THROWBACK THURSDAY - Ramo Stott Wins 1969 Salem 500

THROWBACK THURSDAY - Ramo Stott Wins 1969 Salem 500

By Rich Corbett, Left Turn Media Research Project  - September 11, 2019

On Sunday, September 7, 1969, the Automobile Racing Club of America (currently known as the ARCA-Menards Series), held their second “Salem 500” on the Salem Speedway high banks. The race was a grueling 250 mile grind with some big names in competition for a $14,000 purse.

The day prior to the main event, 1968 ARCA Champion Benny Parsons of Detroit qualified with a fast time of 19.86 seconds. Twenty-eight cars qualified on Saturday with another six expected to raise the car count to 33 for the start of the event on Sunday.

Les Snow, Bloomington, Illinois, was the second quickest at 19.92. Louisville teammates Andy Hampton and Bobby Watson had identical times of 20.15 and would fill out the second row. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa was the fifth qualifier with a time of 20.15.

In the Saturday qualifying, the car of Willard Googe, Louisville, was extensively damaged as he crashed into the third turn wall and nearly went over it. Googe was not injured.

There was rain in the area for the main event on Sunday, holding the crowd down to an estimated 8,000. It was clear the long, hot grind was going to take its toll on drivers and machines as a dozen of the 33 starters were forced out of competition in the first hundred laps. Andy Hampton was running in third position when he was forced out with a blown engine on the 103rd lap. Bobby Watson was leading on the 136th lap when he was forced to the pits. Benny Parsons took over at the point and was pressured by Ramo Stott. Parsons pitted on the 237th lap and was relieved by Ralph Young. Stott overtook Young for the lead on the 269th circuit.

While trying to hold on to second place, racing with Les Snow just past the 300th lap, Young was racing on the outside of Snow and brushed the outside wall. Young lost the handle and spun toward the infield where he slammed into the Jerry Norris car which had been disabled several laps earlier. The yellow flew for 14 laps while the wreckage was cleared. Only 13 cars remained on the track when the race resumed.

Stott held the lead until he made his final pit stop on lap 373. He lost the lead briefly to Ron Grana while getting service in the pits, but was able recapture the point seven laps later.

It was clear sailing over the final 120 laps as Stott moved out to a huge lead at the checkers, finishing six laps ahead of Ron Grana, who finished second. Les Snow was third, with Iggy Katona fourth and Larry Ashley in fifth.

It was Stott’s 12th win of 1969 in the ARCA Series.

Stott picked up the winner’s share of $2,075 for the victory. Grana received $1,400 for second and Snow got $1,025 for finishing third. The total payout for the race was reported to have been $13,460.

The race was run in 3 hours, 14 minutes, 12.40 seconds.

1. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, IA, ’69 Plymouth, 500 laps. 2. Ron Grana, Farmington, MI, ’69 Ford 494. 3. Les Snow, Bloomington, IL, ’69 Plymouth, 490. 4. Iggy Katona, Willis, MI, ’67 Dodge, 489. 5. Larry Ashley, Warren, MI, ’68 Comet, 487. 6. Paul Wensink, Deshler, OH, ’69 Ford, 475. 7. Clyde Parker, Farmington, MI, ’69 Chevelle, 463. 8. Gale Beavers, Indianapolis, IN, ’67 Comet, 430. 9. Cliff Hamm, Cumberland, IN, ’69 Ford, 419. 10. Grant Wilmat, Middletown, OH, ’67 Chevrolet, 416. 11. Dave Dayton, Indianapolis, IN, ’69 Ford, 371. 12. Larry Newman, Louisville, KY, ’69 Chevelle, 358. 13. Benny Parsons, Detroit, MI, ’69 Ford, 302. 14. John Early, Jeffersonville, IN, ’67 Comet, 298. 15. Bill Clemmons, New Albany, IN, ’69 Ford, 197. 16. Bobby Watson, Prestonsburg, KY, ’69 Dodge, 136. 17. John Sommerville, Clarksville, IN, ’69 Chevelle, 132. 18. Jerry Norris, Louisville, KY, ’69 Ford, 130. 19. Tom King, Anderson, IN, ’67 Pontiac, 127. 20. Lonny Snow, Bloomington, IL, ’69 Plymouth, 111. 21. Andy Hampton, Louisville, KY, ’69 Dodge, 103. 22. Louis Wusterhausen, Austin, TX, ’67 Comet, 97. 23. Bob Thomas, Louisville, KY, ’69 Ford, 93. 24. Bill Kimmel, Clarksville, IN, ’69 Chevelle, 73. 25. Don Brant, Anderson, IN, ’67 Dodge. 40. 26. Jack Shanklin, Indianapolis, IN, ’67 Ford, 28. 27. Jack Purcell, Middletown, KY, ’69 Chevelle, 17. 28. Danny Dean, Sellersburg, IN. ’67 Ford, 11. 29. Wayne Trinkle, Jeffersonville, IN, ’69 Ford, 8. 30. Don Violet, 1 lap. 31. Dave Spears, Campbellsville, KY, ’68 Plymouth, 1. 32. Jim Kaetzel, Deshler, OH, ’69 Ford, 1. 33. Jesse Griffith, New Albany, IN. ’69 Ford, 1.


Love the old time stories,Keep them coming. Especially like going thru the results. Bill Kimmel was in this race, wow.  


I like these throwback stories... I like reading these type of stories...very fun!!!


The article is about the race from 1969 and the picture is of his 1972 USAC Car?

Charles Krall

If you have a picture of the 1969 car, please send it to us. We did lose a lot of our photo archive in the office fire.