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.
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.