Monday, July 15, 2024

1980 - Trickle Wins at Rockford in ARTGO All Star 100


Dick Trickle made off with the 3rd annual All Star 100 at Rockford. Brad Deery, son of Rockford promoter Hugh Deery, presents Trickle with his trophy.

By Stan Kalwasinski

Loves Park, Ill. (July 15, 1980) – Taking advantage of rapidly changing situations was the key to Dick Trickle’s success Tuesday night, as the Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., pilot drove his Camaro to victory in ARTGO Racing’s third annual All Star 100 late model stock car special at Rockford Speedway.

For Trickle, the current ARTGO point leader and defending champion, it was feature win number seven of the current campaign on the circuit.

Running in the third spot for most of the race after narrowly avoiding a crash in the early part of the race, Trickle moved into second after pacesetter Joe Shear was forced out with a badly smoking mount and then slipped past Mike Miller with four laps to go to score the victory.

Trailing Trickle at the end were Miller, Dave Watson, Jim Sauter, Rusty Wallace and NASCAR star Darrell Waltrip.

A field of 20 answered the call for the start of the 100-lapper on the high-banked, paved quarter-mile oval, with Larry Schuler jumping from his outside front row starting position. Schuler and his Camaro were challenged by Watson throughout the early going.

Eight laps were down when the first yellow waved as Ken Lund spun his Granada in turn three. Trying desperately to get around Schuler for the lead, Watson lost control of his Camaro in turn four on lap 16.

Moving up into second place, Shear chased Schuler until lap 31, when the six-time Rockford champion moved his Camaro into the top spot. Shear’s second lap in command was the last lap of green flag racing for a time since the red flag waved after 32 laps because of the event’s most spectacular mishap.

Running in the second spot, Schuler broke a water pump as he headed into turn one, spilling water all over the racing surface. Following closely behind, Larry Detjens, Ed Hoffman, Willie Goeden, Dennis Vogel, John Knaus, Bobby Dotter, Mike Miller, Jim Sauter and Mark Malcuit, joined Schuler in crashing in varying degrees between turns one and two, with the Camaro’s of Detjens and Hoffman sailing hard into the outside wall. Trickle, who credited his presence in the lower groove to his well-being, missed the fracas.

With Detjens, Hoffman, Goeden, Schuler and Knaus out, it was Shear, Miller and Trickle leading the way when green flag racing resumed. With Shear streaking to a commanding margin, Miller and Trickle battled for second. Watson was a spinout victim again on lap 47, bringing out the yellow for the fourth time.

At the halfway mark, Shear was ahead of Miller, Trickle, Malcuit and Waltrip, making both his Rockford and ARTGO debut. Waltrip’s pace would be slowed a great deal after 57 laps, as his car encountered engine problems.

With a sizeable advantage over Miller and Trickle, Shear’s ride began to belch slight puffs of smoke through the turns. As the race closed on lap 90, the puffs became bigger and Shear’s lead smaller.

Miller and Trickle, quickly joined by Sauter, moved in on Shear, making it a four-car battle for first. With Shear barely holding on to his lead, Sauter got crossed u in turn one as he battled to improve his position and was clipped by Malcuit, bringing out yet another yellow. Shear’s machine, smoking badly and losing oil, was sent to the pits by race officials to join Malcuit, who was knocked out after his bout with Sauter.

Inheriting the lead, Miller, who had been holding of Trickle for almost two-thirds of the race, kept his Cutlass on top for two circuits as the seven cars remaining in the race dashed for the checkered flag.

But, on lap 97, Miller briefly lost control between turns one and two, opening the door for Trickle to take the lead he held the rest of the way.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
2. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
3. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
4. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
5. Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Mo.
6. Darrell Waltrip, Franklin, Tenn.
7. Ray Young, Dolton
8. Joe Shear, South Beloit
9. Mark Malcuit, Strasburg, Ohio
10.Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
11.Bobby Dotter, Chicago
12.Tom Jones, Northbrook
13.Dennis Vogel, Manitowoc, Wis.
14.Larry Schuler, New Lenox
15.Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
16.Ed Hoffman, Bensenville
17.John Knaus, Rockford
18.Willie Goeden, Kewaskum, Wis.
19.Frank Gawlinski, Lynwood
20.Ken Lund, Deerfield, Wis.

1966 – Knepper Wins Lakeside USAC


Arnie Knepper

Kansas City, Kan. (July 15, 1966) – Arnie Knepper, the hot-driving flash from Belleville, Ill., capped a record-breaking night by capturing the 30-lap United States Auto Club sprint car race at Lakeside Speedway.

As a crowd of 7,000 looked on, Knepper bided his time in the early stages, charged forward as the race reached the midway point, and once in front was never threatened.

Knepper’s time in the feature was 12 minutes and 8 seconds, topping the mark of 12 minutes and 40 seconds set last year by the late Jud Larson.

The record-snapping began in qualifying as eight drivers – Bobby Unser, Don Branson, Ralph Liguori, Greg Weld, Bud Tinglestad, Roger McCluskey, Wib Spalding and Knepper all bettered the 1-lap mark of 22.88 seconds set by Greg Weld last year.

Bobby Unser was the best of the lot, touring the half-mile in 22.06 seconds.

Another record to fall was Larry Dickson’s semi-feature time of 3 minute and 56 seconds, bettering the mark of 4 minutes and 4 seconds set by Ronnie Duman last year.

Knepper, in winning the feature, started on the inside of the third row and let Unser, Branson and Weld do the early dueling. After about 10 laps, Knepper broke out in front and won going away.

Mario Andretti, who had trouble qualifying with a time of 23.40 seconds, and then spun out on his second attempt, placed 16th in qualifying and started the feature in the sixth row. Andretti quickly overcame those immediately in front of him, but Knepper and Unser were just too much.

Two Kansas City drivers, Dick Sutcliffe and Jerry Weld, qualified cars, but Sutcliffe was unable to place high enough to compete in the feature. Weld made the semi-feature, finished fourth and took 13th in the 30-lapper.

A large field of 34 cars appeared at the speedway.

The drivers were competing for a $6,500 purse of which Knepper collected $1,075 for his winning effort.

Results –

Time trials – Bobby Unser (22.06)
Heat #1 – Bobby Unser
Heat #2 – Roger McCluskey
Heat #3 – Chuck Booth
Semi-feature – Larry Dickson
Feature -
1. Art Knepper
2. Bobby Unser
3. Mario Andretti
4. Don Branson
5. Wib Spalding
6. Larry Dickson
7. Greg Weld
8. Chuck Booth
9. Ronnie Duman
10.Roger McCluskey

1956 – 23,000 Watch Harlan Driver Win


Des Moines, Iowa (July 15, 1956) – Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, the newest sensation in late model stock car racing, set one track record and shared another on Sunday, winning 125-mile Iowa International at the State Fairgrounds.

Beauchamp was almost as hot as the 100-degree temperature, which resulted in numerous heat prostrations in the throng of 23,000 – the largest sports gathering in Iowa this season.

The 32-year-old winner, who sells cars around Harlan during the winter months, led a record field of 30 cars all the way to finish two laps in front with a track record time of 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 51.59 seconds.

Although the yellow flag came out nine times for minor mishaps, no injuries were reported as 19 drivers finished the grueling 250-lap grind.

Beauchamp and his rival, Don Pash of Avoca, only 12 miles away from Harlan, both rolled their 1956 Chevrolets around the half-mile dirt oval in 30.12 seconds to set a new qualifying record during time trials.

Six others, including Don White, the former record holder and defending International Motor contest Association champion, beat the 31.36 second record White set here a year ago.

