Sunday, September 10, 2023

1977 – Wolfgang Snares Nebraska Fair Win

Doug Wolfgang driving for Bob Trostle, is about to pass Bill Utz at the Nebraska State Fair half-mile for victory #41 on the season. Wolfgang would score a record 45 victories in 1977.

Lincoln, Neb. (September 10, 1977) - Doug Wolfgang of Des Moines, Iowa inched nearer to the top of the International Motor Contest Association’s (IMCA) driving leadership Saturday, gaining his 41st victory of the season in the sprint car races at the State Fairgrounds.

Wolfgang and former IMCA national sprint car champion Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., have been waging a battle for the lead in the point standings all season with Utz currently holding a slim edge.

Saturday Wolfgang edged even closer, taking a victory in the second heat race over Steve Lewis of Kansas City, Mo., and then following it up by winning the 30-lap main event.

Utz finished second behind Wolfgang in the feature and won the five-lap match race while Wolfgang placed second, maintaining the top position in the points competition. Utz also had a third-place effort in the second heat.

In the 10-lap consolation race, Dick Forbrook of Morgan, Minn., defeated second-place finisher Ralph Parkinson, Sr. and Jerry Potter, both of Kansas City, Mo.

Gene Gennetten of Gladstone, Mo., was the time trial winner, negotiating the half-mile fairgrounds track in 26 16 seconds. Other heat race wins went to Wilber Hecke of Ord, Neb., in the first heat and Bill Mellenberndt of Sioux Falls, S.D., in the third.

Results –

Time trials – Gene Genetten, Gladstone, Mo. (26.16)
Heat #1 – Wilber Hecke, Ord, Neb.
Heat #2 – Doug Wolfgang, Des Moines
Heat #3 – Bill Mellenberndt, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Match race – Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
Consolation – Dick Forbrook, Morgan, Minn.
Feature –
1. Doug Wolfgang
2. Bill Utz
3. Cliff Woodward, Kearney, Mo.
4. Ralph Parkinson, Sr., Kansas City
5. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
6. Dick Forbrook
7. Roy Bryant, Wichita, Kan.
8. Bill Mellenberndt
9. Johnny Johnson, Independence, Mo.
10.Randy Smith, Mt. Ayr, Iowa

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