Friday, August 11, 2023

1963 – Marshman’s Victory Dulled at Home

Bobby Marshman

Terre Haute, Ind. (August 11, 1963) - It was a big win—one of the biggest—but the thrill of victory wore off very quickly for Bobby Marshman, victor in Sunday’s 30-lap feature USAC sprint race at the fairgrounds. Less than two hours after he drove up in front of the judge’s stand with winning smile on his face, Bobby learned his mother had suffered a serious heart attack in his hometown of Pottstown, Penn.

Fortunately, Mrs. Marshman was better Monday morning but still hospitalized. So maybe now Bobby can relax a little and enjoy the fruits of one of the greatest driving exhibitions ever turned in a sprint car here.

Riding a high groove near the fence like his fellow Pennsylvanian Tommy Hinnershitz used to do, Marshman started in seventh position and wheeled though the field of top drivers like a comet, finally overhauling leader Roger McCluskey on lap 26 as the pair negotiated turn #3.

After that, it was smooth sailing for the 26-year-old leadfoot who has known more trouble than success here in the past.

It took Marshman a long time to get his high groove worked out to suit him, and it explained his seventh position starting spot. He was running high in qualifying when he lost it going through the first turn on the first lap. He recovered but slowed down on his second qualifying lap.

He duplicated the spin maneuver in hot laps before the feature, coming to a stop by the fence and requiring a push truck to re-fire his machine.

After six laps Marshman had moved up to sixth place while McCluskey, the Tucson, Ariz., driver who was gunning for his second straight victory at thee Terre Haute track, had moved out in front of Don Branson and Bob Wente.

Marshman, who had thrilled the thousands in attendance with a third heat win after starting dead last, moved to fifth on lap 7.

He moved up to fourth on the next lap and then to third-place by lap 11. By this time, Marshman’s impressive charge had caught the fancy of the crowd.

Marshman buzzed into second on lap 15 and the cheers from the stands could be heard over the roar of the 14 powerful racing engines.

When Steve Stapp spun on lap 22, the yellow flag waved, bunching the field together.

With the green flag flying, McCluskey and Marshman battled neck and neck on lap 25 – and the fans loved it.

Then the “Pottstown Terror” pounced into the lead on the 26th circuit and held it the remaining four laps to score the exciting victory. It couldn’t have been a more fitting climax to a long day of racing for the fans at the Action Track.

Marshman’s winning time was 12 minutes and 56 seconds, far off the track record of 12 minutes and 14 seconds set by McCluskey on June 16, 1963.

Results –

1. Bobby Marshman
2. Roger McCluskey
3. Don Branson
4. Bobby Grim
5. Bob Wente
6. Bud Tingelstad
7. Bob Mathouser
8. Chuck Arnold
9. Arnie Knepper
10.Bob Harkey
11.Mickey Shaw
12.Johnny White
13.Bobby Black
14.Steve Stapp

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