Friday, June 2, 2023

1963 – Hard-Driving Stott Captures Badger 100

A dirty, grimy Ramo Stott takes a cool drink after winning the Badger 100 at Chippewa Falls.

Chippewa Falls, Wis. (June 2, 1963) – Hard-driving Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, rammed his 1963 Plymouth to maximum speeds on the straightaways and handled it flawlessly on the treacherous corners of the half-mile track at the Northwest Wisconsin District Fairgrounds to capture the first running of the Badger 100 for new and late model stock cars, before an estimated crowd of 3,500 on Sunday afternoon.

Stott, among the point leaders in the International Motor Contest Association, gained the lead from five-time IMCA national champion Ernie Derr, also of Keokuk, on the 46th lap and was not challenged until the 91st circuit when Derr made a last-ditch effort for the win.

Stott managed to pass Derr, who had held the lead from the first lap, when Derr was slow in making the turn and Stott cut to the inside and pulled away. He gradually increased his lead as Derr never recovered from his near spin.

Derr settled for second place, holding off a tough challenge of his own with Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., who stayed glue to Derr’s bumper from lap 51 to 83. Stott, Derr, and Funk were the only drivers of the starting field of 18 to complete all 100 laps.

In fact, at the end of the grueling 50-mile race, only seven cars were left on the track when starter Bernie Carlson waved the checkered flag.

Placing fourth was Jim Washburn of Keokuk, Iowa, while in fifth place was Gil Haugen of Sioux Falls, S.D. Both drivers completed 95 laps.

The drivers found much difficulty in negotiating the rugged turns where the cars slid sideways, thus loosening the sandy track and creating potholes.

On these corners, drivers and their cars bounced like rubber balls, and as a result, were forced to brake farther up on the racetrack.

It was through that tough sledding on the corners that the majority of the accidents occurred. The yellow caution flag waved five times during the race with the longest slow-down period happening between laps 9 and 19 when Dick Hutcherson, one of the nation’s top drivers, being involved in a bumping accident with Dick Johnson of St. Paul, Minn.

Hutcherson’s 1963 Ford received a badly smashed fender and grill damage while Johnson’s right rear fender was caved in. He repaired the car and managed to complete 37 more laps while Hutcherson was through for the afternoon.

Stott ran into some trouble on the final restart on lap 89 when Derr moved up quickly and made his final bid to regain the lead on the 97th lap but failed to make the big push as he spun slightly in the corner. He was unable to regain the momentum for another shot in the last three laps as Stott blazed home under the checkered by some two hundred yards in the time of 1 hour and 37 minutes.

Stott posted the fastest time in qualifying, touring the half-mile dirt oval in 29.95 seconds. Stott and Derr were heat winners while Jim Washburn won the consolation.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
4. Jim Washburn, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Gil Haugen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
6. Bill Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
7. Bob Bennett, Hortonville, Wis.
8. Ade Blackfelner, Minneapolis
9. Hank Melborn, Fort Madison, Iowa
10.Tom Rathke, Grafton, Wis.
11.Mike Pangborn, Milwaukee
12.Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
13.Bob Dishman, Des Moines
14.Ralph Wilhelm, Milwaukee
15.Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
16.Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla.
17.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
18.John Mickey, Columbus Junction, Iowa

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