Monday, July 1, 2024

1978 - Crawford Claims Prize in De Pere

Gary Crawford traveled some distance to pick up the feature win for the Super Stock Car Series at De Pere, Wis. Promoter Paul Kaczrowski (right) joins Crawford in victory lane. – Tony Chapa Photo

De Pere, Wis. (July 1, 1978) – Round one of the Super Stock Car Series at Paul’s Super Speedway proved to be an overwhelming success as visiting drivers claimed the top four positions and seven of the top-10 as Gary Crawford of Independence, Iowa, took advantage of the track’s point leader, Pete Parker’s misfortune and claimed the $1,000 top prize in the first of the three-race series.

Parker, who started from the pole position by virtue of earlier setting fast time, took an immediate lead as Crawford followed closely behind for the first 15 circuits when the yellow flag waved for debris in turn three.

The green flag reappeared on lap 18 with Parker able to build up a quarter-lap lead over Crawford before a spin by Appleton’s J.J. Smith brought out the second yellow flag on lap 38, eliminating Parker’s advantage.

The green waved again on lap 41 for an expected dash to the finish with Parker, Crawford, Waterloo, Iowa’s Ed Sanger, and Leon Plank of Mondovi all fighting for the top prize.

On lap 45, Parker pushed his machine too hard and spun in turn two and Crawford took advantage and moved into the lead. The ensuing five-lap dash to the finish was a classic as Crawford used every inch of the track to hold back the crafty veterans, Sanger, and Plank.

At the finish it was Crawford by mere feet over Sanger with Plank just inches behind in third. Short track ace Dick Trickle, making a special appearance, finished an impressive fourth. 

Heat wins were taken by Wayne Roffers of Oneida, Dave Gulmire of Green Bay, Plank, and Sanger. Crawford won the trophy dash and Tom Greenlee of Loves Park, Ill., was the semi-main winner.

Results –

1. Gary Crawford, Independence, Iowa
2. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
3. Leon Plank, Mondovi
4. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
5. Roger Paul, New London
6. Axel Dahlberg, Mauston
7. J.J. Smith, Appleton
8. Jim Thruman, Freeport, Ill.
9. Red Dralle, Evansdale, Iowa
10.Pete Parker, Kaukauna

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