Friday, July 7, 2023

1978 - Leavitt in Mid-Season Form at Oskaloosa

Eddie Leavitt took the Max Rogers #49 to victory lane at Oskaloosa. - Lee Johnson Photo

Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 7, 1978) – Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., had the biggest National Speedways, Inc., day on Friday night at the Southern Iowa Speedway, winning two events, including the feature race.

Leavitt won the third heat and the 20-lap main event showing signs he’s definitely in mid-season form.

The A-main found the two-time Knoxville Nationals champion taking over polesitter Sonny Smyser of Lancaster, Mo., on lap 6 for the lead. It would be all over after that.

Before the dust had settled, Smyser would have to settle for third as Ralph Blackett of Des Moines, Iowa, slid by him on lap 8 as did Shane Carson of Oklahoma City, Okla. However, Smyser would regain third place from Carson before the finish.

Adrian Zoutte of Knoxville, Iowa, Con Edwards of Ankeny, Iowa, and Bill Robison of Topeka, Kan., would tangle in the second heat. Zoutte would take a nasty tumble but walk away uninjured.

Shane Carson would set fast time and also salvage an apparent gloomy evening with some fantastic pit antics. He would lose an engine during hot laps and seemed destined for a night in the pit area. But, thanks to some yeoman duty by his pit crew, a new engine was installed in 20 minutes and Carson outraced the field to set quick time.

The 5-lap trophy dash went to veteran Jerry Blundy of Dahinda, Ill. John McCoy of Knoxville, Iowa, won the first heat and it was Steve Hainline of Bonaparte, Iowa, taking the second heat.

Blackett bested a hotly contested consolation charge. Smyser finished second with Gary Dunkle of Lincoln, Neb., third.

Results –

Trophy dash – Jerry Blundy, Dahinda, Ill.
First heat – John McCoy, Knoxville, Iowa
Second heat – Steve Hainline, Bonaparte, Iowa
Third heat- Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
Consolation – Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
Feature –
1. Eddie Leavitt
2. Ralph Blackett
3. Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
4. Shane Carson, Oklahoma City
5. Randy Smith, Norwalk, Iowa
6. Jerry Blundy
7. Jerry Potter, Kansas City
8. Rich Brahmer, Wisner, Neb.
9. Gary Dunkle, Lincoln, Neb.
10.Ed Grant, Canton, Ill.
11.Bill Hetrick, Carmen, Ill.
12.Con Edwards, Ankeny, Iowa
13.Bill Hudson, Montezuma, Iowa
14.John McCoy
15.Dick Stoneking, Oquawka, Ill.
16.Tim Beaver, Knoxville, Iowa
17.Bill Robison, Topeka, Kan.
18.Chris Maurer, Colfax, Iowa
19.Chuck Mohr, Bettendorf, Iowa
20.Steve Hainline
21.Adrian Zoutte

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