Saturday, October 21, 2023

1984 – Swindell, Purvis Tops at U.S. Dirt Invitational


Jeff Swindell won the winged sprint car portion of the United States Dirt Invitational at I-70 Speedway. – Dean Malone Photo

By Tom Wilson

Odessa, Mo. (October 21, 1984) – Memphis, Tenn., driver Jeff Swindell and Jeff Purvis of Clarksville, Tenn., both started back in the pack and worked their way up to win the 30-lap championship feature races Sunday afternoon during the second annual United States Dirt Invitational at I-70 National Speedway.

The three-day invitational was accompanied by cool and rainy weather that knocked out Saturday night’s program. Fans and drivers from across the nation felt that Sunday would be a washout as well, but promoter Greg Weld was determined to save the program and retired driver Herschel Wagner climbed onto the track machinery and miraculously had the track ready to go by noon.

On the rough but fast track, the first winged sprint car start was marred when 16 cars were involved in a massive pileup coming out of turn four. Jerry Potter flipped end-over-end, lost the fuel cell, but kept driving to the pit area when his racer landed on all four wheels.

On the second start, Shane Carson jumped from his pole position into the lead. On lap 4, the red flag unfolded when Jim Grafton of Des Moines hit the wall in turn one.

Steve Kinser moved to eighth by lap 4 after starting brother Mark’s car in the last spot. Doug Wolfgang, who started on the front row opposite Carson, had his left rear tire fly off on lap 9.

By lap 11, Jeff Swindell, after starting on the inside of row four, passed Dave Blaney for second place. Coming out of turn four, he also passed Carson on the low side to take over the lead he would never relinquish. Bobby Davis Jr. would get by Carson on the last lap to take second, while Carson settled for third. Blaney finished fourth with Kinser rounding out the top-five.

Dick Schiltz of Waterloo, Iowa, flew into the lead at the start of the NDRA late model finale. Schiltz, Jack Pennington, and Purvis ran neck-and-neck for the first 12 circuits. Pennington pulled low in turn two to take the lead from Schiltz on lap 15.

Pennington’s lead seemed solid until his right rear tire started going low on lap 25. Purvis was able to get by on lap 27 and widened his margin from there.

Omaha’s Joe Kosiski, who started in the fourth row, had moved to third by lap 26 and battled Pennington for the last few laps, finally getting around him when his tire shredded. Gary Webb of Davenport, Iowa, and Lance Matthees of Winona, Minn., also sneaked past Pennington on the final lap to take fourth and fifth, respectively.

Bill Martin of Council Bluffs, Iowa, won the late model consolation and Johnny Johnson of Wapello, Iowa, was the B-main winner.

The winged B-main was won by Jeff Tuttle of Des Moines. Tuttle and Junior Parkinson of Gladstone were in one of the best battles of the day throughout the 15 laps.

Sammy Swindell, who Friday set a new one-lap record of 16.10 seconds, did not want to run on Sunday. As it is with the NDRA contract as well as the World of Outlaws organization, the purse was restructured due to Saturday’s rainout. The purse was reduced 40 by less than 40 percent, with Sunday’s purse still over $80,000. Swindell leaving Sunday was a shock to everyone.

Results –

Sprint Car –

1. Jeff Swindell, Memphis, Tenn.
2. Bobby Davis Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
3. Shane Carson, Oklahoma City
4. Dave Blaney, Hartford, Ohio
5. Steve Kinser, Bloomington, Ind.
6. Jac Haudenschild, Millersburg, Ohio
7. T.J. Giddings, Kansas City
8. Danny Lasoski, Dover, Mo.
9. Keith Kauffman, Mifflintown, Penn.
10.Tim Gee, Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
11.Steve Smith Jr., New Oxford, Penn.
12.Jerry Stone, Wichita, Kan.
13.Cliff Woodward, Kearney, Mo.
14.Junior Parkinson, Gladstone
15.Jeff Tuttle, Des Moines, Iowa

Late Model –

1. Jeff Purvis, Clarksville, Tenn.
2. Joe Kosiski, Omaha, Neb.
3. Gary Webb, Davenport, Iowa
4. Lance Matthees, Winona, Minn.
5. Jack Pennington, Hephzibah, Ga.
6. Tom Bartholomew, Waterloo, Iowa
7. Mike Duvall, Gaffney, S.C.
8. Ken Walton, Viola, Iowa
9. Gene Claxton, Kansas City
10.Rick Egersdorf, St. Paul, Minn.
11.Jerry Inmon, Bruce, Miss.
12.Kevin Gundaker, St. Charles, Mo.
13.Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
14.Johnny Johnson, Wapello, Iowa
15.Joe Wallace, Kansas City

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