Tuesday, June 25, 2024

1961 – Stott Wins Second ‘Badger 100’


Ramo Stott 

De Pere, Wis. (June 25, 1961) – Ramo Stott, winner of last year’s “Badger 100,” did a repeat performance Sunday night before an overflow crowd of 4,500.

The Keokuk, Iowa, speedster set a new track record for the 50-lap event on the half-mile of 24 minutes and 2.45 seconds. He also was the fastest in time trials, touring the dirt oval in 30.35 seconds.

Taking off like a rocket at countdown zero, Stott rocketed into an early lead and almost coasted to the 50-milee victory, leaving a four-car scramble for second place.

It was a scramble that never did unfold and gave Dick Hutcherson, also of Keokuk, second place, and Bob Reynolds of Edmond, Okla., third place.

It was strictly a showcase of speed in the trophy dash which was taken by Hutcherson. Stott finished second with yet another Keokuk driver, Jerry McCredie, taking third. Hutcherson’s winning time was 5 minutes and 11.10 seconds for the 10-lap race.

There was no room for error in the fast initial 10-lap heat which was won by Bob Reynolds in the time of 5 minutes and 9.08 seconds. Hutcherson, Stott, and Newt Bartholomew of Carlisle, Iowa, were right behind Reynolds as they roared over the finish line.

Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa, last year’s International Motor Contest Association champion, won the second heat in the time of 5 minutes and 17.74 seconds. Jerry McCredie, Bill Moyer of Des Moines, and Ron Snow of Red Wing, Minn., finished behind Derr.

The third heat winner was Dick Johnson of St. Paul, Minn. He won the 10-lap contest in 5 minutes and 53.24 seconds over Frank Dombrowski of Menasha, Don McDonald of Neenah, and Jerry Patterson of Two Rivers.

It was the only race in which the Green Bay area racers fared well. McDonald, who is the flagman here for the weekly races said, “It was an experience to compete with the drivers who can skin by your car by mere inches on every turn and never touch you.”

Monday, June 24, 2024

1979 – Top Pick Goes Home, Anderson First to Flag

John Anderson

Springfield, Mo. (June 24, 1979) – As the finish drew close in Sunday’s 100-lap American Speed Association stock car race at Fairgrounds Speedway, there was not a driver on the track who thought he was a winner.

Not Mike Eddy, the Midland, Mich., veteran, who was leading, yet praying because of a slowly failing right rear tire.

Not John Anderson, the Massillon, Ohio, driver who lost track of his laps and almost made the charge too late.

Not Mark Martin, the Batesville, Ark., youngster who led the first half of the race, only to be chased down by Eddy and Anderson.

And defintely not Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., a pre-race favorite who packed his bags after Saturday’s rainout and blazed highways to another race in Kaukauna, Wis.

For a race in which nobody felt good about their chances, both Eddy and Anderson tried darn hard to reach the checkered flag first. Anderson did it with a final lunge out of the fourth turn to clip Eddy by less than two feet in one of the most exciting finishes ever at the Fairgrounds.

Anderson got around Martin 25 laps from the end to move into second place but counted himself out of the finish before Eddy ran into heavy traffic.

“I thought with a little luck, I might get by him,” said Anderson, who tucked his third ASA victory of the season under his belt. “I needed that traffic to catch up, but it also hurt me a little. With all of traffic and battling with Mike, I did not even see the five to go sign. It surprised me to see the white flag coming out, and I thought it was all over then.”

It really looked bleak for Anderson when he dove deep into the first turn just after taking the lead on the last lap. His sleek Camaro slowly nosed its way towards the outside wall.

Anderson brought the slide under control and pulled to Eddy’s outside door down the back straightaway. He and Eddy race side-by-side around the third and fourth turns, and Anderson simply had enough power down the main straight to inch ahead at the wire.

Eddy was doing fine until he approached a battle for fifth-place between Ray Young and John Knaus. The two had been going at it all afternoon and they were not about to let Eddy slide by with five laps left.

“The traffic didn’t cost me the race,” said Eddy. “In fact, I was trying to use the traffic to save the race, but I had troubles the last 10 laps with my right rear tire. It was getting thin, and I was trying to stay on the bottom of the track.”

Martin, who led the first 50 laps from his pole position, had no excuses.

“I knew darn well we weren’t set to win this race,” said the former Fairgrounds Speedway champion and defending ASA titlist. “Those two guys just plain outran me. That is all there was to it.”

Few persons – especially the estimated 2,500 in the stands – knew that Trickle had departed. It wasn’t until the ASA late models were being lined up that most of the crowd noticed the popular Trickle was missing.

No announcements were made to the patrons – who paid $9 to $10 to see the race – until minute before the 100-lapper.

Trickle is part of the ASA Winner’s Circle Program, a series of nine races which guarantees promoters and spectators that the top-10 drivers in the ASA point standings will appear. Rain dates, however, aren’t included in the contract which the drivers sign prior to the season.

Martin and Bob Senneker of Michigan were also committed to the race in Wisconsin but elected to stay in Springfield.

“We found out about it (Trickle’s decision) at 6 o’clock Saturday night,” said ASA president Rex Robbins. “He (Trickle) knew there was no easy way out, because he’d be making race fans made here if he went and he’d be making fans mad there if he didn’t go.”

Results –

1. John Anderson
2. Mike Eddy
3. Mark Martin
4. Don Gregory
5. John Knaus
6. Randy Sweet
7. Terry Devine
8. Bob Senneker
9. Ray Young
10.Harold Scott
11.Jim Campbell
12.Bob Sensiba
13.Russ Phillips
14.Terry Shirley
15.Bobby Henzie
16.Doug Klein
17.Dave Jensen
18.Don Ely
19.Roger Chism
20.Rick Knotts

1973 – Jan, Kenny Give USACers ‘Lesson’

Jan Opperman

Mechanicsburg, Penn. (June 24, 1973) – It was another embarrassing night for the United States Auto Club sprint car regulars at Williams Grove Speedway on Sunday night as super sprint stars Jan Opperman and Kenny Weld gave a sterling 1-2 performance in the 40-lap main event.

Ironically, the best performance by any of the traveling USAC circuit drivers was by Billy Cassella, the young charger from Weirton, W.Va., who got his start on the mid-state super sprint circuit.

Opperman finished 5.7-seconds ahead of Weld, much to the delight of the area fans.

After Cassella came Rollie Beale of Toledo, Ohio, with Lee Kunzman of Guttenberg, Iowa, winner of last year’s Grove USAC race, finishing fifth.

Another Grove star, Lee Osborne of Lebanon, finished sixth.

It was the initial USAC success for Opperman, who passed Cassella on lap 14. One lap later, Weld got around Cassella foe second place and then gave Opperman a tough time until the lone yellow flag waved on lap 27. From there on, Opperman was in cruise control.

Opperman pushed his Bogar mount to a qualifying record of 23.73 seconds.

Results –

1. Jan Opperman
2. Kenny Weld
3. Billy Cassella
4. Rollie Beale
5. Lee Kunzman
6. Lee Osborne
7. Larry Cannon
8. Joe Saldana
9. Duane Carter
10.Don Nordhorn

Sunday, June 23, 2024

1984 - Reffner Tops Dells 'Vacationland 50'

Tom Reffner

Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (June 23, 1984) – Tom Reffner avoided all of the crashes in the 50-lap late model feature at the Dells Motor Speedway and took home the victory in the “Vacationland 50” on Saturday night.

