Ramo Stott rest atop the roll bar of his race car while being interviewed after winning the 300-lap Iowa International in Des Moines. – Bruno Torres Photo
Des Moines, Iowa (July 10, 1960) – Ramo Stott won the big one here Sunday in taking the Iowa International 300 stock car race in a 1960 Ford before over 10,000 race fans at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.However, the 26-year-old Keokuk driver had to wait until two fellow townsmen sputtered into the pits before moving to the front of the field on lap 270.
First, Ernie Derr, the International Motor Contest Association’s 1959 champion, seemingly had first place and the $1,050 prize money in the bag past the halfway point, but his engine conked out.
From lap 174 to 259, Dick Hutcherson, the third Keokuk driver, led by a full lap before he limped into the pits with a broken wheel.
Stott, the IMCA rookie of the year for 1958, was two full laps in front of Moline's Jerry Draper when the checkered flag fell.
Nearly four hours earlier in what turned out to be a hot and dusty afternoon, Stott had started the race in the 23rd position, the number he drew in the starting lineup after time trials were canceled.
It took the combined efforts of the ground crew and dozens of trucks and cars all morning to iron out the ankle-deep muck of a track.
Before the 75th lap was turned, the dust was flying, and the visibility was almost zero. Officials halted the grind at the end of 150 laps to wet down the racing surface.
At that stage, Derr, being chased by Hutcherson, barely made it to the pits with a mangled rear-end gear. During the halt, a new one was installed and Derr was back on a blistering pace when the race was restarted.
However, his engine couldn’t take it and Derr was on the sidelines for good 25 laps later.
Hutcherson, more than a full lap ahead of Stott, then took over Derr’s position. Stott engaged Hutcherson in a hot duel, passing his rival on lap 269 to get back on the same lap as Hutcherson.
Even then, Hutcherson wasn’t in trouble since Stott would have to pass him again in order to gain the lead. However, coming out of the northeast corner, Hutcherson broke a safety hub on a wheel on lap 270, permitting Stott to go in front.
The big money winners included two Cedar Rapids drivers behind Draper – Darrell Dake, last year’s International winner, who was third, and Doc Narber, fourth.
Hutcherson’s lap strength gave him a ninth-place finish in the field of 12 finishers of the original 28 starters.
Wayne Lee of Burlington flipped his car on the 244th lap, straightened out the dents, and got back in the race to finish tenth.
Joe Dolphy, a newcomer from New Brighton, Minn., wasn’t as lucky. After chasing Derr through the first 102 laps, he lost the drive shaft of his car.
1. Ramo Stott, Keokuk
2. Jerry Draper, Moline, Ill.
3. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
4. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids
5. Bob Kosiskie, Omaha, Neb.
6. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
7. Larry Behnken, Anita
8. Bruce Nystrom, Oshkosh
9. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
10.Wayne Lee, Burlington
11.Milo Van Oudenhoven, Appleton, Wis.
12.Stanley Zimmerman, Jefferson City, Mo.
13.Frank Pfahl, Loose Creek, Mo.
14.Gerry Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
15.Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
16.Phil Cronin, Houston, Tex.