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.

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