Beauchamp, whose car is powered by a 225-horse Corvette motor with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts, ran his current string of major triumphs to seven in winning his 16th feature in 18 starts this season.

White, the Keokuk veteran, was one of the casualties in the race when he blew a piston on lap 12. Others ranged from over-heated motors to spin outs, which with a pair of wheel losses were the major mishaps of the afternoon.

Pash, who ran second behind Beauchamp until forced out temporarily by motor troubles on the 100th lap, managed to finish ninth among the 12 money winners.

Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, driving a Chevrolet, finished second behind Beauchamp. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, was third in his Ford and George Miller, another Cedar Rapids entry, powered his Ford to a fourth-place finish.

One of the victims of the heat was Froggy Droz, a Fairfield driver who was able to bring his Ford to a halt in front of the pit area before fainting. Lee Adams, also of Fairfield, took over the driving duties for Droz and finished 12th.

The triumph was worth $700 to Beauchamp, who also collected $200 as the leader at the end of 50, 100 and 150 laps plus another $100 for lowering the track qualifying mark. Pash also collected $100 for tying the record.

Results –

1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan
2. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
3. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
4. George Miller, Cedar Rapids
5. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
6. Dick Jepsen, Hoxie, Kan.
7. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
8. Frank Richards, Marion
9. Don Pash, Avoca
10.Marvin Copple, Lincoln, Neb.
11.Les Dykes, Davenport
12.Froggy Droz, Ottumwa
13.Les Turner, Des Moines
14.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
15.Jim Love, Des Moines

Sunday, July 14, 2024

1981 – Indee Shrine Race to Ed Sanger

Ed Sanger won the fourth annual El Kahir Shrine late model race at the Independence Motor Speedway. Co-promoters Jack Hunt (left) and Vern Weber (right) join Sanger in victory lane. 

Independence, Iowa (July 14, 1981) – Veteran Ed Sanger of Waterloo, took the lead at the drop of the green flag and held it for all 50 laps to win the fourth annual El Kahir Shrine late model special at Independence Motor Speedway on Tuesday night.

Sanger was without challenge as he deftly maneuvered through traffic before the first quarter of the event was completed. Likewise, runner-up Greg Kastli of Waterloo, also raced to an easy finish.

The real battle was for third and that race was won by Rick Wendling of Hazelton. Wendling was locked in a fierce battle with Gary Tigges of Durango, Red Dralle of Evansdale, Dick Schiltz of Waterloo, and Denny Osborn of Cedar Falls. When that quintet crossed the finish line, they ran in that order and Sanger was right behind them. Everyone else had been lapped at least once.

The sportsman feature saw a see-saw battle that saw four official lead changes. Dennis Dugan of Colesburg won the 25-lap feature but not without constant pressures from Randy Frush of Jesup and Alan Wessels of Strawberry Point.

Results –

Heat #1 – A.E. Mayner, Winthrop
Heat #2 – Rick Wendling, Hazelton
Heat #3 – Greg Kastli, Waterloo
Consolation – Dick Schiltz, Waterloo
Feature –
1. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
2. Greg Kastli
3. Rick Wendling
4. Gary Tigges, Durango
5. Red Dralle, Evansdale
6. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo
7. Denny Osborn, Cedar Falls
8. Curt Martin, Independence
9. Gary Crawford, Independence
10.Curt Hansen, Dike
11.A.E. Mayner
12.Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
13.Karl Sanger, Waterloo
14.Dan Nesteby, Waterloo
15.Dave Bentley, Fairbanks

1963 – Don White Wins Stock Car ‘200’

Don White proudly holds his trophy after winning the USAC stock car 200-mile at the Milwaukee Mile. 

West Allis, Wis. (July 14, 1963) – Defending champion Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, took the lead on lap 120 and piloted his 1963 Ford to victory in the annual 200-mile late model stock car event at Wisconsin State Fair Park one-mile paved oval.

White, averaging 89.374 miles per hour, finished 23 seconds ahead of Jim McElreath of Arlington, Tex., in the 200-lap race before 32,629 fans. McElreath drove a 1962 Ford.

Norm Nelson of Racine, Wis., was credited with third-place after officials ruled later that A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., the original third-place finisher, had been given a shove on the backstretch late in the race.

Foyt, driving one of Nelson’s two 1963 Plymouths, was awarded fourth place ahead of Rodger Ward of Indianapolis, Ind., driving a 1963 Mercury.

Officials ruled that Foyt, leader in the United States Auto Club point standings, had been pushed by Milt Curcio of Racine, Wis., when Foyt’s engine stalled on the backstretch.

Jim Hurtubise of Tonawanda, N.Y., was forced out of the race with an apparently burnt piston on the 128th lap. Hurtubise, who had led in his 1963 Ford from lap 13 to lap 36 and again from lap 53 to lap 74, was running second to White when forced out. It was Hurtubise’s first race in a late model stock car.

Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., winner of this year’s Indianapolis 500, finished 27th out of the 41-car field. He got involved in a pile-up early on and even after repairs were made, he was never a factor.

Paul Goldsmith of St. Clair Shores, Mich., the defending national champion and Len Sutton of Portland, Ore., were no-shows. They had been scheduled to drive 1963 Pontiacs for Ray Nichels of Highland, Ind., but Nichels said two days ago his agreement with Pontiac had been terminated and that he had signed a new agreement with Chrysler. However, the new cars did not arrive in time.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Jim McElreath, Arlington, Tex.
3. Norm Nelson, Racine, Wis.
4. A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex.
5. Rodger Ward, Indianapolis, Ind.
6. Sal Tovella, Addison, Ill.
7. Curtis Turner, Roanoke, Va.
8. Andy Hampton, Louisville, Ky.
9. Arnie Gardner, Batavia, Ill.
10. Elmer Musgrave, Niles, Ill.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

1986 - Ziegler's Kaukauna Win Nets RWB Point Lead

John Ziegler won his first Red, White, and Blue State Championship Series race since 1975 at Wisconsin International Raceway. He’s congratulated by a representative of Coca-Cola and Miss WIR Debbie Ashauer. – Russ Lake Photo

By Gary Vercauteren

Kaukauna, Wis. (July 13, 1986) – John Ziegler dipped inside Dave Watson on the 60th lap and went on to score a two-car-length victory in the second race of the 15th annual Red, White, and Blue State Championship Series Sunday afternoon at Wisconsin International Raceway.

Ziegler drove his Thunderbird to victory in the 70-laap contest. The veteran Madison driver took over first place in the series standings with the victory. His last state championship series feature win came in 1975 on the half-mile paved oval.

Mark Martin, the defending champion, and series point leader entering Sunday’s show, dropped out of the feature on the 47th lap with a mechanical problem while running in third position. He fell to second in the point standings while Watson is third. Martin won the series’ opening feature in June, with Ziegler finishing second.

“The guys that take care of this car are doing the job,” Ziegler said after the win.

A crowd of 4,467 sat through three rain showers during the afternoon to witness the event.

Watson outdrove Rich Somers into the first turn to grab the lead at the outset. The first caution flew on lap 13 and when the race restarted, Watson continued to set the pace before the yellow waved again for Dick Trickle, a seven-time series champion, left the race trailing smoke.

Scott Hansen went to the outside to get around Somers for second place om lap 16. However, Hansen was overtaken by Martin, the day’s top qualifier, on the 23rd round.

A heated battle for third followed, involving Hansen, Terry Baldry, and Ziegler.

