won the feature event, finishing in front of three other Hawkeye drivers. Finishing second was Gary Crawford of Independence, third was Ed Sanger of Waterloo, and Verlin Eaker of Mechanicsville was fourth. Leon Plank of Mondovi, Wis., took fifth, making the top five an all-invader finish.

Hoffman won the first heat, Tom Corcoran of Grand Forks, N.D., was the second heat winner, Mike Niffenegger of Kalona, Iowa, scored the win in the third heat and Crawford won the fourth heat.

Bob Simmers of Jamestown, N.D., won the consolation event.

The feature had barely begun when the red flag came out. Fifteen of the 25 cars in the starting field were involved in a mishap in the first turn of the first lap, and seven cars were sidelined.

Results –

Heat #1 – Don Hoffman, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Tom Corcoran, Grand Forks, N.D.
Heat #3 – Mike Niffenegger, Kalona, Iowa
Heat #4 – Gary Crawford, Independence, Iowa
Consolation – Bob Simmers, Jamestown, N.D.
Feature –
1. Don Hoffman
2. Gary Crawford
3. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
4. Verlin Eaker, Mechanicsville, Iowa
5. Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

1981 - Hovinga Scores 'Auto Dealers' Win

Denny Hovinga of Pocahontas, Iowa, is joined by car owner Kevin Mills after winning Auto Dealers Spectacular at Marshalltown Speedway. – Dean Malone Photo

Marshalltown, Iowa (June 10, 1981) – Denny Hovinga of Pocahontas sailed to victory in the Auto Dealers Spectacular at Marshalltown Speedway on Wednesday night.

Hovinga nearly completed the sweep in the $5,000 event but a second-place finish to Bill Rice of Des Moines in the trophy dash prevented that. Earlier, Hovinga won the first heat.

Chasing Hovinga to the finish line in the 40-lap late model feature was Rice, Billy Moyer Jr. of Des Moines, Dan Nesteby of Waterloo, and Rocky Hodges of Des Moines.

Ron Cochran of Des Moines was the second heat winner and Nesteby won the semi-main.

In other action, Arvid Borchers of Marshalltown won the 15-lap street stock feature and Rick Nellis of Fort Dodge won the min-sprint contest.

Results –

Heat #1 – Denny Hovinga, Pocahontas
Heat #2 – Ron Cochran, Marshalltown
Trophy dash – Bill Rice, Des Moines
Semi-main – Dan Nesteby, Waterloo
Feature –
1. Denny Hovinga
2. Bill Rice
3. Billy Moyer Jr., Des Moines
4. Dan Nesteby
5. Rocky Hodges, Des Moines
6. Russ Gladson, Des Moines
7. Dale DeFrance, Marshalltown
8. Lynn Idler, Ionia

Friday, June 9, 2023

1973 – Hamilton Gives I-70 Lesson in Driving

Pete Hamilton (left), Larry Phillips and Dick Trickle talk shop before the start of the Kansas City 200 at I-70 Speedway. Hamilton, a former Daytona 500 winner, would dominate the event.

Odessa, Mo. (June 9, 1973) – Pete Hamilton of Atlanta top a stellar field of late model stock car drivers in winning the Kansas City 200 on Saturday night at I-70 Speedway before more than 5,600 race fans.

Hamilton started on the pole position with a one-lap qualifying mark of 18.64 seconds.

He took the lead on the very first lap and held it until he pitted near the midway point of the 200-lap affair. When the other leaders pitted, Hamilton was back in the lead to stay.

In all, there were four leaders. Don Conner, Shawnee Mission, led briefly as did Fred Whisler of Independence and Terry Bivins of Shawnee.

For the last third of the event, Bivins was racing his 1973 Nova around the high-banked asphalt oval faster than anyone, including Hamilton. Bivins ended the grind just three seconds behind Hamilton’s 1969 Chevelle at the finish. Whisler drove his 1973 Gran Torino to third place, finishing on the same lap as the winner and runner-up.

