Golden Wheels Exhibition - June 24, 2000
Stateline Speedway - Post Falls, ID
By George R. Hespe
Although Stateline Speedway was not running Friday night racing, as was expected when the Golden Wheels exhibition schedule was set several months ago, the drivers still managed to get two nights worth of fun and track time crammed into one. Several of the drivers and other Golden Wheels members, determined to make a two night gathering out of the trip, were already in the Speedway's parking lot Friday night. Hosts Joe and Walt Doellefeld provided some refreshments for the early arrivals, with bench racing and tale stretching providing entertainment for those on hand. Saturday night's action saw the eleven cars lined up on the front row of the pit area. Ready to strut their stuff were four sprints, one big car and six midgets. Don Brown's #7 '30's Miller replica SAMCO Model 'A' Ford, the single big car, was grouped with the newer sprints of George Todd - #2 60's era CAE with Collier Racing power, Bill Birney - #15 1960' era Chev V-8, John Ross - #84 1958 CAE with Chev 301 engine, and the newly restored late 60's #81 Tipke roadster of Larry Martin. Ready to parade their midgets for the fans were John Moser - #4 Offy powered 49 Kurtis, Bob McMurtry - #11 Offy powered 47 Kurtis, Dan Blair - #1 '50's Ford V8-60 motored Kurtis Copy, Frank Volz - '46 Solar with Ford V8-60 power, Tom Welch - '46 Kurtis with Ford V8-60 and the newly restored '40's Ford V8-60 powered #3 midget of Joe Felice A couple of hot lap sessions got the evenings program under way, with The John Ross car going on static display with motor problems. Tom Welch trailered the #22 midget also when it failed to run properly. During hot laps, it was determined that the beautiful #3 Solar of Felice had some handling problems that needed to be corrected before running at speed in a group, so it wisely scratched from the rest of the evenings program. Before a car was fired, this humble scribe had realized he was going to need a score card before the evening was over. Frank Volz would shoe the #3 Felice car, Larry Martin would drive the #35 of Volz and Randy Johnson was to be behind the wheel of the #81 car of Martin. Because of drop outs, Don Radbruch, scheduled to chauffeur the Welch #22 midget would end up in the #11 of McMurtry in the heat, and in the main it was Volz in the #81 of Martin while Johnson took his first midget ride in the #35 Volz midget. It was a case of musical cars that kept smiles on the faces of all involved. Because of some threatening clouds to the east, dashes were cut to one per group. The sprints won the coin toss, and at the checkered flag it was last starting Randy Johnson first across the line for the win. Don Radbruch was the one to watch as he shoed the #11 McMurtry Kurtis to the front for the win in the midget heat with Moser, Blair and Martin following. George Todd had the field covered in the sprint heat with Johnson and Birney making it a tight top three to the line with the big car of Brown trailing. The 15 lap feature was one of the best exhibitions seen in quite some time as the seven car group had the back markers working their way to the front with lots of position swapping along the way. At the final checkered for the group, Bob McMurtry led by about a car length as Todd and Volz were side by side at the line in what looked like a tie for second. Following the top three were Moser, Blair, Birney and Johnson. Another fun night for the Golden Wheels Fraternity was in the books, and the fans were treated to a taste of the past. The next Golden Wheels exhibition will be on July 15th at Sunset Speedway in Banks, OR. Come join us for an entertaining night of Museum Pieces in Action and exciting racing of the present.