Baldry moved past Hansen on the 27th lap but Hansen regained the position a circuit later. Baldry, a three-time Fox River Racing Club champion, overtook Hansen on the 36th lap. Hansen retook the spot once again when Baldry got sideways in the first turn of the 37th round. Ziegler slipped under Baldry’s skidding car, but Bob Iverson spun trying to avoid contact to bring out the caution flag.

On the restart, Martiin pulled up on Watson’s bumper, with Hansen third and Ziegler fourth. Ziegler dove under Hansen on the 38th round to take third. He zoomed past Martin on the 41st lap to move up one more notch.

Martin went to the sidelines on the 47th lap while Ziegler began to close in on Watson. Meanwhile, Baldry and Hansen continued their battle with Baldry moving past Hansen on lap 48. A yellow came out on lap 49 when Tom Haen spun.

It was a three-car battle to the finish line during the remaining laps with Ziegler and Baldry pressing Watson for the lead. One more yellow flew on lap 60 when Al Schil spun in turn three.

Ziegler shot inside of Watson coming off the second turn on the restart and won by two-car-lengths. Baldry was a close third with Hansen fourth and Somers fifth.

Results –

1. John Ziegler, Madison
2. Dave Watson, Milton
3. Terry Baldry, Omro
4. Scott Hansen, Green Bay
5. Rich Somers, Stevens Point
6. Steve Arndt, Edgerton
7. Bob Iverson, Escanaba, Mich.
8. Jim Weber, Roseville, Minn.
9. Doug Herbst, Wausau
10.Jay Sauter, Necedah
11.Tom Musgrave, Half Day, Ill.
12.Allen Check, Rosholt
13.Tom Haen, Hilbert
14.Al Schill, Franklin
15.Brady Bennett, Greenville

1969 – Gerber Charges to Raceway Mid-Season Title


Jim Gerber has his Dodge on the truck and ready to go home to Mt. Joy after scoring an easy victory in the 50-lap mid-season championship at Quad City Raceway.

East Moline, Ill. (July 13, 1969) – For three-quarters of a lap, Ron Weedon was the season point leader at Quad City Raceway.

Then, Jim Gerber jumped him, and the point leadership swung back to Gerber as the veteran Mt. Joy, Iowa, driver herded his Dodge Charger to an easy victory in the 50-lap mid-season championship for late model modified stock cars at the East Moline track.

Gerber had reported to the track as the point leader, but a postponed 25-lap feature from an earlier rainy weekend was run to launch the late model program, and points from this race were counted in determining the lineup for the mid-season run.

Weedon won that delayed feature, getting a break when Don Dane of Peoria hit the wall on the 21st lap while holding a commanding lead. Dane retired from competition for the night, Weedon won the race and the points he earned boosted him ahead of Gerber for the year.

As point leader, Weedon had his choice of starting inside or outside in the first row for the 50-lapper. He chose the outside, and it looked like a wise decision when he bolted ahead of Gerber as starter Dave Copeland dropped the green flag.

But Weedon’s lead was brief, for Gerber was charging all the way. Weedon stayed in the high groove while Gerber kept pace on the inside, and as the cars slithered through the fourth turn of the first lap, Gerber nosed ahead.

The race could have ended then, for Gerber ran away from the field. Weedon’s car was the only one he didn’t lap, and Gerber was closing on him towards the finish.

Seventeen cars started the feature and 12 were still running when Gerber took the checkered flag. Everything moved along nicely through nine laps as Gerber opened up a quarter-lap lead, but on the 10th lap, Terry Ryan and Lyle Behne tangled and a series of restarts began.

Jerry Reinhart of Moline had zipped by Weedon for second place on lap 4 but spun out on his own on the 13th circuit and dropped back, eventually finishing fifth. Dean Montgomery of Milan had his car running hot, but he got far back and was finally lapped by Gerber on lap 46, finishing third. Ray Guss of Milan finished fourth.

Results –

Mid-Season Championship -

1. Jim Gerber, Mt. Joy, Iowa
2. Ron Weedon, Pleasant Valley, Iowa
3. Dean Montgomery, Milan
4. Ray Guss, Milan
5. Jerry Reinhart, Moline
6. Terry Ryan, Davenport, Iowa

Make-Up Feature –

1. Ron Weedon
2. Gerry Reeder, Peoria
3. Benny Hofer, Rock Island
4. Bob Stogdell, Silvis
5. Dean Montgomery
6. Lyle Behne, Coal Valley

1958 – 7,000 See Branson Win Out at Winchester

Don Branson is joined by Winchester Speedway owner Frank Funk after the Champaign, Ill., driver won the USAC sprint car feature. – IRMA Photo

Winchester, Ind. (July 13, 1958) – Don Branson, a 38-year-old veteran of 13 years of automobile racing, took the lead on the final lap to win the United States Auto Club sprint car feature Sunday afternoon at Winchester Speedway.

Branson, driving the Park Lumber Special, which is the old #98 that carried Troy Ruttman to so many triumphs on the Midwest high banks, earned $1,312 for the win.

An estimated crowd of 7,000, the largest at Winchester in the last eight years, watched Branson finish a few yards ahead of A.J. Foyt in second place, Eddie Sachs in third, and Elmer George in fourth.

Ed Elisian, injured in a crash at New Bremen two weeks ago, came back to finish fifth in the McNamara Special.

The program was delayed two hours because of rain showers. The feature got underway at 6:30 p.m.

George, the defending Midwest sprint champion, was the top qualifier at 18.839 seconds in the HOW Special.

Results –

1. Don Branson
2. A.J. Foyt
3. Eddie Sachs
4. Elmer George
5. Ed Elisian
6. Rex Easton
7. Bob Wente
8. Len Sutton
9. Curly Boyd
10.Jimmy Florian
11.Ronnie Duman
12.Bob McLean

Friday, July 12, 2024

1986 - Pit Stops Help Eddy Win Nashville ASA 250


Mike Eddy captured the ASA Racing Series Coors 250 at Nashville Motor Speedway. Greeting him in victory lane was Miss Nashville Super Speedway Dawn Long and Dennis Nauscar, Coors Regional Sales Director. – Don Thies Photo

Nashville, Tenn. (July 12, 1986) – “I was putting in my time until I saw Mark (Martin) coming and I decided it was time to run a little faster,” Mike Eddy said following Saturday night’s Coors 250 ASA Racing Series event at the Nashville Motor Speedway.

And run faster Eddy did, going on to victory in the 250-lap battle on the .596-mile paved oval.

Martin was setting a blistering pace in is Ford, lapping sixth-running Bob Dotter on lap 72, making Eddy the next in line to go one circuit down. But Eddy would have none of it.

“I saw Mark coming and picked up the pace a little,” eddy said. “The car was a little loose but nothing too bad.”

The Midland, Mich., veteran remained on the same lap as Martin and then on lap 103, the caution flag flew for only the second time. The yellow sent all of the frontrunners pitside for fuel.

Just a dozen laps later the caution was out again, for what was to be the final time in the contest.

On his first pit stop on lap 103, Eddy picked up right-side tires, and he took on left-side tires on the 115th circuit caution. It was a perfectly-matched set and made Eddy the man to beat, after he gained first place coming back from his second stop.

Still, there was Martin and Butch Miller to contend with.

“I couldn’t shake Mark,” Eddy said. “But I knew my car was running perfect and that it would be tough for him to get around me.”

Martin shadowed Eddy until his car started getting loose near the end, taking him off the pace. At the finish, Eddy held a 3.5-second victory margin.

