Stockers of Tri State Dragway

Daytona Beach Speed Weeks, 1959: John Klug of Farmington, Iowa drove his ’59 Pontiac Bonneville to Daytona Beach during the winter of ’59. There he won four of the seven nights of NASCAR racing at Flagler Beach as part of Daytona ‘Speed Weeks’! John (who would go on to the Tractor Pulling Hall of Fame) also won the first Stock Eliminator trophy at Tri State Dragway, in June 1960, with the same Pontiac car.

Stock class cars were a huge support group for Tri State Dragway! During the first years of operation, John Klug, pictured above, won class and/or eliminator on a weekly basis. However within a couple of years, several other Pontiac drivers made Kahoka a favorite spot. They were Arnie Beswick, Larry Johnson, and Andy Perry. All makes and models seemed to share the spotlight during the ‘muscle’ car boom of the ‘60s. Due to their large numbers, Chevrolet drivers stayed in the running week after week. After the first few years, a Kahoka duo became nearly unbeatable for Little Stock Eliminator. The driving prowess of Gary Trump and the engine savvy of Ronnie Redding proved highly successful with a small block Chevrolet engine in a ‘tri five’ 1955 Chevrolet sedan.

Tri State Dragway, Kahoka, Mo. 1966: After four years of racing, the blue Trump & Redding ’55 Chevy is shown here with the wealth of hardware the duo won. This writer feels they are certainly the track’s number 1 stocker during the short time Tri State Dragway operated. (Photo from the Gary Trump collection)

Trump & Redding were not the only Chevy at the track. In 1961 Tri State was visited by several ‘power pak’ ’57 Chevies, F.I. Corvettes, and 348 engine ’58-61 cars. Bob Jutte’s ’61 Del Ray model not only won several trophies, it also was a tow car for our B/A coupe. And in ’62 a young Doug Marion came on strong with a 409 hard top coupe. Doug was attending Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa at the time and little did any of us know how involved with racing he would become. He went on to Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago during the 427 Camaro promotions and then became editor of Super Chevy Magazine!