Monday, July 31, 2023

1977 - Phillips wins ARTGO ‘Carter Classic’

Larry Phillips

Morris, Ill. (July 3, 1977) - Larry Phillips of Springfield, Missouri, moved past Dave Watson in the 64th lap of the 100-lap Wayne Carter Classic to score a close win over Joe Shear and Dick Trickle.

Shear was named the overall ARTGO ‘Summer Nationals’ champion based on the points he won in the Twin 75-lap ARTGO features Saturday night at the Capital Super Speedway south of Madison and Sunday at the Grundy track in Illinois.

A large crowed assembled to watch the 12-event ARTGO program Sunday night snuggled under blankets as the weather turned cool following a morning rain.

In time trials, Larry Schuler shattered the one-lap record with a 15.57-second lap which was later tied by Shear. Schuler was among the leaders when he dropped out in the 79th lap of the feature.

The All-Star Showdown matching Trickle, Schuler, Shear and Bob Senneker was won by Senneker. Bob Carnes won the 20-lap pursuit race and finished fourth in the 100- lapper. The first dozen finishers in the Classic 100-lap race finished in the same lap.

Twenty-five cars took starter Gordie Sill’s green flag in the century run. Gary Hemmerling picked up the $100 bonus for leading the first five consecutive laps.

Watson, the winner of last year’s Carter Classic took the lead in the seventh lap with Carnes a distant second. The yellow flag came out in the 21st lap with a lot of controversy developing as Schuler apparently collided with Mike Miller and Trickle sending them both spinning.

Trickle and Miller were both sent to the rear of the line-up - and after a lot of discussion, Schuler volunteered to also start in the rear — as he felt he had inadvertently caused the tangle.

Once the program resumed, Watson maintained his lead with Phillips moving into second by the 40th lap and pressuring Watson for the next 24 laps. Following a yellow in the 63rd lap, Phillips shot inside Watson for the lead and the win.

Trickle recovered to pass Watson for second in the 70th lap but Shear edged back past Trickle three laps later and the two set out after Phillips.

At the exciting finish, it was Phillips by a bare two car-lengths over Shear and Trickle who were bumper-to-bumper. Carnes was fourth followed closely by Senneker, Watson, Dave Roahrig, Ed Hoffman, Larry Detjens and Lee Schuler.

Also, on the same lap were 11th place Ray Young and early leader Hemmerling.

Two qualifying events were run with Dave Evans winning the first, and Tom Jones the other. Heat race wins were to Carnes, Miller, Terry Bivins, Larry Nipple and Todd Acklam. Jim Pierson won the 30-lap semi-feature.

Results –

1. Larry Phillips
2. Joe Shear
3. Dick Trickle
4. Bob Carnes
5. Bob Senneker
6. Dave Watson
7. Dave Roahrig
8. Ed Hoffman
9. Larry Detjens
10.Lee Schuler
11.Ray Young
12.Gary Hemmerling
13.Tom Reffner
14.Mike Miller
15.Tom Musgrave
16.Dave Weltmeyer
17.Larry Schuler
18.Terry Bivins
19.Jim Pierson
20.Dave Evans
21.Bob Strait
22.Tom Jones
23.Woody Church
24.Chuck Acres
25.Jerry Kemperman

Sunday, July 30, 2023

1978 – Hard Works Pays as Sommerfeld Wins at Alta

Bruce Sommerfeld is joined by trophy girl Jean Barnoske and his father Bob, after his late model win at the Buena Vista County Fairgrounds. – Margaret Gardner Photo

Alta, Iowa (July 30, 1978) – It was a hectic Sunday for Bruce Sommerfeld. The night before, the strong runner from Fort Dodge had run over some errant parts from another race car, puncturing his oil pan and damaging his radiator.

All day Sunday, Sommerfeld and the rest of his pit crew worked feverishly in an attempt to get the car ready for that evening’s racing action.

The hard work didn’t prove futile as Sommerfeld bested a 16-car field to score his first feature victory of the season at Buena Vista Raceway.

Sommerfeld, driving a Camaro, started the 20-lap event on the outside of the front row, and moved into the lead at the onset. Following a lap 4 restart, Sommerfeld found smooth sailing, and by the seventh go-round, had pulled to a straightaway lead over second-place Dale Light.

Sommerfeld coasted to take the checkered, followed by Light and Bob Hill.

Denny Hovinga overcame Denny Sherrill for a fourth-place finish, with Bob Shryock finishing sixth.

The track’s current point leader, Arnie Braland, could muster no better than a seventh-place finish.

Heat races were won by Sommerfeld, Hovinga, and Braland, with Bob Hill winning the trophy dash.

Denny Sherrill took top honors in the handicap, while Bob Harris won the B-main.

Results –

Heat #1 – Bruce Sommerfeld
Heat #2 – Denny Hovinga
Heat #3 – Arnie Braland
Trophy dash – Bob Hill
Handicap – Denny Sherrill
B-main – Bob Harris
Feature –
1. Bruce Sommerfeld
2. Dale Light
3. Bob Hill
4. Denny Hovinga
5. Denny Sherrill
6. Bob Shryock
7. Arnie Braland
8. Roger Tapper
9. Kenny Braasch
10.Bob Harris

Saturday, July 29, 2023

1973 – Gould Races Alone in Salem Victory


Salem, Ind. (July 29, 1973) – Darrell Waltrip summed it up when he said, “That boy ain’t got nobody to race with him.”

Don Wilbur tried for a while. So did Waltrip. And Tiny Lund was still trying when the checkers waved.

But by the time Sunday afternoon’s 100-lap Automobile Racing Club of America- NASCAR Grand National East race at Salem Speedway was over, Gould had convinced 29 fellow competitors and a profitable record of 7,272 fans that nobody was ready to race with his 1971 Ford.

Starting from the pole position, the ARCA rookie from Cincinnati grabbed the leading heading into the first turn and stayed there the rest of the way as he beat Lund, a NASCAR veteran from Cross, S.C., who drove a Camaro, by half a straight-away.

Thus, Gould completed a weekend sweep of the three-race ARCA-NASCAR swing through Cincinnati, Toledo, Ohio, and Salem. It was also his fifth straight triumph and his 10th victory in the 14 ARCA races he’s competed in so far this season.

Turning to one of his mechanics moments after the race, Gould exclaimed, “It was working great, babe! I don’t know what you guys did to the car while I was asleep, but it never felt so good.”

Sunday’s field was shy several of the top NASCAR drivers that had been billed as entered. Dave Marcis crashed at Toledo and went home. Neil Castles, with no deal money for running his super-speedway car, ran his dirt-track machine and made the feature only after it was announced that the field had been expanded from 24 starters to 30.

Former Grand National driver Earl Balmer’s car was turned down by ARCA officials. And several NASCAR regulars – Elmo Langley, Ed Negre, Richard Childress and Vic Parsons – filed entries, then – apparently – set about readying their fishing tackle instead of their race cars.

But had all of them been present, it is doubtful that any of them could have caught the runaway Gould.

As was, Wilbur, from West Carrollton, Ohio, was the first to try. But on the sixth lap, his 1972 Chevelle slapped against Lund’s car on the front straightaway, and he dropped back to the fourth spot.

Gould was pulling away from Lund on lap 12 when Tiny’s car momentarily vapor-locked and began overheating, he pulled up briefly to le Waltrip take chase.

Waltrip, the Owensboro, Ky, driver who had won six straight at Salem, appeared to have some hope of staying with Gould, but on lap 37 the AMC Javelin he was piloting disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

Wilbur dropped out of competition soon after Waltrip exited and three laps later the yellow flag flew for Ken Reiter’s Chevelle that broke a fuel line.

