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1993 The last years

Jerry Kemperman returned to competition in 1991 through 1993 and drove his son Jerry John’s 1992 Lumina to his final feature race victory, taking a 25 lap victory at the Grundy County Speedway on August 28, 1992.

Jerry Kemperman passed away in March of 2004.



The early years 1961

Special thanks, written by Stan Kalwasinski

Jerry Kemperman was a product of the “rough and tumble” racing action at Chicagoland’s Raceway Park. Kemperman won a total of 107 feature races at the tight quarter mile paved oval, which was only minutes from his Blue Island home. 

Kemperman was a protégé of fellow Blue Island resident, Bob Pronger, who was known for his “feats” both on and off the race track. Mid-season in 1961, Kemperman tore apart his wife’s 1958 Plymouth “street car” and entered the stock car wars at the “World’s Busiest Track.”

Kemperman wheeled his trusty Plymouth in 1961 and 1962 at Raceway Park, winning a heat race during the ’62 campaign and finishing 20th in the final 1962 standings.  Kemperman joined forces with car owner and ace mechanic Dave Roulo in 1963, driving Roulo’s Chevrolet to his first career feature win on July 10, 1963. Kemperman topped off the ’63 campaign, winning Raceway Park’s annual 300 Lap Classic in his Roulo-prepped ’63 Chevy in September. Kemperman came home sixth in the final points tabulation with a total of four main event victories to his credit.           

Following a pretty successful ’63 season, Kemperman’s luck soured the following year (1964) with Kemperman not scoring a feature win during the year as he again drove for Roulo.  During “hot laps” about mid-season, Kemperman broke a wheel and crashed hard into the wall with Kemperman escaping serious injury with some broken ribs and other assorted bruises in the fiery crash. Kemperman finished ninth in the season-ending points tally with a couple of runner-up finishes being his best performances.

Kemperman drove for Paul Bauer in 1965 and 1966, guiding Bauer’s full-size Chevrolet to a total of 11 feature wins at Raceway Park over a two-year period. Kemperman finished fifth in the points in 1965 and second in the standings in 1966. Kemperman whistled around Raceway on August 20, 1966 in Bauer’s ’66 Chevy in 12.70 seconds to set a new qualifying track record. Kemperman and Roulo again teamed up in 1967 with Kemperman wheeling Roulo’s black Chevy to two feature races at the Blue Island speed plant and ending up third in points.          

The Kemperman/Roulo duo were tops in their class at Raceway Park in 1968 with Kemperman piloting Roulo’s rapid-running mount to 15 feature wins during the season and claiming track championship honors. Behind the wheel of Roulo’s full-size 1967 Chevy No. 6, Kemperman was also crowned the champion at the Mazon Speed Bowl that season.  

Kemperman “kicked off” the new season in ’68 by winning the “opening night” feature race at O’Hare Stadium in Schiller Park. Kemperman even tried a little USAC stock car racing in ’68, driving the Bob Pronger/Harry Withall ’67 Dodge at Milwaukee. Kemperman and Roulo split up the following year with Kemperman racing the Bud Koehler/Bill Koenig team’s backup Chevelle at Raceway. Kemperman won four features in 1969.          

Bob Pronger, shown below.



USAC Stock Car race:
Miller 200 July 14, 1968 Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, WI


1  A.J. Foyt  Jack Bowsher 1968 Ford Torino  200  running   
2  Al Unser  R/A Hoerr Inc. 1968 Dodge Charger  197 running   
3  Jack Bowsher  Jack Bowsher 1968 Ford Torino  197 running  
4  Butch Hartman Roger McCluskey  Norm Nelson 1968 Plymouth Road   Runner  196 running   
Norm Nelson   Norm Nelson 1968 Plymouth Road Runner 190 running   
6  Terry Parker  Bogusz Automotive 1966 Chevrolet chevelle 189   running   
7  Jack Knippel  Jack Knippel  1967 Dodge Charger  189 running 
8  LaMarr Marshall  Irvin Etscorn 1968 Dodge Charger 188 running

