Monday, March 27, 2023

1955 – Harrison Wins Gulf States Speed Crown


Shreveport, La. (March 27, 1955) – A spectacular accident involving Herschel Buchanan, Shreveport’s “Gray Fox of the Speedways,” set the stage Sunday afternoon for “Wild” Bill Harrison of Topeka, Kan., to take first place honors in the stock car racing Gulf States Championships at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds.

Buchanan, a former holder of national big car and stock car championships, suffered chest and facial injuries when his new Ford Thunderbird broke an axle before sailing into a series of end over end flips that demolished his new car on lap 70 of the 100-lap contest. Shreveport’s daredevil was out front and appeared to be headed for a new track record when the mishap occurred.

A crowd of 8,457 racing enthusiasts witnessed the crash.

Harrison, winner of the second 15-lap heat, had overtaken Buchanan previously on lap 50 but Herschel managed to regain the lead prior to the crash.

The crash was tabbed as one of the most spectacular mishaps in the local track’s history by officials of Auto Racing, Inc., a promotion firm based out of Minneapolis, Minn., which sponsored the Gulf States Championships.

Roxy Dancy of Shreveport was runner-up to Harrison and another local ace, Snuffy Smith, took home third-place money. They piloted a Hudson and Oldsmobile, respectively.

Ralph Dyer, another Shreveport racing veteran, was running with the leaders in his 1953 Nash when his right front wheel caught fire forcing Dyer to retire on lap 74.

The program was sanctioned by the International Motor Contest Association.

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