Thursday, August 31, 2023

1963 – Engine Failure Snaps Daniels’ Fair Streak


Bill Horstmeyer won the IMCA big car main event at the Minnesota State Fair. 

St. Paul, Minn. (August 31, 1963) – A broken connect rod during the first lap of the Minnesota State Championship race “scratched” Jerry Daniels on Saturday before more than 21,000 fans at the Minnesota State Fair.

Daniels, prior to Saturday’s bad luck, had won six straight events, including three feature races. His string was broken during the opening 6-lap dash by Red Amick of Muncie, Ind. Daniels finished third in that event.

The St. Paul plumber’s assistant, known to racing fans as “Scratch,” was the defending champion in the event for Minnesota drivers.

Bill Horstmeyer, a 32-year-old Stoughton, Wis., electrical maintenance foreman, won the main event. Riding high on the rim, he cracked the track record of 10 minutes and 23.72 seconds established in 1960 by Leroy Neumeyer of Compton, Calif.

Horstmeyer’s time of 10 minutes and 22.09 seconds, driving Ernie Johnson’s Offenhauser, and his daring style reminded veteran racing officials of the late Gus Schrader, the flying Dutchman of Newhall, Iowa, who dominated dirt track racing in the 1930’s and 40’s.

With Daniels out of the Minnesota State Championship race, Jerry Richert of Forest Lake captured his fifth title. With it went $200 in prize money and the giant Governor’s Cup which was presented by Karl Rolvaag, Governor of Minnesota.

Results –

Trophy dash – Red Amick, Muncie, Ind.
Heat #1 – Carl Williams, Kansas City
Heat #2 – Jerry Richert, Forest Lake
Heat #3 – Dean Mast, Dover, Ohio
Semi-main – Gary Congdon, Garden Grove, Calif.
Minnesota Championship – Jerry Richert
Feature –
1. Bill Horstmeyer, Stoughton, Wis.
2. Dean Mast
3. Harold Leep, Wichita, Kan.
4. Jerry Richert
5. Carl Williams
6. Sonny Helms, Avon Lake, Iowa
7. Bill Burdick, Omaha
8. Calvin Gilstrap, Salem, Ind.
9. Dale Reed, Wichita, Kan.
10.Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla.

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