Conner, I-70’s point champion for 1972, finished fourth in his 1973 Chevelle. Larry Phillips of Springfield, driving a 1971 Chevelle, rounded out the top five.

Hamilton, winner of the 1970 Daytona 500, picked up more than $2,000 for the win. It marked his first appearance at I-70.

Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., who had captured six of seven previous feature wins at I-70, was handicapped when he wrecked his Mustang in Wisconsin last week, forcing him to compete in an unfamiliar Monte Carlo owned by Larry Briggs of Kansas City.

Results –

1. Pete Hamilton, Atlanta, Ga.
2. Terry Bivins, Shawnee, Kan.
3. Fred Whisler, Independence
4. Don Conner, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
5. Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
6. Ferris Collier, Lampe, Mo.
7. Tom Karrick, Kansas City
8. Vance Cook, Jonesboro, Ark.
9. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
10.Fritz Wilson, Denver, Colo.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

1978 - Hansen Triumphs at Olmstead Invitational

Curt Hansen led all 40-laps to win the MSI-promoted late model invitational at the Olmsted County Fair. – Missy Hinrichs Photo

Rochester, Minn. (June 8, 1978) – Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, took home $1,000 for winning the 40-lap feature at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds Thursday night, the first MSI Promotions late model invitational of the season.

Starting from inside of the second row, Hansen grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag and never looked back, winning by a comfortable margin at the checkered.

Punky Manor of Altoona, Wis., finished runner-up followed by Eugene Kruger of Austin, Leon Plank of Mondovi, and Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa.

Rich Olson and Leroy Scharkey were left waiting at the gate when they slid into each other at the start of the race, both falling to the wayside.

Other competitors that experienced issues were Wendell Kuehn, who dropped a driveshaft, and Jack Harder, who lost three laps when he spun off the track and couldn’t get restarted.

Results –

1. Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
2. Punky Manor, Altoona, Wis.
3. Eugene Kruger, Austin, Minn.
4. Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.
5. Red Steffen, Eau Claire, Wis.
6. Bill Rice, Des Moines
7. Stan Stover, Waterloo, Iowa
8. Dick Sorenson, Rochester, Minn.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

1959 – Derr Wins Davenport Corn Belt ‘200’

Ernie Derr receives congratulations from IMCA publicity director Nick Nachicas after winning the 100-miler at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.

Davenport, Iowa (June 7, 1959) – Ernie Derr of Keokuk pushed his 1957 Pontiac to victory in the Corn Belt 200 late model stock car race at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon.

The wiry little Gate City speed pilot also moved to the top of the International Motor Contest Association stock car point standings with his win, moving past fellow townsman Ramo Stott, who dropped to fourth in the national standings, after his seventh-place finish.

Bob Kosiskie of Omaha, Neb., took the early lead in the 100-mile contest and kept his 1959 Thunderbird out in front for 47 laps, when Derr finally caught him and took the lead.

Dick Hutcherson, also of Keokuk, slipped past Kosiskie, and from then on it was a duel between the two Keokuk rivals.

The pair exchanged the lead several times, with Hutcherson being forced to make a pit stop in the closing stages of the race. Derr passed him in the pits, then made a pit stop himself and held the lead due to the quick action by his pit crew and held it to the checkered flag.

Kosiskie set the fastest time in qualifying, with his T-Bird turning the Valley half-mile in 30.74 seconds.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
2. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
3. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
4. Frank Richards, Marion
5. Bob Potter, Duluth, Minn.
6. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
7. Ramo Stott, Keokuk
8. Larry Behnken, Anita
9. Bob Hardy, Dallas, Tex.
10.Larry Odo, Chicago

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

1982 – Roper Tops USA Stocks at Springfield

Dean Roper talk to announcer Jack Biddison while Miss C.A.R.S. Michelle Stuckey looks on after capturing the American 100 at the Springfield Mile. – Mike Dunn Photo

Springfield, Ill. (June 6, 1982) – Dean Roper successfully opened defense of his USAC stock car driving title at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Sunday afternoon, by winning the circuit’s season-opening American 100.

