Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Tipton - 1967

By Kyle Ealy

Tipton, Iowa - Fred Horn of Marion would kick off the 1967 season at the Cedar County Fairgrounds with a feature victory on Sunday, May 21. In addition to the feature, Horn would grab the checkered in the B-semi and third heat.

Newcomer Dale Peters of Mechanicsville would finish second to Horn in the main event, beating out Pat Blake of Clarence at the finish line. Twenty-nine cars provided action as drivers shook down opening night nerves and mechanical difficulties.

Arlo Becker of Atkins won the first heat and Jim Gardner of Tipton was the second heat winner. Bill Beckman of Monticello won the consolation.

The May 28 program was washed out as was the Memorial Day special scheduled for Tuesday May 30.

Racing got back underway on June 4 as Larry Schulte of Cedar Rapids captured his first feature win of the young season. There was no catching Schulte as he ran away from the rest of the field. Larry Sheldon of Cedar Rapids was a distant second and Chuck Lukemyres of Tipton was third.

Ed Osborn of Ely nipped Rusty Fall of Olin by mere feet to capture the first heat. Rick Sawyer of Clarence was the second heat winner and Fred Horn scored the victory in the third heat. Horn was also victorious in the B semi while Jim Gardner was the A semi winner. Duane Sayre of Marion copped the consolation.

Larry Kemp was substituting as flagman at Tipton when an out-of-control race car hit the flagman's platform knocking Kemp into the mud. He was uninjured but a little dirty. - Claire Schreiber Photo

Fred Horn would put on a driving display on Sunday, June 11, as the Marion hot shoe came from his 18th starting position to win the 20-lap feature. Horn made it look easy, winning over Jim Gardner and Rick Sawyer.

Ben Huber of Solon, Ed Osborn of Ely and Gardner were heat winners. Gardner would also win the B semi while Rusty Fall was the A semi winner. Ed Schulte of Cedar Rapids was the consolation victor.

Rick Sawyer would dominate the action at Cedar County Fairgrounds on June 18, as the 20-year-old from Clarence would top a field of 34 super stocks by sweeping to victory in the feature, semi, and heat.

Sawyer, who enjoyed his finest night of racing in his young career, staved off hard-driving Fred Horn for the win. In the 18-car feature Horn was involved in an early three-car pileup, placing him in the rear of the field for the restart. From there he mounted a tremendous charge through the field, but Sawyer denied him the win.

Bob Coiner and Dave Lovell, both of Rochester, won heats along with Sawyer. In addition to Sawyer’s B semi victory, Bill Beckman won the A semi. Pat Blake won the consolation.

All off his hard work would pay off as Horn would get his second win of the season on Sunday, June 25. Horn would duel side-by-side with Larry Curley of Oxford Junction for 18 laps before finally securing the feature victory. Curley would settle for second while Jim Gardner was third.

In addition to his third place showing in the main event, Jim Gardner was a double winner, taking the second heat and B semi. Perry Beckler of Iowa City and Arlo Becker of Atkins were the other heat winners while Lynn Ricklefs of Lisbon won the A semi. The consolation went to Stan Woode of Tipton.

Chuck Lukemyres would pick up his first super stock feature win of the season, nosing out fellow townsman Jim Gardner by five feet on Sunday, July 2.

Ron Hemsted of Lone Tree had his clean sweep bid spoiled when his car lost a wheel while well out in front of the feature event. Hemsted won the first heat and A semi earlier in the evening.

Dick Bragg of Cedar Rapids won the third heat while Jim Gardner was a double winner, scoring the win in the second heat and B semi. Larry Schulte grabbed the win in the consolation while Duane Sayre won the trophy dash.

A huge 4th of July card was planned for the Cedar County quarter mile with a 30-lap feature and a holiday trophy dash comprised of the top eight point leaders.

Fred Horn receives the checkered flag from starter Larry Svoboda after another feature win at Tipton. - Claire Schreiber Photo

It appeared that Tipton’s Jim Gardner was well on his way to his first feature win of the season, having led from the start. But on lap 28, Fred Horn would power past Gardner and go on to his third feature win of the season. In addition to his feature win, Horn would win the trophy dash for the top-eight point leaders.

Don Kessler of West Branch, Dick Bragg and Gardner would grab the heat win while Bill Beckman took honors in the consolation.

Racing at the Cedar County Fairgrounds would take the next Sunday, July 9 but they would be back in action on Sunday July 16 with new faces and a new winner.

Bob Helm of Rochester would put his “Gold Hawk” into an early lead and would stay out front the rest of the way to score his first win of the season. Helm would also win the B semi. Rick Sawyer, who qualified for the main event the hard way, by winning the consolation, came from the rear of the field to take second.

Ron Fisher of Cedar Rapids, Walt Carney of West Branch and Mike Niffenegger of Kalona were heat winners while Don Kessler of Iowa City copped the A semi.

Jim Gardner (right) won the mid-season championship at Tipton. Don Chapman (left) won the consolation. - Claire Schreiber Photo

Sunday, July 23 brought the mid-season championships to the Tipton quarter mile. Fred Horn of Marion, who had led in points throughout the season would start on the pole for the special 30-lapper.

