Friday, July 8, 2022

1962 - Race Victory to Beauchamp

A tired and grimy Johnny Beauchamp leans on car owner Dale Swanson after winning the Iowa International 300. Making the trophy presentation is Miss Iowa International Marcia Beck and Bob Weinheimer, representing Standard Oil Company.

Des Moines, Iowa (July 8, 1962) – Johnny Beauchamp, the 38-year-old Atlantic, Iowa, driver, limped across the finish line with a flat tire to capture the Iowa International 300 late model stock car race in a hectic finish before 10,600 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Beauchamp hardly had time to coast to a stop with his $1,000 checkered flag before the victory – his first major IMCA win since 1959 – was protested.

Chub Liebe filed the protest, charging that Beauchamp’s 1961 Chevrolet was not equipped with a rear window as required by International Motor Contest Association regulations for stock cars.

Liebe was officially listed in third place, a lap behind second place finisher Dick Hutcherson of Keokuk, Iowa, who blew a tire a one-lap lead on the field going through the 278th lap of the 150-mile grind over the half-mile dirt track.

John Mickey, a rookie from Columbus Junction, Iowa, but a veteran of short track jalopy and modified competition, was fourth, running the same lap as Liebe.

The contest had almost become a routine affair after Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa, the four-time IMCA champion and current stock car point’s leader, left the race at the end of the 55th lap with gears in his rear end shot.

Ramo Stott, shooting for his third consecutive “300” victory, had broken a fan belt a few laps previously and the Keokuk driver lost three laps before he could get back in the race.

Hutcherson set a new record for the first 75 miles, timing in at 1 hour, 15 minutes and 4 seconds.

Bill Thomas spun on lap 77 and both Hutcherson and Beauchamp stopped for gas. Hutcherson got out in six seconds, but Liebe had grabbed the lead.

The Oelwein, Iowa, driver stayed in front past the 100-lap mark before Hutcherson caught him with Beauchamp running third.

Liebe mad a gas stop on lap 164 and both Hutcherson and Beauchamp passed him. On lap 181, Buzz McCann of St. Paul, Minn., who had been chasing the leaders, dropped out, a victim of gas fumes.

Beauchamp pulled in for his second fuel stop on lap 206 and shortly after this Liebe made a six-second stop for gas and Beauchamp moved back to second.

By that time, only 14 of the original 29 starters were still on the track. Hutcherson had Beauchamp by a full lap when the field swung through the 250th lap.

On the 278th lap, things happened in quick order.

Art Brady of Peoria, Ill., blew a tire coming down the front stretch and he locked bumpers with Ray Niemier of Madrid, Iowa. The two cars skidded past the pit area and into the flag stand where Woody Brinkman of Lincoln, Neb., was working. Brinkman escaped with only a gash on his hand after he scrambled clear of his demolished stand.

Hutcherson blew a tire on the west turn and had to pull in, yielding the top spot to Beauchamp. Jerry McCredie of Keokuk, Iowa, then blew a tire, forcing another yellow flag.

Next, Eddie Harrow spun out and McCredie lost another tire. There were only four laps left when the green flag waved again.

Beauchamp, minus adequate brakes through the last 200 laps, felt his left tire going by that time so he virtually coasted the remainder of the distance to finish five laps ahead of Hutcherson.

Results –

1. Johnny Beauchamp, Atlantic
2. Dick Hutcherson, Keokuk
3. Chub Liebe, Oelwein
4. John Mickey, Columbus Junction
5. Bob Reynolds, Edmonds, Okla.
6. Jerry McCredie, Keokuk
7. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
8. Eddie Harrow, Corpus Christi, Tex.
9. Darrel Dake, Cedar Rapids
10.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
11.Ray Niemier, Madrid
12.Gil Haugen, Sioux Falls, S.D.
13.Elton Scheffler, Keokuk
14.Bud DeCoopman, Denver, Colo.
15.Ernie McMahan, Keokuk
16.Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.

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