Marv Smith began the contest on the pole position, but fellow front row starter Bay Darnell blasted into the lead on the opening round.

Joe Wallace, who started third in the 17-car field, wrested first place away from Darnell on the 20th time around the one-mile dirt oval.

Two circuits later, the caution banner flew for the first time, when Jiggs Lindhorst’s Volare stalled in the fourth turn. Lindhorst was able to restart but wound up 10 laps off the pace at the finish, giving him 14th place.

Debris on the track triggered another caution on lap 58.

Wallace pitted during the slowdown, turning the top spot over to Rick O’Brien on lap 62.

Only five miles were run after the ensuing green before amber returned thanks to a John Prior spin on lap 69.

All-out competition resumed on lap 73 and three miles later, Roper guided his Grand Prix into first place.

The day’s final caution occurred on the 89th round when Bob Brevak spun in the second turn.

Wit the green out for the final eight revolutions, Roper continued to hold the top spot to score the victory, with Wallace placing second, O’Brien third, rookie Jeff Schwister fourth, and Prior fifth.

Roper averaged 85.369 miles per hour in recording the triumph.

Results –

1. Dean Roper
2. Joe Wallace
3. Rick O’Brien
4. Jeff Schwister
5. John Prior
6. Terry Pearson
7. Bay Darnell
8. Bob Brevak
9. Butch Garner
10.Gordon Blankenship
11.Steve Drake
12.Jerry Churchill
13.Herman Huffman
14.Jiggs Lindhorst
15.Marv Smith
16.Tom Meinberg
17.Ken Rowley

Monday, June 5, 2023

1977 – Senneker Sweeps at Interstate

Bob Senneker

West Salem, Wis. (June 5, 1977) – Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., brought his Bluebird ’76 Camaro to the La Crosse Interstate Speedway for the third annual Dr. Pepper 100 and made the 900-mile trip work to his advantage as he won both legs of the twin 50-lap features.

Nekoosa’s Marv Marzofka finished second in both features.

Joe Shear of South Beloit, Ill., was the day’s fast timer but he experienced tire problems in both features and finished well off the pace. Wausau’s Larry Detjens won the trophy dash but dropped out of the first 50 with tire problems and the second race with a blown engine.

John Speer of Janesville edged Jim Johnson of Bangor for first place in the 20-lap semi-feature as the two battled side-by-side.

Results –

Time trials – Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill. (20.48)
Trophy dash – Larry Detjens, Wausau
Heat #1 – Steve Holzhausen, Bangor
Heat #2 – Jim Johnson, Bangor
Semi-main – John Speers, Janesville

Feature #1 –

1. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
2. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa
3. Ed Howe, Beaverton, Mich.
4. Jim Pierson, Janesville
5. Jerry Eckhardt, Lake Mills
6. Jim Back, Vesper
7. Joe Shear
8. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
9. Mike DeMars, Minneapolis
10.Bruce Sparrman, Excelsior, Minn.
11.Fred Bender, Sun Prairie
12.Larry Detjens
13.Jim Sauter, Necedah
14.Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
15.Bob Jusola, Centuria
16.Pete Mahlum, Onalaska
17.Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
18.Pat Griffin, Galesville
19.Steve Arndt, Janesville
20.Don Grant, Dresbach, Minn.

Feature #2 –

1. Bob Senneker
2. Marv Marzofka
3. Jim Sauter
4. Fred Bender
5. Tom Reffner
6. Bob Jusola
7. Jerry Eckhardt
8. Everett DeWitt
9. Ralph Bakewell, La Crosse
10.Pat Griffin
11.Pete Mahlum
12.Jim Back
13.Joe Shear
14.Larry Detjens
15.Ed Howe
16.Mike DeMars
17.Jim Pierson
18.Steve Arndt
19.Bruce Sparrman
20.Dick Trickle