by Ron Maly
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (August 19, 1956) – Johnny Beauchamp, the rugged looking speedster from Harlan, Iowa piloted his 1956 Chevrolet to victory Sunday in the 200-lap feature stock car race at Hawkeye Downs.
An estimated 11,000 fans saw Beauchamp out-distance second place Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids by seven laps.
Beauchamp, the current leader in the International Motor Contest Association point’s standings, displayed somewhat of an iron-man performance in driving to the victory.
He required not one pit stop during the 100-mile grind. His counterparts, meanwhile, made several pauses for equipment checks and fuel.
Sunday turned out to be another record-breaking day for drivers, Beauchamp’s time of 1 hour, 47 minutes and 40.25 seconds was about two minutes slower than the world record, but the time trial mark established only last Monday was lowered once again Sunday.
This time it was George Miller of Cedar Rapids, who accounted for the world half-mile mark. He toured the distance in 28.18 seconds. His time bettered Sonny Morgan’s previous world record mark of 28.30.
Beauchamp trailed Miller in the feature race until the 26th lap, when he overtook him on the far straightaway. Beauchamp quickly took a five car-length lead and was never in trouble the rest of the way.
Miller stayed within half a lap’s distance until he was forced to the pits with a pierced fuel tank. It took Miller’s crew about 10 seconds to get him rolling again and he finally brought his ’56 Ford home in fifth place.
A damaged car took its toll on Sonny Morgan. Morgan, of Beaumont, Tex., had the runner-up position practically clinched when his ’58 Chevrolet blew a piston on the 150th lap. That put Morgan out of contention for good and he would finish in 12th place.
A faulty piston also cost Robert “Doc” Narber of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who had won Monday’s 100-lap race. Narber was safely in third place on the 112th circuit when his ’56 Dodge started pouring out smoke, causing a smokescreen.
1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
2. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
3. Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
4. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
5. George Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
6. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
7. Sonny Gross, Quincy, Ill.
8. Les Dykes, Davenport, Iowa
9. Bob Short, Omaha, Neb.
10. Pete Allison, Omaha, Neb.
11. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
12. Glenn Strellner, Cedar Rapid, Iowa
13. Robert Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
14. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
15. Russ Gross, Quincy, Ill.
16. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
17. Duane Streight, Madrid, Iowa
18. Bob Kosiskie, Omaha, Neb.