9       Bobby Wawak  1967 Plymouth Belvedere  188 running  
10     Dick Trickle   Francis Kelly   1967 Ford Fairlane  187 running 
11     Dave Whitcomb  1968 Dodge Charger  187 running 
12     Roger Regeth   1967 Plymouth  186 running  
13     Tom Jones   1966 Chevrolet  186 running 
14     Keith Ploughe  1966 Dodge Charger  185  running 
15     Fred Zack   1967 Ford  184 running   
16     Len Blanchard  1967 Ford  183 running   
17     John Kennedy  1966 Chevrolet Chevelle  182 running  
18     Tom Klippel   1966 Chevrolet  182 running   
19     Glen Bradley  1966 Dodge  179 running   
20     Don White   1968 Dodge Charger  176 overheating   
21     Dave Marcis  1966 Chevrolet Chevelle  174 header   
22     Jim Perry  1967 Mercury  168 running   
23     Gene Marmor  1967 Chevrolet Chevelle 166 rear end 
24     Bob Haack  1967 Chevrolet Chevelle  166 running 
25     Paul Feldner  1967 Ford  136 oil pressure   
26     Sal Tovella  1968 Dodge Charger  117 overheating  
27     Rick Kleich  1967 Ford  116 accident   
28     Bill Nelson  1967 Plymouth  91 rear end       
30     Jim Lord  1967 Ford  73 overheating   
31     Butch Hartman   1968 Dodge Charger 71 engine  54 
32     Jerry Kemperman   1967 Dodge Charger  64 oil leak, engine   
33     Frank Freda   1967 Plymouth  64 water leak   
34     Parnelli Jones  1968 Ford Torino  63 overheating   
35     Jerry Smith   1968 Mercury Comet  63 head gasket   
36     George Rondelli   1966 Chevrolet Chevelle  22 engine  
37     Arnie Gardner    1967 Ford  17   250 overheating  
38     Gordon Gorman  1967 Ford  16 engine   
39     Art Pollard   1968 Ford  14 accident  
40     Rich Oertel   1967 Ford  1 engine  
41     Dave Hirschfield   1967 Plymouth  1 driveshaft   


The 1970's

Kemperman started driving for newcomer Eddie Fons in 1970, guiding Fons’ “fastback” Chevelle to one feature win at Raceway. The Kemperman and Fons duo became a winning combination at Raceway Park for a number of years with Fons, Fran Dandurand and Jim DeGraff fielding some potent cars for Kemperman’s expert driving skills. Kemperman would win his second 300 Lap Classic at Raceway in 1971.  Towards the end of 1975, Kemperman appeared on the scene with a fresh AVC Camaro, winning a feature race on the half-mile at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Indiana.    

Kemperman started 1977 at Raceway Park with a “bang” winning a total of 12 early-season main events. A disagreement with track management led Kemperman to leave Raceway Park and venture to ovals like Illiana, Grundy County Speedway in Morris and the Waukegan Speedway, north of Chicago.Kemperman enjoyed a “career season” in 1977, winning a reported 28 feature races in 53 starts at various tracks throughout the Midwest. 

During the ’76 campaign, Kemperman went for a wild ride “out of the park” at Illiana after he tangled up with a slower car and flew over the guardrail at the end of the backstretch at the Illiana half-mile. Kemperman ended 1976 with a couple of 50 lap victories at Waukegan and began the ’77 season at Waukegan, pocketing a couple more 50 lap wins.           

Kemperman raced in a number of ARTGO Racing events during his career. One memorable race was the Cam2 ARTGO Classic 100 lapper at Grundy in May of 1976.  Battling with the likes of Bob Strait, Randy Sweet, Dave Watson and NASCAR star Bobby Allison, Kemperman got tangled up and spun, peeling off Allison’s left side door with the front nose of his car. After the races, Allison came looking for his door and, to this day, no one really knows whatever happened to the “prized” souvenir.

