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

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