Thursday, August 31, 2023

1975 - Dolan Ends Victory Famine

Roger Dolan

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 31, 1975) - Affable Roger Dolan of Lisbon was nonchalant in the face of victory in the late model stock car feature which had a controversial premature ending Sunday night at Hawkeye Downs.

The controversy, however, didn’t involve Dolan, who led the full 24 laps in the scheduled 25-lapper on the half-mile dirt oval.

This was the picture:

Dolan and the top point leaders, Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids and Ed Sanger of Waterloo, were running 1-2-3 when they took the white flag, signifying there was one lap remaining in the race.

But, entering turn one, Sanger, who was working on the low side, got into Dake and sent the veteran Cedar Rapids pilot spinning backwards into the guardrail. Out came the red flag, which ended the race, as it was in the final lap, and that's when the controversy ensued.

Some drivers contended, while agreeing the race was terminated, that either Dake or Sanger should be sent to the rear of the field as penalty for causing the race to be stopped.

Track officials ruled otherwise, however. They determined the race was complete after Dolan had taken the white flag and the positions held, with Dake taking second and Sanger third.

That means the battle for the 1975 point championship will go down to the wire with next Sunday’s season championship event. Dake continues to lead with 4,395 points and will start on the pole in the season-closer. Sanger is second with 4,195 and Dolan is third with 4,170.

Sanger later apologized to Dake, saying, "I tried to prevent hitting you, but there was no way I could get out of it when I locked my brakes.”

Meanwhile, Dolan ended a win famine at the Downs that had existed since 1967. But forget it if you’re of the opinion Roger was celebrating.

"It was my turn, wasn’t it?” Dolan asked. "That’s the way it seems to be here at this track."

Dolan, who is second in points at both the Eldon and Davenport tracks, started on the pole in the feature, thanks to a fast time of 25.06 seconds during qualifying and drawing a straight-up start.

Gail Brenner of Wilton captured the 15-lap feature for the sportsman division.

Results –

Heat #1 – Phil Larsen, Iowa City
Heat #2 – Mike Frieden, Fairfax
Heat #3 – Ed Sanger, Waterloo
Consolation – Ed Mellecker, Iowa City
Feature –
1. Roger Dolan, Lisbon
2. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
3. Ed Sanger
4. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
5. Fred Horn, Marion
6. Lem Blankenship. Keokuk
7. Ken Walton, Cedar Rapids
8. Mel Morris, West Liberty
9. Mike Niffenegger, Kalona
10.Ron Prymek, Iowa City

1963 – Engine Failure Snaps Daniels’ Fair Streak


Bill Horstmeyer won the IMCA big car main event at the Minnesota State Fair. 

St. Paul, Minn. (August 31, 1963) – A broken connect rod during the first lap of the Minnesota State Championship race “scratched” Jerry Daniels on Saturday before more than 21,000 fans at the Minnesota State Fair.

Daniels, prior to Saturday’s bad luck, had won six straight events, including three feature races. His string was broken during the opening 6-lap dash by Red Amick of Muncie, Ind. Daniels finished third in that event.

The St. Paul plumber’s assistant, known to racing fans as “Scratch,” was the defending champion in the event for Minnesota drivers.

Bill Horstmeyer, a 32-year-old Stoughton, Wis., electrical maintenance foreman, won the main event. Riding high on the rim, he cracked the track record of 10 minutes and 23.72 seconds established in 1960 by Leroy Neumeyer of Compton, Calif.

Horstmeyer’s time of 10 minutes and 22.09 seconds, driving Ernie Johnson’s Offenhauser, and his daring style reminded veteran racing officials of the late Gus Schrader, the flying Dutchman of Newhall, Iowa, who dominated dirt track racing in the 1930’s and 40’s.

With Daniels out of the Minnesota State Championship race, Jerry Richert of Forest Lake captured his fifth title. With it went $200 in prize money and the giant Governor’s Cup which was presented by Karl Rolvaag, Governor of Minnesota.

Results –

Trophy dash – Red Amick, Muncie, Ind.
Heat #1 – Carl Williams, Kansas City
Heat #2 – Jerry Richert, Forest Lake
Heat #3 – Dean Mast, Dover, Ohio
Semi-main – Gary Congdon, Garden Grove, Calif.
Minnesota Championship – Jerry Richert
Feature –
1. Bill Horstmeyer, Stoughton, Wis.
2. Dean Mast
3. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
4. Jerry Richert
5. Carl Williams
6. Sonny Helms, Avon Lake, Iowa
7. Bill Burdick, Omaha
8. Calvin Gilstrap, Salem, Ind.
9. Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan.
10.Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.

1960 - Dolphy Drives Plymouth to Marshfield Win


Joe Dolphy

Marshfield, Wis. (August 31, 1960) – Joe Dolphy of Minneapolis, driving a 1960 Plymouth, captured the 100-lap feature for late model stock cars, highlighting the opening night of the Central Wisconsin Fair on Wednesday night.

Dolphy started the main event in the first row on the outside and led from the second to the 63rd lap, when the wheat farmer from Otis, Kan., Lenny Funk, caught him and passed him.

Funk, however, led for only one lap before Dolphy regained the top spot, but from there on, it was strictly a two-man race between Dolphy and Funk, who was driving a 1959 Plymouth.

During the last 37 laps, the lead exchanged hands perhaps three times, with Dolphy taking over for good on lap 92. When the pair crossed the finish line and accepted the checkered flag, less than half a car length separated the two drivers.

Trailing the two leaders to the finish line were Newt Bartholomew of Carlisle, Iowa, in a 1957 Plymouth, Jack Toutand of Minneapolis in a 1957 Plymouth, Gerry Harrison of Topeka, Kan., in a 1960 Ford, and Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa, in a 1960 Ford convertible.

Dolphy grabbed a front row starting spot by winning the second 10-heat in the time of 5 minutes and 26.48 seconds. Dolphy’s time was almost two minutes faster than the first 10-lap heat winner, Jerry Draper of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who won in the time of 7 minutes and 10.45 seconds.

Ramo Stott won the consolation.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

1975 – Reffner Can’t Catch Howe in Dells Midwest Championships

Ed Howe combined second and first place finishes to claim the overall title at the Midwest Championships at Dells Motor Speedway. – Kurt Luoma Photo


Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (August 30, 1975) – Old master Ed Howe of Beaverton, Mich., showed them all how it's done Saturday night, by capturing the overall victory in the Midwest Championships for late models at Dells Motor Speedway. Although Howe took second behind Marv Marzofka in the first 75-lapper, his victory over the rest of the field in general, and Tom Reffner in particular, in the second, gave him the overall title.

In the first 75, Jim Sauter of Necedah, was the early pacesetter before Marzofka roared by on the 11th lap. At the same time, Dick Trickle spun his “Purple Knight” 1970 Mustang on the frontstretch, barely missing the wall. Trickle ducked into the pit area to repair a broken hose, returning to the race one lap down.

Marzofka continued to show the way with Howe and Reffner working their way through traffic. Madison’s John Ziegler had the differential break on his Camaro on lap 43, while Mike Miller of Wisconsin Rapids spun out nine laps later. Other than slowing the race, nothing else came of the incidents.

From then on, Marzofka was able to hold off Howe and Reffner. Tom Musgrave drove a steady race to take fourth while Rich Somers rounded out the top five.

