Thursday, June 3, 2021

1956 – Beauchamp Wins Both Ends of Feature


Johnny Beauchamp

Sioux Falls, S.D. (June 3, 1956) – They cut the melon two ways Sunday afternoon at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds race, but they still couldn’t keep hard-driving Johnny Beauchamp from getting the full slice he wanted.

Pushing his whining, light blue 1956 Chevrolet to the limit, the Harlan, Iowa, daredevil won both halves of the split late model stock car feature.

In doing so, he also moved ahead of Don White, the defending champion, into the point lead for the International Motor Contest Association stock cars.

Some 5,000 speed-hungry race fans watched the novel split feature, the first ever held there.

Beauchamp won the first 100-lapper, in 53 minutes and 35.17 seconds.

The field was then inverted for the second 100-lapper and the classy Iowa driver stood on it all the way to move from his last starting position to first place at the finish. His time in the second race was 53 minutes and 48.71 seconds.

Neither time was close to the 51 minutes and 15 second record held by White, but Beauchamp was all by himself for most of the afternoon.

He took the lead away from the Dodge-driving White on the seventh lap of the first 100 and held it to the checkered flag. Starting behind the rest of the field in the second 100, Beauchamp had worked his way through traffic and seized the lead after only 12 laps. Nobody caught him after that.

On an overall basis, of course, Beauchamp was the day’s winner.

Shorty Ebert of Kansas City, in a 1956 Dodge, and Darrel Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in a 1956 Chevrolet, tied for second in the overall finish.

White, making his first appearance here in anything but a Oldsmobile, was second to Beauchamp in the first 100 but wound up ninth in the second 100 after encountering mechanical issues.

The remainder of the top-10 on an overall basis was Bud Burdick, Omaha, 1956 Chevrolet; Jim McMichael, Carthage, Mo., 1956 Chevrolet; Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan., 1956 Ford convertible; Don Haeg, Minneapolis, 1956 Chevrolet; Ted Zieman, Mason City, Iowa, 1955 Chevrolet; Bob Burdick, Omaha, 1956 Ford and Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan., 1955 Chevrolet.

The Burdick brothers, after being hampered by mechanical mishaps in the first 100, caught the fancy of the crowd in the second 100 with their skillful driving. Bill Harrison, an old-time favorite here, made an appearance in a classy-looking Ford Sunliner and did a good job. He finished fifth in the first race but was forced out with a punctured radiator in the second contest.

Roxy Dancy, who worked all day Saturday to install a new engine in his 1956 Dodge, had more woes. He broke an axle on his car in the first feature, worked furiously to get it repaired for the second 100, only to have it break again early on in the race.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
2. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Shorty Ebert, Kansas City
4. Darrel Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
5. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
6. Don Haeg, Minneapolis
7. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
8. Jim McMichael, Carthage, Mo.
9. Ted Zieman, Mason City, Iowa
10.Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.

Feature #2 –

1. Johnny Beauchamp
2. Bud Burdick, Omaha
3. Darrel Dake
4. Shorty Ebert
5. Jim McMichael
6. Ted Zieman
7. Bob Burdick, Omaha
8. Don Haeg
9. Don White
10.Sonny Morgan

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