When racing resumed, Lund took up the chase once again, but his effort was futile. Twice in the last 30 laps, he cut Gould’s straightaway margin down to a few car lengths, but each time Gould would pull away again.

Defending ARCA national champion Ron Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa, drove his Ford to a third-place finish and was the only other driver on the same lap as Gould and Lund.

Dave Dayton of Indianapolis held on for fourth, Kenny Simpson of Bedford, Ind., ran a strong fifth. Bobby Watson of Prestonsburg, Ky., finished sixth despite running the last 12-15 laps with a broke rear shock absorber. Another ex-NASCAR star, Charlie Glotzbach of Edwardsville, Ind., was sidelined with brake failure after only 12 laps.

Results –

1. Bruce Gould, Cincinnati
2. Tiny Lund, Cross, S.C.
3. Ron Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Dave Dayton, Indianapolis
5. Kenny Simpson, Bedford, Ind.
6. Bobby Watson, Prestonsburg, Ky.
7. A. Arnold, Brooks, Ky.
8. N.D. Copley, Hedgesville, Ky.
9. Tony Schiller, Frankfort, Ky.
10.Wayne Trinkle, Jeffersonville, Ind.

Friday, July 28, 2023

1976 – Merryfield wins Southern Iowa Speedway Feature

Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 28, 1976) - Coming from the inside third row starting position, Des Moines’ Joe Merryfield guided his 1976 Camaro to victory in Wednesday night's 20-lap late model stock car feature at the Southern Iowa Speedway.

“Injun Joe” caught early leader Ed Sanger of Waterloo on the third lap and maneuvered around the outside of Sanger four laps later for the lead he never relinquished.

Point leader Sanger stayed hot on Merryfield's trail the final 13 laps for second spot, with Falstaff Classic winner Curt Hansen of Dike, claiming third and Don Hoffman of Des Moines fourth.

Results –

Heat #1 - Bob McCall, Ottumwa
Heat #2 - Ed Sanger, Waterloo
Heat #3 - Bill Rice, Des Moines
Australian Pursuit - Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
Feature - 
1. Joe Merryfield
2. Ed Sanger
3. Curt Hansen, Dike
4. Don Hoffman, Des Moines
5. Bob McCall
6. Stan Stover, Reinbeck
7. Roger Dolan, Lisbon
8. Jack Mitchell, Cedar Falls
9. Pokey West, West Chester
10.Red Dralle, Evansdale

1963 – Folse Wins Fair Race, Sets Mark

Pete Folse

Chippewa Falls, Wis. (July 28, 1963) – Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla., three-times the International Motor Contest Association champion, won the feature race and set a new track record in IMCA big car races at the Northern Wisconsin District Fair on Sunday afternoon.

Twenty-one drivers and cars participated in the three heat races, a consolation race, and the 12-lap main event.

Folse, driving the Honore Offenhauser, won the feature race in the record time of 5 minutes and 34.95 seconds. Johnny White of Warren, Mich., the defending IMCA national champion, finished second.

Folse, Jim Wegschneider of St. Paul, Minn., and Ron Larson of White Bear Lake, Minn., were heat winners while Ted Ready of St. Paul, Minn., drove his Chevy conversion to a new track record of 3 minutes and 11.62 seconds in the 6-lap consolation.

Results –

1. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
2. Johnny White, Warren, Mich.
3. Jerry Daniels, St. Paul, Minn.
4. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
5. Ron Larson, White Bear Lake, Minn.
6. Bill Horstmeyer, Stoughton, Wis.
7. Don Brown, San Fernando, Calif.
8. Jim Wegschneider, St. Paul, Minn.
9. Tony Farr, Pomona, Calif.
10.Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

1980 – Shear Holds Off Trickle, Wins RWB Go at WIR

Joe Shear

By Gary Vercauteren

Kaukauna, Wis. (July 27, 1980) – Joe Shear withstood a final lap battle with Dick Trickle to win the second race of the Red, White and Blue State Championship Series Sunday afternoon at Wisconsin International Raceway before a crowd of 5,386 fans.

Shear and Trickle had battled wheel-to-wheel for most of the 60-lap distance. On the final lap the two leaders found themselves pinned behind Gene Mathu who was locked in a battle for 12th place with Bob Abitz.

Shear, who had a narrow lead going into the final lap, went to the outside in a three-wide formation as he attempted to lap Mathu’s car. Trickle, meanwhile, seeing that Shear was straining to get around the outside of Mathu, ducked under Abitz as the four cars strung across the raceway.

Trickle tapped Abitz’ car as he slipped past, while Shear cleanly got around Mathu’s mount. Shear then raced to the checkered flag with Trickle a mere car-length behind.

“I didn’t know it was going to happen on the last lap,” shear said of the wild finish. “Trickle was a gentleman and let me through.”

Steve Burgess led the first six laps before being overtaken by Tony Strupp. Shear then ducked inside of Strupp on lap 7 and took charge as the field entered turn one.

He opened up a four-car-length advantage and maintained a sizeable margin over Trickle until the 22nd lap. Then Shear found himself caught behind a slower car and Trickle was able to gain a few seconds, piling up on Shear’s bumper.

Trickle pulled to the outside of Shear on lap 33 and actually slipped into the lead for one lap before Shear was able to move back into the number one position.

On lap 36, Trickle again pulled even with Shear on the backstretch, but shear was up to the challenge and kept his Camaro firmly planted in the inside groove.

Shear remained inches ahead of Trickle until the 46th round when Trickle, for a third time, pulled even and slightly ahead on the backstretch. Trickle wavered slightly coming out of the fourth turn, however, which allowed Shear to regain control of the situation until the wild finish.

Alan Kulwicki, the current Fox River Racing Club point leader, finished third. He kept his car within striking distance of the two leaders, finishing three car lengths behind Trickle.

Larry Detjens placed fourth while fifth place went to Mike Miller.

Results –

1. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
2. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
3. Alan Kulwicki, Greenfield
4. Larry Detjens, Wausau
5. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
6. J.J. Smith, Appleton
7. Tony Strupp, Slinger
8. Larry Schuler, New Lenox, Ill.
9. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire
10.Bob Iverson, Hyde, Mich.
11.Ted Musgrave, Grand Marsh
12.Bob Abitz, Freedom
13.Gene Mathu, Luxemburg
14.Terry Baldry, Omro
15.Tom Reffner, Rudolph
16.Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
17.Steve Seligman, Lake Bluff, Ill.
18.Rich Somers, Minocqua

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

1970 – Stott Takes Oregon Feature

Ramo Stott

Oregon, Wis. (July 26, 1970) – Close to 5,000 race fans watched grand national stock car racing make its debut in the area at Capital Super Speedway on Sunday night. If crowd reaction is any indication of popularity, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) will return.

Andy Hampton of Louisville, Ky., and Ramo Stott off Keokuk, Iowa, chased each other around in a game of cops and robbers amid unwitting and dwindling traffic Sunday night, before Stott pulled his 1970 Plymouth ahead on the 58th lap and raced to an easy victory.

Hampton, piloting a 1970 Dodge, took the initial lead at the drop of the green flag and Stott cagily followed him around the paved half-mile track while the other 20 cars either dropped out or wheeled dutifully around like extras in a movie scene.

Hampton would get caught in slower traffic on lap 57, and Stott would maneuver past him and then start to extend his lead.

At the checkered, Stott held a commanding straightaway margin over Hampton.

