Dea­con Dick Memo­rial on tap

IMCA Mod­i­fied ti­tle chase tight­ens as McCol­lough stalks Si­mala

Yuma Sun - - SUN SPORTS - BY RANDY HOEFT @YUMASUNSPORTS

When Cocopah Speed­way first opened as Yuma Speed­way in 1968, the rac­ing was so fierce and in­tense that lo­cal driver Dick Raut­en­berg, in the run­ning for a sea­son cham­pi­onship, bor­rowed a mo­tor so he could go rac­ing.

The only thing is, it wasn’t just any mo­tor, from any car.

It was a mo­tor out of his brother’s new Chevro­let Corvette. That’s one of the sto­ries peo­ple like to tell about Raut­en­berg, who be­came known in the Yuma rac­ing com­mu­nity as “Dea­con Dick” Raut­en­berg, who won the first driv­ing cham­pi­onship ever at thenYuma Speed­way in 1968, ended his rac­ing ca­reer with 11 cham­pi­onships and 508 wins, and was in­ducted into the Ari­zona Mo­tor­sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Raut­en­berg passed away in June 2013 and rac­ers now gather an­nu­ally to re­mem­ber the man who helped shape dirt track rac­ing in Yuma. The fourth an­nual “Dea­con Dick Memo­rial” is set Satur­day night at Cocopah Speed­way with the first green flag at 7 p.m.

The pro­gram is also Round 13 in the 2017 Cocopah Speed­way Rac­ing Se­ries, and will fea­ture rac­ing in the IMCA Mod­i­fied,

PHOTO COURTESY OF N2PHOTOGRAPHICS

IM­PE­RIAL’S STEVEN MCCOL­LOUGH (15) gets un­der­neath Yuma’s Brett Si­mala between Turns 1 and 2 at Cocopah Speed­way the IMCA Mod­i­fied Di­vi­sion fea­ture event in Round 12 of the 2017 Cocopah Speed­way Rac­ing Se­ries on Sept. 30. McCol­lough would go on to win the race while Si­mala, the se­ries point leader, would fin­ish sixth. McCol­lough is now three points be­hind Si­mala in the Cocopah Se­ries ti­tle chase.

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