Mel Montgomery, of Wichita, Kansas, and the victorious 1957 Ford stock car owned by John Hebb, also of Wichita, right after Montgomery won the A feature at Winfield, Kansas on:

V. F. W.

June 23, 1968


Wichita Eagle
Monday, June 24, 19 68


Montgomery Captures Stock Car Triumph

V. F. W.

WINFIELD, Kan. - Wichitan Mel Montgomery took the the lead on the eighth lap and won going away in the Automobile Racing Association of Kansas (ARAK) semi-late stock car A feature here Sunday afternoon.

The next ARAK stock car races will be held at the Cowley County Fairgrounds July 14.  Races begin at 2 p.m., with the gates opening at noon.

This is the first A feature win for Montgomery in over two years.  The not-so-pretty but ever-so-fast 1957 Ford, which was built by Richardson Engine Service, nipped Wichita's R. B. Flynn and Bud Haehn by over half of a lap.

Ernest Ramey led the B feature until it was stopped on the tenth lap.  Gordon Dodson of Wichita, had taken the lead on the eleventh lap but the race was stopped when Dodson collided with Topeka's Larry Bauerle after Bauerle's car had rolled and was lying on its side on the number four turn.

Results:

FIRST HEAT

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR #

1

Bill Collins

South Coffeyville, Oklahoma

21+

 

 

 

 

SECOND HEAT

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR #

1

Pinky Mullens

Wichita, Kansas

02

2

Lou Steward1

Winfield, Kansas

10

 

 

 

 

THIRD HEAT

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR #

1

Gary Moore

Wichita, Kansas

18

 

 

 

 

TROPHY DASH

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR #

1

Bill Collins

South Coffeyville, Oklahoma

21+

 

 

 

 

FIRST SEMI-FINAL

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR #

1

Gordon Dodson

Wichita, Kansas

87

 

 

 

 

SECOND SEMI-FINAL

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR #

1

Pinky Mullens

Wichita, Kansas

02

 

 

 

 

B FEATURE

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR #

1

Ernest Ramey

Wichita, Kansas

60

2

Gordon Dodson

Wichita, Kansas

87

3

Joel Hayes

Wichita, Kansas

4x

 

 

 

 

A FEATURE

PLACE

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

CAR #

  1

Mel Montgomery2

Wichita, Kansas

05

  2

R. B. Flynn

Wichita, Kansas

70

  3

Bud Haehn

Wichita, Kansas

11

  4

Gary Beyer

Peck, Kansas

14

  5

Gary Vogt

Hesston, Kansas

66

  6

Buddy Hill

Wichita, Kansas

39

  7

Lou Steward

Winfield, Kansas

10

  8

Harold Armstrong

Wichita, Kansas

22

  9

Gary Moore

Wichita, Kansas

18

10

Bob Henshaw

Wichita, Kansas

17

 

 

Montgomery family collection

Bob Linker, left, and Debbie Montgomery present Bill Collins of South Coffeyville, Oklahoma with his trophy after Collins won the trophy dash at Winfield, Kansas on June, 23, 1968.  Collins had built this 1955 Chevrolet convertible stock car, welded on a Pontiac roof, painted it maroon, and raced it at Winfield previously.  He then sold the car to Bob Johnston of Coffeyville, Kansas who painted the car yellow before Collins returned with it to Winfield to race in this June race.  After winning the first heat race and the trophy dash, Collins was involved in a multi-car crash on the back straightaway in a semi-final race and crashed through the steel pipe guard railing lining the outside edge of racetrack.

To see a distant view of this same trophy presentation, click your mouse on the photo above.

 

 

ABOVE, LEFT: Bill Collins' #21+ car is shown here on the trailer after crashing through the back stretch guard railing in a multi-car crash in a semi-final race at Winfield on June 23, 1968.  Note that the rear end housing has been torn loose and shoved backward.

ABOVE, RIGHT: This unidentified Ford stock car also crashed through the pipe railing in that same multi-car crash.

LEFT:  Starter Al Alexander, of Wichita, Kansas, is pictured at Winfield just before "hot laps" for this June 23, 1968 racing program.  The Ford stock car in the background has not been identified yet.  To see a better picture of Alexander with his flags, click your mouse on this photograph of him.

 

This photo was taken on the parade lap, as the cars exited the second turn onto the back straight-away, for a race at Winfield on June 23, 1968.  The #43 Chevrolet on the outside of the front row was driven by Mike Lutkie of Wichita, Kansas. Car #74 on the inside of the second row was owned by Paul Roberts and driven by Stan Griffith, both from Wichita.  Can you identify any of the other cars shown, or their drivers?  If so, please contact Bob Lawrence.

 

B Feature Crash

On the tenth lap of the B feature, Larry Bauerle, of Topeka, Kansas, driving car #500, collided with Charles Omerod, of Wichita, Kansas, who was driving the #5A Ford.  The accident happened in the third turn with both cars overturning, landing upside down.

The starter did not see the accident so the raced continued with the wrecked cars blocking the racetrack.

Race leader, Gordon Dodson, of Wichita, Kansas, was next to arrive on the scene.  Gordon could see that Omerod had unbuckled his seat belts and was on his hands and knees inside his overturned car.  Gordon did not have enough time to get stopped and, fearing injury to Omerod if he crashed into that car, Gordon swerved to the right crashing his white #87 Chevrolet into Bauerle's also overturned car, hard enough to flip it over onto its wheels.   A couple of other cars, including the 1957 Ford #22 visible at right, also became involved before the race was finally halted.  The observer at right is Arnold Stoner and the pit steward, in the stripped shirt, is Don Smith.  Crewman Sid Landwehr, in the 5A uniform, can be seen going to Omerod's aid.

Click your mouse on the picture above to see another photograph taken from a slightly different angle as the wreckage from this mishap was being cleared away.

 

Mel Montgomery taking a victory lap after winning the A feature race at Winfield on this date

Ron Cyr photo from the Montgomery family collection

 

 

SOME OF THE DRIVERS WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE RACES ON THIS DATE

Bud Haehn

Mel Montgomery

Pinky Mullens

Bill Collins

Lou Steward

Gary Vogt

 

Gary Moore

Harold Armstrong

Ernest Ramey

R. B. Flynn

Charles Omerod

 

Gordon Dodson

Mike Lutkie

 

 

 

 

 

 

1Lou Steward won $6 for his second place finish in the second heat race.

 

2The total purse for the day's racing fell short of expectations so Mel Montgomery donated his winnings back into the purse allowing more prize money to be distributed to the other competitors. 

 

 

 

 

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