Friday, June 14, 2024

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

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