Joe Shear jumped into an immediate lead in the second 75 with Trickle joining him. At first, it appeared the race would be a battle between these two chauffeurs, as they dueled for over 40 circuits, before Trickle finally vanquished Shear to second. Just as Trickle disposed of Shear, however, he had Howe and Reffner to contend with.

Howe’s 1975 Camaro caught Trickle on the 51st lap with Reffner’s 1974 AMC Javelin following suit on lap 53 around the third-mile paved oval. The “Blue Knight” then pressured Howe, but the “Green Hornet” wouldn’t budge and took the checkers with a car-length margin. Reffner, Trickle, Shear and Mike Miller rounded out the top five.

Results –

Time trials – Ed Howe, Beaverton, Mich. (14.527)
Trophy dash – Rich Somers, Stevens Point
Semi-main – Bob Roper, Chicago
Consolation – Denny Paasch, Marshfield
Feature #1 –
1. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa
2. Ed Howe
3. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
4. Tom Musgrave, Mundelein, Ill.
5. Rich Somers
6. Jim Back, Vesper

Feature #2 –

1. Ed Howe
2. Tom Reffner
3. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
4. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
5. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
6. Jim Back

1969 - Sutcliffe Tops Lincoln Sprints

Nebraska State Fair secretary Henry Brandt presents the trophy to Dick Sutcliffe after his victory in the 25-lap IMCA sprint car feature win. IMCA's Woody Brinkman holds the checkers. 

Lincoln, Neb. (August 30, 1969) – Dick Sutcliffe was a handy winner in the Nebraska State Fair’s opening day of IMCA sprint car racing on Saturday, taking not only the STP trophy dash and heat, but the 25-lap feature as well.

Sutcliffe started on the second row in the feature, got past Ron Perkins of Bethalto, Ill., on lap 8, and took command after that, building a straightaway lead. The Greenwood, Mo., ace would win by a comfortable margin over second-place Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., and Lloyd Beckman of Lincoln.

Sutcliffe showcased his superiority early when he moved from third to first past Ken Gritz of Lincoln and Beckman to win the first heat. And in the 5-lap trophy dash, he led Perkins and fast qualifier Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., all the way.

Other race winners were Tom Bigelow of Whitewater, Wis., in the second heat and Don Mack of East Grand Forks, Minn., in the third heat. Jerry Blundy won the 10-lap consolation.

Results –

1. Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Neb.
2. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
3. Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb.
4. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
5. Thad Dosher, Wichita, Kan.
6. John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
7. Darl Harrison, Tiffin, Ohio
8. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
9. Ken Gritz, Lincoln, Neb.

1953 – White Drives to First in Sioux 100-Miler


Sioux Falls, S.D. (August 30, 1953) – Don White, the undersized stock car driver with oversized will-to-win, pushed his gleaming-red ’53 Oldsmobile to top money in the 100-mile IMCA late model stock car race on Sunday afternoon before a throng of 7,768 which overflowed into the infield at the Sioux Empire Fair.

The diminutive Keokuk, Iowa, driver thus earned his second straight big race win, having streaked to victory at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday.

White’s time for the 100-miles was 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 8.31 seconds. He grabbed the checkered flag with a three-lap lead over Ralph Dyer of Shreveport, La., who finished second on a flat tire. Dyer blew a left rear tire with six laps to go and barely got in ahead of Bill Bailey of Encino, Calif., steaming from behind in his 1952 Hudson. Dyer drove a 1953 Nash.

Several tires were blown, and one sent Chuck Magnison of Minneapolis crashing through the fence at the top of the first turn and rolled down the embankment. Although his new Hudson Hornet was washed out, Magnison, the Minnesota stock car champion, was uninjured.

Some of the best driving of the day was turned in by Herschel Buchanan. The Shreveport, La., driver burned out a wheel bearing in the early going and sat out 26 laps in the pits. He fairly scorched the half-mile oval to fight his way back to sixth place at the windup.

Cars forced out of the running included a ’53 Nash driven by race promoter Frank Winkley, making his first stock car appearance of the year. Winkley’s car burned out a wheel bearing on the 120th lap.

Verdeen Rath of Pipestone, Minn., who ran in fourth place much of the afternoon, was forced out on lap 115 with a blown head gasket.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ralph Dyer, Shreveport, La.
3. Bill Bailey, Encino, Calif.
4. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
5. Dick Evans, Tulsa, Okla.
6. Herschel Buchanan, Shreveport, La.
7. Marshall Gardner, Sioux Falls, S.D.
8. Hank Hannestead, Hollywood, Calif.
9. Joe Volch, Sioux Falls
10.Frank Winkley, Minneapolis

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

1981 - Beebe Notches 100-Miler


Sedalia, Mo. (August 29, 1981) – “I wasn’t going to race until Joe Wallace talked me in to it last night,” said a happy Rick Beebe of Overland Park, Kan., after he won the 100-mile late model stock car race at the Missouri State Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

Beebe pulled away from Joe Kosiski of Omaha on lap 97 of the 100-lap race on the one-mile dirt oval. It was Beebe’s first National Speedways Contest Association victory.

Forty-six cars timed in for the 30 starting positions. Fast time in qualifying went to Ron Jackson of Burlington, Iowa, with a clocking of 38.16 seconds.

Kosiski jumped into the lead at the beginning of the race followed closely by Billy Moyer Jr. of Des Moines, Iowa, Ken Walton of Viola, Iowa, soon joined the battle for first until he stopped on the back straightaway on lap 14.

Kosiski maintained his lead through the first 42 circuits before making a pit stop on lap 43. Andy Claiborne of Shawnee Mission, Kan., would inherit the top spot and lead until lap 48 when he was passed by Dick Potts of Morocco, Ind.

Potts soon found the fast groove and began to pull away from the pack until the race was slowed by a caution on lap 56.

On the restart, Potts was able to pull away from everyone except Beebe, who was now on his rear bumper. Beebe was able to get around Potts on lap 75 when Potts started losing power.

Beebe would lead the last quarter of the race followed by Kosiski and John Yearsley of Champaign, Ill.

It took Beebe 106 miles of racing to win the 100-mile race as NSCA rules state that the last five laps must be run under the green flag.

Beebe credited his crew with the win. “I had a pit stop on lap 45 and that’s what won it for me,” he said.

Beebe remarked it was a fast race, but it did get hot in the car. “This was the first time I ever ran the mile track, and it was fun,” he added.

Walton was crowned the National Speedways Contest Association late model champion for 1981. He finished 16th in the 100-miler stayed ahead of Tony Stewart of Washington, Iowa, in the point standings. Stewart is recovering from a thumb injury sustained in a racing accident and did not participate in the 100-miler.

Results –

1. Rick Beebe, Overland Park, Kan.
2. Joe Kosiski, Omaha
3. John Yearsley, Champaign, Ill
4. Charlie Moubry, Novelty, Mo.
5. Gary Patterson, Fairfield, Iowa
6. Andy Claiborne, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
7. Dick Elliot, Mt. Ayr, Iowa
8. Vic Bentlage, Jefferson City, Mo.
9. Joe Cobb, Kansas City
10.Dick Potts, Morocco, Ind.

1970 – Tough Sprint Duel at Fair to Wagner

Earl Wagner is presented his trophy by IMCA's Larry Shipley as Woody Brinkman holds the checkered flag after the Pleasantville driver won the 40-lap IMCA sprint car feature at te Iowa State Fair . - Beetle Bailey Photo

Des Moines, Iowa (August 29, 1970) – Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, captured his first victory of the season Saturday, winning one of the most exciting afternoon sprint car races in a long time at the Iowa State Fair before an estimated crowd of 8,500.