Only half of the 22-car field was still on the track at the end. Following Stott and Hampton to the finish line were Iggy Katona of Willis, Mich., Tom Bowsher of Springfield, Ohio, and Ross Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Heat winner were Wayne Trinkle of Jeffersonville, Ind., Stott, and Paul Wensink of Deshler, Ohio. Katona won the trophy dash. Bowsher set fast time in qualifying, with a time of 14.37 seconds.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott
2. Andy Hampton
3. Iggy Katona
4. Tom Bowsher
5. Ross Smith
6. Dave Dayton

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

1985 - Moyer Wins NDRA 'National 100' at Knoxville

Former Iowan Billy Moyer Jr., returned home to win the NDRA-sanctioned National 100 at Knoxville Raceway. Trophy girl Katerine Kilburn joins the winner in victory lane. – Dean Malone Photo

Knoxville, Iowa (August 25, 1985) – Former Iowan Billy Moyer Jr., got a couple of breaks and won the National Dirt Racing Association (NDRA) 100-lap late model stock car race Thursday night at the Marion County Fairgrounds.

The victory was Moyer’s fifth of the season and the win on the historic half-mile meant $8,000 for his efforts. He received $3,000 for the win and a $5,000 bonus for winning his third feature race in the five-event series in the Midwestern swing.

Moyer, formerly of Des Moines but now racing out of Batesville, Ark., couldn’t cope with the speed of Charlie Schwartz of Ashland, Ky., for the first 33 laps. But Schwartz, who had built a least a 100-yard lead, went out with clutch problems on lap 33 and suddenly, Moyer had the lead and nearly half-lap advantage over Jeff Purvis of Clarksville, Tenn.

After the 50-lap fuel stop, Purvis began to stalk Moyer but suffered a flat tire on lap 97. Nonetheless, he charged from the rear of the pack to finish fifth.

Moyer would finish a lapped car between himself and runner-up Willy Kraft of Lakefield, Minn., at the end.

Results –

1. Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, Ark.
2. Willy Kraft, Lakefield, Minn.
3. Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo
4. T.J. Pauschert, Carlisle, Ark.
5. Jeff Purvis, Clarksville, Tenn.
6. Ray Guss Jr., Milan, Ill.
7. Ken Walton, Viola, Iowa
8. Jerry Inmon, Bruce, Miss.
9. Charlie Sentman, Waveland, Ind.
10.Danny Breuer, Wapello, Iowa
11.Johnny Johnson, Wapello, Iowa
12.Jeff Napper, Winchester, Ky.
13.Buddy Boutwell, Lynn Haven, Fla.
14.Billy Aiken, Atlanta, Ga.
15.Rick Aukland, Fargo, N.D.
16.Kenny Brightbill, Sinking Springs, Penn.
17.Jeff Walker, Tennessee
18.Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
19.Pepper Newby, Clarksville, Tenn.
20.Charlie Schwartz, Ashland, Ky.

Monday, July 24, 2023

1984 – Webb Tops Santa Fe 50, Stroh’s Title to O’Conner


Gary Webb wired the late model field in the Stroh’s Memorial 50 at Santa Fe Speedway. – Dorothy and Vince Mayer Photo

Willow Springs, Ill. (July 24, 1984) – Gary Webb led all the way to win Tuesday night’s Stroh’s Memorial 50-lap Stock Car Classic late model feature but a third-place finish in the contest gave Jim O’Conner the overall title in the two-event Stroh’s Stock Car Classic competition, the first half of which was held May 27.

Webb grabbed the upper hand on the opening trip around the speedway’s longer oval, with polesitter Arnie Gardner moving into second place on lap 2. O’Conner and Bob Pierce rounded out the top four.

Gardner relinquished second place to O’Conner on lap 22 and surrendered third to Pierce on the following circuit. At the 30-lap mark. O’Conner and Pierce began pressuring Webb, but the frontrunner utilized lapped traffic to reopen his advantage moments later. As the lead trio continued to run amid heavy traffic, Pierce overtook O’Conner for second.

With 10 revolutions remaining, Pierce again closed in on Webb. After failing to find a way around Webb in the lower groove, Pierce took the high road and got alongside Webb on the 46th round.

However, Webb proved equal to the task and retained the top spot the rest of the way. Pierce settled for second while O’Conner took third. Gardner was fourth with Ken Pohlman rounding out the top five.

The win was the second for Webb on Santa Fe’s longer circuit.

Results –

1. Gary Webb, Davenport, Iowa
2. Bob Pierce, Danville
3. Jim O’Conner, Kankakee
4. Arnie Gardner, Batavia
5. Ken Pohlman, Lombard
6. Tony Izzo, Bridgeview
7. Larry Jackson, Lyons
8. Denny Falkos, Aurora
9. John Provenzano, Glen Ellyn
10.Fred Lofgren, Bensenville

1977 – Trickle Captures ‘300’ Crown

Eventual winner Dick Trickle (99) leads Joe Shear (36) during the National Championship 300 at I-70 Speedway. – Wayne Doebling Photo

Odessa, Mo. (July 24, 1977) – Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., jumped to an early lead, then outbattled his biggest threat, the heat, to win Sunday’s National Championship 300 late model stock car race at I-70 Speedway.

The victory was Trickle’s third in the seven-year-old race. He won the 1971 inaugural and followed that with a victory in 1972.

The high temperatures, plus the pressure of a fast-closing Joe Shear, almost were too much for Trickle. He defeated Shear, South Beloit, Ill., by a tick of a clock after a five-lap dash to the checkered flag.

Bolivar’s David Goldsberry was in the thick of the chase before a blown right front tire sent his Camaro into the second turn wall on lap 289. Yellow flag laps were scored until the 295th and the delay to move Goldsberry’s crushed racer set up Shear’s last chance chase.

Before the accident, Goldsberry’s car was clearly the quickest on the track, and he needed only a yellow flag to close on the leaders. He had earlier passed Trickle to unlap himself.

Blown tires presented problems to two other contenders during the race of two hours. Mark Martin, the Batesville, Ark., driver who leads the point standings at Springfield’s Fairground Speedway, was running fifth when tire failure sent him into the fourth turn concrete. Mike Eddy, Kawkawlin, Mich., inherited Martin’s fifth spot but pitted to change a flat right rear tire on lap 239.

Early chargers not around at the finish were Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., and Terry Bivins, Shawnee, Kan. Phillips, who started 20th after missing Saturday’s qualifying, moved past Dave Watson, Milton, Wis., on lap 45 but later slowed and left the race with mechanical issues on lap 70. Watson held his ground and finished third. Goldsberry was fourth and Eddy finished fifth.

Bivins was up and down early but spun through an oil-slicked fourth turn on lap 90 while running third. He came back in the borrowed car of Dave Klingsporn, Monett, but hit the second turn wall with it on lap 167 and was finished again.

Indianapolis 500 competitor Janet Guthrie, split the race with Jim Back, Vesper, Wis., and was credited with ninth place finish in his car. She started the race and drove 90 laps before Back took over, then drove the final 65 circuits.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle
2. Joe Shear
3. Dave Watson
4. David Goldsberry
5. Mike Eddy
6. Everett DeWitt
7. Steve Lutkie
8. Greg Webb
9. Janet Guthrie/Jim Back
10.Ed Neal
11.Nate Kimberling
12.Charlie Benedict
13.Wayne Woody
14.Ron Lupardus
15.Jim Arnold
16.Rusty Wallace
17.Gene Christie
18.Dave Klingsporn
19.Mark Martin
20.Wayne Smith
21.Terry Bivins
22.James Cox
23.Larry Phillips
24.Dennis Roberts
25.Jim Hickey
26.Bill Crane
27.Ed Walkenhorst
28.Jerry Nussbaum

Sunday, July 23, 2023

1978 - Sweet Wins Rain-Shortened Salem Classic

Randy Sweet

Salem, Ind. (July 23, 1978) – Randy Sweet followed his strategy perfectly and got his wish when rain halted the Raider 150 while he was running first after 86 laps, giving the Indiana pilot his second American Speed Association victory of the season, Sunday afternoon at Salem Super Speedway.

