Thursday, May 29, 2014

1954 - Homer Claytor New Star in IMCA Racing

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (May 29, 1954) - The IMCA’s winningest driver of 1954 has filed entry for Sunday’s annual Memorial Day speedway-type classic at Hawkeye Downs, it was announced Saturday by officials of Auto Racing, Inc., who will present the events.

He is Homer Claytor, 34-year-old veteran of 12 years in the speed sport, who makes his home in Tampa, Fla. Claytor currently leads the IMCA point standings race by virtue of his early season wins at the Florida State Fair in Tampa, the association’s first 1954 sanctioned events. He has met defeat only once this season, at Salem, Ind., where he took second place in the feature event. He was also victor in two non-IMCA meets held in Jackson and Saginaw, Mich.

Claytor probably got his start driving race cars at an earlier age than any other chauffeur in the game today. Acting as a pit-man for his older brother Floyd in 1932, Homer, age 12, “borrowed” the race car while his brother was attending the prize-money payoff after the race. The older brother returned to find Homer entered in an impromptu race with another of the drivers.

Homer says, “It took me a while to get over the lickin’ I got but I guess that’s where I lot the bug.”

He will drive the “Diz” Wilson Offenhauser, the same car which he has been nearly unbeatable this season, in Sunday events. “Cush” Revette, another Tampa driver who was scheduled to arrive in a Wilson entry Sunday, was injured in a. spectacular end-over-end flip at Jackson, Mich., and will be unable to appear here. Wilson, the wealthy Mitchell, Ind., garage owner, has named Floyd Duvall of Fort Wayne, Ind., to drive the Ranger powered car in place of Revette. Wilson stated that he and his mechanics have spent several days putting the car back in shape.

Another entry reaching officials today is that of Bob Carpenter, the “Wabash Cannonball”, from that Indiana city, who will sit behind the wheel of a car described by race officials as one of the most spectacular in action today, the Wickliffe Ranger. The Ranger-powered car features over $500 in chrome-plating work alone, and carries an amazingly brilliant metallic purple paint job. Carpenter is former two-time Central States Racing Association national champion, and is regarded by race officials as one of the top drivers entering for Sunday’s seven-event program.

Another Ranger-powered machine will be driven Sunday by Verne “Speed” Chamberlain of Minneapolis, Minn., the latest driver to file entry.

Qualifying time trials will get the action under way at Hawkeye Downs at 1:30 p.m.

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