The lead changed hands six times between four drivers on the dry-slick half-mile track. Usually, there is little passing in those conditions.

Wagner, competing in his fifth sprint car program after an unsuccessful stock car venture in the United States Auto Club with a problem-plagued car earlier this season, took the lead permanently over on lap 31.

Ron Perkins of Wood River, Ill., finished second while Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., was third and Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., grabbed fourth.

The expected duel between Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., the current International Motor Contest Association points leader, and runner-up Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., didn’t materialize.

Richert, who won the Fair’s sprint car feature last Sunday afternoon, as well as the Hawkeye Futurity in June, was second early on in the race and led on laps 16 and 17 but dropped back because of suspension problems.

Blundy, who captured the super-modified feature at the Fair last Sunday evening, was running fourth until a spinout on lap 7 sent him to the rear of the field. He finished twelfth.

Joe Saldana of Lincoln, Neb., led the first 15 circuits before giving way to Richert. Eddie Leavitt, who gambled before the race with a knobby tire on the right rear wheel, took charge on lap 17 and led until Wagner took over the top spot.

Leavitt got results from his “knobby”. While the rest of the field were following the inside groove, he was able to get a good grip on the outside of the track and moved quickly to the front from the eighth row.

He had a lead of five car lengths over Wagner when Roger Rager of Lincoln, Neb., hit the wall on lap 27. The yellow flag was out for four laps while Rager’s ride was removed with a wrecker.

Wagner moved up behind Leavitt on the restart and when the green flag waved on lap 31, Wagner powered by Leavitt when the Missouri driver went a little too wide.

Leavitt tried to take advantage of his outside position but got a little reckless and dropped back another position.

The victory was worth $800 for Wagner.

“That’s a helluva car,” Wagner remarked about Fred Kain owned sprinter out of Des Moines. “Don’t give me any credit. It really goes.”

Results –

Heat #1 – Dale McCarty, Kansas City
Heat #2 – Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan.
Heat #3 – Cliff Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
Consolation – Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
Feature –
1. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
2. Ron Perkins, Wood River, Ill.
3. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
4. Bill Utz
5. Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo.
6. Jerry Blundy
7. Dale Reed
8. Jan Opperman, Mechanicsville, Penn.
9. Dale McCarty
10. Joe Saldana, Lincoln, Neb.
11. Jimmy Boyd, Martinez, Calif.
12. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
13. Ralph Parkinson Jr., Wichita Falls, Tex.
14. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
15. Al Murie, Kansas City

1960 – Nebraskan Sets Mark at St. Paul


St. Paul, Minn. (August 29, 1960) – Bob Kosiskie of Omaha, Neb., had a field day Monday afternoon at the Minnesota State Fair, driving a 1959 Thunderbird to win the 100-lap International Motor Contest Association late model stock car feature and set a new world’s record for 6 miles in winning the second heat.

Kosiskie turned the 12 lap on the half-mile dirt oval in 5 minutes and 29.39 seconds, cracking the old standard of 6 minutes and 9.82 seconds, set by Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, on the same track in 1956.

Kosiskie took the lead on the first turn of the first lap of the 50-mile run and eventually built his advantage to a full lap lead over second-place finisher Dick Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa, driving a 1957 Chevrolet.

Dick Johnson of St. Paul won the first heat while Gerry Harrison of Topeka, Kan., was the consolation winner.

Results –

1. Bob Kosiskie, Omaha, Neb.
2. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Buzz McCann, St. Paul
4. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Art Brady, Peoria, Ill.
6. Jerry McCredie, Keokuk, Iowa
7. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
8. Jerry Kauffman, Minneapolis
9. Dick Pellow, New Brighton
10.John Jones, Marshall

1956 – Ruttman Wins Illiana Feature

Troy Ruttman is congratulated by track owner Harry Molenaar as starter Bill Vandewater looks on after Ruttman won the 100-lap USAC late model stock car feature at Illiana Speedway. – John Lutzo Photo/Stan Kalwasinski Collection 

Schererville, Ind. (August 29, 1956) – Tall, good looking Troy Ruttman made his first appearance at Illiana Speedway a successful one as he outraced a star-studded field and a cloud-heavy sky to win the 100-lap United States Auto Club late model stock car race.

The big event was run immediately after the 4-lap trophy dash which opened the evening’s card, and just as it was completed, the storm that had been forecast swept through the Illiana track, canceling the three 10-lap sprints.

Ruttman, the 1952 Indianapolis 500 winner, was a surprise entry in Illiana’s season finale but it was no surprise when he passes early pacesetter Les Snow of Bloomington, Ill., on the 44th circuit.

Ruttman, of Lynwood, Calif., kept his red 1956 Ford out front the remainder of the way as other Indianapolis standouts such as Tony Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons were sidelined in the mad scramble around the half-mile oval.

Snow, who had given the large crowd a thrill by fending off Ruttman for the first 43 laps, suffered a broken fan belt and he finally pulled into the pit area on lap 60.

The hefty Illinoisan, dead set on winning the national stock car championship, let his car and took over behind the wheel of Glen Bradley’s Chevrolet. With only a momentary loss of time, Snow roared home in sixth place and his portion of the points was enough to give him the Illiana season trophy, awarded by track owner Harry Molenaar after the race.

Ruttman, in demonstrating remarkable driving skill around the curves, lapped everyone in the field except Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis. Nelson guided his 1956 Mercury to runner-up honors, nearly three-quarters of a lap behind the winner.

Eddie Sachs of Allentown, Penn., drove Jim Rathmann’s Chevrolet to a third place finish while Whitey Johnson of Hammond came in fourth driving a Packard. Don Schisler of Detroit finished fifth, just ahead of the Bradley-Snow combination. Johnson finished second to Snow in the Illiana point standings.

Snow added another trophy to his shelf by nipping fast qualifier Jim Davies of Van Nuys, Calif., in the 4-lap trophy dash.

Davies, who started on the pole position in the feature, never got out of the first turn as a horde of cars barreled into the curve behind him, lifted him high in the air, and left him with a broken axel.

Car trouble prevented two top drivers from making the big show. Jim McMurray of Hammond was without a car since the engine burned out in Milwaukee last week and Marshall Teague of Daytona Beach, Fla., sent a last-minute wire that he had broken down en route to Indiana.

Results –

1. Troy Ruttman
2. Norm Nelson
3. Eddie Sachs
4. Whitey Johnson
5. Don Schisler
6. Glen Bradley/Les Snow

Monday, August 28, 2023

1983 – Weltmeyer Victorious in Milwaukee Sentinel 200

Dave Weltmeyer accepts his trophy after winning the Milwaukee Sentinel 200 at Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway. Robert H. Wills, editor of the newspaper, make the presentation while announcer Jack Baker looks on. – Russ Lake Photo

West Allis, Wis. (August 28, 1983) – Despite having to drive the last 134 laps in fourth gear, Dave Weltmeyer scored the biggest win of his career in Sunday’s Milwaukee Sentinel 200-mile late model stock car race co-sanctioned by USAC and ARCA at Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway.

Weltmeyer took the lead from Bill Venturini on the 163rd trip around the one-mile paved oval, then survived a pair of late restarts to cross the finish line 5.6-seconds ahead of Venturini to pick up the victory.

Bob Dotter came in third and was followed by Davey Allison and Ken Kotowicz, who rounded out the list of lead lap finishers.

Duane Pierson and Bob Brevak completed 199 miles each to give ARCA drivers a sweep of the top seven positions, with USAC stock car points leader Dean Roper coming in eighth.

