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

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