“Strategy was simple in this race,” Sweet said after collecting $2,100 for the victory. “It was just stand on the gas and hope it rained.”

A crowd of 4,212 contributed to the event’s $15,000 purse.

Don Gregory, Rick Knotts, Dave Roahrig and Mark Martin, each of whom completed 86 laps before the contest was red flagged, finished second through fifth respectively.

Threatening skies prevailed throughout the afternoon as Sweet carded the fastest qualifying time for the contest and started the feature from the eighth spot in the 24-car field.

After 30 laps of combat with early leader Roahrig and challenger Mike Eddy, Sweet finally emerged in the number one position. Once ahead, Sweet was able to keep Roahrig at bay while Eddy was forced out of the chase with water pump problems on lap 59.

The event’s early laps saw Roahrig in front, but Sweet and Eddy never more than inches behind as they swapped the number two spot. The frontrunning trio was closely pursued by Martin, Knotts and Ray Young.

Young was eliminated from contention early, when differential problems forced him to make a lengthy pit stop. Although he returned, Young managed to complete 50 laps before the rain stopped the contest, and he was credited with 22nd.

Larry Schuler also challenged the leaders in the early going, advancing to fourth place before a wheel broke on his Camaro on lap 9. Schuler miraculously kept his car off the wall, but the incident forced him to make a lengthy pit stop which removed him from contention.

With rain clouds building at the event’s 50-lap mark, Gregory started his charge on the .54-mile steeply-banked track, overhauling Knotts and Roahrig to claim second. However, the Jeg’s Camaro Chauffeur was still five seconds behind the pacesetting Sweet.

As Sweet completed the 84th lap, raindrops appeared on the backstretch and officials brought out the yellow flag. One lap later the red flag appeared.

Officials attempted to restart the contest some 20 minutes later, but after two laps under yellow a deluge ended any possibility of further action.

At the initial halt it was discovered that Sweet’ car had an oil leak developing on the front cover of the engine, casting serious doubt as to whether he could have completed the schedule distance.

“You can bet I was doing a rain dance,” Sweet said after the event was finally called.

Results –

1. Randy Sweet, Bremen
2. Don Gregory, Columbus, Ohio
3. Rick Knotts, Mattawan, Mich.
4. Dave Roahrig, Plymouth
5. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
6. Lonnie Breedlove, Indianapolis
7. Ellis Herbert, Spiceland
8. Ken Harrison, Indianapolis
9. Steve Agnew, Brownsburg
10.Don Johnson, Hillard, Ohio
11.Terry Shirley, Seymour
12.Robin Schildknecht, Louisville, Ky.
13.Paul Stuerenberg, Cincinnati, Ohio
14.Bill Bartholomew, Sharonville, Ohio
15.Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
16.Neil Sceva, Urbana, Ohio
17.Troy Hensley, Richmond, Ky.
18.Roger Gillespie, Urbana, Ohio
19.Larry Brooks, Indianapolis
20.Larry Gorman, Indianapolis

1967 – Eaker Worries, But Wins

Verlin Eaker

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 23, 1967) – Oh, to have Verlin Eaker’s worrying problems.

The smooth driving Eaker claimed he suffered a few anxious moments Sunday afternoon while charging to the championship in the third annual National Late Model Modified Stock Car Championship at Hawkeye Downs before a disappointing crowd of 3,445.

Heavy, late morning rains throughout Iowa and Illinois and the ever-present threat of showers in Cedar Rapids no doubt affected the attendance as well as driver presentation which was well below the official entry list of 51 cars. Only 29 cars were present.

Eaker, the current point leader at the Downs, started on the pole position and led the entire 100-lap distance on the quarter mile to capture the $1,000 first prize money.

Verlin, and his hemi-powered 1967 Dodge also walked off with the entire lap purse of $320, awarded on the basis of $3.20 per lap paid to the leader.

As champion, Eaker was also awarded a free trip to Florida courtesy of Wynn Oil, Co.

Eaker was never challenged on the dirt track which resembled asphalt even before the feature spectacular began, due mainly to the heavy pounding of time trials, five preliminary events, and a blistering 96-degree temperature.

Eaker’s worries started 10 laps into the main event when his car starting sputtering.

“I got worried when the fuel pressure wasn’t up where it should’ve been,” Eaker explained. “I think it stored up on me when I had to slow down to lap slower cars.”

Second place finisher Dean Montgomery of Milan, Ill., provided Eaker additional worries, even though Dean was almost lapped by Eaker.

“I knew he wasn’t too close to me,” Eaker said. “But every time I looked for him, I couldn’t find him. That worried me.”

Asked if he knew how much he won by, Eaker replied, “I have a good idea.”

The famed Johnny Beauchamp of Atlantic, Iowa, showed his skill by climbing from his 16th starting position to finish third, right on Montgomery’s bumper at the finish.

Beauchamp, running smooth as silk in a ’60 Chevy, also copped the 15-lap third heat. With about 22 laps to go in the feature, the former IMCA national champion, lost his brakes.

“I thought I had a good chance of catching Montgomery until that happened,” he said. “I was just hanging on there at the end.”

Fourth place went to popular Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., while Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, the 1965 winner of this event, rounded out the top five finishers.

Lee Kunzman of Guttenberg, the defending titlist, dropped out with engine trouble after only 25 laps.

Del Williams of Aledo, Ill., won the 20-lap semi-main, while heat winners, besides Beauchamp, were Ray Guss of Milan, Ill., Jack Rebholz of Peoria, Ill., and Jim Gerber of Long Grove.

Results –

1. Verlin Eaker, Cedar Rapids
2. Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
3. Johnny Beauchamp, Atlantic
4. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
5. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
6. John Connolly, Delhi
7. Jim Gerber, Long Grove
8. Tom Hughes, Monticello
9. John Schlemmer, Cedar Rapids
10.Ernie Speth, Davenport

Saturday, July 22, 2023

1961 – Funk Cops Playland Race

Council Bluffs, Iowa (July 22, 1961) – A Kansas wheat farmer combined speed and driving skill Saturday night to harvest victory in the International Motor Contest Association late model stock car races at Playland Speedway.

Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan., had things all his way as 3,577 race fans saw him wrest the lead away from Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan on the third lap of the 100-lapper.

By the time he had received the checkered flag, Funk had lapped every car on the track with the exception of Beauchamp, now living in Atlantic.

The Kansan lapped fourth place finisher Ramo Stott of Keokuk on lap 52 and Dick Hutcherson, also of Keokuk, on lap 69.

At the end, he had more than a half-lap lead on Beauchamp, who returned to Playland to prove the spectacular accident he was involved in a few months ago at Daytona, Fla., had not affected his racing ability.

Buried among the also-rans and lapped by Funk on the 35th circuit was another Keokuk dandy, Ernie Derr, the defending IMCA point champion.

Results –

Heat #1 – Ernie Derr, Keokuk
Heat #2 – Gerry Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
Heat #3 – Ramo Stott, Keokuk
Trophy dash – Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
Consolation – Bill Moyer, Des Moines
Feature –
1. Lenny Funk
2. Johnny Beauchamp, Atlantic
3. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
4. Ramo Stott, Keokuk
5. Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla.