Bob Schact, who broke his own year-old track record with a 31.311-second clocking Saturday, started Sunday’s contest on the pole and led the first 66 miles. Bill Venturini advanced to second on lap 2 and held the runner-up spot during the remainder of Schact’s reign.

A caution on lap 65 began a five-lap slowdown and a series of pit stops under caution resulted in Bobby Dotter leading laps 67 and 68, and Rick O’Brien in the top spot on lap 69.

It was then that Weltmeyer took on right-side tires but lost the linkage in his 1981 LeMans when he attempted to down shift. As a result, he was forced to drive the remainder of the race in fourth gear.

Weltmeyer had considerably good luck on the new tires, however, and ran the rest of the way on them.

“We ran 145 laps on those tires and never once got loose,” Weltmeyer said.

Back under the green, Venturini took the lead from O’Brien on the 70th circuit and Schact dropped out when his LeMans suffered a blown engine on lap 71.

Weltmeyer took second at O’Brien’s expense on lap 74 but had to wait until Venturini pitted during a yellow on lap 86 before taking the lead for the first time. The caution encompassed laps 77 through 94. Another yellow, when Roger Drake lost his driveshaft in turn one, slowed laps 97 through 101.

Weltmeyer was unable to open as big advantage as he would have liked because he found himself positioned behind Alan Kulwicki, whose Grand Prix was spewing oil onto the racing surface.

“Kulwicki was dropping oil on me,” Weltmeyer said. “It was all over my windshield. I signaled the flagman what was happening and 20 laps later he finally gave him (Kulwicki) the black flag.”

Another caution on lap 135 allowed Weltmeyer to clean his windshield and change left-side tires. Davey Allison assumed the top spot.

Green flag action resumed on lap 141 and nine miles later, Weltmeyer was back up to third behind Allison and Venturini. Venturini overhauled Allison to gain thee upper hand on lap 153, two miles before Weltmeyer pulled into the runner-up spot. Weltmeyer then accounted for the final lead change by passing Venturini coming out of turn four on lap 163.

Venturini’s hopes of catching Weltmeyer were hampered when his LeMans developed brake problems in the late stages of the race.

Weltmeyer’s winning speed was 82.223 miles per hour with 11 caution periods encompassing 66 miles. His win was worth $4,300 from a purse of $42,400. A crowd of 11,000 viewed the event on a hot, humid day.

Results –

1. Dave Weltmeyer
2. Bill Venturini
3. Bob Dotter
4. Davey Allison
5. Ken Kotowicz
6. Duane Pierson
7. Bob Brevak
8. Dean Roper
9. Rick O’Brien
10.Butch Garner
11.Larry Nau
12.Mike Marden
13.Don White
14.Bill Hartwig
15.Gordon Blankenship

1970 – Leavitt Drives His Super to State Title

Eddie Leavitt is presented his trophy after winning the Missouri Super Modified Championship at Sedalia. Starter Larry Shipley holds the checkers while IMCA’s Woody Brinkman makes the presentation.  – MRA Collection 

Sedalia, Mo. (August 28, 1970) – Eddie Leavitt grooved his super modified from the pole position on Friday night to capture the Missouri Super Modified Championships on the State Fairgrounds’ half-mile track.

Leavitt, who was locked in a fierce battle for the lead in the first 12 laps with Roy Hibbard of Marshall, Mo., last year’s winner, and Flea Atkin of Holts Summit, Mo., now adds his name to elite corps of drivers that have amassed the state modified title.

Hibbard roared from his outside position on the third row on the initial lap to grab the lead, with Atkin and Leavitt in hot pursuit. On lap 11, Atkin took over the top spot as Hibbard suddenly pulled to a stop in the infield with mechanical trouble.

Atkin stayed in the lead until lap 24 when Leavitt took over; from then on, it was pretty much of a one car show for first place.

The Kearney, Mo., pilot began lapping the field late in the race, before yellow flags bunched the field once again.

Following Leavitt across the finish line was Atkin in second, Tom Corbin of Carrollton, Mo., in third, Steve Schultz of Chillicothe, Mo., finishing fourth and Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., rounding out the top five.

Utz started behind the wheel Roy Cary’s #44 super modified out of Booneville, Mo., and started well back in the field in the 18th position when the cars took the green flag for the race.

Results –

1. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
2. Shorty Atkin, Windsor, Mo.
3. Tom Corbin, Carrollton, Mo.
4. Steve Schultz, Chillicothe, Mo.
5. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
6. Jay Lyle, Warrensburg, Mo.
7. Bud McCune, Linneus, Mo.
8. Cliff Lilly, Kansas City
9. Al Bodenhamer, Kansas City
10.Tom Makings, Marshall, Mo.

1958 – Beauchamp Wins After DQ’s

Johnny Beauchamp

St. Paul, Minn. (August 28, 1958) – The Minnesota State Fair’s late model stock car ranks were hit with the biggest bombshell of the year today, when the first three drivers in the 200-lap feature were disqualified for not driving stock machines.

John Libby, International Motor Contest Association press secretary, and assistant secretary of the Minnesota State Fair announced that winner Don White, runner-up Ernie Derr, both of Keokuk, Iowa, and Bud Burdick of Omaha, face possible suspension for further infractions.

The drivers, in addition to forfeiting $2,300 in prize money, were fined $50 each.

White, who won $1,000 with his 1958 Ford, had his car protested by Johnny Beauchamp, who finished fourth, and after the protest, Burdick protested Derr.

The three machines were torn down under the direction of race director Don O’Reilly of Washington, D.C.

They were found not to be in compliance with IMCA governing late models, having apparently being equipped with racing gimmicks and larger gas tanks. Derr drove a Pontiac and Burdick a Ford.

Results –

1. Johnny Beauchamp
2. Darrell Dake
3. Jerry Draper
4. Eddie Harrow
5. Ramo Stott
6. Bernie Tentges
7. Dick Pellow

Sunday, August 27, 2023

1977 – Kelley Dominant at Minnesota State Fair

Curt Kelley accepts his trophy after winning the 40-lap sprint car feature at the Minnesota State Fair. 

St. Paul, Minn. (August 27, 1977) – Curt Kelley of Quincy, Mich., won the 40-lap sprint car feature and a check for $1,500 at the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday afternoon.

Kelley started on the outside of the front row and led all the way on the paved, half-mile oval, defeating 19 other drivers in his Nance Chevy-powered car.

Bill Stouder of Wakeman, Ohio, finished second and Dean Best of Eden, Ohio, took third. Best had the best qualifying time of 19.62 seconds while Kelley was fourth fastest at 19.76 seconds.

Results –

Trophy dash – Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio
Heat #1 – Mike Enter, Cleveland, Minn.
Heat #2- Mike Schliezel, Indianapolis
Heat #3 – Oscar Fay, Mishawaka, Ind.
Semi-main – Dick St. John, Cudahy, Wis.
Feature –
1. Curt Kelley, Quincy, Mich.
2. Bill Stouder, Wakeman, Ohio
3. Dean Best, Eden, Ohio
4. Frank Riddle, Tampa, Fla.
5. Karl Busson, Northwood, Ohio

1972 – Al Unser takes Indiana Century

Al Unser steered Rudy Hoerr's Torino to victory in the USAC-sanctioned Indiana State Century. 

Indianapolis, Ind. (August 27. 1972) – Al Unser, driving a 1971 Ford Torino, won the Indiana State Century for USAC late model stock cars on Sunday afternoon.