Jim Back, Dave Klein, Bob Gunn, and Don Turner rounded out the top-five finishers in the annual event which had been postponed from the previous week’s rainout.

Steve Carlson set fast time, later to be one of the first four cars to drop out of the feature. Back won the trophy dash while Gordy Platt, A.J. Anderson, Doug Herbst, Jerry Eckhardt, and Klein were heat winners.

Perry Redeker won the 15-lap consolation event and Ron Beyer debuted his new Camaro with a victory in the 20-lap semi-feature.

Results –

Time trials – Steve Carlson, West Salem (14.187)
Trophy dash – Jim Back, Vesper
Heat #1 – Gordy Platt, Wisconsin Dells
Heat #2 – A.J. Anderson, Columbus
Heat #3 – Doug Herbst, Wausau
Heat #4 – Jerry Eckhardt, Watertown
Heat #5 – Dave Klein, Madison
Consolation – Perry Redeker, Wausau
Semi-main – Ron Beyer, Stevens Point
Feature –
1. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
2. Jim Back
3. Dave Klein
4. Bob Gunn, Madison
5. Don Turner, La Crosse
6. Bob Weiss, Montello
7. Conrad Morgan, Dousman
8. Jerry Eckhardt
9. Rick Wateski, Rudolph
10.Jim Johnson, Bangor
11.Axel Dahlberg, Mauston
12.Steve Holzhausen, Bangor
13.Rich Bickle Jr., Edgerton
14.Tom Carlson, La Crosse
15.Gregg DeLapp, Mauston

1957 – Bryan Wins Detroit 100-Miler

Jimmy Bryan holds his trophy while chief mechanic Clint Brawner looks on after the Phoenix, Ariz., driver won the 100-mile USAC national championship race at Michigan State Fairgrounds. – Steve Noffke Collection

Detroit, Mich. (June 23, 1957) – Veteran Jimmy Bryan Sunday yielded the pole position to George Amick of Los Angeles, then came back to whip his west coast rival in the 100-mile national championship race at the State Fairgrounds.

Bryan turned in the fastest 100 ever recorded on the north Woodward track when he toured the distance in 1 hour, 16 minutes, and 47 seconds, for an average speed of 97.87 miles per hour.

A third-place finisher at Indianapolis this year, Bryan set his record in the Dean Van Lines Special, a car which was on the track only because his pit crew spent most of Saturday night putting it in racing condition.

Saturday, when the race was postponed due to rain, Bryan’s car burned out it’s engine in a trial run when the radiator hose became disconnected.

After having the necessary piston replacement rushed from Indianapolis, the overhauling and repairing took up most of the night and early morning.

Amick was on the pole Sunday as 12,500 fans watched from the grandstands, bleachers, and infield. The popular LA speedster had won the pole in his Hopkins Special with a nifty time of 39.24 seconds. Bryan’s qualifying lap, good for the second starting position, was 39.28 seconds.

Amick shot the front almost immediately, lost the lead briefly to Bryan on lap 8, then lost it for the remainder of the race on lap 10.

Amick did make a race out of it the entire distance. He was never worse than second and was never behind more than seven seconds behind Bryan, the defending United States Auto Club national champion.

Third place went to Andy Linden of Indianapolis, in the McNamara Special, with Jud Larson of Kansas City in fourth. Elmer George finished fifth in his wife’s H.O.W. Special.

The track, which had broken up in previous years, held together all day, a tribute to the money and time spent by Pete Spencer and Johnny Marcum, the co-promoters.

Bryan, Bob Veith, and Rodger Ward left immediately after the race for New York to join 10 other American drivers who were to fly to Monza, Italy for the “European 500”.

Results –

1. Jimmy Bryan
2. George Amick
3. Andy Linden
4. Jud Larson
5. Elmer George
6. Bob Veith
7. Billy Garrett
8. Don Freeland
9. Jimmy Reece
10.Don Branson
11.Chuck Weyant
12.Bill Cheesbourg
13.Ed Elisian
14.Bud Randall
15.Gene Hartley
16.Rodger Ward
17.Don Edmunds
18.Johnny Thomson

Saturday, June 22, 2024

1975 - Stover Drops Radiator, But Wins

Stan Stover

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (June 22, 1975) - "Just lucky" was the way Stan Stover of Reinbeck paraphrased his victory, in the 25-lap late model stock car feature Sunday night at Hawkeye Downs.

Stover was being modest in one sense, but in another he wasn't kidding. You see, just as the 35-year-old chauffeur picked up the checkered flag, the radiator dropped out of his 1972 Chevelle.

"I couldn't believe it; I guess I'm just lucky," said Stover, while sporting a wide grin loaded with satisfaction.

"The side mounts on the radiator broke and I noticed it smoking on the last lap."

Stover led the full 25 laps and earned $500. Stan was only the 14th fastest qualifier, but he was on the pole due to the draw that inverted the 14 fastest cars from time trials.

So Stan "was just lucky" to be on the pole, as he put it, "and all I had to do was hold off the rest of the drivers."

Well, that was no easy task, to be sure, as no less than four other drivers took shots at the leader during the tours on the half-mile dirt track.

Don White of Keokuk, the winningest stock car driver in United States Auto Club history, was a close second. White had the crowd of 3,842 on its feet as he charged from fifth place in the final five laps and his Chrysler Kit car was less than car length behind Stover at the finish.

Rounding out the top five were Fed Horn of Marion, Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, and Ed Sanger of Waterloo. Sanger, the current point leader, was the fastest qualifier with a 25.18 second clocking, but had to start the feature in the 14th spot due to the invert.

Sanger had captured three straight features at the Downs prior to Sunday night.

Stover's victory was his first in six years of racing at the Downs. He had finished second three times, but the big one had always eluded him. Until Sunday night…

"I've always wanted to win here," he said. "This is the fastest track, and the competition makes it the hardest place to make money."

Heat wins went to Dake, Tim McDonough of Cedar Rapids and Martelle's Bill Beckman, who also won the semi.

Results –

Heat #1 - Bill Beckman, Martelle
Heat #2 - Tim McDonough, Cedar Rapids
Heat #3 - Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
Semi-main - Bill Beckman
Feature - 
1. Stan Stover, Reinbeck
2. Don White, Keokuk
3. Fred Horn, Marion
4. Darrell Dake
5. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
6. Phil Reece, Des Moines
7. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
8. Lem Blankenship, Keokuk
9. Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree
10.Mike Frieden, Fairfax

1968 – White Finishes First; Booed by Record Crowd

Don White waves to the crowd after winning the "Indiana Classic" for USAC stock cars at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Car owner Ray Nichel joins White in victory lane. - Wayne Bryant Photo/Doug Schellinger Collection

Indianapolis, Ind. (June 22, 1968) – Don White’s winning streak at the Indiana State Fairgrounds is still intact. 

His popularity is not...

White emerged victorious in a thundering duel of Dodge Chargers in Saturday night’s “Indiana Classic” as Al Unser spun out in the fourth turn of the 99th lap while running head-to-head with the defending USAC national champion.

