Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 3, 1955) – In a race punctuated by accidents and motor trouble which shuffled the leaders on an almost-perfect track, Robert “Doc” Narber of Cedar Rapids wheeled his 1955 Chevrolet non-stop to victory in the 100-mile stock car race before more than 6,000 fans at Hawkeye Downs on Sunday afternoon.With the sun sending the mercury near 100 degrees, Narber was virtually the only driver to go all the way without a pit stop.
Paul Newkirk of Cedar Rapids, also piloting a 1955 Chevrolet, stopped only briefly once for gas, and finished in second place.
Gordon Howard, a former Marshalltown driver, now living in Aurora, Ill., was hospitalized with severe head injuries after his car was involved in a sensational flip and several rolls late in the race.
Earlier, Red Amick, the big car driver from Muncie, Ind., suffered a broken shoulder when his car crashed through the guardrail.
Herschel Buchanan of Shreveport, La., was the favorite of the crowd but not Lady Luck. Buchanan wheeled his 1955 Thunderbird to a new International Motor Contest Association one-lap record of 30.12 seconds in time trials.
Six other drivers were under the former mark of 30.58 set by Ernie Derr of Keokuk at the Minnesota State Fair last fall.
However, Buchanan tangled with Jack Kasperian of Cedar Rapids early in the race and caved in the side of his Thunderbird. After losing several laps, Buchanan came back driving hard and furiously to gain the plaudits of the crowd as he gained lap after lap on the leaders.
He had moved into third place on lap 135 when he was caught in the middle of a three-way mix-up which sent him to the infield for the rest of the afternoon.
Bob Hilmer, the sensation newcomer from Dysart, took the lead after Buchanan’s first mishap. Narber and Newkirk were right behind Hilmer with Newkirk slipping briefly into second place on lap 126. When motor issues forced Hilmer into the pits on lap 133, Narber took over the top spot and was never headed.
Don White of Keokuk, the defending IMCA national champion, encountered motor trouble of his own and had to toss in the towel after 55 laps. Bobby Brown of Springfield, Mo., had gone into third place after 94 laps when a right front tire blew, slamming his Thunderbird into the fence – the radiator impaled on a plank.
1. Robert Narber, Cedar Rapids
2. Paul Newkirk, Cedar Rapids
3. Delmar Donaldson, Burlington
4. Russ Gross, Quincy, Ill.
5. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
6. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
7. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
8. Roxy Dancy, Shreveport, La.
9. Bob Potter, Duluth, Minn.
10.Jack Kasperian, Cedar Rapids
11.Ted Keith, Kahoka, Mo.
12.Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle
13.Gordon Howard, Aurora, Ill.
14.Bob Hilmer, Dysart
16.Wayne Chadwick, Des Moines
17.Gene Richmond, Springfield, Mo.