The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner completely dominated the 30-car field by leading every lap except the 31st circuit when he made his mandatory pit stop. Momentarily giving the lead to Ralph Latham in a ’72 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Unser and Latham share the front row starting position with Unser on the pole position after a record-breaking run of 38.86 around the one-mile dirt oval. That equaled out to 92.640 miles per hour.

On lap 19 of the 100-lap race, Unser turned an amazing 38.48 second lap in traffic as he continued to build a lead that was nearly impossible for Latham to contend with.

Two yellow flags slowed the action during the first 50 laps with Unser out front, Latham second, Roger McCluskey third, Sal Tovella fourth and Chuck McWilliams fifth at the halfway mark.

The race was stopped on lap 61 after a chain reaction pileup occurred on turn two caused by Al Bunkofske spinning his 1972 Ford and being broadsided by Dan Dickey driving a ’70 Charger. Lem Blankenship, Chuck McWilliams and Bud Schroyer were also involved in the fracas which produced a lot of bent metal but no injuries.

After a delay of 17 minutes the race was resumed and went six more laps when Butch Hartman spun his 1972 Dodge in the same turn causing another massive mx with the red flag flying again.

Ray Bolander’s ’72 Monte Carlo, Bay Darnell’s ’72 Dodge, Tiny Lund’s ’70 Chevelle, Ramo Stott’s ’72 Plymouth, and Jim Tobin’s ’70 Dodge were all crunched in the pileup. Only Bolander, Hartman and Tobin were able to continue.

On the restart, Latham gave a quick challenge to Unser coming out of turn two, but Unser pulled away and sailed to victory by a seven-second margin. Latham managed to beat out Roger McCluskey by six seconds while McCluskey’s '70 Plymouth finished about five seconds ahead of Sal Tovella and his ’72 Plymouth.

Paul Feldner, in a ’70 Dodge, finished fifth one lap back with Butch Hartman, the 1971 USAC stock car national champion taking sixth in a fender less ’72 Dodge. Rounding out the top-10 were Paul Sizemore in a ’70 Plymouth. Harold Fair driving a ’71 Ford, Frank Freda in a ‘72 Chevelle. and Bud Schroyer in a ’70 Dodge.

Fifteen cars were running at the finish with most of them sporting some kind of body damage from the wild afternoon of racing. Over 11,000 paid spectators were at the track to watch the USAC pros to after more than $15,000 in prize money.

Results –

1. Al Unser
2. Ralph Latham
3. Roger McCluskey
4. Sal Tovella
5. Paul Feldner
6. Butch Hartman
7. Paul Sizemore
8. Harold Fair
9. Frank Freda
10.Bud Schroyer
11.Jim Tobin
12.Dan Dickey
13.Ken Reiter
14.Terry Ryan
15.Joe Booher
16.Jay Wyatt
17.Ray Bolander
18.Tiny Lund
19.Bay Darnell
20.Ramo Stott

1966 – Andretti is Winner in Milwaukee 200-Miler

Mario Andretti admires his trophy after winning the Tony Bettenhausen Memorial 200-miler at State Fair Park Speedway. 

Milwaukee, Wis. (August 27, 1966) – Mario Andretti, the defending USAC national champion, swapped the lead with Gordon Johncock several times Saturday before winning the 200-mile Tony Bettenhausen Memorial at State Fair Park Speedway.

Andretti led for the first three laps, yielded the lead to Johncock for the next 10 circuits, led from the 14th to the 76th, and took the lead for good from Johncock again on the 107th mile.

Johncock, of Hastings, Mich., ran out of fuel on the final lap and coasted to the finish line behind Andretti. The race time was 1 hour, 55 minutes, and 19.008 seconds.

Andretti, of Nazareth, Penn., Johncock, and the next three finishers all drove rear-engine Fords. Joe Leonard of San Jose, Calif., was third, Jim McElreath of Arlington, Tex., finished fourth, and Billy Foster of Victoria, B.C. rounded out the top five.

The race with the $46,365 purse had been postponed by rain last weekend. Attendance for the race was 33,811.

Andretti’s average speed was 104.06 miles per hour on the one-mile paved oval. He earned $14,548 for his victory.

Results –

1. Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Penn.
2. Gordon Johncock, Hastings, Mich.
3. Joe Leonard, San Joes, Calif.
4. Jim McElreath, Arlington, Tex.
5. Billy Foster, Victoria, B.C.
6. Gary Congdon, Garden Grove, Calif.
7. Art Pollard, Medford, Ore.
8. Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M.
9. Lloyd Ruby, Wichita Falls, Tex.
10.George Snider, Fresno, Calif.

1960 – First ‘Big’ Win for Williams at Fair

Mert Williams

Des Moines, Iowa (August 27, 1960) – Mert Williams, a 25-yearold auto body repairman from Rochester, Minn., won the first major race of his career Saturday before 10,000 fans at the Iowa State Fair.

Williams whipped the International Motor Contest Association’s top-rated drivers, wheeling his battered 1958 Ford in front of a field of 26 starters in the 100-mile feature.

Second place went of Jerry McCredie, one of Keokuk’s many drivers, while third went to Ernie Derr, the 1959 IMCA stock car champion. Art Brady of Peoria, Ill., finished fourth.

Starting sixth due to his 30.21 second clocking in time trials, Williams was no better than eighth place after 10 circuits. But he gradually moved up through the field, took the lead on lap 107, lost it on the 124th, then regained it permanently on lap 156.

It was virtually an all Keokuk affair in the early going of the race with Derr setting the pace for the first 21 laps. Ernie, however, would have to make an unscheduled pit stop to adjust his carburetor.

Dick Hutcherson, another Keokuk pilot, stood off the challenge of Keokuk’s Ramo Stott until Stott was forced to make a pit stop on lap 68.

Williams, who earlier had pulled away from McCredie in a duel for fifth place, moved into second. He stayed behind Hutcherson until the Keokuk leader was forced out with a sheared distributor pin.

Williams had a quarter-lap lead on Joe Dolphy of New Brighton, Minn., at the end of 123 laps when disaster almost overtook him.

Stott, who had returned to the race, spun out to avoid a tangle with Eddie Harrow of Corpus Christi, Tex. Attempting to back out onto the track again, Stott was hit broadside by Williams.

Williams made a quick pit stop for some fender adjustment and lost the lead to Dolphy, who stayed in front until his engine overheated at the end of 156 laps.

Williams, whose previous best finish in IMCA competition was second place, was never headed thereafter. Dolphy was forced to stop two other times, but still managed a fifth-place finish behind Brady.

Stott, winner of the 150-mile Iowa International here in July, smoked up and had to retire at the end of 169 laps.

Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, a big winner here a year ago, was under suspension for appearing at a non-sanctioned program and was not allowed to compete.

Results –

1. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
2. Jerry McCredie, Keokuk
3. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
4. Art Brady, Peoria, Ill.
5. Joe Dolphy, New Brighton, Minn.
6. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
7. Phil Cronin, Houston, Tex.
8. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
9. Larry Behnken, Anita
10.Carel Schmidt, Massena
11.Gene Larson, St. Petersburg, Fla.
12.Bob Riddle, Denmark
13.Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
14.Bob Jusola, Mound, Minn.
15.Ramo Stott, Keokuk
16.Wilbur Robinson, Indianapolis, Ind.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

1973 – Utz in Last-Lap Bid at Sedalia

Bill Utz grabbed the hometown victory in the 50-lap Missouri Futurity for IMCA sprint cars at Sedalia. 

