St. Paul, Minn. (September 7, 1959) – A handsome antique dealer with a aching wisdom tooth was a pain in the neck to the rest of the field Monday as he stormed back into stock car racing prominence at the Minnesota State Fair’s North Star 350 classic.
Johnny Beauchamp, the “Flying Frenchman” from Harlan, Iowa, came back to peak racing form after a three-month vacation to out-class a 29-car field before a standing room only crowd of 29,326 fans.
Sonny Morgan of Beaumont, Tex., led the parade for 48 laps before stepping aside, giving the lead to Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, momentarily at the 75-lap mark while Beauchamp’s 1957 Chevrolet was refueling.
Beauchamp needed two pit stops against one of hi closest rivals, Ernie Derr of Keokuk, Iowa. However, Derr who won the event in record time last year, never was able to come closer than a lap behind Beauchamp.
Derr, who wound up second, a lap and a half behind Beauchamp, drove a 19578 Pontiac.
Beauchamp made headlines last winter in the disputed finish with Lee Petty at Daytona Beach and further victories at Atlanta. He posted a second place at the Polo Grounds before laying off from racing to tend to his antique shop.
1. Johnny Beauchamp
2. Ernie Derr
3. Frank Lies
4. Newt Bartholomew
5. Ramo Stott
6. Bernie Hentges
7. Frank Richards
8. Lennie Funk
9. Dub Rollins