Sunday, June 2, 2024

1978 – Wolfgang Wins NSI Season Opener

Doug Wolfgang bounced his way to victory in the National Speedways, Inc. sprint car season opener at Oskaloosa.

Oskaloosa, Iowa (June 2, 1978) – It was a beautiful night for the season opener for National Speedways, Inc., sprint car races at the Southern Iowa Speedway.

Doug Wolfgang of Lincoln, Neb., driving the Speedway Motors #4X, won his heat race, then scored the victory in the 20-lap feature.

Wolfgang of Lincoln, Neb., set a new record of 20.7 seconds around the half-mile dirt oval and there were three other cars that were also under the old record of 20.95 seconds.

Jerry Blundy of Dahinda, Ill., was gone in a blink of an eye in dominating the trophy dash. In addition to Wolfgang winning his heat, Galen Martin of Fairfield and Shane Carson of Oklahoma City, Okla., were also heat winners.

Because of the quickness and efficiency of the race program, NSI officials added an extra event, a “B” trophy dash in which officials randomly picked drivers to compete. Steve Hainline of Bonaparte won that contest over Duane Stoneking of Oquawka, Ill.

In the main event, it was a see-saw battle between Sonny Smyser of Lancaster, Mo., Carson, and Wolfgang.

Smyser would eventually slow his pace, leaving Carson and Wolfgang to battle it out. Wolfgang would win by half a straightaway at the end. Carson would settle for second with Bill Utz of Sedalia, Mo., narrowly beating Smyser for third place. Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., rounded out the top five.

Results –

Time trials – Doug Wolfgang, Lincoln, Neb. (20.70)
Trophy dash – Jerry Blundy, Dahinda, Ill.
“B” Trophy dash – Steve Hainline, Bonaparte
Heat #1 – Galen Martin, Fairfield
Heat #2 – Shane Carson, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Heat #3 – Doug Wolfgang, Lincoln, Neb.
Feature –
1. Doug Wolfgang
2. Shane Carson
3. Bill Utz, Sedalia, Mo.
4. Sonny Smyser, Lancaster, Mo.
5. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
6. Randy Smith, Mt. Ayr
7. Butch Bahr, Grand Island, Neb.
8. Jerry Blundy
9. Rich Brahmer, Wisner, Neb.
10.Gary Dunkle, Lincoln, Neb.

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