Thursday, September 1, 2022

1959 - Jones Wins in Record Time

Rufus "Parnelli" Jones

St. Paul, Minn. (September 1, 1959) – Three track records were set on Tuesday afternoon and a stock-block conversion won the sprint car feature for the first time ever at the Minnesota State Fair.

Parnelli Jones of Torrance, Calif., driving the Fike Plumbing Special with a Corvette engine, captured the 20-lap International Motor Contest Association feature in 8 minutes and 7.72 seconds, eclipsing Jim McWithey’s 1957 mark of 8 minutes and 14.07 seconds.

Jim Hurtubise of North Tonawanda, N.Y., who won the 10-lap semi-final and pushed Jones in the feature, set a new mark in the 7-lap consolation. He turned the distance in 2 minutes and 59.90 seconds, erasing Harvey Porter’s 1957 standard of 2 minutes and 56.17 seconds.

A.J. Shepard of Gardena, Calif., driving an Offenhauser, drove a 22.12 second lap to break in the half-mile record of 22.58 seconds set by the retired Deb Snyder of Kent, Ohio, in 1952.

Jones and Hurtubise collided in the first turn of the first heat with no serious damage. Jack Rounds of Huntington Beach, Calif., got a wheel on the retaining wall of the backstretch in the second heat and had to withdraw with a bent axle.

Heat winners were Bob Mathouser, Nick Valento and Harry Ross.

Results -

Heat #1 – Bob Mathouser, Omaha, Neb.
Heat #2 – Nick Valento, Sepulveda, Calif.
Heat # - Harry Ross, Houston, Tex.
Consolation – Jim Hurtubise, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
Feature –
1. Parnelli Jones, Torrance, Calif.
2. Jim Hurtubise
3. Elmer George, Speedway, Ind.
4. Bob Cleburg, Tucson, Ariz.
5. Bob Mathouser
6. Nick Valento
7. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
8. Howard Gardner, Los Angeles
9. Bill Nelson, Wichita, Kan.
10.Harry Kern, St. Paul, Minn.

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