Thursday, September 2, 2021

1954 – White ‘Owns’ State Fair Track

Don White

St. Paul, Minn. (September 2, 1954) – Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, continues to act as if he owned majority stock in the Minnesota State Fair racetrack.

At least he dictated the terms again on Thursday afternoon in the 100-mile, 200-lap stock car race in flashing to his third victory in three days of competition by picking up $800 after lapping all 27 entrants.

Driving a 1954 Oldsmobile, White took the lead on the sixth lap and held it all the way, finishing three-quarters of a lap ahead of Ernie Derr of Fort Madison, Iowa, also driving a 1954 Olds and the International Motor Contest Association’s point leader.

Bill Harrison of Topeka, Kan., another Oldsmobile driver, finished third, completing 197 laps. Ray Springer of Freeport, Ill., driving a 1951 Hudson, finished fourth, seven laps behind Harrison.

Only 17 of the original field finished before 29,782 fans, the largest crowd ever to witness a stock car race in Minnesota State Fair history.

While blowouts were numerous, only one mishap marred the race when Chuck Magnison and Shorty Perlick, both of Minneapolis, and Mike Gleeman of St. Paul, became involved in a three-car crash. Perlick was able to continue.

Magnison’s and Gleeman’s cars both rolled over, but neither driver was injured.

White’s triumph resulted in some more of the records he’s been setting with adding machine regularity. He broke the 5-lap mark with a time of 2 minutes and 30.73 seconds and the 25-lap mark with a time of 12 minutes and 31.47 seconds. Derr set a one-lap qualifying record with a time of 30.07 seconds.

For the 100 miles, White’s time, despite slowdowns on yellow flag laps, was 1 hour, 51 minutes and 37 seconds.

Results –

1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Ernie Derr, Fort Madison, Iowa
3. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
4. Ray Springer, Freeport, Ill.
5. Tommy Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
6. Sonny Gross, Macomb, Ill.
7. Matt Perlick, Minneapolis
8. Gene Brown, Fort Worth, Tex.
9. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
10.Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
11.Dick Fellow, Minneapolis
12.Dick Houdek, Wichita, Kan.

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