Friday, September 22, 2023

1957 – Burdick Leads Stockers at Muskogee

Bob Burdick 

Muskogee Okla. (September 22, 1957) – Persistence and a flash of daredevil driving paid off for Bob Burdick, the hotshot speedster, Sunday as rode home in first place in the 100-lap stock car race at the Oklahoma State Free Fair.

Time for the event, cut from 150 laps due to track conditions, was 51 minutes and 12.58 seconds.

Burdick, who is waging a nip and tuck duel with Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, for the top spot in the International Motor Contest Association point standings, dog-tailed pacesetter Lenny Funk for the first 80 laps before making his bid for victory.

The winner, driving a borrowed car for the contest, sped through an opening on the south turn on the 82nd lap to take the lead from Funk, they stay ahead to take the checkered flag and winner’s share of the purse.

Track officials said before the race, Burdick’s regular race car had been damaged and was set back to Omaha for repairs, but the 22-year-old Omahan borrowed a car from a fellow competitor in order to compete in the race after it had already been announced that he would compete here.

Funk would settle for second place for the second straight year and Darrell Dake finished third. Funk driving a 1957 Chevrolet, hails from Otis, Kan., while Dake, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also steers a ’57 Chevrolet.

The half-mile dirt track was lightning fast in the straightaways but soggy, muddy, and plenty rough and choppy in the turns.

Track officials spent all Sunday morning working on the surface to make it suitable for racing. As it was, a crowd estimated at over 8,000, had to wait until 3:45 pm for the first racing event of the afternoon.

Darrell Dake turned in the best time during qualifying, with a clocking of 31.62 seconds. Funk was second fastest with a time of 31.65 seconds and Burdick was third fastest at 31.72 seconds.

Beauchamp, the defending IMCA stock car champion, finished fifth in race, behind Dick Pellow of Minneapolis. He rode in fourth place for most of the race but then lost a position when he had to stop for water.

Burdick and Funk made the 100-lap distance without a pit stop and Dake toured 97 laps, losing three laps when he spun out midway through the race and crashed into a fence on the main straightaway. The accident cost him one position, from second to third.

Funk took the lead at the drop of thee green with Dake in second, Burdick in third, and Beauchamp in fourth, a lineup that held until the 50th lap when Dake lost ground and time in his accident.

After that, Funk set a sizzling pace, with power and skillful driving, and Burdick waged a one-two battle with Funk ahead until the 82nd go-round when Burdick pulled out front to stay.

Results –

1. Bob Burdick, Omaha, Neb.
2. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
3. Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4. Dick Pellow, Minneapolis
5. Johnny Beauchamp, Harlan, Iowa
6. Al Warrender, Harlan, Iowa
7. George Parson, North Platte, Neb.
8. Bob Hardy, Beaumont, Tex.
9. Dick Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.
10.Jerry Draper, Moline, Ill.

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