Sedalia, Mo. (August 26, 1973) – Bill Utz, driving before his hometown fans, passed Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, on the last lap to capture the 50-lap Missouri Futurity for IMCA sprint cars.

Utz, an early leader, was running a straightaway behind Wagner when Cliff Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., flipped his sprinter completely off the track on lap 46 to bring the race to a halt. Blundy was not injured but taken to a Sedalia hospital for examination and was back to the track in time for payouts.

The race stoppage allowed Dean Hathmann and his crew from Columbia, Mo., to replace a spark plug wire that had dropped on Utz’s car earlier in the race when Wagner regained the lead. The power loss for Utz gave Wagner a huge advantage.

Trailing Utz and Wagner in the grueling 50-mile International Motor Contest Association event was Thad Dosher of Topeka, Kan., the IMCA point leader, Gary Scott of Jefferson City, Mo., and Ray Lee Goodwin of Raytown, Mo.

No time trials were held, due to the motorcycle program running late and forcing the sprint car program to start an hour and a half later than scheduled.

Wagner led Utz to the checkers in the first heat, Blundy was the winner of the second heat and Russ Hibbard of Slater, Mo., and Jim McElreath Jr. of Arlington, Tex., won the third and fourth heats respectively.

After losing the front end of his car in the third heat, Ray Lee Goodwin captured the 10-lap consolation.

Results –

1. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
2. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
3. Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.
4. Gary Scott, Jefferson City, Mo.
5. Ray Lee Goodwin, Raytown, Mo.
6. Roger Larson, Solomon, Kan.
7. Jim McElreath Jr., Arlington, Tex.
8. Gene Gennetten, Gladstone, Mo.
9. Dale McCarty, Kansas City
10.Jon Backlund, Kansas City

1961 – 12,500 See Stott Take Fair Opener

A cold bottle of soda quenches the thirst of Ramo Stott after the Keokuk driver won the IMCA stock car 200-lapper at the Iowa State Fair.

Des Moines, Iowa (August 26, 1961) – Ramo Stott, the 27-year-old Keokuk bidding for his first International Motor Contest Association crown, chalked up his ninth major victory of the season on Saturday before 12,500 to open the Iowa State Fair’s racing program.

Stott, who managed to keep his 1961 Ford from sliding off the slick half-mile, whipped Oelwein’s Chub Liebe in the 200-lap Hawkeye International late model stock car grind. His time for the 100 miles was 1 hour, 42 minutes, and 43.43 seconds.

There were only two yellow flags, once for Hap Thomas, the Carlisle newcomer driving Newt Bartholomew’s old Chevrolet. Thomas hit the wall coming out of the southwest corner, flipped, but crawled out unhurt.

There were several spinouts, several of them costly.

Keokuk’s Dick Hutcherson, currently third in the IMCA point standings, broke a wheel spindle on lap 5 while leading the pack. Two laps earlier, defending IMCA stock car champion and current point leader Ernie Derr spun out and was never able to get back into contention, although he finished fourth, behind Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan.

Stott and Liebe ran 1-2 from lap 5 to the 110th circuit, when both drivers hustled into the pits for refueling with the two-lap edge on the rest of the field.

Liebe got out of the pits first, but Ramo managed to overhaul him on lap 127 and stayed in front the rest of the way.

The triumph was worth $750 to Stott who also collected an additional $50 for being the one of the five fastest in time trials.

Hutcherson tied the half-mile track record of 28.18 seconds set by Liebe here on July 9 when Stott won the 300-lap Iowa International.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott, Keokuk
2. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
3. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
4. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
5. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
6. Jerry McCredie, Keokuk
7. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
8. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
9. Wayne Lee, Burlington
10.Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla.
11.Johnny Jones, Marshall, Minn.
12.Art Brady, Peoria, Ill.
13.Ron Snow, Red Wing, Minn.
14.Ernie McMahan, Keokuk
15.Bill Fitzgerald, Denver, Colo.

1956 – Sioux Empire 100-Miler to Beauchamp

Sioux Falls, S.D. (August 26, 1956) – Johnny Beauchamp, who has always found the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds to his liking, was in the groove on Sunday afternoon.

Before a final-day Sioux Empire Fair crowd of 4,000, the Harlan, Iowa driver tooled his ’56 Chevrolet to victory in the 100-mile late model stock car grind.

The International Motor Contest Association point leader nosed his Chevy into the lead on the first lap and was never headed. He never made a pit stop in racking up his 26th victory of the season.

Bub Burdick of Omaha, Neb., who had just won first-place honors at the Minnesota State Fair race on Saturday, rode home in second place in his ’56 Ford. He was a lap behind Beauchamp.

Third place went to George Miller of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, holder of the IMCA one-lap record of 28.18 seconds in his ’56 Ford.

Finishing fourth was Tubby Harrison of Topeka, Kan., piloting a ’56 Chevrolet, and Dick Johnson of St. Paul, Minn., rounded out the top five finishers in his ’56 Chevrolet. Johnson arrived at the track just as the feature pace lap was getting underway. He pulled onto the track and started at the rear of the field without a time trial or warmup.

Some of the hardest driving of the day was turned in by Sonny Morgan of Beaumont, Tex. Morgan had the quickest time in qualifying with a 30.65 second clocking. He was battling Burdick for second place when he broke a generator bracket on his ’56 Chevy.

He got back in the race after borrowing a generator from another Chevrolet parked in the infield. Despite some fancy driving, the best he could finish was 11th.

Another tough luck driver was Bob Kosiskie of Omaha, who had his ’56 Pontiac In fourth place on lap 173 when he broke an axle and wound up finishing 10th.

Time for the 200-lap, 100-mile contest was 1 hour, 49 minutes, and 6.22 seconds.

Results –

1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
2. Bud Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
3. George Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
5. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
6. Dean Anderson, Russell, Minn.
7. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
8. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
10.Bob Kosiskie, Omaha, Neb.
11.Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.

Friday, August 25, 2023

1979 – Dell’s Summer Nationals to Trickle

Dick Trickle is joined by promoter Larry Wehrs and ARTGO’s John McKarns after winning both 75-lap features of the Summer Nationals at Dells Motor Speedway. – Kurt Luoma Photo

Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (August 25, 1979) – Dick Trickle won both 75-lap late model features in the first leg of ARTGO Racing’s third annual Summer Nationals at Dells Motor speedway on Saturday night.

Trickle won the opening 75-lapper over Bob Senneker, John Ziegler, Tom Reffner, and Randy Sweet.

Bob Gunn charged into the lead from his outside front row starting position but surrendered the top spot to Joe shear on lap 4.

Polesitter Mike Miller became the race’s third pacesetter shortly afterward and remained on top until Senneker claimed first on lap 25. One lap later, Trickle passed Miller to take second place.

The race’s lone caution occurred on lap 37 when a malfunctioning engine slowed Miller’s 1978 Olds Cutlass.

Following the resumption of green flag action, Senneker paced the field until the 44th circuit, when Trickle took charge for good.

The top 11 finishers of the first feature started at the front of the field in inverted order to open the nightcap and Jay Sauter, who started second, led the contest’s opening lap.

Polesitter Bobby Gunn grabbed the top spot on the second lap, but Sauter moved back in front on the fourth circuit.

Gunn yielded second to Joe Shear on the 10th round and then dropped out of the chase four laps later.

