Tuesday, August 15, 2023

1976 - Stott Drives to Fair Stock 200 Victory

Ramo Stott came back with a victory in the Fair Stock 200, driving his 1976 Volare Kit Car. He’s joined by his wife Judy (left) and Susan Frank, Miss Fairest of the Fair. – Bob Lewis Photo

West Allis, Wis. (August 15, 1976) - Ramo Stott surged past Butch Hartman on the 160th lap and went on to win the 200-mile United States Auto Club stock car race Sunday at State Fair Park

Stott and Hartman battled for the lead through much of the race. But Stott, driving a 1976 Plymouth Volare, took command when Hartman’s 1973 Camaro lost power because of a transmission problem with 40 laps to go on the mile paved oval.

Stott had a winning speed of 80.659 miles per hour. It was unusually slow due to nine caution flags which covered 62 laps.

Hartman's demise left Stott one lap and four seconds ahead of Sal Tovella, who was driving a 1974 Plymouth Satellite. It was enough time to allow Stott a pit stop on the 186th lap, where he added two quarts of oil, and then finished 12 seconds ahead of Tovella.

“I noticed the oil pressure dropping 30 to 40 pounds in the turns,” Stott said. “I knew I had plenty of time, so I went in to get the oil rather than risk burning a bearing.”

Tovella argued afterwards that he should have been declared the winner, but USAC officials told him that he had lost a lap when he was passed as the leaders made pit stops about two-thirds of the way through the race.

Ron Hutcherson, driving a 1976 Volare, finished third Verlin Eaker, in a 1975 Chevelle, was fourth Gary Bowsher, driving a 1973 Ford Torino, placed fifth. Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., who was driving for the first time in more than a year following eye surgery, was sixth in a 1976 Volare.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott
2. Sal Tovella
3. Ron Hutcherson
4. Verlin Eaker
5. Gary Bowsher
6. Norm Nelson
7. Harold Fair
8. Ken Rowley
9. Paul Feldner
10.Steve Drake

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