New 'kids' on the block this year include David Philpott of Tracy, Steve Holmes of Escalon, and 'Storming Norman' David of Modesto, with Ken Boyd moving to Late Model competition and picking up his first of a future career 68 feature victories.
Fritz sets a track record and Reed notches two, with his 15.164 on August seventh, being the season's best.
Reed has the Late Model division covered in the season stats with thirteen fast times, five dash wins, eight main wins, twenty-three main top five runs, and twenty total wins, more than enough to gain the season championship ahead Ron Strmiska, and Steve McGovney. Phil Tilbury, Rick Van Fossen of Livermore, and Modesto's Jim Reich also finish well in the numbers, with Ken Boyd gaining the Rookie of the year honors. Reed also adds the 1976 Madera and California state titles to his season resume.
The numbers for the Hobby division show Rick Hansen of Manteca with eleven fast times, eight feature wins, and thirteen total wins, while Walt Ogden picks off six dash plaques. Jerry Short of Stockton, and Henk Gaalswyk of Ripon tie with twenty main top five finishes each. Ogden takes the season crown.
Car styles this season include Irvan's 72 Nova built by Ivan Baldwin. Philpott's 65 Chevelle, and a smooth looking 69 Chevelle driven by Tim Gillit. Reed is behind the wheel of a 1964 A.M.C. Rambler classic, which proves to have not only sufficient horsepower, but at times more then he could hold to the track. Jake Flohr is listed in the old records as the track flagman this season, with Bob Strandwold of Modesto, and Stockton's John Unger showing up as rookie drivers in Late Model competition.
This season saw the sale of Bob Barkhimer's interest in B.B.A. to Ken Clapp, who had been a member of his staff for many years. Very helpful to the creation of this book, Bob is now retired, and at 81-years-of-age, is still in love with the sport he helped to create.
Ernie Irvan and Ron Lyon both notch track speed records in 1977 with the best going to Lyon at 15.106 on July 23rd.
Irvan shows his fellow drivers what the Baldwin car can do this year as he scores eleven fast times, nine dash wins (a division all time best) fifteen main wins, sixteen main top five finishes, and thirty-nine total wins to take the season championship ahead of Rick Meyers and David Philpott. As would be expected, Reed, Tilbury, and Strmiska also take their fair share of the top stats.
Ray Meyers of Fresno is a standout in the Hobby action this year with fifteen fast times, twelve feature victories, nineteen main top five finishes, and fifteen total wins, but as sometimes happens, the championship goes to the steady weekly runner, and in this case, Jose Aispuro of Patterson is the one who takes the season crown. Stockton pilots Doug Wilkins and Jerry Bishop, and 'Fast Eddie' Westwood of Modesto also pick up some heavy stats.
Bob Strandwold ends his rookie season in control of the L.M.S. semi main title, and due to several additional races at Roseville, David Philpott notches the California state title.
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