Miller, the current point leader in the ASA points race, played catchup for the last 100 laps, hoping to run down Eddy and Martin, but he was seemingly unable to get within grasping range of the duo. Still, Miller’s third-place finish was enough to keep him at the top of the season’s standings, as several of his nearest competitors did not find Nashville totally to their liking.

Among the latter group was Bob Senneker, who fell a lap down on the 190th circuit and ended up fourth, completing 249 laps.

After running fifth for most of the contest, Tom Jones found trouble in the final 30 circuits, when a dropped cylinder slowed his Chevrolet, allowing Bobby Dotter to take the number five spot.

Results –

1. Mike Eddy
2. Mark Martin
3. Butch Miller
4. Bob Senneker
5. Bobby Dotter
6. Tom Jones
7. Harold Fair
8. Kent Stauffer
9. Ken Lund
10.Gary St. Amant
11.Gene Harsch
12.Kenny Wallace
13.David Green
14.Dennis Vogel
15.Russ Urlin
16.John Wilson
17.Tom Harrington
18.Ed Cooper
19.Jerry Churchill
20.Mike Alexander

1980 - Missouri Nationals Crown to Bobby Layne


Bobby Layne holds his trophy after his stunning win in the Missouri Sprint Car Nationals at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia. National Speedway’s Robert Lawton presents the checkers. – Ken Simon Photo

Sedalia, Mo. (July 12, 1980) – Once in a while the big names of sprint car racing – the Doug Wolfgangs, the Shane Carsons, and the Tim Greens – don’t win. Once in a while, some young man, sometimes an also-ran, gets some well-deserved glory.

That happened at the Missouri Sprint Car Nationals Saturday night at the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Bobby Layne, 25, a guy who can’t venture too far because he works 60 hours a week managing a auto parts store, showed the “big boys” how to win.

He ran away from Green of Sacramento, Calif., from John Stevenson of St. Paul, Minn., and Ralph Blackett of Des Moines, Iowa.

He won by a straightaway over Green on the half-mile dirt track. And Green was coming on strong at the end. He had won the previous two National Speedways Contest Association features. Stevenson, the NSCA point leader and winner of three features thus far this season, led the first eight laps.

“We just had everything hooked up.” Exclaimed the triumphant Layne. “We had the right gears, the right tires, everything.”

He was so excited when he exited his car he took off his glasses and gave them to somebody, then demanded them back so he could see. He stripped off the top half of his driving suit on the hot humid July night.

“Wowwie, I can’t believe it!” he said as well-wishers crowded around him.

Layne, whose previous best payday had been $1,000 for winning a Cheater’s Day race in Sioux Falls, S.D., collected $3,000 for his victory at Sedalia. Green received $2,000 for his runner-up performance, Blackett $1,500, and Stevenson $1,000.

Shane Carson of Oklahoma City may have done the best job of driving, finishing sixth. He won the 25-lap B-main, then nearly didn’t get the opportunity to start the A-main because of power steering issues.

He started at the tail of the 25-car field and had only gone a lap when his car started smoking badly from oil escaping his power steering device. Bob Lawton, the flagman, thought of black-flagging Carson but decided not to and after a couple of laps, the smoke dissipated, and Carson began his charge to the front.

During a red flag stop on the third lap – for a Ken Potter crash – Carson briefly stopped into the pits where his crew made some quick repairs and Carson was back on the track.

Carson, driving a car owned by Ray Marler of Farmington, started weaving through traffic again. He was in 11th place on a yellow flag on lap 9 and in eighth place two laps later on another yellow flag. By the 21st circuit, he was up to fourth place but seemed to lose momentum in the closing laps and finished sixth.

Stevenson, Green, Sonny Smyser of Lancaster, who finished fifth, and Bobby Marshall of Dallas, Tex., had a battle royal for the runner-up spot at various times.

Lloyd Beckman of Lincoln, Neb., led the B-main for the first four laps before giving way to Carson. In the 15-lap C-main, Terry Smith of Raytown won, leading the last 13 laps.

Results –

C-main – Terry Smith, Raytown
B-Main – Shane Carson, Oklahoma City
A-main –
1. Bobby Layne, Kansas City
2. Tim Green, Sacramento, Calif.
3. Ralph Blackett, Des Moines
4. John Stevenson, St. Paul, Minn.
5. Sonny Smyser, Lancaster
6. Shane Carson
7. Steve Perry, Dallas, Tex.
8. Bobby Marshall, Dallas, Tex.
9. Chuck Amati, Freeman Spur, Ill.
10.Gary Scott, Holts Summit
11.Dick Howard, Kansas City
12.Tom Corbin, Carrollton
13.Rick Weld, Kansas City
14.Pat McKeehan, Windsor
15.Bill Baker, Mexico
16.Ken Potter, Kansas City
17.Bill Robison, Topeka, Kan.
18.Randy Smith, Norwalk, Iowa
19.Jimmy Sills, Sacramento, Calif.
20.Lloyd Beckman, Lincoln, Neb. 

1972 – Moss Wins Oskaloosa Mid-Season Honors

"Big" John Moss won the super stock mid-season championship at the Mahaska County Fairgrounds. 

Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 12, 1972) - John Moss of Iowa City captured the big super stock mid-season championship last night here at the Southern Iowa Speedway before a standing room only crowd estimated at around 5,000.

Moss started on the outside front row as the cars for the feature was lined according to current point standings. Point leader, Ed Sanger was on the pole and that is how the race started including the first one and one-half laps.

The two cars stayed together with neither driver getting an edge until on the second lap when Moss gained some ground and pulled into the lead on the backstretch. Sanger never let Moss get out of sight as he dueled with Don Hoffman in a bumper to bumper battle for second place.

Meanwhile a right race was developing back in the pack for fourth place among Chris Maurer, Dan Dickey and Bill McDonough.

On the seventh lap Hoffman spun out bringing out the red flag and closing up the field for the restart.

Sanger, holding down second at the time, had some tough luck on the restart when he ran over an object on the track causing a flat tire. Chris Maurer was in second place when his "engine turned sour" the last ten laps.

Meanwhile Dan Dickey of Packwood was steadily moving up thru the pack in pursuit of Moss. Dickey finished runner-up to Moss, followed by Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids and Bob Bonzer of Liscomb.

This was Moss's second feature win here, the first being two months ago.

Pokey West of West Chester held off a hard-challenging Moss to win the first super stock heat races. Moss was right on West's tail all the way. West then had to scratch for the rest of the evening result of a blown head gasket. The red flag came out on the seventh lap when Bill Newman of Burlington ended up rear end first against the third turn rail.

Bill McDonough copped the second heat event with Joe Merryfield hot on his bumper. Stan Stover had the enthusiastic fans holding their breath when he went ramming thru the steel guard rails between turns one and two.

There were some anxious moments until the crews found Stover was not injured as he went thru with rails flying in all directions. Needless to say, the car was out for the rest of the evening.

Chris Maurer took the lead from a badly smoking Dan Dickey on the fifth lap lo take the third heat win.

John Babb of Ottumwa was on Maurer's tail and making a bid for the lead on the last lap when his hot car erupted in an old faithful style of steam and water. Babb was able to nail down second place before pulling into the pit.

Don Hoffman and George Barton won the two Australian pursuits events.

Dick Lewis of Ottumwa made his first appearance on the big half mile and conquered the sportsman midseason title.

Lewis led the full distance in the non-stop race and took the checkers by a good-sized margin over Eldon Newberry of North English. Paul Lanphier of Oskaloosa placed third as he and Bill Hulbert of Eldon came across the line in bumper to bumper fashion. Ottumwa drivers, Skip Gray and Darrell Davis were fifth and sixth.