A record crowd of 18,813 thought that Unser’s spin might have been assisted by a nudge from White. Don said it wasn’t and several witnesses confirmed that.

They said that Unser was running too high, too fast, and lost it.

This did not help White with the fans. They booed so loudly afterwards that his victor remarks were completely drowned out.

White didn’t care. He just smiled, accepted his trophy for his fourth consecutive victory at the one-mile dirt oval and thought about the $5,473 he just won.

Unser, who led 82 of the 100 miles, was about as unhappy with White as the crowd was – but not over the spin. The object of his wrath was the beginning of the 99th lap.

The 98th lap, like the 10 before, was run under the yellow after Bob Robbins parked his Chevelle on the inside fence of the first turn.

When the green flag waved on the 99th lap, White took it side by side with the previous leading Unser. Al thought White was a little ahead, in fact, which happens to be illegal, immoral, and most unfattening to the pocketbook under the USAC rules.

Unser discussed the matter afterwards with chief steward Billy Taylor. Al was ready to protest but left he decision to car owner Rudy Hoerr because he had to leave immediately for Langhorne, Penn., for Sunday’s championship race.

Hoerr decided not to protest.

As it was, lap 99 was the most memorable in any race. White nabbed the lead heading into the first turn, but Unser was back in front as they entered the backstretch.

White nosed in front on the inside as the pair entered turn three, but Unser was a radiator ahead midway through the turn. Then White had a little advantage as they entered the fourth and final turn – that’s where Unser spun out.

That was it.

White led the last lap and third and then smiled as he was pelted with boos from the grandstand.

It was a tough one to lose for Unser, who had been in command for most of the day.

Results –

1. Don White
2. Al Unser
3. Butch Hartman
4. Roger McCluskey
5. Roger Regeth
6. Dave Hirschfield
7. Gene Marmor
8. Dave Whitcomb
9. Gordon Gorman
10.Tom Klippel
11.Glen Bradley
12.John Kennedy
13.Tom Jones
14.Len Blanchard
15.Frank Freda
16.Paul Sizemore
17.Bob Haack
18.Paul Feldner
19.A.J. Foyt
20.Bob Robbins
21.Fred Zack
22.Sal Tovella
23.Elmer Davis
24.Parnelli Jones
25.Jim Nusbaum

Friday, June 21, 2024

1970 - Action Reigns Supreme as McElreath Wins

Jim McElreath

Terre Haute, Ind. (June 21, 1970) - Jim McElreath of Arlington, Tex., the third leader of the race, grabbed the top spot on the 23rd lap and sped to victory in the 40-lap feature sprint car race at the Action Track yesterday.

The United States Auto Club show was marred by one mishap, as veteran Tom Bigelow flipped his car between turns three and four late in the race. He was not seriously injured.

A.J. Foyt grabbed the lead in the feature and kept it for 15 laps until the engine in his new racer overheated. Greg Weld then jumped into the top spot and held it until McElreath made his move eight laps later.

Weld held on for runner-up honors while Don Nordhorn, who challenged McElreath for a short time, finished third. Dick Tobias grabbed fourth and Gary Bettenhausen rounded out the top five.

Larry Dickson, the current point leader in the sprint car division, took seventh.

McElreath said, “We had a little trouble with the engine missing at the beginning…the track was in good condition.”

Tom Bigelow, the fast qualifier on the day, came from his seventh starting position to win the first heat while Carl Williams held off McElreath to win the second heat.

Jimmy Oskie, one of the hottest drivers in California sprint car racing, set a new track record in winning the third heat, touring the eight laps in 4 minutes and 9.89 seconds.

The new record would not last for long, however, as Greg Weld would lower the mark to 4 minutes and 1 second in the fourth and final heat.

Larry Dickson won the 12-lap semi-main.

Bigelow’s time of 23.21 seconds on the half-mile copped fast time honors. McElreath was second with 23.30 seconds followed by Greg Weld at 23.32 seconds.

The second largest crowd of the year contributed to the purse of $10,119.

Results –

1. Jim McElreath
2. Greg Weld
3. Don Nordhorn
4. Dick Tobias
5. Gary Bettenhausen
6. Lennie Waldo
7. Larry Dickson
8. Jimmy Oskie
9. Rollie Beale
10.Chuck Booth
11.George Snider
12.Johnny Capels
13.Andy Brown
14.Carl Williams
15.Tom Bigelow
16.Johnny Parsons
17.Karl Busson
18.Ralph Liguori
19.Bill Puterbaugh
20.A.J. Foyt


1958 – Derr Defeats White in Burlington 100-Miler


Ernie Derr won both ends of twin 50-milers for IMCA stock cars at the Tri-State Fairgrounds in Burlington. - Ernie Derr Collection 

Burlington, Iowa (June 21, 1958) – Ernie Derr of Keokuk dominated the Hawkeye Fair Speedway’s 100-mile late model stock car races on Saturday night.

Derr thrilled a crowd of 5,000 spectators by driving to a new half-mile time trial record and to victory in the two 50-mile events.

Derr, who trails IMCA point leader Don White of Keokuk by only a few points, streaked around the fast track in 31.10 seconds to erase the 31.16 seconds set last year by Bob Burdick.

White posted the second fastest time in qualifying – 31.34 seconds. He and Derr shared the front row as fans anticipated a red hot duel between the two daredevils.

However, the fireworks failed to develop. White developed motor trouble on the very first lap and was forced to watch the remainder of the race from the sidelines. Track officials said that White withdrew after a broken valve spring had cut the power of his 1958 Ford.

Derr had it easy sailing until the final laps when he was pressed by Johnny Beauchamp. Derr took the checkered flag some five or six car lengths ahead of Beauchamp after touring the event in 24 minutes and 1.84 seconds.

Sonny Gross of Quincy, Ill., was third followed by Bob Burdick of Omaha, Neb.

Heat winners were Derr, Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Bob Potter of Duluth, Minn., and Dick Santee of Gardenia, Calif.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

1965 - The Finish Line


By Les Burianek

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (June 20, 1965) - Aut Swenson of Thrillcade thrill shows wrote some interesting info regarding his new shows that will hit the road July 1st from the winter headquarters in Springfield, Mo.

The shows winter months were spent getting the equipment ready for the wild, grueling, punishing maneuvers that Swenson's Hollywood stuntmen will put the new fleet of Ford Cars through.

The Thrillcade drivers spent some time testing tires and have found the US Royal Tiger Paw tires will stand the test. Kenny Blaine, long a stuntman in the US and Europe, will drive a new Mustang in a thrill act that will be a crowd pleaser. Blaine will run the Mustang up High Side ramp, bring the car over on two wheels and continue on as far as the condition of the track will let him.

Swenson will bring his full show to the All-Iowa Fair on August 16 and 17 for matinee and evening performances. We sure won't miss it.

Greenwood Roadway

Last week we said that the drivers at the USAC race would get an education driving the three-mile sports car track. Well, a few of them slipped in a few practice laps last week and were led away talking to themselves. The word challenging has been changed to dangerous.

Tony Dean's KHAK Pit Stop

We stated last week that Tony had developed into one of the Midwest's best announcers. Well, we didn't miss, the little big mouth will step to the mike at the Paul Bunyan 200 race at Minneapolis and again this fall at the Minnesota State Fair race program.

