Friday, July 3, 2020

1960 – Branson Posts Record at Salem

Don Branson

Salem, Ind. (July 3, 1960) – Don Branson, Champaign, Ill., defending United States Auto Club Midwest sprint champion, posted a record 88.205 miles an hour Sunday in winning the 15-mile feature race at the Salem Speedway.

Branson’s feature speed broke the record he set here last year as he grabbed his third victory this season in sprint car racing.

Parnelli Jones, South Gate, Calif., a newcomer to the USAC circuit, placed second. Jones led 24 of the 30 laps in his Fike Plumbing Special.

Branson, who won at Terre Haute and Milwaukee, drove the Bob Estes racer, the same car he piloted in winning the Midwest title last year.

Third in the feature was A. J. Foyt, Houston, followed by Jim Hurtubise, Lennox, Calif.; Elmer George, Indianapolis, and Eddie Sachs, Allentown, Penn.

Jones won the first 8-lap heat and Foyt set an 8-lap record when he won the second heat in 2:35.87. Hurtubise won the third preliminary. 

Branson covered the distance in 10:12.31 to take a lion’s share of the $5,200 purse. His total for winning the feature, placing in a heat and being fastest qualifier was $1,042.50.

Although there were no mishaps, Jim Hemmings of North Vernon, Ind., thrilled the 6,000 fans on the first lap of the consolation race when he spun in the second turn but kept going.

Results –

1. Don Branson
2. Parnelli Jones
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Jim Hurtubise
5. Elmer George
6. Eddie Sachs
7. Ronnie Duman
8. Roger McCluskey
9. Gene Force
10.Jim Packard
11.Shorty Templeman
12.Bud Tinglestad
13.Tom McClellan
14.Al Miller

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