Friday, September 11, 2015

1959- Ernie Derr Cops Stock Car Honors

Ernie Derr
Lincoln, Neb. (September 11, 1959) – Auto racing fans got a lesson in how not to drive one's automobile Friday at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds.

For those who went out expecting to see shiny late-model cars in top condition were disappointed. The cars were of late-model stock, but most of them looked like they had been passed through the ringer at the local laundromat.

Appearance, however, is not what these cars are judged on. Speed is important factor in one of these races.

Ernie Derr had plenty of speed and savvy on Friday as he piloted his automobile to victory in the 200-lap, 125-mile International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) stock car race before 9,000 race fans.

Derr, the IMCA point later for the season, won a fierce battle with Darrell Dake for the top spot. The Keokuk, Iowa, veteran drove his 1957 Pontiac to victory, with Frankie Lies of Wichita, in a ’58 Ford, edging the hard luck Dake for second.

Dake, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, drove a 1957 Chevrolet convertible and held the lead 144 of the 200 laps. He moved in front on the first lap and kept it there until he went in for a pit stop.

Derr, who had stopped for a 10 second refueling job on the 59th lap, took the lead then as Dake was in for nearly 30 seconds. After that, it looked as though Derr had won easily.

But a bit more drama was to come.

Derr, with less than 20 laps remaining, began signaling for a pit stop. He was out of oil. Dake was close enough he might have had time to catch Derr on the stop.

But Dake’s luck ran out. Just before Derr pulled in, Dake's car locked in gear, throwing him into a spin on the first turn. With the yellow flag out to rescue Dake, Derr took his pit stop in an easy manner.

Dake got rolling again, but had to stop once more on the 197th lap for gas, having taken only a light load earlier, and Lies moved past for second.

Derr’s waiting time was two hours, 11 minutes, and 38.44 seconds. This included several laps run under the yellow flag in the early stages, when the big 25-car field was being chopped down.

Results –

  1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
  2. Frankie Lies, Wichita, Kan.
  3. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  4. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
  5. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
  6. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
  7. Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
  8. Wayne Lee, Burlington, Iowa
  9. Shorty Eberts, Avondale, Mo.
  10. Dick Johnson, St. Paul. Minn.
  11. Joe Dolph, Minneapolis, Minn.
  12. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  13. Bob Kosiskie, Omaha, Neb.
  14. Clyde Ellis, Kansas City, Mo.
  15. Lloyd Jorgenson, Anita, Iowa

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