Thursday, April 8, 2021

1956 – White Wins Gulf States Marathon

Don White accepts his Gulf States Championship trophy from country and western singing star, Johnny Horton. 

Shreveport, La. (April 8, 1956) – An Iowa speed demon looms as the favorite in the 1956 chase for the International Motor Contest Association stock car championship.

Don White, IMCA’s 1954 and ‘55 national champion, began defense of his crown Sunday afternoon by shattering a world’s IMCA 50-mile record while taking first place in the second annual Gulf States Championship race at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds.

White, the driver of a 1956 Dodge, finished the 100-lap marathon in 50 minutes and 8.15 seconds to shatter a previous record – 51 minutes and 51.25 seconds – which he established on September 1, 1955, at Sioux Falls, S.D.

The two-time national stock car champion annexed his latest triumph in what was one of the most exciting races promoted here in recent years. His Gulf States success climaxed a three-event program.

Johnny Beauchamp, driver of a 1956 Chevrolet from Harlan, Iowa, led the field to take the checkered flag in the opening 15-lap event, winning in 7 minutes and 57.8 seconds. He was followed by Newt Bartholomew of Carlisle, Iowa, Shreveport’s Roxy Dancy and Bobby Brown of Springfield, Mo.

The second 15-lapper was captured by White in 7 minutes and 39.8 seconds. Preacher Durr, driving Herschel Buchanan’s Ford Thunderbird, finished second ahead of Dick Houdek of Wichita, Kan.

Two drivers made trouble for White in the main event. Roxy Dancy grabbed the lead on the first lap and stayed ahead of the talented field for the first 48 trips around the half-mile dirt oval. Beauchamp overtook Dancy on lap 49 and he retained the lead until the 68th go-round when his car started overheating and White assumed command until the end.

White won his Gulf States crown before a capacity crowd which also had spectators watching the action from the infield.

Herschel Buchanan, Shreveport’s veteran driver, was fastest qualifier with a time of 30.65 seconds. Unfortunately, Buchanan was forced to withdraw from competition after timing his car, which gave the pole position to the second fastest qualifier, Roxy Dancy with a time of 30.91 seconds.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
3. Preacher Durr, Shreveport
4. Dick Houdek, Wichita, Kan.
5. Shorty Ebert, Kansas City, Mo.
6. Ralph Dyer, Shreveport
7. Roxy Dancy, Shreveport
8. Bobby Brown, Springfield, Mo.
9. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
10.Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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