Thursday, June 30, 2016

1957 – Funk tops field at Jayhawk 300

Lennie Funk
Hutchinson, Kan. (June 30, 1957) – A Kansan, Lennie Funk, took top money, $590, in the Jayhawk 300 new model car race at the Kansas State Fairgrounds half-mile oval on Sunday afternoon.

A battle between two top drivers was shaping up for the IMCA-sanctioned event. Among the entries in the 300-lap new car race were Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, the defending IMCA national champion, and Bob Burdick, the current point leader from Omaha, Neb. Burdick had whipped the national champion four times in races that year.

The race was a split feature of 300 laps. Cars ran time trials and started in regular order with the fastest cars leading the pack. After 150 laps have been covered, a first-half winner will be declared and the cars pulled into the pit area. After realignment with the slower cars to the front, the second 150 laps were run. No work could be done on the cars while they were in the pits awaiting realignment.

Funk, from Otis, drove a 1957 Chevrolet to third place in the first 75-mile grind and finished second in the second half. Prize money was awarded on the basis of the best placing in the two races. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb., drove a 1957 Ford to second best in the overall standings. He won $510 by placing first in the first half and fifth in the second.

Over 3,500 race fans witnessed the race; the longest ever run in Kansas and one offering the richest purse. The race was sponsored by the International Motor Contest Association.

Two minor accidents marred the day. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa, cracked into the south fence on lap 102 of the second half portion of the feature. He was not injured. Burdick broke an axle on the 120 lap of the second but still managed to finish fifth.

The big match-up between Beauchamp and Burdick never materialized. While Burdick experienced success in the marathon event, Beauchamp blew his engine in hot laps and was unable to make repairs and even compete.


Results –


Feature #1 -

  1. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
  2. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
  3. Lennie Funk, Otis, Kan.
  4. Bob Hardy, Beaumont, Tex.
  5. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  6. Bob Dugan, Waukegan, Ill.

Feature #2 -

  1. Chub Liebe
  2. Lennie Funk
  3. George Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  4. Bob Dugan
  5. Bob Burdick
  6. Red Siems, Hutchinson, Kan.

Overall Finish -

  1. Lennie Funk
  2. Bob Burdick
  3. Chub Liebe
  4. Don White
  5. George Miller
  6. Bob Dugan
  7. Bob Hardy
  8. Darrell Dake
  9. Red Siems
  10. Jerry Draper, Moline, Ill.

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