Sauter was still in front on lap 37, when Butch Miller spun in the fourth turn, putting the race under caution. By the time the yellow flag appeared, Trickle was up to second place with Mike Miller third, after replacing the engine between features. Mark Martin was running fourth and Shear was in fifth.

After all-out racing resumed, Trickle remained close behind Sauter until lap 57, when, despite not having the full power of his brakes, the Wisconsin Rapids pilot made a bold outside move to get around Sauter and took the lead.

Miller followed Trickle’s example a few laps later, passing Sauter for second place and the top three ran in that order for the remainder of the race.

Martin opened the show by setting a track record of 13.927 seconds in qualifying.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
2. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
3. John Ziegler, Madison
4. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
5. Randy Sweet, Kalamazoo, Mich.
6. Butch Miller, Lawton, Mich.
7. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
8. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa
9. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
10.Jay Sauter, Necedah

Feature #2 –

1. Dick Trickle
2. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
3. Jay Sauter
4. Mark Martin
5. Tom Reffner
6. Ted Musgrave, Grand Marsh
7. Joe Shear
8. Marv Marzofka
9. Pat Schauer, Watertown
10.Randy Sweet

1972 – Lead Theft Keys Moore’s Fair Win

Dale Moore accepts his trophy from Jeanne Sue Thurman, 1972 Missouri State Fair Queen after capturing the Missouri Sportsman championship at Sedalia. Looking in on the presentation is announcer Jimmy Glenn (left) and flagman Al Hall (right). 

Sedalia, Mo. (August 25, 1972) – Dale Moore won Friday night’s B-modified sportsman feature at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, grabbing the lead from Jay Lyle of Warrensburg on the 10th lap on his way to the 25-lap victory.

Moore, a veteran Kansas City modified driver, started on the outside pole position on the second row jumped into second the green flag fell.

However, before the first lap could be completed, Barney Bauernfeind, Kansas City, spun out between turns three and four. That brought out the yellow flag and caused a restart. Dick Buso and Rick Darling tangled in the backstretch on the restart, bringing out the yellow again.

On the restart George Lasoski, Dover, Mo., spun going into the first turn from his outside front row position, bringing out the third and final yellow flag of the race. Lasoski rejoined the field and managed to finish ninth.

But the glory belonged to Moore in his #71 Chevrolet-powered racer. He held off repeated threats from Lyle in the 25-lap battle. Lyle tried both high and low but was not able to regain the lead after Moore found the right track and the lead on the 10th trip around the half-mile dirt track.

Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City, ran a close third, but was never able to seriously challenge Moore. Eddie Leavitt, started on the outside of the 12th row in the 25-car field, managed a distant fourth behind the three front-runners. Cliff Woodward, Kansas City, captured fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Gene Dye, Auxvasse, Mo., Ralph Parkinson. Jr., Kansas City, Bob Mills, Parkville. Mo., Lasoski, and Bauernfeind.

Although there were a lot of yellow flags during the program. little equipment was damaged However, in the first 8-lap heat race. John Zerbe, Kansas City, spun his racer between the first and second turns. Martin Godsy, Jefferson City, could not avoid Zerbe, went over one of his tires and flipped two times. The front end of Godsy’s car was torn off, but there were no injuries.

The yellow flag came out seven times in the 15-lap consolation feature for the non-money winners in the heats. That race was finally won by Roy Comstock of Versailles. Craig Bucklew, Columbia, and Marvin Morales, the 1971 winner of the B-modified championship, captured third eat wins were registered by Lyle, Lasoski, Goodwin, Moore and Darling

One record was established that came in the third heat, which was won by Goodwin in a time of 3 minutes and 20 seconds. There was no previous 8-lap record.

For his win, Moore collected $400 by winning the feature. The total purse for the race was $2,500.

Results –

Heat #1 – Jay Lyle, Warrensburg, Mo.
Heat #2 – George Lasoski, Dover, Mo.
Heat #3 – Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
Heat #4 – Dale Moore, Kansas City
Heat #5 – Rick Darling, Marshall, Mo.
Consolation – Roy Comstock, Versailles, Mo.
Feature –
1. Roy Moore
2. Jay Lyle
3. Ray Lee Goodwin
4. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
5. Cliff Woodward, Kansas City
6. Gene Dye, Auxvasse, Mo.
7. Ralph Parkinson Jr., Kansas City
8. Bob Mills, Parkville, Mo.
9. George Lasoski
10.Barney Bauernfeind, Kansas City

1956 – Burdick Winner in 100-Lap Race

Bob Burdick

St. Paul, Minn. (August 25, 1956) – Bob Burdick, a former motorcycle racer from Omaha, Neb., outdrove a field of 41 late model stock cars to win the 100-lap feature at the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday afternoon.

A crowd of 21,042, the largest opening day throng in the Fair’s history, watched Burdick shoot out of the pack to take the lead for the first time on the 77th circuit and hold it until the checkered flag, winning in 53 minutes and 8.51 seconds.

Trailing the 22-year-old Omahan was George Miller of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, and Sonny Morgan of Beaumont, Tex.

White the two-time and defending International Motor Contest Association champion, stayed in contention most of the way but never made a serious bid until Burdock had a safe lead in the last 10 laps.

Driving a ’56 Ford, Burdick made his move at the start of lap 77 when Sonny Morgan fell out with a faulty steering arm. Morgan led for 69 laps and posted a hallway mark of 25 minutes and 4.699 seconds.

As Burdick was taking the lead, Johnny Beauchamp, the current IMCA point leader from Harlan, Iowa, pulled up on the same lap with a broken rear axle. He was credited with a 18th place finish.

Burdick followed a pre-race plan mapped out by his father, Roy, a former racer himself. He stayed close to Morgan, who set a fast early pace, and pulled into a commanding position when a shaky front wheel forced Morgan to lose ground.

A surprise entry, Ernie Derr of Fort Madison, Iowa, kept a contending pressure all race and finished fifth. Derr, under a year’s suspension by IMCA, paid a $500 fine (for jumping a race date) Saturday morning and won $360 of it back by the late afternoon.

Results –

1. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
2. George Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
3. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
5. Ernie Derr, Fort Madison, Iowa
6. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
7. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
8. Jim Rehbein, Forest Lake
9. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
10. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
11. Dick Johnson, St. Paul
12. Harry Doubenspeck, St. Paul
13. Dean Anderson, Russell
14. Matt Perlick, Minneapolis
15. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
16. Frank McEachern, Winnipeg, Manitoba
17. Glen Strellner, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
18. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
19. Don Hoeg, Bloomington
20. Mert Williams, Rochester
21. Russell Gross, Quincy, Ill.
22. Dick Jepson, Hoxie, Kan.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

1975 – ‘Fun’ Night for Dralle


Red Dralle holds his trophy for winning the 50-lap season championship at Tunis Speedway. 

Waterloo, Iowa (August 24, 1975) – When Red Dralle of Evansdale arrive at the pits Sunday night at Tunis Speedway, he announced he was there just to have fun.

Fun and all, Dralle certainly got more than he bargained for as he copped the top prize in the late model 50-lap season championship.

The big race, the late model 50-lapper, was pushed up on the program by Tunis promoter Claus Stricker when dark clouds started moving in early in the evening.

Stricker turned out the winner on that one when high winds and rain finally halted the races during the final event – the 15-lap late model consolation. The consolation event had officially clicked off two laps when the rains came.

The large turnout, which came to see D. Arthur Nesteby of Waterloo, the seasonal point leader, and Karl Sanger, also of Waterloo, duel it out in the 50-lap feature, had to settle into their seats early when the race, slated last on the program, was moved up.

