Thursday, July 20, 2023

1958 – Ernie Derr Wins North Dakota Race


Grand Forks, N.D. (August 20, 1958) – Ernie Derr of Fort Madison, Iowa, driving a 1957 Pontiac, roared to victory in the 100-lap new model stock car race at Grand Forks State Fair Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

The veteran Derr finished about a half-lap ahead of Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, who was driving a 1957 Chevrolet. In addition to posting his fourth feature win of the 1958 season, Derr also posted the fastest time in qualifying, touring the half-mile oval in 30.78 seconds.

Finishing third in the long-distant grind was Russell Gross, Sr., a 57-year-old driver from Quincy, Ill., who was behind the wheel of a ’57 Pontiac.

Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, currently the International Motor Contest Association point leader, was forced out of action on lap 58 because of motor issues. He was leading at the time after overtaking Derr on lap 55.

Bob Burdick of Omaha, Neb., driving a 1958 Ford, dropped out of the action early as he developed mechanical issues on lap 21. Burdick was second in points to White entering the contest and was running in third place at the time of his engine failure.

Derr was the leader for 96 of the 100 laps. He surged to the front the first time around and held the edge be a narrow margin until White finally got around him on the 55th circuit. White maintained the advantage until his motor trouble.

Beauchamp would make a valiant bid for the top spot in the last 10 laps, but Derr was not to be denied.

A field of 18 cars started the event.

Results –

1. Ernie Derr, Fort Madison, Iowa
2. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
3. Russ Gross, Quincy, Ill.
4. Frank Richards, Marion, Iowa
5. Bob Potter, Duluth, Minn.
6. Newt Bartholomew, Carlisle, Iowa
7. Chris Skadal, Des Moines
8. Bruce Nystrom, Oshkosh, Wis.
9. Murray Folson, Mechanicsville, Iowa
10.Pete Van Oudenhoven, Appleton, Wis.

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