Friday, July 21, 2023

1984 - Duvall Wins I-70 'NDRA National'

Odessa, Mo. (July 21, 1984) – “I didn’t know that Rodney was out of the race until it was over,” Mike Duvall said after he went past the checkered flag first to take home $20,000 by winning the NDRA Stroh’s/Doge Super National at I-70 National Speedway on Saturday night before a crowd near 10,000.

A big percentage of the capacity crowd was cheering wildly for their Midwest “representative,” Bill Martin of Council Bluffs, who put in by far the most spectacular drive of the weekend by finishing a close second after starting in the 20th position.

At the drop of green to the 75-lap NDRA National underway, Freddy Smith of Kings Mountain, N.C., jumped to the front and pulled away until lap 13 when Rodney Combs of Lost Creek, W.Va., pulled in and parked on his rear bumper. Jerry Inmon of Bruce, Miss., and Duvall, of Gaffney, S.C., were back a distance of two turns battling for third when, on lap 34, Smith’s oil pressure went down to nothing, forcing him to retire from the race. That put Combs into a lonely lead.

Combs continued to pull away from the rest of the field until lap 54 when blue smoke puffed from the car, showing a piston coming apart, and putting him out immediately. Combs was well ahead in lapped traffic and cars behind didn’t even notice him leaving the event.

On lap 91, Martin, who had to win the “B” feature to start in the main event, worked his way around the 16th car he passed to take over second place from Inmon and started his charge towards Duvall. Duvall’s lead was far enough to hold the top spot until the finish.

With no more than one yellow flag throughout the contest, Duvall didn’t know until the checkered flag that Combs was no longer there, and a $12,000 winning difference suddenly jumped into his mind.

In Thursday’s action, Freddy Smith was fast timer at 19.33 seconds. Friday’s qualifying heats were won by Duvall, Billy Moyer Jr. of Des Moines, Jack Pennington of Hephzibah, Ga., and Jeff Purvis of Clarksville, Tenn.

Results –

1. Mike Duvall, Gaffney, S.C.
2. Bill Martin, Council Bluffs, Iowa
3. Jerry Inmon, Bruce, Miss.
4. Willy Kraft, Lakefield, Minn.
5. Joe Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
6. Dave Chase, Council Bluffs, Iowa
7. Rick Beebe, Overland Park, Kan.
8. Terry Messenger, Sumner, Ill.
9. Steve Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
10.Bobby Goulden, Independence, Mo.
11.Ronnie Hoover, Fulton, Mo.
12.Larry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.
13.Billy Clanton, Riverdale, Ga.
14.Kenny Brightbill, Sinking Springs, Penn.
15.Rodney Combs, Lost Creek, W.Va.
16.Buck Simmons, Baldwin, Ga.
17.Jeff Purvis, Clarksville, Tenn.
18.Johnny Johnson, Wapello, Iowa
19.Jack Pennington, Hephzibah, Ga.
20.Freddy Smith, Kings Mountain, N.C.

1964 – Winchester Sprints to Amick

Winchester, Ind. (July 21, 1964) – It might just as well have been “Red Amick Day” at Winchester Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

The former Indianapolis 500 veteran who returned to racing after a two-year retirement, was never headed as he drove the Fetters Aluminum Chevy to victory in the International Motor Contest Association 30-lap feature.

Amick’s performance came after he posted fast time in qualifications and then took top honors in his heat race.

Curly Boyd followed Amick through the 15-mile route to take runner-up honors while Bob King grabbed third-place.

The yellow flag appeared three times during the event, once when defending IMCA national champion Johnny White spun on the 18th circuit while running in third. He would eventually finish 10th.

Amick’s victory was worth a king-size chunk of the $3,500 purse.

More than 5,000 fans who turned out for the program saw Amick, White and Don Friend speed home with heat wins. Norm Brown won the trophy dash and while Tom McClellan was the consolation winner.

Results –

1. Red Amick
2. Curly Boyd
3. Bob King
4. Jim McCune
5. Gordon Woolley
6. Johnny Logan
7. Calvin Gilstrap
8. Tom McClellan
9. Gordon Johncock
10. Johnny White

Thursday, July 20, 2023

1975- Reffner Adds White Race to List of Wins

Tom Reffner is joined by Miss Red, White & Blue Colleen Schmude after winning the 75-lapper at WIR. – Dick Jepsen Photo


By Gary Vercauteren

Kaukauna, Wis. (July 20, 1975) – Tom Reffner expertly guided his 1974 Javelin to victory in the second race of the Red, White & Blue State Championship Series at the Wisconsin International Raceway before a crowd of 6,846 sun-drenched fans. It was his 47th feature win of the season.

Reffner smoothly worked his car through the 25-car field and powered past Dave Watson of Milton on the 20th lap. From that point on, Reffner continued to increase his lead and won the 75-lap feature on the half-mile paved oval with a quarter-lap margin to spare over Watson.

Reffner gave the field a warning of things to come during qualifications when he flew around the track in 20.82 seconds, breaking a year-old mark held by Joe Shear of 21.12 seconds.

Bloomington, Minn., driver Bill Oas broke into the early lead from his pole position and held the top spot for four laps until Rich Somers of Stevens Point passed him in the third turn.

Dick Trickle moved past Somers on the 11th round only to be passed by Watson two laps later. Meanwhile, Reffner slipped past Trickle on lap 18 and two laps later, powered past Watson with John Ziegler, winner of the Red Race, glued to his rear bumper.

Ziegler remained in the picture until lap 69 when he dropped out with mechanical problems while running second, about six-car-lengths behind Reffner.

Watson finished second with Larry Detjens of Wausau, making a late charge to earn himself third-place money. Detjens wheeled his hemi-powered Dodge Challenger past Somers, Shear and Trickle during the final five laps of the race.

Results –

1. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
2. Dave Watson, Milton
3. Larry Detjens, Wausau
4. Rich Somers, Stevens Point
5. Joe shear, South Beloit, Ill.
6. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
7. John Reimer, Caledonia
8. Tom Musgrave, Mundelein, Ill.
9. Fred Bender, Sun Prairie
10.Bob Gunn, Monona

1958 – Ernie Derr Wins North Dakota Race


Grand Forks, N.D. (August 20, 1958) – Ernie Derr of Fort Madison, Iowa, driving a 1957 Pontiac, roared to victory in the 100-lap new model stock car race at Grand Forks State Fair Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

The veteran Derr finished about a half-lap ahead of Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, who was driving a 1957 Chevrolet. In addition to posting his fourth feature win of the 1958 season, Derr also posted the fastest time in qualifying, touring the half-mile oval in 30.78 seconds.

Finishing third in the long-distant grind was Russell Gross, Sr., a 57-year-old driver from Quincy, Ill., who was behind the wheel of a ’57 Pontiac.

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, currently the International Motor Contest Association point leader, was forced out of action on lap 58 because of motor issues. He was leading at the time after overtaking Derr on lap 55.

Bob Burdick of Omaha, Neb., driving a 1958 Ford, dropped out of the action early as he developed mechanical issues on lap 21. Burdick was second in points to White entering the contest and was running in third place at the time of his engine failure.

Derr was the leader for 96 of the 100 laps. He surged to the front the first time around and held the edge be a narrow margin until White finally got around him on the 55th circuit. White maintained the advantage until his motor trouble.

Beauchamp would make a valiant bid for the top spot in the last 10 laps, but Derr was not to be denied.

A field of 18 cars started the event.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Fort Madison, Iowa
2. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
3. Russ Gross, Quincy, Ill.
4. Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
5. Bob Potter, Duluth, Minn.
6. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
7. Chris Skadal, Des Moines
8. Bruce Nystrom, Oshkosh, Wis.
9. Murray Folson, Mechanicsville, Iowa
10.Pete Van Oudenhoven, Appleton, Wis.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

1970 – Only 7,500 Watch Foyt Win Dover Stock 200

Dover, Del. (July 19, 1970) – A Larry Riddick substituting for Mario Andretti? A Jim Perry running for Johnny Rutherford? A George Rodelli instead of Art Pollard? And where was Al Unser?

