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.

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