Thursday, April 25, 2024

1982 – Sauter and Hanley Star in ARTGO Grundy 50’s

Junior Hanley won the second of two 50-lap features for the ARTGO late models at Grundy County Speedway. - Bob Elman Photo 

By Stan Kalwasinski

Morris, Ill. (April 25, 1982) – Jim Sauter and Junior Hanley each captured a main event as ARTGO Racing presented a twin 50-lap late model special at Grundy County Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Both Sauter and Hanley piloted 1981 Camaros in recording their first ARTGO feature triumphs of the year.

A field of 22 cars started the first 50-lap main, with Steve Burgess grabbing the early lead from his front row starting position.

Pressed hard by Ron Bloomberg, Burgess was still in front on lap 8 when Larry Cooper and Wayne Para tangled in turn four necessitating the event’s first yellow banner.

Before the entire field could taking the ensuing green, the yellow light flashed again as Dave Weltmeyer tagged the frontstretch wall after a shock absorber in his mount gave way.

Burgess paced the restart but another caution came out on lap 10 when Joe Shear, who was running third, blew the engine in his machine, dropping oil all over the track.

With Burgess still in command, the yellow flew as the leaders attempted to complete the 17th circuit when Burt Weitemeyer and Dave Tomczak got together between turns one and two.

At the halfway mark, Burgess was still the leader but then Sauter entered the battle for first place, trailed by Dick Barker, Tom Jones, Jim Weber, and Tom Reffner.

Sauter, the 1981 ARTGO champion, took over first place on lap 30 and was still on top on lap 38 when the final yellow waved for Woody Pool’s Maverick, which had stalled on the frontstretch.

The final 12 laps saw Jones challenge Sauter but the Necedah, Wis., pilot was equal to the test and crossed the finish line a couple of car lengths ahead of Jones. Burgess was third, followed by Reffner and Hanley.

A total of 23 cars started the second 50, with Curt Cheshire pacing the field at the drop of the green.

Only three laps were complete when the race’s first yellow appeared as Burgess spun in turn one while running sixth, sending the rest of the field behind him scattering.

Cheshire led the first seven laps but surrendered the top spot the next time around, as he and second running Frank Gawlinski spun between turns one and two, again scattering the flowing pack.

Inheriting the lead, Hanley quickly built a strong advantage, putting daylight between himself and the runner-up Barker.

Another yellow slowed the battle on lap 16when Gawlinski backed hard into the third turn wall.

The green flag remained out the rest of the way, with Hanley on top at the 25-lap mark trailed by Barker, Reffner, Sauter, Jones, and Tracy Schuler.

A real battle ensued for third place between Reffner, Sauter, Jones, and Al Schill, winner of the 1982 ARTGO season opener at Rockford, diced lap after lap.

Sauter then began to make his move, slipping by Reffner on lap 36 and then snaring second place from Barker on lap 44.

Moving up on Hanley for the final six circuits, Sauter saw his time run out before he could complete a charge from the outside groove.

Hanley took the checkered only a few car lengths ahead Sauter, who was followed by Jones, Schill, and Reffner.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
2. Ton Jones, Northbrook
3. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire, Wis.
4. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
5. Junior Hanley, Oakville, Ont.
6. Jim Weber, Roseville, Minn.
7. Dick Barker, Detroit, Mich.
8. Frank Gawlinski, Lynwood
9. Kevin Stepan, Mosinee, Wis.
10.Curt Cheshire, Hickory Hills

Feature #2 –

1. Junior Hanley
2. Jim Sauter
3. Tom Jones
4. Al Schill, Franklin, Wis.
5. Tom Reffner
6. Dick Barker
7. Tracy Schuler, Lockport
8. Dave Weltmeyer, Harvey
9. Rich Bickle Jr., Edgerton, Wis.
10.Burt Weitemeyer, Lansing

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