Silver Dollar Nationals

Monday, August 12, 2013

1956- Beauchamp wins 100 miler at North Iowa Fair

Mason City, Iowa (August 12, 1956) – Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, showed why he’s the point leader in the International Motor Contests Association stock car division as he took his 19th win of the season in the 200-lap feature on the North Iowa Fairgrounds.

An overflow crowd estimated between 4,000 and 5,000 not only watched from the stands but also from the infield when finding an empty seat was not an option.

Beauchamp won by a full two laps over his nearest competitor Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan. Beauchamp was driving a 1956 Chevrolet while Funk was behind the wheel of a 1956 Dodge. Beauchamp’s winning time of 1 hour, 51 minutes and 20 seconds with timeout taken from a pile-up on the northwest corner of the track goes down as a local record. The previous record was set by Wally Dahl at 1 hour and 52 minutes flat on the old fairgrounds track.

Beauchamp probably had a break in winning the long endurance race after a crash eliminated four of the top competitors after the 10-mile mark. Involved in the melee were Chub Liebe of Oelwein, Iowa, Bernie Hentges of Anoka, Minn., Don White of Keokuk, Iowa and local favorite Ted Zieman of Mason City. They had four of the five fastest qualifying times that had Beauchamp no better than fourth.

White was the 1954 and ’55 IMCA stock car champ while Hentges had won the feature the previous night in Burlington. Zieman finished fifth in the same race last year and Liebe was the fast qualifier for the evening. It appeared that Liebe was the man to beat at the start of the race as he was well ahead of the pack prior to the accident.

Beauchamp and Funk were well ahead of the pack after the halfway mark. Beauchamp, who was clocked repeatedly in his laps of the track, actually was running faster in the last half of the race on each of his laps than the fastest qualifying trial.

The field was not as large as expected and the race was delayed. Many of the top drivers were in their trip to Mason City by the highway patrol over the illegal towing of their cars. One of the drivers paid a wrecker $25 to pull him from Iowa Falls to Mason City so he could compete. At least eight of the other drivers expected didn’t even show despite the late start.

Results –

  1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan
  2. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
  3. Chris Skadal, Des Moines
  4. Leo Pinkney, Des Moines
  5. Jerry Draper, Moline, Ill.
  6. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
  7. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
  8. Glen Strellner, Cedar Rapids
  9. Bob Guffey, Des Moines
  10. Bob Chauncey, Mason City

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