Results –

Heat #1 – Pokey West, West Chester, Iowa
Heat #2 – Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Heat #3 – Chris Maurer, Colfax, Iowa
Australian Pursuit #1 – Don Hoffman, Des Moines
Australian Pursuit #2 – George Barton, Ankeny, Iowa
Feature –
1. John Moss, Iowa City, Iowa
2. Dan Dickey, Packwood, Iowa
3. Bill McDonough
4. Bob Bonzer, Liscomb, Iowa
5. Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
6. Chris Maurer
7. Don Hoffman
8. George Barton
9. Lyle Downing, Marshalltown, Iowa
10.Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
11.Joe Merryfield, Des Moines
12.Pokey West

Thursday, July 11, 2024

1984 – Kraft dominates annual ‘NAPA Gopher 50’

Willy Kraft proudly holds his Gopher 50 trophy while his son Shawn gets ready to don his new hat. – Phil Dullinger Photo

Owatonna, Minn. (July 11, 1984) – Willy Kraft of Lakefield, Minn., led all 50 laps Wednesday as he dominated the NAPA Gopher 50 at the Steele County Fairgrounds.

Kraft drove to an impressive victory over a field of top-notch late models representing five states.

Kraft grabbed the lead off the pole with outside front row starter Pete Parker of sliding high and Gary Webb moving into second. Webb moved up to Kraft’s rear bumper and rode him hard until the yellow flag came out on lap 6 in the race. Les Duellman, Ed Sanger and Jay Johnson were involved in a three-car collision.

Webb developed tie problems and was forced to pit under yellow and drop to the tail of the field. The yellow changed to red when the fire truck was needed to wash away spilled fuel from Sanger’s car.

Terry Lamphear took up the chase on Kraft with Parker, Tom Steuding and Lance Matthees close behind. The cars ran in that order until lap 25 when Johnson hit the wall in turn one. This brought out the crossed red flags signaling a fuel stop.

The last 25 circuits went non-stop. Kraft gradually extended his advantage into a quarter-lap lead. His car handled beautifully as ran the track like he was on rails.

Lamphear was receiving heavy pressure from Parker and Steuding was working both of them hard. The hot pace started to take its toll near the end. Steuding dropped out with motor issues and with only five laps left, Lamphear developed rear end problems and pulled to the infield.

Kraft crossed the finish line leading home Parker, Matthees, Jerry Redetzke and Craig Jacobs. Sixteen of the 25 starters were still around at the finish.

Heat winners were Kraft, Parker, Webb, Steuding and Matthees. Semi feature wins went to Bob Shryock and Dick Schiltz.

A crowd of 5,400 was on hand with 54 cars from five states in the pit area. The event was postponed from the night before because of heavy rains in the area.

Results –

1. Willy Kraft, Lakefield, Minn.
2. Pete Parker, Kaukauna, Wis.
3. Lance Matthees, Winona, Minn.
4. Jerry Redetzke, Eau Claire, Wis.
5. Craig Jacobs, Des Moines
6. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo, Iowa
7. Joe Kosiski, Omaha
8. Gary Hopp, Harlan, Iowa
9. M.J. McBride, Shawano, Wis.
10.Bob Shryock, Estherville, Iowa
11.Leon Plank, Eau Claire, Wis.
12.Todd Steuber, Fairmont, Minn.
13.Steve Kosiski, Omaha
14.Dave Bjorge, Austin, Minn.
15.Phil Prusak, Eau Claire, Wis.
16.Jay Johnson, Wapello, Iowa
17.Terry Lamphear, St. Paul, Minn.
18.Tom Hearst, Wilton, Iowa
19.Tom Steuding, Eau Claire, Wis.
20.Steve Fegers, Mound, Minn.
21.Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark.
22.Gary Webb, Davenport, Iowa
23.Jim Bruggeman, White Bear Lake, Minn.
24.Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
25.Les Duellman, Fountain City, Wis.

1976 - Reffner takes Skogen's Go at La Crosse

Tom Reffner won two of three features in claiming the Skogen IGA 150 at La Crosse. - Kurt Luoma Photo

West Salem, Wis. (July 11, 1976) – In the past two years, Tom Reffner of Rudolph has won every special event at La Crosse Interstate Speedway. Sunday afternoon’s Skogen IGA 150 was no exception as the 1974 AMC Javelin driver roared to victory in the second 20-lap feature and the 36-lap finale to top all competitors. Fast qualifier Dave Watson of Milton took the win in the first 20-lapper.

Bill Oas passed Tom Jones for the lead on the third lap of the first 20 but was soon challenged by John Ziegler and Watson. Both took turns trying to get by the Minnesota ace, before Watson was able to accomplish this on lap 11. Ziegler was able to pass Oas and settle for third followed by Marv Marzofka and Tom Jones.

The second 20 saw Don Grant build up a large lead before Reffner took second on lap 12. Quickly closing the gap, Reffner was in the lead by lap 14. Mike Miller dropped Grant back to third three laps later. Jim Back was fourth and Jim Sauter took fifth

The third feature started the two finishers from the first two. Larry Nipple of Albany was the early leader from the outside of the front row until several cars spun in the fourth turn on lap 9, resulting in a caution period.

Once under green,, Jerry Eckhardt showed the way for two laps before Dick Trickle, driving Jim Bohmsach’s 1972 Nova, took over. Engine trouble eliminated Trickle on lap 15 with Reffner moving out front. Sauter was second briefly but Marzofka took that spot on lap 18.

With Reffner long gone, Ziegler tried to take second from Marzofka but had to settle for third at the finish. Watson, who had pitted during the caution, worked his way back up to finish fourth while Ray Young took fifth after surviving an earlier spinout.

Results –

Feature #1-

1. Dave Watson, Milton
2. Bill Oas, Bloomington, Minn.
3. John Ziegler, Madison
4. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa
5. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
6. Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.

Feature #2 –

1. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
2. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
3. Don Grant, La Crosse
4. Jim Back, Vesper
5. Jim Sauter, Necedah
6. Axel Dahlberg, Mauston

Feature #3 –

1. Tom Reffner
2. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa
3. John Ziegler
4. Dave Watson
5. Ray Young
6. Mike Miller

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

1979 – Martin Wins Rockford ARTGO Race

All-Star 100 winner Mark Martin is joined by ARTGO’s John McKarns and Rockford Speedway’s Brad Deery and Hugh Deery.

Rockford, Ill. (July 10, 1979) – Running second to Dick Trickle for most of the race, young Mark Martin grabbed the lead with 10 laps to go and went on to score the win in ARTGO Racing’s ‘All-Star 100’ late model stock car classic on Tuesday night.

The largest crowd of the season at Rockford Speedway witnessed the Batesville, Ark., speedster, the defending American Speed Association champion and consistent performer in the ARTGO late model series, drive his 1977 Camaro to victory, which was the 20-year-old’s first in ARTGO competition this year.

Results –

1. Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark.
2. Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
3. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
4. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
5. Ed Hoffman, Bensenville, Ill.
6. Larry Schuler, Lockport, Ill.
7. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
8. Bob Strait, Flossmoor, Ill.
9. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire, Wis.
10.Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Mo.

1970 – Droste Wins All-Iowa Fair 50-Lapper

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 10, 1970) - The hot streak continues for Red Droste, but he literally had to wake up before he raced off with the All-Iowa Fair 50-lap championship Friday night at Hawkeye Downs.

Droste, the defending late model stock car champion, pocketed $500 for the win besides taking over the top spot in the current point standings.

But the Waterloo dandy provided the overflow crowd (estimated at 10,000) with some anxious moments in the late going, after leading the race on the quarter-mile dirt track for the first 34 laps.

