Friday, August 4, 2023

1968 – Richert Scores Repeat Victory at Allentown


Jerry Richert

Allentown, Penn. (August 4, 1968) – Jerry Richert squeezed just enough bite out of his retreaded snow tires on Sunday afternoon to nip Ray Tilley and gain his second straight triumph at the Great Allentown Fair on a track that is getting more demanding and confusing with each race.

Richert, who opened the International Motor Contest Association racing program on Saturday by winning both the semi-feature and main event, added the trophy dash and 30-lap feature on Sunday.

The victory for the Forest Lake, Minn., pilot who currently leads the IMCA point standings, was the second in the Keystone State Trophy Series. The third and final race will be a 50-lap windup on Saturday.

But Richert, who notched double points for the win, had the time of his life before he crossed the finish line ahead of Tilley, a Clearfield, Penn., driver who also finished second to Richert in Saturday’s feature.

He had to battle his own car for the second straight day and an unruly track that appeared to be rejecting the $12 snow tires in the feature that worked so well on Saturday, not to mention Tilley, who found severe bite Sunday with his conventional tires that did little during Saturday’s race.

Finishing third behind Richert and Tilley were Darl Harrison of Tiffin, Ohio, who finished fifth on Saturday. Fourth place went to Gus Linder – his second straight fourth place finish – while Benny Rapp of Toledo, Ohio, second in IMCA points behind Richert, was fifth.

Richert, who carded $660 for his day’s work, started the afternoon by leading six of seven laps to win the trophy dash. In his next race, the 10-lap second heat, he ran into problems.

After making a beautiful move to vault from his sixth starting position to second in just two turns, he dropped a cylinder and he retired to the pits. His crew worked frantically for the remainder of the heats and semi-main and come feature time, he sat on the pole position with Tilley starting aside him.

He streaked in front and was riding comfortably ahead when through two short early caution lights and into the 22nd lap.

Then Tilley flashed up to challenge. He moved close on the backstretch and began dogging Richert. It was only when the two cars drew side-by-side heading into the fourth turn of lap 24 that their contrasting driving styles became distinctly evident.

Richert swung wide – as he usually runs – while Tilley hugged the bottom groove. But Richert had the problems -partly with his tires and partly with the track.

The Goodyear tires that had performed flawlessly on the crushed the thick crushed limestone surface on Saturday appeared to be giving way in the turns. Richert’s car skidded way of line in turn two and he just missed brushing the wall as Tilley shot past him and into the lead.

Richert caught and passed Tilley on lap 24 and led through the 28th circuit. As in the four preceding laps, Richert was hooking wide through the turns and Tilley caught him again and made him look at his pipes across the finish line for the first time.

Richert took little time in regaining and maintain his advantage, however. Taking a page from Tilley’s book on the second turn of lap 29, he cut to inside sharply and caught his challenger by surprise, passed him, and never let up as he streaked to the win.

Results –

1. Jerry Richert
2. Ray Tilley
3. Darl Harrison
4. Gus Linder
5. Benny Rapp
6. Ronnie Rough
7. Buzz Gregory
8. Bill Roynon
9. Gene Varner
10.John Auxter

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