That was the situation created by the United States Auto Club when it canceled the Indianapolis-type 250-mile race scheduled for Dover Downs International Speedway on Sunday and called for its minor-league stock car division to stage a 200-mile contest.

A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., won the race. It was almost preordained that Foyt would triumph considering few of the really great race drivers were in competition. Andretti, Pollard, Rutherford, and Al Unser – they were all at home.

Riddick won $700, Rodelli $600 and Perry was lucky to keep his car on the track. That was type of competition many thousands of race fans didn’t see – they stayed home, too.

A crowd estimated at 7,500, depending on whom you talked to, watched the race, held on a blistering one-mile oval track. They can hardly take the blame, but it will take a financial bath – especially since the $35,000 purse that it generously offered was barely covered by the paid attendance.

Foyt was a loser, too. He gave Miss Delaware a quick kiss, grabbed the trophy for fastest qualifier, and said it was “hot” driving to a public address announcer who was trying to get A.J. to say a few words about his victory. Then, in a wink of an eye, Foyt was gone, harnessing himself inside a helicopter bound for Philadelphia’s International Airport.

No more words for anybody – not even his car owner, Jack Bowsher, who got stuck with the job of picking up Foyt’s check for $6,875, the winner’s share of the richest purse offered at a stock car race this season.

Don White was the runner-up in his 1969 Dodge Daytona, finishing 14 seconds behind Foyt’s Ford Torino. “I couldn’t have caught Foyt today,” White said. “Sure, I got by him a couple of times, but it seemed inevitable that if he ever got the lead back, I wasn’t going to catch him.”

White didn’t come right out and say “Ban Foyt” but the former USAC stock car champion is annoyed that Foyt can come into the stock car division and dominate the way he does.

“I’m not interested in Indianapolis. My interest is in driving stock cars, and I work hard to succeed at it. Why should a Foyt be allowed to come in? When he does, we’re almost assured at finishing second or third. He’s got the financial backing that most of us don’t or can’t afford to have.”

It is true that White lost, but he gave it a real go, leading for laps 170 through 180 until Foyt caught him in traffic and passed the Keokuk, Iowa, native.

Said Roger McCluskey, the USAC stock car point leader, who finished third in a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, “We tried to set up the car in a different way today. If it worked, we’d be winners. If it didn’t – well, we finished third.”

Bobby Unser, the 1968 Indianapolis 500 champion, qualified a 1970 Mustang owned by John Rollins of Wilmington and Melvin Joseph of Georgetown, placing it third with an average speed of 130 miles per hour. But engine problems forced Unser out after 101 laps, placing him 19th.

Results –

1. A.J. Foyt
2. Don White
3. Roger McCluskey
4. Butch Hartman
5. Norm Nelson
6. Len Blanchard
7. Bay Darnell
8. Terry Nichols
9. Paul Feldner
10.Woody Walcher
11.Gene Marmor
12.Joe Phipps
13.Larry Riddick
14.Dick Trickle
15.G.B. Gwyn
16.Al Straub
17.George Rodelli
18.Tom Jones
19.Bobby Unser
20.Ed Hoffman
21.Whitey Gerkin
22.Rick Oertel
23.A.J. Cox
24.Bill Jackson
25.Dave Whitcomb
26.Jim Perry
27.Billy Ries
28.Bob Harkey
29.Sal Tovella
30.Bob Wawak
31.Larry Berwanger

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

1979 - Walton Wins Oskaloosa Pepsi Special

Ken Walton (left) broke the track record in qualifying then won the 50-lap feature at the Pepsi-Mountain Dew Special in Oskaloosa. Trophy dash winner Bill Beckman (center) and semi-main winner Al Druesdow (right) joins Walton in victory lane.

Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 18, 1979) – The Pepsi-Mountain Dew Special at the Southern Iowa Speedway is becoming a Ken Walton benefit.

Walton, who won the 1978 version of the race, repeated that win on Wednesday night before a packed grandstand of race-goers – and he did it in convincing fashion. He came from his fifth starting position on the grid and stayed in fifth through the first five laps.

Then he moved rapidly to the front, taking over fourth on lap 6, moving to third on lap 9, grabbing second on lap 12, then scooting past race leader Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo on lap 14, never to be headed again.

Walton steadily built up his lead for the remaining 37 circuits, slowed once by a red flag on lap 21.

Actually, the red flag waved twice in the race. The first time came on lap 9 when Bill Beckman of Monticello, running among the leaders and running the outside groove alongside Walton, lost his A-frame on his car and smashed head-on unto the guardrail at the exit of turn four.

Although somewhat shaken, Beckman remained at the track. His car was heavily damaged.

The second time the race came to a halt was on lap 21 when Denny Hovinga of Pocahontas and Don Hoffman of Des Moines brushed in turn three after a heated battle between the two veterans. Hovinga’s car came to a rest on top of the guardrail while Hoffman’s ride landed on it’s top. Neither driver was injured but their cars were done for the night.

The red flags were just temporary delays for Walton.

Zwanziger held on to take runner-up honors while Dick Schiltz of Waterloo took third, passing Gary Crawford of Independence with only a couple of laps left. Denny Osborn of Cedar Falls rounded out the top-five.

Walton set fast time for the night, blitzing the half-mile in 22.640 seconds, and becoming the first driver to break the 23-second barrier. He literally smashed the old record of 23.04 seconds he set at last year’s Pepsi Special.

Bill Beckman won the trophy dash while Gary Webb of Davenport was the first heat winner. Al Druesdow of Omaha won the second heat and Tom Bartholomew of Waterloo was the third heat winner. Druesdow also won the semi-main.

Results –

1. Ken Walton, Viola
2. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
3. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo
4. Gary Crawford, Independence
5. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls
6. Don Hoffman, Des Moines
7. Larry Rice, Des Moines
8. Larry Wasserfort, Waterloo
9. Gary Webb, Davenport
10.Darrell Sells, Waverly
11.Rick Wendling, Hazelton
12.Ken DeGood, Hills
13.Joe Kosiski, Omaha
14.Al Druesdow, Omaha
15.Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo

Monday, July 17, 2023

1960 – Moffitt nips Zwanziger before 7,000 at Tunis

Ms. Irene Siglin presents Charlie Moffitt with the Tunis Speedway mid-season championship trophy. 

Waterloo, Iowa (July 17, 1960) – Charlie Moffitt of Stanwood replaced Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo as the Tunis Speedway mid-season champion on Sunday night.

Moffitt raced with Zwanziger, last season’s mid-season and season champion, rubbing bumpers the entire way.

Track owner Judd Tunis said the paid attendance was 5,164, in addition to some 2,000 children who were admitted free.

One of the drivers considered among the favored contenders didn’t even make the lineup. Gene Peterson of Waterloo, who has won several features this year, broke a connecting rod in his 400 cubic-inch engine while warming up the motor in the pit area before the first heat and never got his late model on the track.

Moffitt grabbed the lead at the start of the 50-lap mid-season championship and had to fight his way through early traffic with Zwanziger riding just inches behind.

After traffic thinned out, Moffitt stretched his lead to about a car length, until Zwanziger, one of the top Waterloo drivers competing at Tunis, closed the gap to within inches.

One mistake on Moffitt’s part would have put Zwanziger into the lead and a similar mistake on Zwanziger’s behalf would have put Moffitt out of reach for sure.

