Friday, August 25, 2023

1956 – Burdick Winner in 100-Lap Race

Bob Burdick

St. Paul, Minn. (August 25, 1956) – Bob Burdick, a former motorcycle racer from Omaha, Neb., outdrove a field of 41 late model stock cars to win the 100-lap feature at the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday afternoon.

A crowd of 21,042, the largest opening day throng in the Fair’s history, watched Burdick shoot out of the pack to take the lead for the first time on the 77th circuit and hold it until the checkered flag, winning in 53 minutes and 8.51 seconds.

Trailing the 22-year-old Omahan was George Miller of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, and Sonny Morgan of Beaumont, Tex.

White the two-time and defending International Motor Contest Association champion, stayed in contention most of the way but never made a serious bid until Burdock had a safe lead in the last 10 laps.

Driving a ’56 Ford, Burdick made his move at the start of lap 77 when Sonny Morgan fell out with a faulty steering arm. Morgan led for 69 laps and posted a hallway mark of 25 minutes and 4.699 seconds.

As Burdick was taking the lead, Johnny Beauchamp, the current IMCA point leader from Harlan, Iowa, pulled up on the same lap with a broken rear axle. He was credited with a 18th place finish.

Burdick followed a pre-race plan mapped out by his father, Roy, a former racer himself. He stayed close to Morgan, who set a fast early pace, and pulled into a commanding position when a shaky front wheel forced Morgan to lose ground.

A surprise entry, Ernie Derr of Fort Madison, Iowa, kept a contending pressure all race and finished fifth. Derr, under a year’s suspension by IMCA, paid a $500 fine (for jumping a race date) Saturday morning and won $360 of it back by the late afternoon.

Results –

1. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
2. George Miller, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
3. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
4. Sonny Morgan, Beaumont, Tex.
5. Ernie Derr, Fort Madison, Iowa
6. Bill Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
7. Tubby Harrison, Topeka, Kan.
8. Jim Rehbein, Forest Lake
9. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
10. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
11. Dick Johnson, St. Paul
12. Harry Doubenspeck, St. Paul
13. Dean Anderson, Russell
14. Matt Perlick, Minneapolis
15. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
16. Frank McEachern, Winnipeg, Manitoba
17. Glen Strellner, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
18. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
19. Don Hoeg, Bloomington
20. Mert Williams, Rochester
21. Russell Gross, Quincy, Ill.
22. Dick Jepson, Hoxie, Kan.

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