In 1979, at the age of 15, Jeff Broeg began writing a column for Hawkeye Racing News. At the time there was gentleman in New Jersey who would compile the number of feature wins for drivers throughout the United States and at the end of the year he would list the top feature winners in National Speed Sport News.
Broeg thought that it would be interesting to do something similar in his home state of Iowa, but rather than just keeping track of feature wins he decided to “award” 20 points for a feature win, 19 points for a second-place finish, 18 for third, etc. In 1979 there were five distinct divisions of cars competing throughout the state and while the rules may have varied slightly from track-to-track, drivers could pretty much go wherever they wanted to.
In that “first” year of the All Iowa Points, the champions were Dick Schiltz in the Late Models, Ron Pallister in the Sportsman, Randy Smith in the Sprint Cars, Ron Gustaf in the Street Stocks and, in the first year of competition for Keith Knaack’s fledgling Modified division, the champion was Arlo Becker.
Tracking the points “forced” Broeg to go through the results of every track serving as great research for his column and two years later, when he started to do some public address announcing at the races, that research and knowledge of nearly every driver in the state was relayed to the crowd.
In 1981 Broeg told Knaack, the publisher of Hawkeye Racing News, about the points that he was tabulating and Knaack told him that he would like to print them in the paper on a regular basis, after all “names sell papers!” Race fans now had a fun way to compare drivers from opposite ends of the state to each other and, even though there was absolutely no direct monetary award associated with the points, some drivers began to make it a goal to capture the championship!
For a few years in the 1990s Keith Fleck and Fleck Sales Company of Cedar Rapids sponsored the Points by purchasing personalized plaques in the shape of the state of Iowa for the champions and the rookie-of-the-year drivers in each division, but that has been the only “direct” awards given since the beginning.
Over the past 30 years, many drivers have told Broeg that they have used their finish in the All Iowa Points as part of their portfolio to attract sponsors the following year with great success. “I had a Hobby Stock driver from southwest Iowa tell me that after he finished second in the 1989 All Iowa Points standings he told prospective sponsors that his goal was to be the champion the following year,” said Broeg. “He said that the press clippings from the 1989 points along with his strategy generated an additional $3,000 in sponsorship for the next season.” Stories like this make the time and effort required to tabulate the points very much worth it.
The feedback that Keith Knaack was receiving on the All Iowa Points must have been pretty good as in 1986 he allowed Broeg to take out (one year at a time) the archived issues of Hawkeye Racing News so that the points could be tabulated all the way back to 1967, the first full year of the racing paper. This was quite a treat for Broeg, who enjoyed reading the stories and columns, as well as seeing the photos of the drivers that he idolized when he was a child. Officially the first All Iowa Points champions, from 1967, were Red Droste in the Late Models, Ray Cox in the Sportsman and Ron Jackson in the Sprint Cars.
In 2000, Broeg thought that he was putting an end to the All-Iowa Points for good as he stopped tabulating the state points in order to concentrate on the growth of the National Kidney Foundation Heartland Tour for a Cure.
By the time that 2006 rolled around, Broeg had heard enough people tell him that they missed the Points that he decided that he missed them too. And, with more and more tracks now reporting their results on the internet, it was easier to tabulate the points spending an hour or two a day rather than waiting for the racing paper to arrive in the mailbox once a week.
The point scale changed on the return though, as now a feature winner earns five points, second-place gets four, three points for third, etc. “The new point scale is for two reasons,” said Broeg. “First, it is a lot less work, and second is the fact that there are tracks out there that only report the top five in the feature!”
Why is this Minnesota track included in the All Iowa Points? – One of the great things about racing here in the upper Midwest is the fact that you can go racing weekly on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Try to find that scenario out east or down south!
When he started the All Iowa Points Broeg realized that drivers who ran a three-track circuit in central Iowa would have an advantage over drivers who raced at tracks on the “edges” of the state. For example, in 1979 an eastern Iowa Late Model driver might run Friday night at Davenport, Saturday night at West Liberty and Sunday night in East Moline, Illinois. It would not be fair to ignore the results at East Moline just because it was a few miles across the river, so Broeg decided to adopt the following general rule as to what non-Iowa tracks would be included in the points. “Any track within 50 miles of an Iowa border where Iowa-based drivers race on a regular basis will be included in the All Iowa Points.”
PositivelyRacing.com will be the exclusive home of the All Iowa Points and it is our hope that you will check back here often to see how your favorite drivers stack up to others.
In order to fill in the gap from 2000 to 2005, Barry Johnson has provided his archived issues of Hawkeye Racing New to Broeg so he can once again re-live the memories of five to ten years ago as he compiles the points for those "missing" years. Watch this site for the final standings of the past as they are completed!