New track?

From out of the toolbox came a hat rumble about, a track to be built 20 minutes out of Cedar Rapids. Any of you fence jumpers having info on this deal, give us a call.

The Quarter Midgets at Hawkeye Downs are drawing good crowds to their 20th mile, banked asphalt track every Sunday night at 7:30. If you haven't been out, plan to take the family out soon.

MCRA Press Party

We spent an enjoyable evening at the Roosevelt the other night. Our hosts, Homer Melton and Perry Luster royally entertained the local and area press.

The corner table discussion on racing today and yesterday was the best. Perry Luster, the man who insures the Midwest race tracks, talked on the problems that face the racing world today.

Ray Wernimont, president of the All-Iowa Fair, threw a bomb and announced that a new grandstand would be built in '66. Let's get our tools; Kay's going to need help!

Billings, Montana

We received a note from our old friend Andy Hanson, the new Empire State Fair manager out Montana way.

Andy, who was always an auto race man here, now is a horse race man. But out there you can drop a buck on a nag’s nose, which always fills the seats. Hanson, who was for many, many years, the All-Iowa Fair manager, sends a loud "hello" to his many friends that he left here in Cedar Rapids.

If any of you guys and gals get out near Andy's fair August 8-14, go through the gate and yell for Andy, he'll hear you.

Lots of luck, Andy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

1977 - Detjens Holds Off Trickle in Grundy ARTGO

ARTGO Racing's Art Frigo presents the trophy to Larry Detjens after the Wausau driver won the 100-lap late model feature at Grundy County. 

Morris, Ill. (June 19, 1977) – Larry Detjens of Wausau, Wis., withstood a frantic last-lap challenge from Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and Bob Senneker of Dorr, Mich., to win the ARTGO-promoted 100-lap Father’s Day Classic for late models at the Grundy County Speedway on Sunday evening.

The stage was set for the close finish on lap 92 when Woody Church’s Mustang blew as he raced through turn one. Church spun in the oil spewing from his engine and then smashed into the pit wall. Both Trickle and Ed Hoffman also skidded into the wall in the ensuing chain reaction mishap which brought out the red flag.

When action resumed, Detjens, Trickle, Senneker, Jerry Kemperman and Joe Shear, running first through fifth, respectively, were tightly bunched. However, shortly after the resumption of the race, Ed Hoffman spun in turn two, bringing out the yellow flag.

When the green came back out again for the final time, Detjens, Trickle, and Senneker pulled away from the rest of the field, with Trickle inching ahead of Detjens with two laps remaining.

However, Detjens retaliated moments later to establish a narrow lead which he made stand up to the finish. Trickle settled for second with Senneker right behind in third.

Kemperman, who was running second on lap 93, collected fourth place money and Shear, who set a new track record in time trials, took fifth.

Earlier in the program, Larry Schuler won the 50-lap feature for odd-numbered qualifiers over Senneker, Kemperman, Shear and Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo.

Dick Trickle won the 50-lap feature for even-numbered qualifiers over Detjens, Mike Miller, Gary Hemmerling, and Hoffman.

Results –

1. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
2. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
3. Bob Senneker, Dorr, Mich.
4. Jerry Kemperman, Blue Island, Ill.
5. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
6. Bob Strait, Flossmoor, Ill.
7. Gary Hemmerling, Beloit, Wis.
8. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
9. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
10.Tony Izzo, Bridgeview, Ill.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

1983 – Kinser Sweeps to Missouri Nationals Title

Steve Kinser was $3,000 richer after winning the annual Missouri Sprint Nationals on the half-mile oval at Sedalia. – Ken Simon Photo

Sedalia, Mo. (June 18, 1983) – Steve Kinser pocketed over $4,000 en route to winning the ninth annual Missouri Sprint Car Nationals on the Missouri State Fairgrounds’ half-mile dirt oval.

The Bloomington, Ind., driver won both Friday and Saturday night’s 25-lap features.

Doug Wolfgang watched the tail of his former sprint car mount in Saturday’s action as Kinser was temporarily driving the C.K. Spurlock #18. Wolfgang, driving the Nance #1, claimed second ahead of Ricky Hood, Randy Smith, and John Sernett.

The Saturday night program was rain-delayed with a starting time of 10 p.m. The activities were also set back when National Speedways Contest association promoter Robert Lawton of Des Moines, Iowa, was run down by a sprint car during the packing of the track. Lawton was signaling the car involved to move to a lower groove on the track when the driver lost a wheel, hitting Lawton, resulting in a broken leg, and cut shoulder.

Bobby Layne of Kansas City, known as the “King of Wing,” gave new meaning to the name as he flew over the guardrail in the third turn in a rather unstable flight pattern. Layne’s crash landing totaled his race car and red-flagged the feature event on lap 5.

Kinser’s Friday night feature win was over Larry Gates of St. Joseph. Ind. Finishing third was early race leader Scott Ritchhart of Lincoln, Ill., while John Sernett of Tulsa, Okla., and Cliff Woodward of Kearney, Mo., rounded out the top five.

Results –

Friday –

Fast qualifier – Steve Kinser, Bloomington, Ind. (19.883)
Heat #1 – Scott Ritchhart, Lincoln, Ill.
Heat #2 – Junior Parkinson, Kansas City
Heat #3 – Doug Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Heat #4 – Steve Kinser
B-main – Brett Lacey, Melbourne, Australia
Feature –
1. Steve Kinser
2. Larry Gates, St. Joseph, Ind.
3. Scott Ritchhart
4. John Sernett, Tulsa, Okla.
5. Cliff Woodward, Kearney, Mo.
6. Rick Hood, Memphis, Tenn.
7. Junior Parkinson
8. David Dwyer, Columbia
9. Danny Lasoski, Dover
10.Ricky Weld, Kansas City

Saturday –

Heat #1 – Randy Smith, Norwalk, Iowa
Heat #2 – Bobby Layne, Kansas City
Heat #3 – David Dwyer
Heat #4 – Rick Hood
B-main – Larry Gates
Feature –
1. Steve Kinser
2. Doug Wolfgang
3. Rick Hood
4. Randy Smith
5. John Sernett
6. John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
7. Danny Lasoski
8. Rick Weld
9. Dick Howard, Kansas City
10.Scott Ritchhart

Monday, June 17, 2024

1972 – Larson Cops Knoxville Supers

Roger Larson won the 25-lap super modified feature at the Marion County Fairgrounds. Starter Jack Thompson presents the checkers to Larson in victory lane. 

Knoxville, Iowa (June 17, 1972) – Roger Larson of Solomon, Kan., won the battle for the top money, and won his first-ever feature at the Marion County Fairgrounds, in a survival of the fittest 25-lap feature.

Larson started on the second row outside for the main event, and took the lead on the second lap, passing pole sitter Ralph Parkinson Jr., of Kansas City. Right behind Larson was Lonnie Jensen and Roger Rager, both of Lincoln, Neb., and the chase was on.

The trio easily pulled away from the rest of the field, with Larson still leading the way. On lap 9, Rager passed Jensen for second, but two laps later Rager’s car was coasting to a stop on the backstretch.

Larson continued to set the pace after the restart, and on lap 17, Jensen’s car stalled just off the second turn, leaving the way wide open for the Jayhawker.

