You are here:   History > Profile of a Season > Profile of a Season: 1971
  |  Login
Arvid Glover

Bob Moore

Carl Zaretzke

Cliff McCracken

Dale Stewart

Dan Knott

Dick Chase

Ewart Grove

Frank Kukuk

Frank Merxbauer

Gary King

George Isackson

Harold Babula

Jim Cotton 

Profile of a Season: 1971

Greetings history fans, it's hard to believe nearly forty years have passed since I purchased my first Evergreen Speedway pit pass. Here's 1971! American consumers got their first chance to experience a wishy-washy night’s sleep that year, with the introduction of the  "Water Beds". On the Space front, Apollo 14 astronauts brought back moon rocks, and Mariner 9 orbited the planet Mars. The highly controversial "Pentagon papers" were leaked to the New York Times, and Disney World opened in Florida. Closer to home , D.B. Cooper parachuted into history on a stormy Thanksgiving eve after Sky-jacking a northbound Northwest Orient flight at Portland. Upon landing at Sea-Tac, Cooper received 20k in 20 dollar bills, and multiple civilian issue parachutes after which he ordered the flight south. Either lots of intense homework or previous aeronautic experience figured into Cooper's planning, as he not only was very familiar with the aircraft, but had pre-determined the airspeed and altitude required to allow his jumping from the rear steps. D.B's departure occurred somewhere between Olympia and Portland, and although no trace of him has ever been found, some of the bills turned up on the banks of the Columbia river. On the big screen, Gene Hackman entertained us car buffs with a great chase scene in "The French Connection", while T.V. viewers were introduced to Archie Bunker(All In The Family), and Geraldine( The Flip Wilson show).

At the speedway former longtime promoter Jack Mcintosh turned over management duties to ex racer Bill Amick and Ted Pollock of A & P sports as F.E.A.R. began its long 25 event season on April 18th. Saturday night programs started in May with 6:30 qualifying , and racing at 8 p.m. on the yet to be completely paved over 1/5 mile racing surface, and  Competitors would have to contend with dust or mud for one more season. Four separate point events were held during the two weekends of the Evergreen State fair. Former Figure eight Modified and Superstock driver Dan Knott made the switch to Stock division competition setting the stage for a season long heated battle with defending champion Bob Sheckler, with Knott's Ford barely topping Sheckler's Plymouth for the final tally. Newcomers for 1971 included several long term big names in F.E.A.R. competition. Stan "Red Baron" Johnson, who had his start pitting for Roger Estrin and Ken Ronne, brought his huge Desoto in for a third place points finish, while fans got to know "Crazy Cajun"  Vern Dietz and his first of many fast Fords. Although "Weird" Harold Babula's first Ford didn't yet fly the Polish and American flags, It was Green! Announcer Tom Cook had a lot of fun training Harold's rooting section to cheer at the mere whisper of his name. Harold had been part of Dick Chase's pit crew in 1970, the same crew that spawned the career of mid-seventies heavy hitter Jerry Townsend. Lee Daily's 1971 introduction to F.E.A.R. was helping his Eastgate OK  Tire boss Bill Rice on a '60 Ford Starliner, then taking over the team and building a new car for 1972, followed by several championship victories. Part of Lee's initial group was a very young future T.V. weatherman Rick VanCise. Over in the Superstock camp, Carl Zaretzke captured his first of four consecutive championships with an incredible total of 17 main event wins, while defending champ Wayne Crum faced a rather lackluster season. Crum, who spent the early part of the year on a roll with several clean sweeps, had his trusty Ford Starliner wrecked at the intersection and was forced to borrow Ewart Grove's idle '58 Ford. Grove was sidelined due to an off track vehicle accident early in the season. Ray Bennett made his debut in a '56 chev, and would go on to nearly interrupt Zaretzke's championship streak during the 1974 campaign. Here's the top point summary for 1971:

Carl Zaretzke ('57 Chev) Dan Knott ( '62 Ford)
Wayne Crum  ('61 Ford,'58 ford) Bob Sheckler ('62 Plymouth)
Joe Dunn ('63 Plymouth) Stan Johnson ( '59 Desoto)
Randy Pement ('57 Ford) Roy Britton ('59 Dodge)
Nat Green ('57 Dodge) Jim Holland ('58 Ford)
Paul Campbell ('57 Chev) Frank Merxbauer ('63 Ford)
Ken Ronne ('59 T-Bird) Orrin Cox ('58 Ford)
Ed Schultz ('57 Ford) Dale Stewart ('60 Ford)
  Ron Martin ('57 Chev)
  Joe Smith ('58 Ford)





Jim Holland 

John Bingisser

John Sullivan

Marty Bingisser

Ralph Lewis

Randy Pement

Ray Bennett

Ray Martin

Roger Estrin

Stan Johnson

Ted Wiesenberger

Thane Carpenter

Vern Deitz

Wayne Crum