Monday, May 6, 2024

1981 – Parker Tops Oskaloosa NSCA Races

Pete Parker of Kaukauna, Wis., won the National Speedways Contest Association late model feature at Southern Iowa Speedway. Joining Parker in victory lane is NSCA’s Robert Lawton.

Oskaloosa, Iowa (May 6, 1981) – Pete Parker of Kaukauna, Wis., started on the pole and posted a wire-to-wire victory Wednesday night in the National Speedways Contest Association late model feature at Southern Iowa Speedway.

Parker held off repeated challenges by Joe Merryfield of Des Moines and survived a restart when caution flags flew on lap 20 of the 25-lapper.

Parker actually qualified seventh fastest among the 24 late models who posted times. That placed him on the inside of the third row on the starting grid, but he inherited the pole position when second-fastest qualifier Don Hoffman of Des Moines failed to make the feature grid.

Chasing Parker and Merryfield across the finish were Ken Walton of Viola, Tom Hearst of Wilton, and Johnny Johnson of Morning Sun.

Hearst set the crowd abuzz when he was the final car to take a timed lap in qualifying and he lowered the track mark to 21.356 seconds. That mark broke the old record of 21.750 set by Kevin Gundaker in August of 1980.

Hearst actually took to the track as the 13th car to qualify but as he crossed the start/finish line after one timed lap, his car was noticeably sputtering, and he pulled into the pits.

Getting back in the qualifying line for his last of two laps, he became the final car to qualify. While times got slower as qualifying progressed, Hearst was quicker.

Asked about his problems the first time on the track, he replied, “We ran out of gas. In the rush to get the car on the track, nobody saw to it that there was gas in the tank.”

Hearst said the track was rough, but he knew he was moving well on his second lap.

“I felt good out there,” he remarked. “I didn’t know about any records but I knew I was moving right along.”

Late model heat wins were registered by Craig Jacobs of Des Moines, Joe Kosiski of Omaha, and Merryfield.

Results –

Time trials – Tom Hearst, Wilton
Heat #1 – Craig Jacobs, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Joe Kosiski, Omaha
Heat #3 – Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
Feature –
1. Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
2. Joe Merryfield
3. Ken Walton, Viola
4. Tom Hearst, Wilton
5. Johnny Johnson, Morning Sun
6. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
7. Curt Hansen, Dike
8. Billy Moyer Jr., Des Moines
9. Martin Bennett, Des Moines
10.Dave Sidwell, Iowa City
11.Ken DeGood, Hills
12.Bill Breuer, Wapello
13.John Edwards, Des Moines
14.Tony Stewart, Washington
15.Joe Kosiski, Omaha
16.Craig Jacobs, Des Moines
17.Curt Hogue, Ames
18.Tim Murray, Des Moines
19.Russell Lancaster, Glenview, Mo.
20.Bill Rice, Des Moines

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