Shreveport, La. (March 30, 1958) – Does Johnny Beauchamp have what it takes to defend his 1956-57 reign as the International Motor Contest Association national stock car champion? Racing observers say Beauchamp won’t be at the top of the heap when the 1958 title is decided.
In the past two seasons, Beauchamp has been aided by one of the nation’s smartest mechanics – Dale Swanson – who was the speed king’s partner in the racing game.
On Sunday afternoon, Beauchamp dusted off the Louisiana State Fair track for his second straight Pelican 300 championship, finishing as the overall winner, without assistance from Swanson. Johnny started the 1958 season on his own with the Swanson agreement thrown by the wayside. Now, the big question concern’s Beauchamp’s ability as a mechanic.
Swanson recently advised Beauchamp he planned to stay with his family at his Iowa residence instead of making the tour of the racing circuit. Thus, Beauchamp is strictly on his own.
The Pelican 300 was broken into two 150-lap races.
Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, driving a brand-new 1958 Ford, won the first half in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 14.43 seconds with Beauchamp coming in second. The two rivals waged an exciting battle for the lead with Beauchamp staying on the heels of the leader the whole time.
In the second 150-lapper, Beauchamp led all the way, finishing in 1 hour, 20 minutes and 5.18 seconds, with White crossing the finish line in seventh place.
Overall standings favored Beauchamp with a total of 135 points, with Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, taking second with 100 points.
A total of $4,200 In prize money was divided among the successful drivers.
An overflow crowd was attracted by the opener of the IMCA stock car season with Don White turning in the fastest time in qualifying – 29.49 seconds, followed by Jimmy Baker of Peoria, Ill., with 29.61 seconds.
Feature #1 –
1. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
3. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
5. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
6. Lloyd Jorgenson, Anita, Iowa
7. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
8. Herb Shannon, Peoria, Ill.
9. Jimmy Baker, Peoria, Ill.
Feature #2 –
1. Johnny Beauchamp
2. Lenny Funk
3. Ernie Derr
4. Lloyd Jorgenson
5. Jimmy Baker
6. Newt Bartholomew
7. Ramo Stott
8. Don White
9. Homer Newland