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