Further back, Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa, was coasting in second and Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City and Junior Parkinson were battling for third, with Ray Lee getting the upper edge.

The night started with a track that got faster with each lap turned. Lonnie Jensen set fast time, he was the last man out, with a 21.51 second clocking. Roger Rager, next to last to qualify, was second fastest with a time of 22.06 seconds.

Rager won the trophy dash while Jensen, Rager, and Wager were heat winners. Steve Schultz of Chillicothe, Mo., was the consolation winner.

Results –

1. Roger Larson, Solomon, Kan.
2. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville, Iowa
3. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
4. Ralph Parkinson Jr., Kansas City
5. Ron Perkins, Des Moines
6. Johnny Babb, Ottumwa, Iowa
7. Stacy Redmond, Mason City, Iowa
8. Bill Hudson, New Sharon, Iowa
9. Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo.
10.Steve Schultz, Chillicothe, Mo.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

1976 – Tucker Tops Alta Race Days

Kent Tucker is presented his trophy by Ms. Alta Race Days after winning the 30-lap “A” feature for late models at the second annual Alta Race Days at Buena Vista County Speedway. Flagman Larry Cook presents the checkers. 

Alta, Iowa (June 16, 1976) – Kent Tucker of Aurora, Neb., won the 30-lap late model feature at the second annual Alta Race Days at Buena Vista County Speedway on Wednesday night.

Tucker fought off persistent challenges from Bob Kosiski of Omaha throughout the main event to collect $900. He earned $600 for the victory and another $300 in lap money for leading start to finish. Tucker also won his heat race and the trophy dash.

Defending race champion Bill Rice of Des Moines was hampered with engine problems and finished seventh.

The $4,000 late model special lured some of the top drivers in the Midwest. Those “big city” drivers overshadowed most of the weekly competitors with Estherville’s Bob Shryock the only driver to finish in the top five.

Shryock, in fact, helped fuel the exciting main event pushing Tucker and Kosiski to the very end before settling for third. Nearly all of the 20 cars were on the same lap when the checkered flag flew. Weekly racer Bill Christman of Bronson had been running third for most of the race before a spinout wrecked any chance of a top finish.

Ed Morris of Council Bluffs, Kosiski, Tucker, and Christman were heat winners with Tucker winning the trophy dash. Arnie Braland of Boone won the “B” feature.

Larry Pepper of Storm Lake won the roadrunner feature, edging points leader Duane Miller of Manson.

Results –

1. Kent Tucker, Aurora, Neb.
2. Bob Kosiski, Omaha
3. Bob Shryock. Estherville
4. Ed Morris, Council Bluffs
5. George Barton, Ankeny
6. Fred Knapp, Des Moines
7. Bill Rice, Des Moines
8. Arnie Braland, Boone
9. Denny Sherrill, Sioux City
10.Jerry Holtkamp, Williams

1968 – Bowsher Wins Twice at New Bremen



Jack Bowsher accepts his trophy after winning both 100-lap features at New Bremen Speedway. – Wayne Bryant Photo/Doug Schellinger Collection

New Bremen, Ohio (June 16, 1968) – Jack Bowsher of Springfield, Ohio, swept both ends of the twin 100-lap features for USAC stock cars and had the fastest qualifying time at New Bremen Speedway on Sunday.

Bowsher drove a 1968 Ford Torino to victory in each of the 100-lap, 50-mile features on the paved, half-mile oval. His qualifying time was 20.06 seconds.

Gene Marmor of River Grove, Ill., driving a 1967 Chevelle, took second in the first event and grabbed third in the second feature.

Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., finished third in the first feature, piloting a 1968 Plymouth and Frank Freda of Elmhurst, Ill., was fourth in a 1967 Plymouth.

Al Unser of Albuquerque, N.M., was runner-up to Bowsher in the second contest in a 1968 Dodge Charger. Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, the defending USAC stock car champion, who was involved in a crash during the warmup period, was fourth in a 1968 Plymouth.

White and LaMarr Marshall of Louisville, Ky., crashed during trial runs but neither driver was injured.

Bill Behling of Milwaukee, Wis., was injured in the second race when his 1967 Ford crashed into a wrecker on the 50th lap. He lost control coming out of the fourth turn. Behling was admitted to a local hospital.

Also injured in the accident was the track physician, Dr. Charles Gerity, who was standing on top of the wrecker. He suffered a broken arm.

Linus Hausfeld, the owner of the wrecker, was trapped inside his vehicle with his son and was forced to crawl through the window to escape. They both suffered bruises.

A bit crowd was on hand for the program, which was marked by the appearance of Bobby Unser, recently crowned Indianapolis 500 winner. Unser drove the pace car and was accompanied by Susan Philpot, queen of the New Bremen Woodman Festival.


1957 – Thomson is Reading Fairgrounds Winner

Johnny Thomson

Reading, Penn. (June 16, 1957) - Wresting the lead in the homestretch of the fourth lap, Johnny Thomson of Boyertown, Penn., roared to an easy victory in the third annual 100-lap Mike Nazaruk Memorial Big Car Race Sunday at the Reading Fairgrounds.

Thomson’s winning time for the 50-mile grind was 47 minutes, 20.64 seconds. He was at the wheel of Sam Traylor’s #2 Offenhauser.

He finished a good three quarters of a lap in front of Bill Randall, of Reading, Mass., who displaced Tommy Hinnershitz in the runner-up spot during the 92nd lap. Jim Packard, Indianapolis, finished fourth and Dutch Schaeffer, Floral Park, N.Y., fifth.

Eight of the 14 starters still were running when Thomson received the checkered flag.

The main event was run under the caution flag five times because of spinouts but there were no serious injuries. Thomson was treated for leg burns after the race.

Besides collecting $788.50 for first place, Thomson pocketed $970 in lap money. Randall’s monetary reward for second place was $664 while Hinnershitz collected third place money of $539.59 and $30 in lap cash.

Ernie McCoy, a Reading, Penn., driver, made a clean sweep in the 20-lap consolation for drivers who did not qualify for the Nazaruk. McCoy, picked up first place money of $150 and $200 in lap prizes, Jud Larson of Kansas City, finished second; Johnny Kay, New Britain, Conn., was third, and Eddie Sachs, Allentown, Penn., fourth.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

1969 – McCluskey Wins at Tri-County

Roger McCluskey (2) moves up to pass race leader Jack Bowsher (21) en route to winning the 100-lap USAC late model stock car race at Tri-County Speedway. – Bowen & Robinson Photo

West Chester, Ohio (June 15, 1969) – Roger McCluskey picked up his first victory of 1969 in the United States Auto Club late model stock car division on Sunday at Tri-County Speedway.

The triumph gave McCluskey’s lead over A.J. Foyt in the stock car point standings a tremendous shot in the arm. Foyt, a pre-race favorite, dropped out on the 69th lap and went pointless for the evening.

McCluskey’s victory in the main event also shut off an attempt by Jack Bowsher, owner of the Ford Torino’s driven by himself and Foyt, who won the fast car dash and the first heat. Bowsher settled for a distant second place finish in the feature.

