Tuesday, September 21, 2021

1963 – Duckworth Cops Race

Nashville, Tenn. (September 21, 1963) – Ray Duckworth, a son-in-law who aims to please his mother-in-law, won the International Motor Contest Association big car feature on the half-mile asphalt at the Tennessee Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

A State Fair crowd estimated at 8,500 was in attendance. The spectators were treated to two record-shattering performances. Duckworth’s time for the 25-laps was 8 minutes and 54.54 seconds. The old mark was 9 minutes and 9.65 seconds set by A.J. Shepherd in 1958.

The other record was set in time trials by Bob Pratt of Union City, Ind. Pratt toured the course in 20.56 seconds, faster than any other driver in any type of vehicle had ever navigated the tricky half-miler. His speed was 87.6 miles per hour.

Johnny White had held the old mark of 20.87 seconds and the track record for all vehicles was held by Friday Hassler in modifieds, 20.6 seconds.

The first person to greet Duckworth after his triumph was Mrs. Asa Moore, whom he identified as his mother-in-law. Mrs. Duckworth was next and it’s a good thing she wasn’t jealous for Mrs. Moore gave Ray a bearhug.

“I had to win that one for my mother-in-law,” laughed Duckworth. “She came all the way from Macon, Ga., to see me last year and I didn’t do too good. But I did pretty well this time out.”

Duckworth recalled that he had almost won here two years ago when he led all the way only to watch White whizz by him on the last lap to win.

Pratt, who was hot on the heels of Duckworth for the entire distance, finished second Gordon Woolley, the IMCA point leader, finished third and former national champion Pete Folse took fourth. The four maintained their positions the entire race.

Jerry Blundy, winner of both races here last year, had third place sewn up until his car encountered mechanical issues and conked out on lap 23.

There were no mishaps in the feature but a few in the heat races. Bob King, Blundy, and Jigger Sirois got together in the first heat and spun out.

Results –

1. Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
2. Bob Pratt, Union City, Ind.
3. Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
4. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
5. Dick Gaines, Mitchell, Ind.
6. Curly Boyd, Indianapolis
7. Jim McCune, Toledo, Ohio
8. Clare Lawicki, St. Clair Shore, Mich.
9. Carl Williams, Kansas City
10.Dean Mast, Toledo, Ohio

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