Wednesday, April 13, 2022

1969 – Derr Takes Big Money in the Mud

Ernie Derr is congratulated by Verna Winkley, president of International Auto Racing, Inc., and Nick Nachicas, IRA secretary, after he successfully defended his Pelican 200 title. – Bill Causey Jr. Photo

Shreveport, La (April 13, 1969) – The annual Pelican 200, which was run Sunday afternoon at State Fair Speedway, was another case of the rich getting richer.

Ernie Derr, to no one’s surprise, won again.

The field was cut short due to heavy rains. Only 13 cars competed.

Derr turned the 100 miles in 1 hour, 56 minutes and 3 seconds, a relatively slow time ordinarily, but not bad considering the track conditions.

Lewis Taylor of Shawnee, Kan., finished second and held that position all the way, and one point held the lead briefly when Derr pitted.

A rookie out of Kansas City, Dave Wall, driving a Chevelle, took third place in his very first IMCA-sanctioned race, but never seriously challenged Taylor for second place.

In fact, Wall didn’t make the third spot until Ron Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa, pitted with 10 laps left in the contest.

Derr, driving a 1969 Dodge Charger, won $750 for his first-place finish, $100 for his 5-lap trophy dash, $100 for an appearance and $100 for driving a 1969 model car to victory.

Taylor pocketed $500 for his runner-up effort while Wall collected $400.

In all, it was a good day for the veteran from Keokuk, Iowa, who is the winningest stock car driver in the history of racing.

The race was delayed an hour while crews worked on the track. But the IMCA officials, headed by Bill Hitz and Nick Nachicas, were determined to give the 6,500 fans who came out in poor weather a show.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Lewis Taylor, Shawnee, Kan.
3. Dave Wall, Kansas City
4. Dale Keeling, Dixon, Mo.
5. Ron Hutcherson, Keokuk, Iowa
6. James McFadden, Dallas, Tex.
7. Leon Bowman, Wichita, Kan.
8. George England, Dallas, Tex.
9. Joe McIntyre, Dallas, Tex.
10.Dean Huckaby, Kansas City
11.Sandy Sandstrom, Kansas City
12.Howard Hart, Kansas City

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