Defending stock car champion Foyt angled into the lead on lap 6, moving up from his 13th starting position, and began to pull away from the rest of the field. By lap 20, the engine in Foyt’s ’69 Torino was purring smoothly, he had built up a four-second lead over his teammate Bowsher, and the race appeared to be a runaway.

McCluskey, his ’69 Plymouth Roadrunner running in third place after his start in the ninth row, was having issues getting to the leaders as he battled with Don White.

By lap 30, Foyt, Bowsher, McCluskey, and White were all bunched up, within one-car-length of each other, in a scramble for the lead.

Bumping each other in the turns, Foyt and Bowsher ran side-by-side for three laps until the Springfield, Ohio, driver spurted into the lead and held it as Foyt suddenly started fading. McCluskey was right behind.

“I was having a fit with Bowsher,” said McCluskey, “Then he and A.J. started at it, and I didn’t want to get involved in that.”

McCluskey pulled even with Bowsher just after the halfway mark and accelerated into the lead on the inside groove of lap 54. He stretched his lead to over half-a-lap by the 75th circuit and coasted to the checkered flag.

Bowsher and White got into a battle for second place for the final 40 laps with Bowsher getting the nod. White had to contend with Butch Hartman who was shadowing him on the inside groove and could never get close enough for a shot at Bowsher. Hartman, who would lose five laps after a lengthy pit stop, would finish out of the money.

Ross Smith of Sayler Park led the local entrants with a fourth place finish. Dave Whitcomb would round out the top-five finishers.

Foyt pulled into the pits after 69 circuits when his overheating engine caused a radiator hose to break apart and he was through for the evening.

Results –

1. Roger McCluskey
2. Jack Bowsher
3. Don White
4. Ross Smith
5. Dave Whitcomb
6. Dick Trickle
7. Verlin Eaker
8. Paul Feldner
9. Glen Bradley
10.Terry Nichels
11.Jay Wyatt
12.Gene Marmor

Friday, June 14, 2024

1977 – Four Straight Mains for Smith

Jerry Smith of Medina would win four consecutive late model features on four different Wisconsin tracks. He’s shown here at Shawano County Fairgrounds. – Pete Vercauteren Photo

Oshkosh, Wis. (June 14-19, 1977) – It would be a profitable week for Jerry Smith of Medina as he would win all four late model features, he entered, starting at Leo’s Speedway in Oshkosh on Tuesday, Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna on Thursday, Shawano Speedway on Saturday, and ending at Seymour Speedway on Sunday night.

He would start the ball rolling at Leo’s Speedway on June 14, driving his 1977 Camaro to victory in the 25-lap feature. Smith would get off to a great start, breaking the track record in time trials, with a 17.042-second time on the 1/3-mile dirt oval.

In the feature, Smith started dead last in the 12-car field but steadily move his way through the pack, eventually passing Gary Roehrborn of Menasha on lap 22, to take the lead and the win.

On June 16, Smith would slip by Bob Abitz of Freedom on the last lap to win the 20-lap Fox River Club late model feature before a record crowd of 3,483 fans.

Smith and Abitz ran the final six laps nose-to-tail on the half-mile paved oval with Abitz in the lead behind the wheel of his 1973 Camaro. Abitz, a high school teacher, drove the finest race of his six-year career as he held back Smith until the final lap.

Smith nosed his car inside of Abitz as the two speeding racers entered turn one. As the cars roared down the backstretch, Smith pulled into a slight lead, but Abitz made a last-turn passing attempt on the final corner, only to spin his car around, dropping him out of the top-six finishers. The victory was Smith’s third of the year at WIR.

Smith would continue his week-long dominance of Wisconsin tracks with a 20-lap late model victory at Shawano speedway on June 18.

Being the night’s fastest qualifier, Smith started dead last in the 14-car field but wasted little time in advancing his position. With his Camaro running to perfection, Smith quickly dispersed of Pete Parker, Lowell Bennett, and Herb Iverson to take over third place. He then slipped to the inside of Al Presteen on lap 7 to take over second place, setting his sights on race leader Scot Hanson of Green Bay.

A caution on lap 12 would bunch the field and on the restart, Smith would roar past Hanson to take the lead. He would motor to a four-second victory over Parker and Roger Regeth for his third feature win of the season at the track.

Sunday, June 19 would see Smith as the fast qualifier and the fastest racer, as he won his third straight late model at Seymour Speedway. Smith would pass Russ Peterson of Milwaukee on lap 6 of the 20-lapper to take over the lead. Peterson would trial Smith for 10 more circuits before tire problems dropped him back. Larry Ninneman of Milwaukee would finish second to Smith with Cliff Ebben of Appleton taking third.

1970 – Stott Runs Away with Vulcan 500

Ramo Stott celebrates his Vulcan 500 victory. 

Eastaboga, Ala. (June 14, 1970) - If it had been a cross-country run, Ramo Stott would have been in California before the rest of the field reached the Mississippi line.

That’s just about the way it was Sunday at Alabama International Motor Speedway as Stott sailed to what has to be the easiest win of his career in the second annual Vulcan 500.

The Keokuk, Iowa, farm owner started in first position and ended that way with little challenge in between. His 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner led 154 of the 188-lap chase and although a final rundown shows the lead changed 13 times among seven drivers, it was no contest.

Stott was by far the fastest thing on the track. Once, after pitting for gas early in the race, he made up some 10 places in just three laps. That’s how it was. Average speed on the high-banked tri-oval was 147.504 miles per hour, not a record.

After the one-third mark the closest anyone came was Iggy Katona — 22.6 seconds behind — gained on another Stott stop. Competitive cars started the rich, $50,750 event but all fell out early, leaving it all to the short, broad-shouldered Stott.

A non-Ramo Stott fan, however, could have watched other thrilling parts of the show. He could have watched Butch Hirst running 12 laps without a windshield; watched the non-factory backed independents blow engines or held a guessing game as to when the next caution flag would appear.

The melee started on a bad note when Charlie Davis of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., blew the engine of his 1969 Dodge Charger on the first lap. The first caution officially was displayed on lap 2 but it stayed for the next eight.

After the green came back out on lap 11, only two more laps were run before Earl Brooks’ 1969 Ford engine gave way, pulling the caution back out for nine more.

This time seven laps were raced before Ron Grana, in the lead and expected to be one of the top challengers, crapped the engine of his 1969 Ford Talladega. The yellow was displayed again for eight laps – to lap 34 – and by this time 12 of the 38-car field had retired. In all, the caution was displayed for 42 laps.

From lap 34, Andy Hampton, Stott, Katona and Tom Bowsher swapped the lead back and forth till circuit 79 when Stott took over to lead for 67 laps.

On lap 143 Stott pitted, allowing Katona and Bowsher to unlap themselves, then on lap 146 Bowsher took over for three.

Stott then regained the lead when Bowsher pitted on lap 148 — apparently because of an overheating problem. From here on in it was hardly a show.

Ramo had at least a lap on the field until pitting on lap 171 moved Katona up the small separation, lggy then, in turn, pitted on lap 173 and Stott led him by one when the checkered flag was waved.

Third place Cecil Gordon, a NASCAR regular, finished some 31.92 miles back.

