Friday, September 23, 2022

1961 – White Wins Second Straight

Johnny White visited the winner’s circle two days in a row at Fairgrounds Speedway. Greeting him are representatives of the Tennessee State Fair - Queen Pat Smith and Judge Beverly Briley. – Gerald Holly Photo

Nashville, Tennessee (September 23, 1961) - Johnny White averaged 81.5 miles per hour in winning the 25-lap International Motor Contest Association big car feature race at Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday.

A crowd estimated at 9,500 saw White fall to second place on the first lap, the only time during the two days of racing that he hadn’t been in the lead. Ray Duckworth of Anderson, Ind., zipped past White on the first turn and remained in front until the 13th lap.

After the race, White said, “I was wondering there for a while, but I figured I’d get him before the day ran out.”

Diz Wilson, owner of the car White piloted, pointed out that the car has never been beaten at the track. A.J. Shepherd, who has since joined USAC, piloted the car to victories here for three straight years.

Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., was third as the cars circled the half-mile banked asphalt oval for the first time. He got by Duckworth on lap 17 for second place and finished in that position. Duckworth settled for third while Tampa’s Buzz Barton was fourth and Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., rounded out the top-five.

One of the best races witnessed was the Australian Pursuit, which was won by Gordon Woolley of Waco, Tex. Woolley started last and kept lopping off cars one by one until he came upon Jerry Bundy. They went around for five laps, side by side, until Woolley was able to take command. The crowd loved it and seemed that everyone in the stands were on their feet, cheering.

Pete Folse, the perennial IMCA point champion, had another rough day, finishing seventh. Hector Honore, car builder and owner of the car driven by Folse said, “It’s not Pete’s fault.”

Honore elaborated, stating that all of IMCA’s races, except for Nashville, are run on dirt tracks and he refused to change one screw on Folse’s car, just for two races on asphalt. Prior to Nashville, Folse had won five straight IMCA-sanctioned features.

Results –

Heat #1 – Johnny White, Warren, Mich.
Heat #2 – Jerry Shumaker, Wichita, Kan.
Heat #3 – Mac Terry, Plainfield, N.J.
Match race – Johnny White
Australian Pursuit – Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
Feature –
1. Johnny White
2. Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
3. Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
4. Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.
5. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
6. Red Renner, Woodburn, Ind.
7. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
8. Jerry Shumaker, Wichita, Kan.
9. Jim Murphy, South Haven, Mich.
10.Harv Konkel, West Allis, Wis.

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