West Allis, Wis. (July 15, 1962) – It was a tough break for Norm Nelson, but sweet revenge for Don White.
Nelson, the popular Racine, Wis., driver who finished second in the United States Auto Club late model stock car standings in 1961, was leading White by 23 seconds with only three laps to go in the 200-mile national championship late model stock car race at Wisconsin State Fair Park in Milwaukee on Sunday.
Then, he ran out of gas.
The handsome Keokuk, Iowa, driver took advantage of Nelson’s misfortune to take the lead before the leader could refuel his 1962 Ford. Moments later. White received the checkered flag and Nelson had to be content with second-place.
After the race, White knew exactly how Nelson felt. It was on August 17 of last year that White was leading on the 192nd lap when he ran out of fuel and lost the race. White also drives a 1962 Ford.
A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., finished third in a ’62 Pontiac. The top five was rounded out by Dick Rathmann of Roselle, Ill., in a ’62 Ford and Paul Goldsmith of St. Clair Shores, Mich., in a ’62 Pontiac. Goldsmith is the defending USAC national stock car champion.
White set a pair of new records on Sunday afternoon. He turned in the fastest time trial in track history with a clocking of 37.62 seconds to erase the old standard of 37.90 seconds he set last year.
His average speed of 89.13 miles per hour bettered the old mark of 88.34 miles per hour set by Nelson in 1960.
It was doubtful that the race would even get started, as time trials were halted twice by rain showers. The 20 mile an hour wind coming from the northeast wind, however, blew the threatening cloud cover away, and the one-mile paved oval was drenched in sunlight for the entire race.
White collected $4,509 for his winning effort. Nelson was the recipient of $3,156 for his runner-up finish and Foyt garnered $2,225.
Less than half of the 40-car field finished the race. The field was dominated at the start by Ford’s, with 27 starting the 200-mile grind.
1. Don White
2. Norm Nelson
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Dick Rathmann
5. Paul Goldsmith
6. Whitey Gerken
7. Elmer Musgrave
8. Earl Johnson
9. Bill Cheesbourg