It would be Jim Gardner of Clarence, second in points and starting alongside Horn on the front row, who would dart out to the lead at the drop of the green. Gardner would set a grueling pace which would prove to be too much for Horn. Both machines ran one-two for the distance and were never more than 10 feet apart the entire race. Horn would close the gap repeatedly but could never get around the pacesetter, and Gardner would capture top honors, winning his first-ever mid-season title at the track.

Another nail-biter took place in the consolation where Don Kessler of Iowa City and Don Chapman of West Liberty ran fender-to-fender for the entire 20 laps. Kessler took the initial lead only to see Chapman slide by on lap 4. Kessler would regain it on lap 7 and for the next dozen laps, do everything he could to fend off Chapman. But on the 20th and final lap, it was Chapman powering inside of Kessler on the third turn and finishing the winner.

Ed Osborn, Pat Blake, and Mike Niffenegger were heat winners on what was one of the best nights of racing at the Cedar County Fairgrounds thus far.

Succeeding rain showers at 7:15 and again at 7:45 washed away the track and the Sunday night program on July 30. There was no racing on Sunday, August 6 in preparation for the Cedar County Fair.

Bill Beckman

With the Fair in town, two nights of racing were scheduled. However, the Tuesday, August 8 program would be canceled because of rain, but the Thursday, August 10 card brought a capacity crowd and 34 super stocks.

Jerry Oberbroeckling of Cedar Rapids would pace the 20-lap feature for the first 13 circuits before Fred Horn took over the top spot. He would lead the final seven lap to secure his fourth feature win. Horn was also a winner in the B semi.

Heat wins went to Willie Dee of Atalissa, Rusty Fall of Olin and Pat Blake. Doug Wilson of Cedar Rapids won the A semi. Larry Curley of Oxford Junction was the consolation winner.

Sunday night weekly racing returned August 13 and fans saw a “wild and wooly” feature race which saw three restarts and two spinouts.

Jim Gardner of Tipton, seeking his third win of the season, appeared to be well on his way when a three-car mishap occurred with only three laps to go. On the ensuing restart, Gardner’s engine would let go, allowing Fred Horn to pick up yet another feature victory, his fifth of the season. Horn was also a heat winner.

In addition to Horn’s double-double, Gardner and Bob Helm of Rochester were double winners on the evening as well, with both drivers picking up a heat and semi win.

Sunday, August 20 saw Fred Horn pick up his sixth feature win of the season at the Tipton quarter mile. His win was by no means easy as he and Larry Schulte of Cedar Rapids traded the lead five times before the Marion pilot pulled away in the waning laps.

Bob Helm was a double winner, winning the third heat and B semi. Don Kessler and Rick Sawyer were the other heat winners. Perry Beckler of Iowa City was the A semi victor and Wat Carney scored the win in the consolation.

Roger Lacousiere of Cedar Rapids was enjoying a winning night of racing at the Cedar County Fairgrounds on August 27 when disaster struck in the feature event.

Lacousiere, who had already won his heat and the A semi, and was way out front of the feature, spun and sheared a light pole, causing the live wire to fall on the track. There were no injuries, but repair work could not be arranged, and the rest of the feature would be made up on next week’s card.

Perry Beckler and Pat Blake were also heat winners while Fred Horn won the B semi. Rick Sawyer was the consolation winner.

Labor Day Weekend brings out race fans and race drivers and Sunday night, September 3 was no different. A capacity crowd and 33 super stocks plus 10 events of racing added up to one of the best shows of the year.

Ron Fisher of Cedar Rapids would have a great night individually by winning last week’s postponed feature and then earning a runner-up finish in the main event after waging a terrific battle with Pat Blake of Clarence, who took the 20-lap feature win. Blake also was a winner in the consolation.

Fred Horn was a double winner, copping the holiday trophy dash and B semi. Don Chapman and Walt Carney would grab heat wins while Lynn Ricklefs of Lisbon won the A semi.

Cedar Rapids’ Jerry Oberbroeckling would capture his second feature win of the season on Sunday, September 10. Oberbroeckling had all he could handle in the 20-lapper with Fred Horn attached to his rear bumper throughout the contest. Despite several attempts to get by, Horn would have to settle for runner-up honors.

Larry Curley, Don Chapman, and Pat Blake were heat winners. Doug Wilson of Cedar Rapids on the A semi while Walt Carney was the B semi victor. Rick Sawyer won the consolation.

Bob Helm holds his trophy after winning a thrilling season championship race at Tipton. 

Jim Gardner was within 300 feet and a half gallon of gas of winning the 35-lap season championship on Sunday, September 17, when the unbelievable happened.

Gardner took the white flag for the last lap followed closely by Rochester’s Bob Helm. As both drivers exited turn two, Gardner, running on fumes, was passed by Helm who came on to take the victory and the championship. It was a stunning loss for Gardner, who had led the race for the last 21 circuits.

As Gardner crawled to the finish line, Larry Schulte, Walt Carney, Pat Blake, and Fred Horn all passed Gardner in the final quarter mile. He settled for a disappointing sixth place.

Curt Long of Marion, Arlo Becker and Larry Curley were heat winners on the final night of racing at Tipton. Curley also won an exciting consolation race over Jack Bliss of Cedar Rapids.

Fred Horn of Marion, Iowa, would be crowned point champion at Tipton for the 1967 season.

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