The victory was worth $7,950 for Stott, besides padding his lead in the 1970 Automobile Racing Club of America point standings. Katona’s second place finish earned $5,650.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott
2. Iggy Katona
3. Cecil Gordon
4. Dave Dayton
5. Ben Arnold
6. Tom Bowsher
7. Butch Hirst
8. Bill Clemons
9. Gary Dupuis
10.Paul Wensink
11.Charlie Roberts
12.Ron Keselowski
13.Wayne Trinkle
14.Dick May
15.Leroy Austin
16.Cleve Smith
17.Clint Folsom Jr.
18.Joe Booher
19.Charlie Paxton
20.Coo Coo Marlin
21.Red Farmer
22.Frank Utterback
23.Bobby Watson
24.Andy Hampton
25.David Sisco
26.Bob Thomas
27.N.D. Copley
28.Jimmy Crawford
29.David Schwartz
30.Ron Grana
31.Blackie Wangerin
32.Larry Baumel
33.Bill Ward
34.Earl Brooks
35.Lee Gordon
36.Ron Reed
37.Charles West
38.Hubert Davis

1958 – Beauchamp Fails to Snap Jinx in Playland Feature

Don White

Council Bluffs, Iowa (June 14, 1958) – For 64 laps Saturday night at Playland Park, it looked like Johnny Beauchamp would shake the jinx that’s plagued him this season.

That’s the number of laps the Harlan, Iowa, driver led the field in IMCA’s 100-lap late model stock car contest. But Beauchamp, the defending International Motor Contest Association champion, who hasn’t won any kind of feature at Playland this season, couldn’t shake his hex.

With a half-lap lead, Beauchamp looked like a shoo-in until he spun on the 67th lap. The slip dropped him back to fifth place and he could only regain one position as Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, sped to victory before 3,228 race fans.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
3. Bud Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
4. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan
5. Bud Aitkenhead, Omaha, Neb.
6. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
7. Al Warrender, Harlan
8. Lloyd Jorgenson, Audubon
9. Bob Ward, Creston
10.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle

Thursday, June 13, 2024

1981 – Bjorge, Combs Fastest as I-70 Reopens

Dave Bjorge

Odessa, Mo. (June 13, 1981) – Rodney Combs was the fastest qualifier and Dave Bjorge was quickest in the feature as I-70 National Speedway reopened as a dirt track.

Acquired by Weld Enterprises earlier this year, the asphalt racing surface was covered with tons of dirt and Saturday’s action marked the start of a new era at the speedway.

Attesting to the track’s newly groomed dirt surface, Combs, from Lost Creek, W.Va., established a new record of 19.67 seconds in time trials.

However, in the end it was Bjorge, the racing veteran from Austin, Minn., who showed the rest of the field the fastest way around the half-mile, winning the 50-lapper by 10 car lengths.

Pete Parker of Kaukauna, Wis., now driving out of Walcott, Iowa, finished second, followed by Joe Merryfield of Des Moines. Curt Hansen of Dike, Iowa, and Ron Jackson of Burlington, Iowa, rounded out the top-five finishers.

Combs, Bill Martin of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Vic Bentlage of Jefferson City, Bjorge, and Rick Beebe of Overland, Kan., were heat winners.

Dhon Hauserman of Wichita, Kan., was the B-main victor.

Results –

1. Dave Bjorge, Austin, Minn.
2. Pete Parker, Walcott, Iowa
3. Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
4. Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
5. Ron Jackson, Burlington, Iowa
6. Joe Kosiski, Omaha
7. Bill Martin, Council Bluffs, Iowa
8. Galen Schaefer, Topeka, Kan.
9. Les Duellman, Fountain City, Wis.
10.Dhon Hauserman, Wichita, Kan.

1972 – Prusak Wins Late Model Invitational

Phil Prusak

Eau Claire, Wis. (June 13, 1972) – There’s no place like home sweet home for Phil Prusak.

The hometown driver grabbed the pole position, $600 and the first-place trophy in Tuesday night’s Late Model Invitational at Eau Claire Speedway.

And the talented Prusak made it look relatively easy.

Gaining the pole position from his win in the first heat, Prusak took the lead in the uneventful 18-car, 40-lap feature, and then pulled away to victory, never surrendering the top spot.

Prusak, the only double-winner in late model action at Eau Claire Speedway this season, was well ahead of Dave Morgan of Rice Lake, Wis., who collected $400 for his runner-up finish.

Morgan started alongside Prusak on the front row and held on to the second position the whole way.

Axel Dahlberg, of Rice Lake, Wis., took third place and $300; Loyal Skuza of St. Cloud, Minn., was fourth and took home $250 and Red Steffen of Eau Claire rounded out the top five and came away with $200.

Results –

1. Phil Prusak, Eau Claire
2. Dave Morgan, Rice Lake
3. Axel Dahlberg, Rice Lake
4. Loyal Skuza, St. Cloud, Minn.
5. Red Steffen, Eau Claire
6. Tom Nesbitt, Thunder Bay, Ontario
7. John Foegen, Winona, Minn.
8. Loren Pagel, Virginia, Minn.
9. Al Schueler, Winona, Minn.
10.Dave Adams, Cameron

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

1971 – 8,653 See Hoffman Snare Race in Confused Finish

Don Hoffman

Des Moines, Iowa (June 12, 1971) – There was no doubt who won the 25-lap late model stock car feature at the State Fairgrounds on Saturday night.

Don Hoffman of Des Moines did that in fine style, driving his 1969 Camaro to victory by more than a half-lap to become the seventh different winner in seven weeks of racing.

The crowd of 8,653 probably didn’t know who finished second or third in the event and officially finally decided around midnight that Ken Davidson of Des Moines was runner-up and Dave Chase of Council Bluffs was third. Dick Oldham of Des Moines was fourth.

Official scorekeepers first had Bob Hilmer of Dysart second and Ernie Derr of Keokuk in third.

Hilmer and Derr, running second and third respectively, were involved in an accident in the first turn just after the white flag waved, denoting the final lap.

Derr later said his brakes on his 1965 Dodge failed. He rode the tail of Hilmer’s 1970 Chevelle and Hilmer got pushed into the concrete retaining wall in the first turn.

Both cars were damaged extensively.

The scorekeepers first ruled the accident had no bearing on the finish but later it was determined that the finish would revert to the lineup on the 24th lap except that Derr and Hilmer were place in ninth and tenth positions, respectively.

Hoffman, the 1969 sportsman champion, moved into late model racing in 1970. His victory was his first in late model competition.

“We’ve been trying different setups all season,” he said. “I guess we got the right combination tonight.”

Late model point leader John Connolly of Delhi and second place in points Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids had to start near the end of the lineup according to the rules and they were never contenders. Dake was awarded fifth and Connolly sixth in the revised finish.

Ken Davidson of Des Moines was the initial leader in the feature with Hoffman taking over on the second lap and leading the rest of the way.

Matt Moro of Des Moines captured his second straight sportsman feature, winning over Virgil Webb and Billy Geil, both of Des Moines. Sportsman point leader Phil Reece was sidelined with engine trouble.

The sportsman division had controversy as well, even before the races started. Drivers complained to officials they wanted more money. The late model winner received $500 while the sportsman winner received $150. Despite pleas, promoter Homer Melton refused to increase the purse.