Neither driver overstepped a corner. They seemed to be attached to each other. On at least two occasions, Zwanziger was able to pull up alongside, but Moffitt was able to nudge ahead.

Jim Hoerman of Clarksville finished third, Bob Dautremont of Iowa City was fourth, and Bob Hilmer of Dysart rounded out the top five.

Results –

Heat #1 – Harry Peterson, Waterloo
Heat #2 – John Mullink, Iowa City
Heat #3 – Charlie Moffitt, Stanwood
Consolation – Bill Finkle, Cedar Falls
Feature –
1. Charlie Moffitt
2. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
3. Jim Hoerman, Clarksville
4. Bob Dautremont, Iowa City
5. Bob Hilmer, Dysart
6. Tuffy Meyer, Big Rock
7. Harry Peterson
8. Harry O’Deen, Marion

Sunday, July 16, 2023

1965 – Rutherford Cops Reading Race

Johnny Rutherford pushed Wally Meskowski's sprint car to victory lane at Reading. 

Reading, Penn. (July 16, 1965) – Johnny Rutherford, in the car which twice had failed A.J. Foyt here, turned in an impressive victory in the 30-lap United States Auto Club sprint car feature before 6,000 fans at the Reading Fairgrounds.

Rutherford pushed the Wally Meskowski mount into the lead on lap 11 and never surrendered the top spot after that. But for the final 10 laps, the fastest moving object on the track was local favorite Red Riegel of Leesport, Penn., who managed to pass Roger McCluskey for the runner-up spot in the last 50 yards.

Foyt, who switched to the car that Rutherford had driven last month, finished fourth. He was never higher than third.

Bobby Unser of Albuquerque, N.M., who started on the pole after posting the night’s fastest qualifying run at 23.82 seconds, led for the first 10 laps, but couldn’t keep up the pace and finished fifth, just ahead of Jud Larson of Indianapolis.

Rutherford started fourth and was in second place by lap 2. He remained in second-place until passed Unser on the outside of the backstretch on the 11th lap.

Rutherford turned the 30 laps in 12 minutes and 28 seconds with the caution flag out early in the race when Dempsey Wilson on Hawthorne, Calif., lost a wheel between the first and second turns.

Riegel, who won the last sprint car race on June 19, might have turned in a repeat performance had he not waited so long to get rolling. For the first 20 laps he fluctuated between fourth and fifth place. But in the last third of the race he was a real crowd pleaser.

He passed Unser on lap 22, picked up Foyt on lap 26 and finally caught McCluskey on at the wire.

Results - 

1. Johnny Rutherford
2. Red Riegel
3. Roger McCluskey
4. A.J. Foyt
5. Bobby Unser
6. Jud Larson
7. Chuck Arnold
8. Mario Andretti
9. Wally Dallenbach
10.Dave Lundy
11.Al Smith
12.Greg Weld
13.Bob Harkey
14.Dempsey Wilson
15.Ronnie Duman

Friday, July 14, 2023

1984 - Rockford Speedway's Hugh Deery, 63, Dies


Rockford, Ill. (July 14, 1984) – Hugh Deery, 63, owner and promoter of Rockford Speedway died early Saturday morning of a heart attack.

Deery, who had been the sole owner of Rockford Speedway since 1966, was stricken in a Rockford hospital where he had been since Thursday as doctors attempted to bring his blood-sugar content down. Deery went to the hospital to seek treatment for an injured shoulder that day at the racetrack.

He was born Hugh Gunnar Deery on August 18, 1920, in Calamine, Wis.

After moving to Rockford, Deery started his own insurance agency, and in 1959 became a partner in Rockford Speedway. He became the sole owner in 1966.

He was also involved in several other businesses, and he built Forest Hills Lodge adjacent to the speedway. Deery was co-founder of the National Racing Promoters Workshops held annually at several sites around the nation.

He was recipient of the Jack Dunn Memorial Award in 1983 at the National Promoters Workshop in Daytona Beach and was also Great Lakes Region “Promoter of the Year,” and he also won the National “Promoter of the Year,” Award in 1976.

On October 8, 1948, he was married to Jody Hirsbruenner. He is survived by seven sons, Dr. Hugh Gunnar Deery II, Theodore, John, Thomas, Bradford, Charles, and David; and a daughter, Susan.

In 1966, he started the National Short Track Championships at Rockford, which grew into one of the most popular and prestigious short track events in the nation.

1957 – Burdick Cops Iowa International

Bob Burdick (left) is presented the Iowa International trophy by Al Sweeney, president of National Speedways, Inc. Gene Van Winkle presents the checkers as Burdick’s proud father looks on. – Arnold Gore Photo

Des Moines, Iowa (July 14, 1957) – Bob Burdick, the 22-year-old youngster from Omaha, Neb., set a record for 150 miles in capturing the 300-lap Iowa International stock car race before 15,000 fans at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

The winner’s time for the race, slowed six times – once for a serious crash and twice for rain showers – was 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 33.52 seconds. It beat the International Motor Contest Association’s listed mark of 3 hours, 6 minutes, and 16.5 seconds for that distance over a half-mile track set in 1951 by Eddie Anderson of Grinnell, Iowa.

Burdick, who drove a 1957 Ford, powered by a 260 cubic-inch motor with a dual four-barrel carburetor, made only one pit stop during the long grind and it was some sort of record for brevity.

His crew refueled, cleaned out a clogged radiator and washed his windshield in 33 seconds.

Finishing second was Johnny Beauchamp, the 33-year-old Harlan, Iowa, star who lost his lead to Burdick on lap 270 when he made a brief pit stop.

Third place went to Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, who took the lead away from 22-year-old Chub Liebe on the 82nd circuit to set a new track record for 50 miles with a time of 53 minutes and 21.62 seconds.

The only serious casualty was Harold “Tubby” Harrison, a 45-year-old Topeka, Kan., veteran. He suffered a fractured left collarbone when his car flipped over the wall in the west turn on lap 140.

Bill Reno of Omaha blew a front tire coming out of the northwest turn and swerved into Harrison, who went into a skid on the track made slippery by a light shower that hit just as the field of cars hit lap 114.

Reno, who finished 11th, also had a tangle later with Bob Guffey of Des Moines on the same turn on lap 266. Guffey banged into the inside guardrail and had to quit.

Twenty of the 33 starters finished the race.

Burdick, who started on the outside of the fifth row, gradually worked his way up to third place at the end of the 63rd lap as he, White, Beauchamp, and Burdick’s uncle, Bud Burdick, also of Omaha, chased Liebe through the early laps.

A caution waved on lap 79 and when the green flag waved again for the restart on lap 82, Liebe was caught napping and both White and Burdick roared past the Oelwein, Iowa, youngster.

White retained the lead until Burdick passed him on lap 137. White made a pit stop shortly thereafter, and Beauchamp caught up with Burdick and held the lead briefly until lap 151. Then Burdick took over again and led until lap 198 when the Harlan, Iowa, driver crowed the leader against the northeast wall to regain the lead.

Results –

1. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
2. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
3. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Shorty Eberts, Avondale, Mo.
5. Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
6. Sonny Gross, Quincy, Ill.
7. Carl Lilienthal, Anita, Iowa
8. Jerry Draper, Moline, Ill.
9. George Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
10.Bob Hardy, Beaumont, Tex.
11.Bill Reno, Omaha, Neb.
12.Bruce Nystrom, Oshkosh, Wis.
13.Al Warrender, Harlan, Iowa
14.Bud Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
15.Don Wolfe, Lexington, Neb.
16.Ken Elliot, Des Moines

Thursday, July 13, 2023

1963 – Mosier Stretches MVSC Lead

Mark Mosier

Columbus Junction, Iowa (July 13, 1963) – Another one “grand slam” of fastest time, a heat victory and feature win has lifted Mark Mosier of Washington to a commanding 70-point lead in the Mississippi Valley Speed Club point standings.

