Des Moines, Iowa (December 10, 1972) - Business is booming for Dick Hutcherson - so much so he was unable to attend the International Motors Contest Association’s annual awards banquet on Saturday night where he was inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame.
But he acknowledged the honor and was remembered by the 400 fans and auto racing people who gathered at the Hotel Fort Des Moines where the IMCA gave away more than $31,000 in cash and merchandise, in addition to many honors and awards.
Hutcherson, formerly of Keokuk, now owns 75 percent of a Charlotte, N.C., firm called Hutcherson and Pagan Enterprises. “We build new stock cars, fix wrecks and update old cars,” the IMCA champion of 1963 and ‘64 said in a telephone interview Saturday.
“I'm really sorry that I can't make it to the banquet,” he continued. “But, we’re working six and seven days a week getting cars ready for the Daytona 500 and we’re still behind on orders.”
“I regard being inducted into IMCA’s Hall of Fame a great honor. It means a lot to be thought of.”
Hutcherson left the IMCA after the 1964 season and, with sponsorship by Ford Motor Company, found fame and good fortune in NASCAR. “I ran for points in 1965 and finished second in NASCAR’s Grand National division,” Hutcherson said. “Ford dropped out of racing in 1966 and I only ran a few NASCAR races and competed in some sports car events.”
“Then in ‘67, I ran the Grand National circuit again and, although I wasn’t running for points. I finished third.”
In 1968 and ‘69, in the employment of Holman and Moody, formerly Ford’s racing equipment outlet,
“Hutch” was crew chief for David Pearson, who won the Grand National titles those years. He was promoted to general manager of Holman-Moody in 1970 and, after a split in top management in 1971, Dick, Assistant General Manager Eddie Pagan, and five Holman-Moody mechanics began the new venture.
“I had a lot of fun racing in IMCA,” Hutcherson said, “and there are a lot of good drivers out there. There wasn’t the pressure I encountered in NASCAR.”
In 1963, Hutch won 31 of 54 IMCA feature races and finished second nine times. He won 29 of 50 features in ‘64 and was runner-up 14 times. In his six-year IMCA career, he never finished lower than third in point standings. He was second in 1959 and ‘62 and third in ‘60 and ‘61.
The IMCA Board of Directors also selected Joe T. Monsour, manager of the Louisiana State Fair, for the Hall of Fame. He is a past president of IMCA.
Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids, the 1972 IMCA stock car national champion, received $3,500 and Ray Lee Goodwin of Kansas City, Mo., the sprint car national champion, was presented $2,525.
Hank Smith of Mount Ayr, Iowa was named Man of the Year in IMCA. Smith’s car was driven to a fourth-place point finish by Earl Wagner of Pleasantville, Iowa after Goodwin drove it early in the season.
Ron Perkins of Des Moines received the sportsmanship award.