Results –

Heat #1 – Don Hoffman, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Stan Stover, Reinbeck
Semi-main – Dick Oldham, Des Moines
Feature –
1. Don Hoffman
2. Ken Davidson, Des Moines
3. Dave Chase, Council Bluffs
4. Dick Oldham
5. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
6. John Connolly, Delhi
7. Bob Bonzer, Liscomb
8. Don Davidson, Des Moines
9. Bob Hilmer, Dysart
10.Ernie Derr, Keokuk

1966 – ‘Scratch’ Ends Winchester Victory Drought

Jerry "Scratch" Daniels

Winchester, Ind. (June 12, 1966) – A stranger to victory lane since 1964, Jerry “Scratch” Daniels finally found his way back to the top spot on Sunday afternoon at Winchester Speedway, winning the 30-lap International Motor Contest Association sprint car feature.

Driving the Frank Wagner Chevrolet-powered machine, Daniels overtook Charlie Masters on the 24th lap and beat him to the final checker by four seconds.

Masters, who started next to Daniels in the feature, took the lead on the first lap and stretched his lead to three seconds before getting caught in slower traffic. Daniels took advantage and motored around Masters on the inside.

The victory was a first for Daniels on a high-banked track.

He and teammate Jerry Richert, who finished in third place, got in considerable practice time at Winchester on Saturday and it paid off handsomely. The “Minnesota Twins” took first and third in the feature, first and third in time trials, a fourth and fifth in the fifth heat and a second in the consolation.

Dave Weir won the first heat in the Speedy Helm Chevy, while Jim Moughan won the second heat in the McGuire-Lancaster Chevy. Jim McCune was the victor in the third heat in the Steck Buick and Clair Lawicki out-dueled Daniels to win the 10-lap consolation.

The only serious accident of the afternoon involved Norm Baker. On the fifth lap of the consolation, Baker spun his Brock-Philip Chevy off the fourth turn, struck the inside guardrail nose first, then spun around and hit the railing again with the tail of the car. Baker climbed out, unhurt.

Results –

Time trials – Jerry McDaniels (18.31)
Heat #1 – Dave Weir
Heat #2 – Jim Moughan
Heat #3 – Jim McCune
Match race – Jerry Poland
Consolation – Clair Lawicki
Feature –
1. Jerry Daniels
2. Charlie Masters
3. Jerry Richert
4. Jerry Poland
5. Clair Lawicki
6. Buzz Gregory
7. Bill Puterbaugh
8. Dave Weir
9. Benny Rapp
10.Duke Cook

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

1979 – Sanger Sails in Hibbing Invitational

Ed Sanger

Hibbing, Minn. (June 11, 1979) – Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, came from his 14th starting position to capture the feature race in the $11,500 Late Model Invitational at Hibbing Raceway on Tuesday evening.

The win earned Sanger a $1,500 check, along with a trophy, and it marked the second time in five years that he has won the invitational.

Sanger had plenty of company in the race as the top four finishers were all from Iowa. Gary Crawford of Independence, Iowa captured second while third place went to Don Hoffman of Des Moines and Verlin Eaker of Mechanicsville, Iowa, took fourth. J.J. Smith of Appleton, Wis., rounded out the top five finishers.

Forty-nine cars were entered in the event with 24 from Minnesota, 14 from Wisconsin, seven from Iowa, three from Canada, and one from North Dakota.

Heat race winners were Johnny Johnson of Hermantown, Minn., Crawford, Dave Adams of Cameron, Wis., and Phil Prusak of Eau Claire, Wis.

Tom Nesbitt of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was the semi-main winner.

Results –

Heat #1 – Johnny Johnson, Hermantown, Minn.
Heat #2 – Gary Crawford, Independence, Iowa
Heat #3 – Dave Adams, Cameron, Wis.
Heat #4 – Phil Prusak, Eau Claire, Wis.
Semi-main – Tom Nesbitt, Thunder Bay, Ontario
Feature –
1. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
2. Gary Crawford
3. Don Hoffman, Des Moines
4. Verlin Eaker, Mechanicsville, Iowa
5. J.J. Smith, Appleton, Wis.
6. Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.
7. Tom Nesbitt
8. Duane Erickson, Superior, Wis.
9. Punky Manor, Altoona, Wis.
10.Dan Nesteby, Waterloo, Iowa

1961 – Smith Captures Wreck-Marred 300-Lapper

Harold Smith is congratulated by promoter John Marcum after winning the 300-lap MARC-sanctioned late model stock car race at Nashville.

Nashville, Tenn. (June 11, 1961) – Harold Smith of Dayton, Ohio, breezed to victory in the wreck-filled 300-lap MARC-sanctioned late model stock car race at Fairgrounds Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Dudley Stacy, the second-place finisher, was two laps behind, and Ken Reeder, who came in third, was seven laps behind the leader.

The race was slowed by caution flags, which were waved four times and lasted for a total of 24 laps.

For Smith, it was his fourth straight victory. Driving a 1961 Chevrolet, he turned in the fifth fastest qualifying time, then watched the four drivers who were faster, depart before the completion of the race.

A crowd of 7,479 watched Iggy Katona take the lead on the first lap when Harlan Richardson, the polesitter through an error in judgement, knocked Jack Bowsher into the guardrail on the first turn. Wayne Bennett, who was following, had no choice but to run into the back of Bowsher’s car. Both left the race, but Richardson straightened out his car and continued.

Katona seemed might relaxed as he coasted around the first 35 laps, but disaster struck on lap 36 when the plugs under his hood tore loose from a piston. “Every time I come here, something bad happens,” said the venerable veteran, who tagged the wall in the 1960 race.

With Katona out, Richardson zoomed into the top spot and held on to it until Smith roared by him on lap 143. It was Smith’s first taste of how it feels to run out front, but the flavor disappeared at the 163rd turn of the half-mile track as he went to the pits for gas.

It was Richardson’s turn again and the Houston, Tex., speedster, driving a 1961 Ford, stayed in front this time for only one lap, requiring a pit stop on lap 164.

Paul Parks, apparently responding to the urging of his wife, who corresponded with him on two-way radio throughout the race, took the lead next and clung to it until he needed fuel on lap 175.

Smith was back out front again, and this time for keeps. When Richardson’s right front tire blew on lap 243 and Parks’ tired engine expired on lap 265, Smith was home free.

He made one more pit stop - on lap 272 to pick up a couple gallons of gas – using only 20 seconds and getting back on the track as fast as if someone were on his tail.

The victory was worth $1,450 to the 26-year-old father of three, who has been a regular on the MARC circuit for five years.

Smith said his only worry was how the tires would hold up but crew chief Paul Wilmack informed Smith afterwards that the tires held up remarkably well and could have gone another 300 laps. Smith looked fresh as a daisy, despite a grueling distance. “Probably because I didn’t have to work too hard,” a smiling Smith said.

Only 10 of the 21 starters finished the race.

Results –

1. Harold Smith, Dayton, Ohio
2. Dudley Stacy, Cincinnati
3. Ken Reeder, McConnellsburg, Penn.
4. Cleo Ashby, Detroit
5. Clyde Parker, Detroit
6. Ron Krejci, Cleveland
7. Jesse Baird, Louisville
8. Buddy Ward, Louisville
9. Paul Parks, Columbus, Ohio
10.Harlan Richardson, Houston, Tex.