Austin, Minn. (June 20, 1954) – Don White of Fort Madison, Iowa, added the championship of the Mower County Fair races and $400 to his pockets on Sunday afternoon.
Driving a brand-new 1954 Oldsmobile, White won the 100-lap feature when Pete Peterson of Chicago, Ill., cracked his 1952 Hudson into the west fence. Peterson, who had been leading the field of 13 cars, was taken to St. Olaf Hospital for examination.
Ernie Derr of Fort Madison, Iowa, and the defending national champion of the International Motor Contest Association, took second in the feature, also driving an Olds.
White and Derr were followed by Les Snow of Bloomington, Ill., and Bill Harrison of Topeka, Kan. Harrison finished third in the national rankings last season.
The 100-lap test was the climax of the racing program that had the estimated 3,500 fans jumping to their feet throughout the afternoon. Peterson was the only driver involved in an accident but there were many times when drivers would skid on the loose wet mud going through the curves.
A grader was used to clear the mud from the half-mile track and the straight-aways were dry and packed after the first event.
Because of a delay in starting, positions were determined by a draw. Peterson won the first heat in the time of 5 minutes and 53 seconds while Les Snow grabbed top honors in the second heat in a time of 5 minutes and 48 seconds. There was no time for the feature because of the red flag thrown for Peterson’s accident.
Sunday’s race counts towards the International Motor Contest Association point standings. The $2,000 purse was split among the 13 drivers competing.
The drivers found the track rough going. The high turns were soft near the fences and mud splattered the cars’ radiators. Three cars had to make pit stops for water and two others had to pit for tires.
The races were staged by Auto Racing, Inc., out of Minneapolis, and sponsored by the Mower County Fair. Frank Winkley managed the show while his wife, Verna, was the scorer. Nick Nachias of Minneapolis was the announcer while Jake Bozony of Cleveland, Ohio was the official starter.
1. Don White, Fort Madison, Iowa
2. Ernie Derr, Fort Madison, Iowa
3. Les Snow, Bloomington, Ill.
4. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
5. Art Schmidt, Somerset, Wis.
6. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
7. Ray Springer, Chicago, Ill.
8. Roy Larson, Chicago, Ill.
9. Whitey Traeder, Green Bay, Wis.
10. Milt Schave, Wausau, Wis.