Monday, June 17, 2019

1962 – 8,000 See Leep Drive to Futurity Victory

IMCA promoter Al Sweeney presents Harold Leep the Gaylord White Memorial Trophy for winning the 1962 Hawkeye Futurity. 

Des Moines, Iowa (June 17, 1964) – Harold Leep, who use to make life miserable for Offenhauser drivers, climbed into one on Sunday afternoon and took home the Gaylord White Memorial Trophy in the Hawkeye Futurity 30-lap feature before 8,000 race fans at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

The Offy he drove was the same one Buzz Barton piloted to victory in the Futurity a year ago – a sleek red and black outfit owned by Irene Lempelius, a dress designer from St. Paul, Minn.

Bill Horstmeyer of Stoughton, Wis., also driving a Offy, finished second in the 25-lap, 50-mile grind worth $600 to the winner, who was third here a year ago.

Gordon Woolley of Waco, Tex., finished third in the Chet Wilson Chevrolet-powered sprint car handled by Leep last year. Arnie Knepper of Belleville, Ill., the recent Little 500 winner was fourth in the Pete Mocca Offy.

Pete Folse of Tampa, Fla., a two-time Futurity winner and three-time International Motor Contest Association champion, was jinxed by the number 13.

He drew that number twice for starting positions in the time trials and that’s where he finished in the main event. He did manage a third place in the Australian Pursuit and had the third fastest car in time trials.

Leep, a 29-year-old native of Wichita, Kan., started sixth and didn’t get the lead until he overhauled Horstmeyer on the sixth lap, when his rival grazed the west wall.

Horstmeyer, who had earlier taken the top spot from polesitter Johnny Rutherford of Fort Worth, Tex., regained the lead on lap 11 but stayed in front for only a lap before fading back to third in a duel with Johnny White of Warren, Mich.

White would later spin into the fence in turn four on lap 32 giving Horstmeyer back second place. By that time, however, Leep had put enough distance between himself and the rest of the field to erase any challenges.

Results –

Heat one – Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
Heat two – Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
Heat three – Russ Long, Yucaipa, Calif.
Consolation – Bart Manley, Denver, Colo.
Pursuit – Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
Feature –

1. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
2. Bill Horstmeyer, Stoughton, Wis.
3. Gordon Woolley
4. Arnie Knepper
5. Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth, Tex.
6. Russ Long
7. Herschel Wagner, Hickman Hills, Mo.
8. Jerry Mans, Wood River, Ill.
9. Mickey Shaw, Berea, Ohio
10. Roger Lane, Blue Springs, Mo.
11. Jerry Daniels, St. Paul, Minn.
12. Al Fredenburg, Madison, Wis.

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