Then Chub Liebe pulled alongside on the back stretch of the 34th tour and the veteran from Oelwein kept his 1967 Ford even with Droste’s ’70 Chevy Nova through the start-finish line. Liebe moved in front through the second turn.

That’s the way they stood through the next nine laps, before Liebe seemed to slow up and Droste took him inside going into the third corner on the 44th lap.

That was all she wrote, and the red head maintained about a three-car lead the rest of the way.

Droste said there was no reason Liebe should have taken the front spot to begin with.

“I didn’t know that was him behind me,” explained Droste. “I thought it was a lapped car. Donnie (car owner Don Herbst) signaled me to slow down, so I figured I had a comfortable lead.

“No, I didn’t know if I could catch him (Liebe). That track was treacherous! Just look at it! It’s just like asphalt. I didn’t dare try to get on it (the accelerator).”

Liebe, likewise, lost track. Liebe picked up $375 for his efforts. The next three spots went to Curt Hansen of Dike, Ed Sanger of Waterloo, and Bill Beckman of Lisbon.

Droste had started the feature on the outside pole with previous point leader Bill Zwanziger of Waterloo on the pole. Liebe opened in the third spot.

The two preliminary 10-lap heats went to Larry Schulte of Cedar Rapids and Ed Sanger.

Results –

1. Red Droste, Waterloo
2. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
3. Curt Hansen, Dike
4. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
5. Bill Beckman, Lisbon
6. Glen Martin, Independence
7. Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
8. Karl Sanger, Waterloo
9. Dale Snyder, Cedar Rapids
10.Harold O’Deen, Marion

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

1978 – Hartwig Charges to Horstmeyer Memorial Win

John Hartwig won the Bill Horstmeyer 50 for the third time at Angell Park Speedway. Presenting the trophy is former Badger Midget champion Billy Wood (left) and starter Harvey Konkel. - Dave Kozy Photo

Sun Prairie, Wis. (July 9, 1978) – John Hartwig became the first three-time winner of the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association’s annual 50-lap Bill Horstmeyer Memorial feature at Angell Park Speedway Sunday evening.

Hartwig sped from his second row starting assignment to grab the lead at the drop of the green flag and was never headed in recording the victory.

Mark Glembin won a tight three-way struggle for runner-up honors by edging Stan Fox, who placed third, and Ken Biertzer, who took fourth, and fifth-place finisher Eddie Loomis.

A pair of spectacular mishaps marred preliminary events. The first saw Dale Cox flip his mount after riding over the wheel of another racer during the opening heat. Later, in hot laps before the semi-feature, Jim Hill spun, triggering a chain reaction which left Al Fredenburg’s car upside down.

Results –

1. John Hartwig, Johnson Creek, Wis.
2. Mark Glembin, West Allis, Wis.
3. Stan Fox, Janesville, Wis.
4. Ken Biertzer, West Bend, Wis.
5. Eddie Loomis, Waukesha, Wis.
6. Dan Boorse, Milwaukee
7. Buster Linne, Mendota, Ill.
8. Dave Ray, Davenport, Iowa
9. Charles Ford Jr., Waldo, Wis.
10.Dean Erfurth, Oregon, Wis.

1961 – For Stott; A Really Great Day

A weary Ramo Stott accepts his trophy for winning the Iowa International at Des Moines. – Del Borer Photo

Des Moines, Iowa (July 9, 1961) – Ramo Stott climbed out of his 1961 Ford and said Sunday, “It’s a beautiful day.”

For the 27-year-old Keokuk driver, it could be called that for he just finished winning his second straight Iowa International 300-lap late model stock car championship before a crowd of 15,500. With the victory, Stott collected $1,000 plus bonuses.

Only a few years back, Stott, a former Kahoka, Mo., farm boy, would have been tickled with $100. He was a welder then in Keokuk.

Before his wife Judy could stop him, Ramo was driving jalopies, 1932 models with 1956 motors.

From there, Stott, the International Motor Contest Association’s rookie-of-the-year for 1958, has stepped up to the current second ranking among drivers in the stock car division.

“I’d be ahead of Ernie right now if I hadn’t blown the motor in Topeka,” explained Stott, the only IMCA driver to win three major (200 laps or more) races this season.

Derr battled Stott constantly during the last 175 laps of the race, staged before 15,500 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, where the winner set new records for 100- and 150-mile distances.

“I thought for a minute that John (Beauchamp) was going to get me,” Stott said afterwards. “John bumped me, but I got away.”

Including his three major features, Stott has seven triumphs this season with his 1961 Ford, which is powered by a 375 horsepower, 390-cubic-inch engine.

Former winners Beauchamp of Harlan and Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids were both forced out by mechanical failures that sidelined 16 of the original field of 36 by the end of 200 laps.

Stott covered the 150-mile distance in 2 hours, 29 minutes, and 59.21 seconds, 24 minutes faster than the old mark. He also left the 100-mile mark in shambles, with a new time of 1 hour, 39 minutes, and 10.13 seconds.

He was followed across the finish line by Derr, who settled for second. Two more fellow townsmen, Jerry McCredie, and Dick Hutcherson took third and fourth, respectively. Bob Reynolds of Edmond, Okla., rounded out the top five.

Results –

1. Ramo Stott, Keokuk
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
3. Jerry McCredie, Keokuk
4. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
5. Bob Reynolds, Edmond, Okla.
6. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
7. Jerry Draper, Cedar Rapids
8. Johnny Jones, Russell, Minn.
9. Buzz McCann, St. Paul, Minn.
10.Cal Swanson, Reinbeck
11.Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
12.Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
13.Gerry Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
14.Bill Moyer, Des Moines
15.Ron Snow, Red Wing, Minn.

Monday, July 8, 2024

1979 - Ruttman Takes Miller 200 Title

Joe Ruttman is interviewed in victory lane after winning the prestigious Miller 200 at the Milwaukee Mile.  

West Allis, Wis. (July 8, 1979) – Joe Ruttman said he didn’t feel he was the best driver in the race Sunday, even though he won the 200-mile United States Auto Club stock car event by a relatively comfortable 4.5 seconds.

“I just think I had the better car today,” said the younger brother of 1952 Indianapolis 500 winner Troy Ruttman after his victory at the Wisconsin State Fair Park track. “I didn’t finish ahead of A.J. Foyt because I’m a better driver than he is.”

“I could see that he (Foyt) had lots of problems with his car. I felt sorry for him, but then he’s beat me an awful lot of times, and I wanted to beat him for a change.”

The Upland, Calif., driver, who led 152 of the 200 laps on the paved fairgrounds one-mile oval, took the lead for good when he passed Terry Ryan going into the third turn of lap 130. Ryan, Ruttman, Foyt and defending champion Bobby Allison had battled for the lead for the previous 20 laps.

Ruttman, the 37-year-old driver whose brother won a 150-mile stock car race here in 1956, managed to stay a second ahead of Ryan and Foyt for the next 10 laps and then began increasing his lead to as much as five seconds.

“Everything worked so well that I could go anywhere I wanted on the track,” Ruttman said. “Hey, I’ve worked harder finishing third than I did today.”

Foyt, current USAC points standings leader and polesitter for Sunday’s event, was bothered most of the day by handling and tire problems.

Ruttman averaged 96.33 miles per hour in his Pontiac Phoenix as the caution flag was out seven times during the race.

He won $12,566 out of a record $75,000 purse by finishing ahead of Ryan, of Davenport, Iowa, and Foyt, of Houston, who both drove Camaros. Ryan won $7,523 and Foyt $5,538.

