Tuesday, September 5, 2023

1955 – Grim Sweeps Iowa Big Car Races at Fair

Des Moines, Iowa (September 5, 1955) – Bobby Grim, the Indianapolis veteran, drove his black Offenhauser across the finish line Monday night to make a clean sweep of the major big car features at the Iowa State Fair.

A closing crowd of 6,000 watched as Grim finished five car lengths ahead of Bob Cleburg, the Rio, Wis., bridegroom, in the 15-mile sweepstakes race.

It marked Grim’s fourth consecutive triumph here, bringing his total winnings to $2,400, plus added money for heat victories. It also kept him at the head of the International Motor Contest Association’s list of winning drivers.

Cleburg, wed here last Saturday in a secret ceremony, came up from his sixth starting position to wheel in behind Grim on the 23rd lap. But he couldn’t catch him.

Finishing third behind Cleburg, the 1954 National Speedway’s rookie of the year, came Herschel Wagner of Hickman Hills, Mo., followed by ray Duckworth of Anderson, Ind.

Grim was clocked in 13 minutes and 42.79 seconds, nearly a minute over the track and world mark for that distance.

The Iowa State Fair program ended without a single fatality or serious injury for the first time ever.

Walt McWhorter came the closest during the third preliminary heat. His car slid into the wall coming out of the northeast turn, bounced back into the path of Jimmy Campbell, then rebounded against the wall one more time.

There, it teetered perilously for 25 yards before McWhorter could get his car back on all four wheels.

Jud Larson of Kansas City, the Hawkeye Futurity winner in June, was scheduled to compete against Grim on Monday but was unable to appear. Parts for his damaged racer didn’t appear in time and he telegraphed officials, informing them he couldn’t make it in time.

Results –

Heat #1 – Bobby Grim, Indianapolis
Heat #2 – Red Hoyle, Phoenix, Ariz.
Heat #3 – Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
Feature –
1. Bobby Grim
2. Bob Cleburg, Rio, Wis.
3. Herschel Wagner, Hickman Hills, Mo.
4. Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
5. Jimmy Campbell, Bates City, Mo.
6. Don Hutchinson, Kansas City
7. Fritz Tegtmeier, Elgin, Ill.
8. Eddie Loetscher, St. Louis
9. Gordon Shuck, Edgar, Neb.
10.Jerry Blundy

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