The Golden Hammer - 1979
1979. July 25. It was Hammer time and this meeting hit all the right notes, including a dead heat between Bruce Penhall and Mike Lee in heat 2. And the 'ifs & buts' heartbreak stories. Penhall, if had he not suffered engine failure while leading the run to the flag in heat 15, would have taken the Trophy. But, being as he did, Hans Nielsen, if he had not reared up while leading Bobby Schwartz in Heat 19, allowing the Cradley Star to get by, he would have taken the Trophy. But, he got a second shot as he tied with Schwartz on 13 points.
However, as he had done all night, the Young American proving he was no hustler before an ecstatic home crowd. Mike Lee was penalized 20 yards for a tape offence in heat 9. The same applied to the lone Kiwi, LARRY ROSS in heat 10. But another ten points saw him again playing with the big boys. Sparing a thought for Doug Wyer who started under an injury cloud, having to retire from his first ride and unable to continue. But a brave effort indeed. To wind up a brilliant night for the Cradley fans, home star Phil Collins joined his team-mate Schwartz on the podium.
Heat 1. ROSS, Phil Collins, Schwartz, Peter Collins.
Bobby Schwartz 13. Hans Nielsen 13. Phil Collins 12. Bruce Penhall 11.5, Dave Jessup 11. LARRY ROSS 10. Andy Grahame 9. Anders Michanek 8. Mike Lee 7.5, Peter Collins 6. John Davis 4. Alan Grahame 4. Roger Johns 4. Res George Hunter 3. Kristian Praestbro 3. Doug Wyer 0. Res John Hack 0. Scott Autrey ns. Gordon Kennett ns.
This article was first published on 27th February 2022
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