Mosier captured the first of two 50-lap mid-season championships at the Louisa County Fairgrounds on Saturday night before a near-capacity crowd. The second mid-season program is set for West Liberty next Saturday.

Before winning the feature, Mosier was number one in time trials, touring the big half-mile in 32.72 seconds and he also copped the first heat race.

His victory in the feature gives him nine wins and one tie in 12 feature events. The tie came in a “dead heat” with Bob Inglebright of Mount Pleasant during the 4th of July races here.

Bob Lane of Burlington took the early lead in the 50-lapper, but Bruce Reilly of Lone Tree took over on lap 10. Reilly stayed ahead until Mosier passed him on lap 34 as they both fought slower traffic.

Reilly kept in contention until the end of the 25-mile contest on a track left muddy by recent rain, but Mosier was able to pull ahead in the last 10 circuits and win comfortably.

The feature, which took slightly over one hour to complete, was marred by two cars going over the levee on the backstretch. Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree was the first to go over on the first lap and Mel Morris of West Liberty went over on the 31st lap. Neither driver was hurt.

Results –

Time trials – Mark Mosier, Washington (32.72)
Trophy dash – Chuck DeMeyer, Washington
Heat #1 – Mark Mosier
Heat #2 – Mike Niffenegger, Kalona
Heat #3 – Bob Lane, Burlington
Heat #4 – Chuck DeMeyer
Semi-main – Bill Pollmeier, LaHarpe, Ill.
Consolation – Dick Kleindolph, Muscatine
Feature –
1. Mark Mosier
2. Bruce Reilly, Lone Tree
3. Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree
4. Ron Jackson, Burlington
5. Bob Smith, Mt. Pleasant
6. Johnny Mullink, West Liberty
7. Mike Niffenegger
8. Bob Inglebright, Mt. Pleasant
9. Chuck Smith, Kalona
10.Stan Crooks, Letts

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

1964 – Jones wins Milwaukee 200-Miler

Rufus "Parnelli" Jones

West Allis, Wis. (July 12, 1964)-Parnelli Jones has extended to four his string of late model stock car victories at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, winning Sunday's 200-miler by edging out teammate Rodger Ward by a single second.

Jones from Torrance, Calif., Calif., started from the pole position after setting a qualifying single lap record of 100.08 miles per hour on the one-mile paved track.

Except while they were in the pits, Jones or Ward, of Indianapolis, held the lead throughout. Jones squeezed ahead to stay with 10 miles left.

Driving one of the 1964 Mercury’s entered by Bill Stroppe of Los Angeles, Jones, who started his fairgrounds victory string last summer, averaged 93.102 m.p.h.

His earnings were 85,427 from a total purse of $27,780 contributed by a crowd of 33,103. Ward's cut was $3,789.

The race with 38 starters, was halted for 20 minutes when five cars piled up on the 38th lap. The crash sent Johnny Rutherford of Fort Worth, Tex., to a hospital for a checkup after he complained of chest pains. He was listed in satisfactory condition.

Drivers who escaped injury in the pileup were Bobby Marshman of Pottstown, Pa.; Lloyd Ruby of Wichita Falls, Tex.; Ralph Baker of Holland, Mich., and Gordon Gorman of Libertyville, Ill.

Indianapolis 500 winner, A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., a prerace favorite, was forced out when his 1964 Dodge broke an axle on the 108th lap.

Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., was third in a 1964 Plymouth. Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, who had held the lead for seven laps while Jones and Ward were in the pits, was fourth and Whitey Gerken of Melrose Park, Ill., was fifth. White and Gerken drove 1964 Fords.

White and Marshman drove for Mrs. Vanda Hurst of Milwaukee. Ruby was driving the second 1964 Plymouth entered by Nelson.

Results –

1. Parnelli Jones
2. Rodger Ward
3. Norm Nelson
4. Don White
5. Whitey Gerken
6. Joe Leonard
7. Bill Shoulders
8. John Reimer
9. Bob Slensby
10.John Kilborn
11.Don Sorce
12.Bob Goetsch
13.Bruce Jacobi
14.Sal Tovella
15.Bay Darnell
16.Ed Kozbiel
17.Ralph Trumbull
18.Ted Hane
19.Leo Drollinger
20.Don Arnold
21.John Rostek
22.Don Schisler
23.Eddie Meyer
24.A.J. Foyt
25.Bob Christie
26.Gary Bettenhausen
27.Jim McElreath
28.Len Sutton
29.Lloyd Ruby
30.Johnny Rutherford

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

1971 - Teammates Bowsher, Foyt 1-2 in Miller 200

Jack Bowsher accepts his trophy from a Miller Brewing representative. 

West Allis, Wis. (July 11, 1971) - “We came here to race, we didn’t do a thing to the cars to qualify,” Jack Bowsher said Sunday after he won the rich Miller 200 stock car race with teammate A. J. Foyt a close second.

While the Norm Nelson factory Plymouth team was rewriting the record book in Saturday’s qualifying, nailing down the two front row spots, Bowsher and Foyt qualified third and fifth.

Bowsher joined Nelson and teammate Roger McClusky and third qualifier Verlin Eaker, in a 1969 Dodge, in breaking the track qualifying record.

But it didn’t count Sunday as Foyt grabbed the lead from pole sitter Roger McCluskey in the early going, with Bowsher taking it later. The lead changed hands 13 times during the 200- mile race, which was pockmarked with caution flags but no serious accidents.

McCluskey finished third, followed by Butch Hartman, in a 1969 Dodge and Dave Whitcomb in a 1970 Dodge. The victory was worth $9,048 to Bowsher, with Foyt adding $6,263 to the team ’s take for second.

“We came here ready to race this race,” Bowsher said of the difference between his team ’s and Nelson’s on the qualifying and race days.

“Consequently, we were running as good as anybody. But now if you want to set a car to qualify, and if you have a week to do it in and you’re up here to test, you can set her up to do a couple of fast laps, but you can’t run 200 that way.”

“So, we could run as fast today as we did when we qualified,” he added. Nelson’s team is based in Racine, Wis., only some 40 miles from the State Fair Park track.

Nelson conceded Bowsher and Foyt were outrunning his cars.

“When it got hot and the tires got sticky, the track got a little oily,” Nelson said. “They were handling beautifully. They could run around us just about any time they wanted.”

Bowsher declined to comment on his and Foyt’s ability to outrun the Nelson cars - although they had things just about the way they wanted them - particularly in the turns.

McCluskey qualified his SuperBird at 107.242 miles per hour, nearly two miles per hour better than the track record. Bowsher, who qualified at 105.714 m.p.h., averaged 95.763 mile per hour for the 200 miles.

Results –

1. Jack Bowsher
2. A.J. Foyt
3. Roger McCluskey
4. Butch Hartman
5. Dave Whitcomb
6. Whitey Gerkin
7. Jim Hurtubise
8. Les Snow
9. Bob Jusola
10.Bill Nelson
11.Bruce Sparrman
12.George Altheide
13.J.J. Smith
14.Bill Moyer
15.John Riemer
16.Roger Regeth
17.Bay Darnell
18.Darwin Sandstrom
19.Dick Trickle
20.Bud Schroyer
21.Larry Berwanger
22.Lou Burmeister
23.Joe Booher
24.Norm Nelson
25.Jeff Haar
26.Ed Hoffman
27.Paul Sizemore
28.George Giesen
29.Tom Jones
30.Sal Tovella