Thursday, September 7, 2023

1956 – Beauchamp is Stock Winner at Lincoln

"The Flyin' Frenchman" Johnny Beauchamp

Lincoln, Neb. (September 7, 1956) – Lead-footed Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, driving a 1956 Chevrolet, led all 200 laps of the Nebraska International late model stock car race at the Nebraska State Fair on Friday.

Beauchamp, the International Motor Contest Association point leader, added more stars to his crown by finishing the 100 miles in 1 hour, 48 minutes, and 47.74 seconds. His average speed was slightly over 55 miles per hour.

Race impresario of National Speedways, Inc., Al Sweeney, said the track was “the fastest we’ve ever seen here.” Almost no dust was raised despite the grinding pace set by the 25 stock cars on the 5/8-mile dirt oval.

A combination of the recent four inches of rain and careful grooming led to a lightning fast racing surface.

Another ’56 Chevy, driven by Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, placed second while a ’56 Ford driven by Bob Burdick of Omaha, came in third.

Place and show positions, however, were strictly another race – they were both lapped by the non-stop Beauchamp on the 45th tour.

Despite blowouts and thrown wheels, there were no serious crackups. Two cars crashed into the fence but neither driver was hurt, and one of the cars, a ’56 Pontiac driven by Bob Kosiskie of Omaha, continued the race.

A brief spurt of excitement was triggered when, only two laps from the finish, Jerry Draper’s ’55 Dodge caught fire while being serviced during one his frequent pit stops.

Billed as a “International,” because of the entry of two Jaguars, the real race was all-American. The Jags were never in contention. A convertible, driven by Larry Doran of Lincoln, dropped out after only a few laps. The other, a black coupe, hugged the inside rail and stayed out of trouble, finishing multiple laps behind the leader.

The fastest car in time trials, a ’56 Ford driven by Bob Burdick, was trailing Beauchamp by less than a car length in the early stages of the race but would be forced to drop out with mechanical troubles on lap 60.

Burdick’s time of 30.12 seconds and Beauchamp’s clocking of 30.33 seconds both broke the track record.

Results –

1. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
2. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Bud Burdick, Omaha
4. Chub Liebe, Oelwein, Iowa
5. Doc Narber, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
6. Chris Skadal, Des Moines
7. Shorty Eberts, Avondale, Mo.
8. Darrel Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Dick Jepson, Hoxie, Kan.
10.Don Rosenberg, Carlisle, Iowa

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