Oddly enough, Nesteby was the first to go as only nine of the 15 starters finished the race, and Sanger ended in third when the race concluded.

Nesteby, exercising his option to start the race on the outside of the front row just as he did last year when he won this race, was in the lead after eight laps when his car entered the third turn too strongly and flipped over the banking, landing on its side. His gas pedal had apparently stuck after bolting the backstretch.

The popular Nesteby waved to the crowd’s applause as he rode on the rear of the towed car, out of the race with front end damage.

With Nesteby gone, Bob Hilmer of Dysart took over and led for all but three laps until the gears went out on his quick-change.

But on the ensuing lap following Nesteby’s mishap, Tom Hamilton of Jesup went off the backside and the race had to be restarted a third time.

Sanger led briefly, before Hilmer moved to the front. Then it was Dralle’s turn at leadership, and It came on lap 28. Denny Osborn of Cedar Falls chased Dralle for the last 22 laps, but it was to no avail.

And for Dralle, it was a long way from his 15th starting spot, but a short haul when it’s just out for the fun of it.

The sportsman feature, a 30-lapper, was won by Steve Auringer of Waterloo with Roger Buchholz of Cedar Falls in second and John Weers of Readlyn in third.

Results –

Heat #1 – Willy Klingfus, Waterloo
Heat #2 – Dave Plum, Waterloo
Heat #3 – Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo
Feature –
1. Red Dralle, Evansdale
2. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls
3. Karl Sanger, Waterloo
4. Darrell Sells, Waverly
5. Duane Van Deest, Grundy Center

1968 – Funk wins Missouri International

Lenny Funk receives his trophy after winning the Missouri International for IMCA late model stock cars.

Sedalia, Mo. (August 24, 1968) - Lenny Funk, who “just went out there to run a good race”, picked up the biggest handful of marbles Saturday in Missouri’s longest and richest late model stock car race.

His triumph in the 100-mile Missouri International was worth $1,000 to the Otis, Kan., wheat farmer who races a 1966 Ford as an independent.

Attendance at the Missouri State Fair event was 13,750.

Funk, who started the grind on the front row outside because of an IMCA rule which inverts the six fastest qualifiers (he timed in fifth fastest), slipped back to third place by lap 5 as prepared factory team favorites Ernie Derr in a '68 Dodge and Ramo Stott in a ’68 Plymouth quickly moved to the front two positions from fifth and third starting positions, respectively.

But when the mandatory pit stops began, Lenny forged ahead Stott, pitting on lap 12, killed his engine as he left the pits and lost precious time while a push truck restarted him on the half-mile track.

And when Derr made the first of two stops at the 21st circuit Lenny got a lead he never relinquished.

At lap 63, the 38-year-old father of four held a half-lap advantage over Derr, approximately the margin he claimed when the checkered flag fell. Stott, at that point, was well out of contention.

Two yellow flags in the later stages of the race, one when Wayne Johnson of Miller, Mo., lost a wheel at midpoint and another when Dean Huckaby of Kansas City, Kan., lost a wheel on lap 85, brought Ernie within a quarter lap as the field of cars compressed during the slowdown.

But when the green flew again at lap 85, Lenny set sail and was going away at the finish. His time for the 100 miles was not a record, because of the caution flags, but he turned the 50-mile point in 36 minutes and 29 seconds, for a new International Motor Contest Association world record.

Stott, finishing third, completed 97 laps. Other top finishers and the number of laps completed were Ole Brua of Albert Lea, Minn., whose '67 Ford set fast time for the day and who received the STP trophy, fourth at 96 laps, and Lewis Taylor, Shawnee. Kan., 1967 Plymouth, fifth at 94 laps.

No crashes or serious mishaps marred the program.

1963 – Woolley Cops Iowa 50-Lapper


Gordon Woolley won the 50-lap finale of the IMCA big car program at the Iowa State Fair. - Beetle Bailey Photo

Des Moines, Iowa (August 24, 1963) – Gordon Woolley of Waco, Tex., proved he was the smartest as well as the fastest driver when he won the third and final IMCA big car feature event at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday afternoon.

The big Texan was the only driver who put knobbies on his racer and that was the medicine he needed. He got a big bite in the second turn of the first lap and shot into the lead.

Woolley then put all the ponies of the Weinberger Chevrolet to work and by checkered flag time, he was almost three-fourths of a lap ahead of second place Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla.

Folse was might lucky to take second place money. Illinois’ Jerry Blundy, who had been taking home a good share of Iowa State Fair racing money, held the second position until the 27th lap when the engine on his hot Chevrolet shelled out.

Up to that point, Blundy had won a big car feature, finished second in another, and won a super-modified main.

Jud Larson, driving out of Kansas City, was not so fortunate. He was running in third and in trying to catch up to Folse when he spun on the final lap. Jim Moughan of Springfield, Ill., would inherit third place as the checkers waved.

Results –

1. Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
2. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
3. Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill.
4. Don Brown, San Fernando, Calif.
5. Ralph Donaldson, Napolean, Ill.
6. Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
7. Buzz Gregory, Dayton, Ohio
8. Norm Galpin, Altoona
9. Doc Schaeffer, Alameda, Calif.
10.Bob Tomlinson, Oak Lawn, Ill.
11.Steve Orme, Sherman, Ill.
12.Jud Larson, Kansas City

1957 – White Wins State Fair Opener


St. Paul, Minn. (August 24, 1957) – Proving that variety is often the spice of life, Don White opened the Minnesota State Fair auto racing program Saturday with his first stock car feature victory here in two years.

The 1957 Ford with which White circled 100 laps in 49 minutes and 37.67 seconds, was the third car he had driven here in three years and earned him a tidy $600.

Trailing the slender Keokuk, Iowa, veteran was Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, who finished 4.5 seconds back, and Bobby Burdick of Omaha. Neb., who was a car length behind Beauchamp.

The feature climaxed an afternoon of racing in which each decision went into the final straightaway of the last lap before a turnout crowd of 17,214.

Nearly as dramatic, as far as the fans were concerned, was the run-of-the-fair suspension handed to Jim Rehbein of Forest Lake by race director Frank Winkley.

Winkley charged Rehbein with “deliberately turning in front of an oncoming car and trying to cause an accident,” on the first lap of the 12-lap consolation.

The oncoming driver, Bruce Nystrom of Oshkosh, Wis., spun out and slammed up against the inside rail. He was not injured, and neither was Rehbein.

White’s victory was skillfully executed. He let Beauchamp, the International Motor Contest Association point leader, have the lead for 31 laps. When Beauchamp hesitated momentarily on the southeast turn, White skimmed by on the inside and took over.

“Once I got the lead, I knew I could win,” White stated afterwards.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
3. Bob Burdick, Omaha
4. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Don Hoeg, Bloomington
6. George Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
7. Milt Shave, Fond du Lac, Wis.
8. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
9. Bud Helm, Bloomington
10.Jerry Draper, Moline, Ill.
11.Bob Hardy, Beaumont, Tex.
12.Don Lewis, King, Tex.
13.Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
14.Ralph Smith, Green Bay, Wis.
15.Bruce Nystrom, Oshkosh, Wis.
16.Joe Dolphy, New Brighton, Minn.
17.Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
18.Earl Ness, Green Bay, Wis.
19.Larry Peterson, Oshkosh, Wis.
20.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
21.Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
22.Stan Buchta, Minneapolis