Don Hoffman of Des Moines debuted a new winged late model at the Iowa Autumn Spectacular and flew to the feature win, coming from the back of the pack to take the 35-lapper. Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray and trophy girl Stephanie Robinson join a happy Hoffman in victory lane. – Dean Malone Photo
Des Moines, Iowa (October 6, 1979) – Don Hoffman of Des Moines pocketed $3,000 from a purse of $15,000 Saturday night at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, at the Iowa Autumn Spectacular in Des Moines.Hoffman won the trophy dash, which paid $600 to win, came back to win his heat race, and then captured the 35-lap feature before more than 7,000 spectators.
Original plans called for two 25-lap features with the finish inverted from the from the first feature finish for the second feature but the Des Moines 10:30 pm curfew prompted promoter Lefty Robinson to run one 35-lapper.
Hoffman started well back in the field and earned $75 for each position he gained, in addition to the winner’s share of the total purse. All drivers who did not win earned $20 for each position gained in the feature and several drivers were able to pad their total winnings with the added incentive.
Robinson noted that four drivers were unable to compete because their cars did not meet the requirement and they were unable to change their mufflers and get their cars qualified in time. Those four drivers were Ed Sanger, Dan Nesteby, and Larry Wasserfort, all of Waterloo, and Rex Nun of Lincoln, Neb.
Fast time for the night was set by Billy Moyer Jr. of Des Moines with a clocking of 24.996 seconds, the only driver to stop the clock under the 25-second mark.
Also in the late models, a special race for former State Fairground champions was won by Hoffman with Tim McDonough of Cedar Rapids, representing his late father Bill, second, and Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, third. The race was flagged by Governor Robert D. Ray.
Lee Jenkins of Des Moines won a special 12-lap old-timers’ race.
Time Trials – Billy Moyer Jr., Des Moines (24.996)
Trophy Dash – Don Hoffman, Des Moines
Heat #1 – Craig Spetman, Council Bluffs
Heat #2 – Don Hoffman
Heat #3 – Red Dralle, Evansdale
Heat #4 – Bill Rice, Des Moines
Semi-Feature – Jim Burbridge, Delhi
1. Don Hoffman
2. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls
3. Tom Hearst, Wilton
4. Curt Hansen, Dike
5. Bill Rice
6. Tim McDonough, Cedar Rapids
7. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo
8. Bill Martin, Council Bluffs
9. Bill Davis, Des Moines
10.Mike Frieden, Cedar Rapids
11.Rocky Hodges, Des Moines
12.Billy Moyer Jr.
13.Kenny Fenn, Washington
14.Karl Sanger, Waterloo
16.Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
17.Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
18.Jerry Holtkamp, Williams
19.Dave Birkhofer, Muscatine
20.Ken Davidson, Indianola