Tuesday, August 8, 2023

1969 – Behne Speeds to Easy Victory

Lyle Behne

Davenport, Iowa (August 8, 1969) – Lyle Behne of Moline, Ill., topped off an action-packed night of racing before approximately 8,000 fans in Davenport Friday by winning the late model modified division’s 25-lap feature race in easy fashion.

Behne bolted to the front on a restart on lap 3 and he was never headed the remaining distance.

The race was held in conjunction with the Mississippi Valley Fair at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds track.

There was plenty of excitement from start to finish for the standing room only crowd. It started on the opening lap of the first race, a novice heat race, when a racer lost his gas tank in front of the main grandstand. Gasoline poured on the racing surface, but the race was immediately stopped before any of the cars could ignite the fuel.

Even during intermission, the fans saw a spectacular accident. Herb Shannon of Peoria, Ill., was taking a practice lap in his ’69 Ford when he lost control in the second turn and the car tumbled wildly over the embankment.

The car’s fiberglass body was completely demolished but Shannon walked away unhurt. With only the frame of the body showing, Shannon still drove the car in the feature event and placed second.

His entry into the feature was protested by several drivers but he was allowed to race since the rules only state a stock car mut have a complete body at the start of the night’s action.

Dean Montgomery of Milan, Ill., was on hand although he spent the early part of the week in the hospital after a racing accident at East Moline, Ill., last Sunday. Montgomery placed third in his heat but was unable to get his car in running condition for the feature.

In the late modified feature, Behne had the feature under wraps by lap 15. He started lapping the field by lap 20. Meanwhile, Shannon and Benny Hofer of Rock Island, Ill., along with Peoria’s Don Bohlander, put on a tremendous battle for the runner-up position.

Hofer managed to squeeze in front of Bohlander for third position, while Shannon’s margin of victory over Hofer was very slim.

Results –

Heat #1 – John Brockman, Walcott
Heat #2 – Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
Heat #3 – Don Bohlander, Peoria, Ill.
Semi-main – Bob Stogdell, Moline, Ill.
Feature –
1. Lyle Behne, Moline, Ill.
2. Herb Shannon
3. Benny Hofer, Rock Island, Ill.
4. Don Bohlander
5. Ray Guss, Milan, Ill.
6. Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley
7. Lloyd Ewing, Kewanee, Ill.
8. Ernie Speth, Davenport

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