ARTGO Points 1976 Position-Name

1. Dave Watson
2. Bob Senneker
3. Ray Young
4. Tom Reffner
5. Tom Musgrave
6. Joe Shear
7. Ed Hoffman
8. Bob Strait
9. Tom Jones
10. Larry Schuler
11. John Ziegler
12. Ted Musgrave
13. Jerry Kemperman
14. Mike Miller*
15. Joe Ruttman
16. Dave Evans
17. Ed Dunne
18. Rusty Wallace
19. Don Gregory
20. Lee Schuler

CAM2 Classic, ARTGO Stock Car race
May 9,1976 Grundy County Speedway, Morris, IL
100 laps on 0.333 mile paved oval; 33.33 miles

1 Ray Young       
2 Bob Senneker       
3 Joe Shear       
4 Tom Musgrave
5 Tom Reffner
6 Dave Watson
7 Bobby Allison      
8 Ed Hoffman 
9 Rusty Wallace
10 Jerry Kemperman
11 Bob Roper
12 Ted Musgrave
13 Bob Strait
14 Randy Sweet
15 Dave Evans
16 Rick Haase
17 Dick Trickle
18 Tom Jones
19 Bill Venturini
20 Al Weinreich
21 Bay Darnell
22 Mike Miller
23 Tony Izzo
24 Hal Davis

 

ARTGO Summer Classic, ARTGO Stock Car race
August 8, 1976 Grundy County Speedway, Morris, IL
50 laps on 0.333 mile paved oval; 16.67 miles

1 Dave Watson
2 Bob Senneker
3 Tom Reffner
4 Joe Ruttman
5 Tom Jones 
6 Mike Miller
7 Jerry Kemperman
8 Tom Musgrave
9 Bob Strait
10 Larry Schuler

 

First Annual Marty Robbins 500:
October 16, 1977 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN
102 entries 

Fin Car # Driver Laps
1 3 Mike Eddy 500
2 25 Larry Detjens 500
3 84 Bob Senneker 498
4 48 Bob Sensiba 496
5 36 Joe Shear 494
6 7 Morgan Shepherd 489
7 18 Mike Miller 486
8 90 Ray Young 485
9 27 Steve Spencer 480
10 88 Tom Reffner 468
11 19 Dennis Wiser 461
12 99 Dick Trickle 453
13 30 Terry Brumley 451
14 9 Wayne Neidecken 451
15 66 Rusty Wallace 446
16 75 Alton Jones 424
17 98 Jody Ridley 387
18 26 Mark Martin 382
19 76 Don Gregory 362
20 17 David Goldsberry 339
21 8 Ronnie Sanders 318
22 2 LD Ottinger 259
23 44 Sterling Marlin 234
24 24 Dave Roahrig 220
25 93 John Zeigler 218
26 70 Alan West 212
27 12 Steve Burgess 211
28 16 Jerry Goodwin 206
29 11 Jack Ingram 205
30 72 Dick Brooks 176
31 33 Danny Byrd 152
32 21 Rodney Combs 151
33 74 Mike Alexander 140
34 5 Neil Bonnett 71
35 4 Jerry Lawley 49
36 51 Bruce Gould 41
37 22 Bobby Allison 41
38 6 Jerry Kemperman 37
39 71 Terry Bivins 22
40 14 Freddy Fryar 16

TN Freddy Fryar qualified Marty's car for him.

8 Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C. DNQ


The 1980's

Wayne Carter Classic, ARTGO Stock Car race:
August 12. 1980 Grundy County Speedway, Morris, IL
100 laps on 0.333 mile paved oval; 33.333 miles

1 Mark Malcuit     
2 Dick Trickle             
3 Joe Shear             
4 Jim Sauter             
5 Mike Miller            
6 Larry Detjens           
7 Ed Hoffman             
8 Mark Martin             
9 John Knaus             
10 Tom Jones         
11 Ray Young            
12 Jerry Kemperman           
13 John McPartlin           
14 Rusty Wallace              
15 Steve Seligman            
16 Tom Musgrave             
17 Steve Burgess           
18 Frank Gawlinski                 
19 Bill Venturini                
20 Bobby Dotter              

Kemperman “came home” to Raceway in 1980, finishing sixth in the points. He was fifth in 1981; sixth in ’83 and second in ’84 with 12 feature scores, joining forces with car owner Rich Halligan during most of these years. Bowing out of racing and undergoing heart surgery. 

1992 Grundy County Speedway



Thank You for your interest.