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


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