Langhorne, Penn. (June 24, 1956) - George Amick, of Los Angeles, Calif., fought a determined uphill battle through a host of favorites and sultry-weather to annex the 100-Mile National Championship at Langhorne Sunday afternoon.
Amick captured his first major racing championship before a crowd of 36,000 at the “Horne” when he piloted his mount from sixth starting position to finish first.
Jimmy Bryan, Phoenix, Ariz., Bob Veith, Oakland, Calif., Bill Garrett, Burbank, Calif., and Pat Flaherty, Chicago, Ill., set the early pace in the contest. The action centered around those four as they battled for the lead while Amick continued to pace himself in the fifth spot until the halfway mark.
Amick would make his move at the 50-lap mark and took the lead on lap 76, benefitted by pit stops and accidents that plagued the leaders.
The early leaders gave way to Amick as their troubles mounted. Bryan dropped back when he had to refuel on the 73rd lap and really fell out of the picture when he made another pit stop on the 92nd trip. Garrett, who set the time trials pace to capture the pole, spun out on the second turn on the 75th.
Flaherty blew two tires in the fourth turn on the 61st lap but displayed skill by bringing his mount into the pits without any further danger.
Amick, driving a car owned by Phil Cole, circled the one-mile oval in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 1.46 seconds for a speed of 95.212 miles per hour.
Garrett had the best qualifying time, 32.781 seconds, rolling at a speed of 109.819 miles per hour. Garrett made two trips around the course in the time trials but was given another try when the clock failed on his second turn. It was the next trip in which he earned his lead position. Amick qualified sixth at 33.38 seconds.
Bryan was seeking his third straight Langhorne 100-mile classic title. He set a blistering pace and several time electrified the crowd with his brilliant driving.
Ed Elisian, Oakland, Calif., was holding down fifth position at 70 laps when he blew a tire right in front of the grandstand on the first turn. He made it back to the pits and was off with a new tire in 41 seconds. Flaherty, who captured the Indianapolis 500-miler and races at Milwaukee and Williams Grove, was making his first bid at the Langhorne oval.
1. George Amick
2. Gene Hartley
3. Al Keller
4. Ed Elisian
5. Mike Magill
6. Jimmy Bryan
7. Don Freeland
8. Elmer George
9. Jimmy Reece