Silver Dollar Nationals

Sunday, May 1, 2011

1951 - Good field for Sunday's auto races; DeRock out for another win

Mason City, Iowa (May 12, 1951) - The second big car auto races in the Midwest this season (now that we're finally free of snow) will be held at the North Iowa Fairgrounds in Mason City and there will be two big things the spectators will be watching:

1. Will Mason City's Leon DeRock become a leader after one year of racing?
2. Is there any real successor for Emory Collins (now retired) and can any driver touch the records he holds here and at almost every spot at which he raced for more than two decades?

DeRock pulled a big surprise last Sunday in his first race program of the season by winning the feature race at Topeka, Kan. That wasn't exactly a poor field; in fact it was a very good one.

Trailing him were Bert Hellmueller, a top flighter for many years all over the country and one of the few drivers who nipped Collins in straight competition, and Russ Lee, the Minnesota speedster who gave Collins his toughest races last season.

The big trio of the Topeka show will be here Sunday. DeRock to prove that he's the leader and Hellmueller and Lee to prove that the Topeka race was all a mistake.

Fourteen drivers have been entered with the possibility that more may join the field by the deadline for filing entries. A surprise entry was Ernie Johnson of Christine, N. D. He has been among the leading money winners but announced that he had retired after last season. Maybe he feels the “pickins” are good because he'll be here Sunday.

Clair Cotter of Austin is another leader who will be on hand. He ranked 4th last season in the final point standings for competition in I.M.C.A. sanctioned races.

Frank Winkley, manager of Auto Racing, Inc., promises racing fans a good show and has announced that the heat races here Sunday will be longer than the conventional 5 laps or 2.5 miles. He plans to run the heat races over 7 laps to give the drivers a wide open shot at top placings.

Too often, one bad turn can keep a driver from placing in the money. Plenty of calcium chloride will be used on the track so that it should be virtually dust free.

The program starts off with the time trials at 1:30 and will be followed in order by the following events: Two heat races: a consolation; a pursuit race; a trophy dash; and finally the big feature race, probably over 5 miles.

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