Friday, September 1, 2023

1954 – Carr Cops Feature as Records Tumble

Don Carr piloted the Speedy Helm Offenhauser to victory at the Minnesota State Fair. – Roby Helm Collection

St. Paul, Minn. (September 1, 1954) – That “Catch Carr Campaign” at the Minnesota State Fair on Wednesday was a flop as Don Carr, the 32-year-old Offenhauser chauffeur from Jackson, Mich., did it again.

With 17,322 fans looking on, Carr captured the 15-lap feature event and picked up his second $650 check in as many days. He added another $120 for winning the first heat in a day of racing in which he left the record breaking up to Leon Hubble of Hinton, Ind., and Harvey Porter of Minneapolis.

Carr, driving a car owned by Ralph “Speedy” Helm of Indianapolis, had no serious rivalry in the feature. Instead, Marv Pifer of Adrian, Mich., made the race a thrilling one by beating out IMCA national champion Deb Snyder of Kent, Ohio, for second place.

The Carr machine contains the engine with which Bill Holland won the 500-mile Indianapolis classic in 1949. It now sports more than 300 horsepower, and its cubic-inch displacement is 274. And Carr, a one-time Marine, knows how to get the most out of it.

Hubble set a new IMCA national record for six laps when he won the invitational dash in 2 minutes and 30.5 seconds. He, too, drives an Offenhauser.

Porter went seven laps to win the third heat in 2 minutes and 56.17 seconds, another mark. Porter drives the Gus Schrader Offenhauser. He took second to Bob Carpenter of Wabash, Ind., in the semi-main in which Homer Claytor of Tampa, Fla., staged a stirring duel with Carpenter before blowing a spark plug and settling for third place.

Bob Johnson of St. Paul captured the second heat in which Leon DeRock of Mason City, Iowa, slid broadside off the far turn on the fifth lap. His Offenhauser, however, stayed upright in the only near-mishap of the afternoon.

Results –

Heat #1 – Don Carr, Jackson, Mich.
Heat #2 – Bob Johnson, St. Paul
Heat #3 – Harvey Porter, Minneapolis
Invitational Dash – Leon Hubble, Linton, Ind.
Semi-main – Bob Carpenter, Wabash, Ind.
Consolation – Willie Thompson, Mill Valley, Calif.
Feature –
1. Don Carr
2. Marvin Pifer, Adrian, Mich.
3. Deb Snyder, Kent, Ohio
4. Jerry Kemp, St. Louis
5. George Amick, Muncie, Ind.
6. Willie Thompson
7. Leon Hubble
8. Bob Johnson
9. Stan Callaway, Hialeah, Fla.
10.Bob Carpenter

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