Allison, from Hueytown, Ala., finished fourth, one lap back, in his AMC Matador and won $4,089. Tom Sneva of Spokane, Wash., was fifth for $3,322 in a Ford Granada.

Ruttman’s victory, his first at the Milwaukee oval, came before a crowd of 21,169. His 73-year-old father, Ralph, who directed his brother’s pit crew at Indianapolis, was a member of his pit crew here.

Results –

1. Joe Ruttman
2. Terry Ryan
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Bobby Allison
5. Tom Sneva
6. Jim Cushman
7. Ricci Ware, Jr.
8. Dean Roper
9. Russ Peterson
10.Bob Schacht
11.Gordon Blankenship
12.Frank Freda
13.Larry Nau
14.Butch Hartman
15.Tom Schley
16.Clyde Dagit
17.Allan Sheppard
18.Bay Darnell
19.Bill Venturini
20.Bob Brevak
21.Ramo Stott
22.Sal Tovella
23.Tom Meinberg
24.Rusty Wallace
25.Brian Paulsen
26.Larry Phillips
27.Roger McCluskey
28.Dave Watson
29.Fred Zack
30.Randy Ogden
31.Bob Dotter
32.Carl Schultz

1970 - Jusola Winner as Prusak Spins Out

The top three from the Late Model Invitational at Eau Claire Speedway were (from left to right), Bob Jusola (winner), Harold Mueller (runner-up), and Paul Fitzpatrick (third place).

Eau Claire, Wis. (July 8, 1970) – You might call Phil Prusak lucky – and then again, you may not.

The Eau Claire driver drew the pole position for Wednesday night’s Late Model Invitational feature event in a draw of 24 drivers.

Prusak, doing a crafty job of piloting, took advantage of the situation to streak out in the lead. For 30 laps, Prusak was out in front and seemingly widening the gap between his car and that of his pursuers.

That’s when bad luck started settling in…

On lap 30, Ray Henningsen of Virginia, Minn., and Cecil Henderson of Dakota, Minn., tangled, then stalled against the wall in front of the grandstand, halting the race under red flag conditions.

When the race resumed with 10 laps to go, the field was lined up single-file, closing what gap Prusak had built up.

But when the green flag waved, Prusak hung on – for five laps. Finally, under steady pressure from the hot breath of Bob Jusola of Mound, Minn., Prusak relinquished the lead on the 35th circuit.

Harold Mueller, after running fifth most of the race, also made his charge at the same time. Mueller, who started on the fourth row, took fourth on lap 32, streaking past the slipping Dick Briesemeister of Clear Lake, Wis., and then grabbed third place, powering by Paul Fitzpatrick of Rochester, Minn., on lap 38.

At that point, Prusak’s luck hit its climax. Sliding into the north turn on the final lap, he spun out, watching Mueller slip by him and leading the parade past the finish.

Prusak did not quit, however, backing out onto the track and staying in reverse, crossing the finish line backwards.

After a check of the cars by officials, Prusak was awarded with eighth place. The feature paid through the top 10 spots. Still, it was poor consolation for a driver who led 35 laps.

That gave Jusola – one of the leading drivers in the Twin Cities area – first-place money of $550 with Mueller cashing $400 for his runner-up finish.

Fitzpatrick finished third with Bob Percy fourth and Dave Noble of Blooming Prairie, Minn., rounding out the top-five.

It was later learned that Prusak’s problems late in thee race resulted in a blown tire. According to track reports, the tire started going on lap 34, forcing Prusak to go high in the turns. It finally blew on the fateful 39th circuit.

Jusola, in his 1967 Chevelle convertible, is a point leader on three different asphalt tracks in the Twin Cities. He made it to the front from the unlikely starting position of the outside of the fifth row.

A crowd of less than 2,000 watched the action ideal weather conditions.

Results –

Heat #1 – Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
Heat #2 – Bob Briesemeister, Clear Lake, Wis.
Heat #3 – Bob Saterdalen, Oronoco, Minn.
Consolation – Ron Goss, Eau Claire
Feature –
1. Bob Jusola, Mound, Minn.
2. Harold Mueller, Eau Claire
3. Paul Fitzpatrick, Rochester, Minn.
4. Bob Percy
5. Dave Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
6. Dick Briesemeister, Clear Lake, Wis.
7. Ray Henningsen, Virginia, Minn.
8. Phil Prusak, Eau Claire
9. Bob Briesemeister, Clear Lake, Wis.
10.Stan Anderson, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, July 7, 2024

1985 – Hodges Withstands Pain, Kinser for First WoO Victory

Rocky Hodges scored his first career World of Outlaws victory at Fairmont. Denny Decheine presents the checkers. – Phil Dullinger Photo

Fairmont, Minn. (July 7, 1985) – Rocky Hodges, Des Moines, Iowa, entered his name in the record books Sunday night as he recorded his first career World of Outlaws sprint car feature win in the 25-lap main event at Fairmont Speedway.

Hodges’ victory came with the help of two people, 800 miles apart, who had never met each other.

Hodges’ win can be partly attributed to car owner Phoenix Gil Suiter and a Denver doctor who helped diagnosed a back problem suffered by the Hawkeye State veteran. Suiter kept the team of Hodges and crew chief John Leverenz together despite some early season problems while the Colorado doctor got Hodges on the right road to recovery for his back ailment that sidelined him for two WoO races. In spite of the help, Hodges was slow exiting his car in victory lane.

The rapid Fairmont high-banked half-mile, Hodges and his mount were really set up during the feature. Hodges came from his fourth starting position on the opening lap and advanced one position per lap until he took the lead for good on a fourth-lap restart. The defending Knoxville Raceway track champion collected $3,740 for the triumph.

Steve Kinser, Bloomington, Ind., came from his eighth starting position to finish second. He tried to close in on Hodges but never seriously challenged the eventual winner. Kinser settled for his fourth straight bridesmaid finish and took home $2,640.

Jeff Swindell, Memphis, Tenn., was third followed by Richard Lupo, Hanover, Penn., and Bobby Davis Jr., Memphis, Tenn.

Results –

1. Rocky Hodges
2. Steve Kinser
3. Jeff Swindell
4. Richard Lupo
5. Bobby Davis Jr.
6. Ron Shuman
7. Mark Kinser
8. Jeff Tuttle
9. Brad Doty
10.Bobby Allen

1961 – Hutcherson Wins Warmup at Donnellson

Dick Hutcherson

Donnellson, Iowa (July 7, 1961) – Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk, warmed up for the Iowa International 300-lapper in Des Moines, by winning the 100-lap International Stock Car Association stock car feature at the Lee County Fairgrounds on Friday evening.

Most of the drivers competing in the 300-lap feature at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Sunday were at the Donnellson half mile, getting their cars finely tuned for the long-endurance race.

Keokuk’s Ramo Stott, winner of the Iowa International last year, finished second, and defending IMCA champion Ernie Derr, also of Keokuk, placed third.

Results –

1. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
2. Ramo Stott, Keokuk
3. Ernie Derr, Keokuk
4. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
5. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan
6. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
7. Eddie Harrow, Corpus Christi, Tex.
8. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
9. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids
10.Pete Van Oudenhoven, Appleton, Wis.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

1975 – Bubby Jones Triumphs at Action Track

Norman "Bubby" Jones won the Bicentennial 40-lap sprint car feature at the Terre Haute Action Track. - Tom Dick Photo 

Terre Haute, Ind. (July 6, 1975) – Starting from the 13th position, Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., won the Bicentennial 40-lap feature worth $2,500 Sunday afternoon at the Action Track.

