La Crosse, Wis. (August 1, 1962) – Minnesota dirt track champion Jerry Richert of Forest Lake reset the 15-lap record at the sixth annual La Crosse Interstate Fair big car races Wednesday night with a time of 6 minutes and 22.45 seconds, to cut .17 seconds off the mark set the night before by Tuesday night’s feature Bill Horstmeyer of Madison.The 29-year-old three-time Minnesota dirt king was the only driver to beak the 25-second barrier in qualifying time trials. He turned in clocking’s of 24.90 and 24.57 seconds. Richert finished fourth in Tuesday’s 15-lapper.
The half-mile dirt track was hard and slick – only Richert had any success on it.
“We made a tire change before the first heat,” he said. “It was a real good night to get top performance out of the car. I rode the rim of the track to avoid all of the bumps and grooves.”
The 13-year racing veteran works as a repairman for Whirlpool in St. Paul. He’s married with four children.
Richert, Johnny Rutherford of Fort Worth, Tex., and Don O’ Riley of Los Angeles were heat winners and Al Fredenberg of Madison took the consolation.
The championship feature had to be restarted when Rutherford’s mount hit the fence in front of the grandstand on the first lap, losing a wheel in the process.
Richert took the lead on the restart and quickly bolted to a big lead over Jerry Daniels of St. Paul, Minn., Harold Leep of Wichita, Kan., Roger Lane of Kansas City and Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla. Bill Horstmeyer dropped out after only three laps.
Richert had a big advantage by getting out in front of the pack - just as Tuesday just as Horstmeyer did the night before. The 15-lap record prior to this year was set in 1958 by Jack Rounds of Los Angeles with a time of 7 minutes and 55.34 seconds.
Time trials – Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn. (24.57)
Heat #1 – Jerry Richert
Heat #2 – Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex.
Heat #3 – Don O’Riley, Los Angeles
Consolation – Bill Horstmeyer, Madison
1. Jerry Richert
2. Jerry Daniels
3. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
4. Roger Lane, Kansas City
5. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
6. Tod Barton, Janesville
7. Don O’Riley
8. Harvey Konkel, Madison
9. Bill Horstmeyer
10.Kenny Cahill, Iowa City, Iowa