Sedalia, Mo. (August 29, 1981) – “I wasn’t going to race until Joe Wallace talked me in to it last night,” said a happy Rick Beebe of Overland Park, Kan., after he won the 100-mile late model stock car race at the Missouri State Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon.
Beebe pulled away from Joe Kosiski of Omaha on lap 97 of the 100-lap race on the one-mile dirt oval. It was Beebe’s first National Speedways Contest Association victory.
Forty-six cars timed in for the 30 starting positions. Fast time in qualifying went to Ron Jackson of Burlington, Iowa, with a clocking of 38.16 seconds.
Kosiski jumped into the lead at the beginning of the race followed closely by Billy Moyer Jr. of Des Moines, Iowa, Ken Walton of Viola, Iowa, soon joined the battle for first until he stopped on the back straightaway on lap 14.
Kosiski maintained his lead through the first 42 circuits before making a pit stop on lap 43. Andy Claiborne of Shawnee Mission, Kan., would inherit the top spot and lead until lap 48 when he was passed by Dick Potts of Morocco, Ind.
Potts soon found the fast groove and began to pull away from the pack until the race was slowed by a caution on lap 56.
On the restart, Potts was able to pull away from everyone except Beebe, who was now on his rear bumper. Beebe was able to get around Potts on lap 75 when Potts started losing power.
Beebe would lead the last quarter of the race followed by Kosiski and John Yearsley of Champaign, Ill.
It took Beebe 106 miles of racing to win the 100-mile race as NSCA rules state that the last five laps must be run under the green flag.
Beebe credited his crew with the win. “I had a pit stop on lap 45 and that’s what won it for me,” he said.
Beebe remarked it was a fast race, but it did get hot in the car. “This was the first time I ever ran the mile track, and it was fun,” he added.
Walton was crowned the National Speedways Contest Association late model champion for 1981. He finished 16th in the 100-miler stayed ahead of Tony Stewart of Washington, Iowa, in the point standings. Stewart is recovering from a thumb injury sustained in a racing accident and did not participate in the 100-miler.
1. Rick Beebe, Overland Park, Kan.
2. Joe Kosiski, Omaha
3. John Yearsley, Champaign, Ill
4. Charlie Moubry, Novelty, Mo.
5. Gary Patterson, Fairfield, Iowa
6. Andy Claiborne, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
7. Dick Elliot, Mt. Ayr, Iowa
8. Vic Bentlage, Jefferson City, Mo.
9. Joe Cobb, Kansas City
10.Dick Potts, Morocco, Ind.