Jones finished three cars length ahead of Dick Gaines. Rick Ferkel led the race before dropping out with mechanical problems.

Ferkel saw an apparent insurmountable lead fade and eventually disappear just eight laps away from the finish of the 40-lap feature event.

Enjoying a comfortable full turn lead over Jones entering the 30th circuit, Ferkel started to slow and frantically gestured to his crew of his impending problems. A fuel line connected to the gas tank came loose, starving Ferkel’s pale yellow sprinter out of gas and which ended in a disappointing trip to the pit area.

Ferkel had dominated the open competition event until his problem developed after jumping into the lead at the start on the slick and dusty clay surface. The 26-car field had failed to complete a full lap when thee race was halted with thee red flag due to the dusty conditions.

After a brief delay for the track to be watered, the field took the green again with Ferkel repeating his move to thee top spot from his front row starting position.

Ferkel, who had to hitch a ride to the track after his tow truck broke down, started separating himself from the field after 20 laps with only Jones and Gaines staying within reasonable striking distance. At the midway point, Ferkel enjoyed an almost half-lap lead over his two nearest competitors.

With Ferkel sidelined, Jones and Gaines staged a tight battle in the final eight laps with Jones prevailing.

“There was no way I could have caught Rick if he hadn’t broke,” Jones said afterwards. “I know how Rick must be feeling, but that’s a part of racing. It was my turn to win today.”

Sunday’s race, viewed by crowd estimated at 2,500, marked the first non-USAC sanctioned program at the local oval in more than four years and the promoters of the event said they would consider running another race, possibly next year.

In the preliminary events leading up to the feature, Ferkel captured the 5-lap trophy dash, outclassing the six-car field in leading start to finish.

Paris, Ill., driver Frank Hollingsworth lost the lead temporarily, then regained it to win the first heat. Bobby Kinser, who finished fourth in the feature, won the second heat by mere inches over Dean Shirley. Steve Schultz of Indianapolis came from the outside of the second row to capture the third heat over Mike Johnson.

Results –

1. Bubby Jones
2. Dick Gaines
3. Allen Barr
4. Bob Kinser
5. Cliff Cockrum
6. Larry Curtis
7. Steve Schultz
8. Dean Shirley
9. Doc Dawson
10.Mike Johnson
11.Larry Miller
12.Frank Hollingsworth
13.Larry Goad
14.Mike French
15.Mack Clellan

1958 – Burdick Wins Kansas International

Bob Burdick

Topeka, Kan. (July 6, 1958) – Bobby Burdick of Omaha, Neb., driving a 1958 Ford, blazed around the Kansas Free Fair racetrack Sunday to win the IMCA-sanctioned Kansas International auto classic for stock cars and sport cars.

Burdick, slowed by five yellow flags as half the field of 22 starters dropped out of the race, circled the half-mile dirt oval in 1 hour, 51 minutes, and 3.36 seconds, far off his own track record.

The crowd of 6,000 was on it’s feet most of the day as two crashes and numerous spinouts dwindled the field.

Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa, and Frank Richards of Marion, Iowa, both escaped injury while completely demolishing their cars.

Richards went through two steel guardrails and a steel fence in turn one, with a steel beam smashing through his windshield and narrowly missing Richards. Liebe rolled his 1957 Ford twice but crawled away from the wreckage unscathed.

Burdick, who was the fastest qualifier in time trials with a time of 30.09 seconds, lost the lead only once. That was on the 15th lap when Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, driving a 1957 Chevrolet, took the lead only to have a axle break on the following lap. Beauchamp set out 55 laps for repairs but still came back to finish 13th.

With Beauchamp out, Burdick had little competition for the rest of the afternoon. Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, piloting a 1958 Ford, finished second and Loyal Katskee of Omaha, Neb., driving a Monza Ferrari, was a surprise third – the only sports car of four starters to finish the race.

Results –

1. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
2. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Loyal Katskee, Omaha, Neb.
4. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
6. Sandy Slack, North Platte, Neb.
7. Shorty Eberts, Avondale, Mo.
8. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Bob Short, Omaha, Neb.
10.Sonny Gross, Quincy, Ill.
11.Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
12.Tubby Harrison, Topeka
13.Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
14.Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
15.Dutch Munsinger, Tabor, Iowa

Friday, July 5, 2024

1985 – Swindell Stars at Black Hills


Sammy Swindell

Rapid City, S.D. (July 5, 1985) – Sammy Swindell of Bartlett, Tenn., collected $3,875 in prize money as he led the entire 30-lap World of Outlaws sprint car feature Friday night at Black Hills Speedway.

Swindell jumped in front of polesitter Steve Kinser from the outside front row and was never bested as he took his seventh win of the season and his 1102nd career series victory.

For his part, Kinser kept the race from being a textbook runaway, but he posed no serious threat as Swindell kept lapped traffic between himself and Kinser.

The race was relatively trouble-free with only two yellow flags being waved in the 15-mile event. Terry Gray bent hiss chassis in a collision with Mark Kinser in the early stages, and Robby Unser prompted the final yellow when he hit the second turn wall on lap 16.

Results –

1. Sammy Swindell
2. Steve Kinser
3. Bobby Davis Jr.
4. Brad Doty
5. Jeff Swindell
6. Ron Shuman
7. Danny Smith
8. Tommy Estes Jr.
9. Tim Gee
10.Bobby Allen

1981 – Leavitt First in ‘Grove’ Encounter

Eddie Leavitt won the 100-lap USAC championship dirt car race at Williams Grove Speedway,  

Mechanicsburg, Penn. (July 5, 1981) – Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., passed Steve Kinser for the lead when the Bloomington, Ind., hot shoe got too high and bumped the guardrail in the fourth turn of the 60th lap in capturing the 100-lap USAC championship dirt race Sunday night at Williams Grove Speedway.

Barry Camp, a central Pennsylvania super sprint veteran from Beaverton, finished a distant second with Jack Hewitt of Troy, Ohio, taking third. Roger Rager of Mound, Minn., was fourth and Kinser settled for fifth.

Another driver familiar to area sprint fans, Paul Pitzer, started on the pole position and led the first 23 circuits when he clipped a lap car that spun out in front of him and was forced out of action.

Kinser, who passed Ron Shuman for second in the early going, was running right behind Pitzer when the mishap occurred. He stayed out of trouble and the lead was his for the restart.

From lap 23 to 60, Kinser ran the high groove, setting a torrid pace while Leavitt, who started 10th in the field of 20, made his presence felt and inherited the runner-up spot when Smokey Snellbaker was sidelined by mechanical problems.

Leavitt then applied considerable pressure on Kinser, and the three-time World of Outlaws champion made the one mistake that cost him. As he moved through the third and fourth turns on lap 60, he drifted too high, bumped the rail, and Leavitt was right there to seize the opportunity.

Camp surged around Rich Vogler for third about the same time that Leavitt was taking command. Then, on a restart, a tangle occurred in the first turn with Kinser getting the worst of it and Camp steered clear to grab second where he remained until the checkered.

Results –

1. Eddie Leavitt
2. Barry Camp
3. Jack Hewitt
4. Roger Rager
5. Steve Kinser
6. Joe Saldana
7. Ken Schrader
8. Tom Bigelow
9. Gary Gray
10.Mark Alderson
11.Rich Vogler
12.Larry Rice
13.Greg Leffler
14.Smokey Snellbaker
15.Duke Cook
16.Ron Shuman
17.Paul Pitzer
18.Gary Patterson
19.Kramer Williamson
20.Johnny Parsons