Sunday, September 3, 2023

1962 – Leep Joins ‘Em, Then Beats ‘Em

Harold Leep receives the checkered flag from starter Woody Brinkman.

Lincoln, Neb. (September 3, 1962) – Pete Folse got driven into the bumpy, treacherous track at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds Monday, much to the delight of some 12,500 race fans.

Harold Leep turned the trick for the second day in a row – and this time it was a clean victory, not one aided by a Folse breakdown.

Let this in now way indicate that Folse, the likeable smiling IMCA national champion from Tampa, Fla., is the villain of dirt track racing.

It’s just that he had held a lock on the championship for the past three years to a point where triumphs are expected and taken for granted.

When Folse doesn’t win it’s news, but not big news anymore.

There are many more Offenhausers on the tracks today. This has brought about a wide-open race. At least six drivers have a chance at the national championship this year; Leep, Folse, Johnny White, Johnny Rutherford, Jerry Richert and Arnie Knepper.

The old adage is “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. But Leep isn’t this way. Up until this year he drove Chet Wilson’s Chevrolet out of Wichita, Kan., and was known as the “Offy Killer”.

Now he’s an Offy man himself and take it from Leep, it’s better. This is thee first year in the Red Lempelius Offenhauser.

“It was rough out there today,” the 29-year-old Wichita, Kan., speedster remarked. “My arms got the sorest. You really had to manhandle the machine around the curves.”

Back to Folse, the game campaigner who finished second in the 25-lap main event.

To Nebraska race fans and to many across the country, he represents the days when one car and one driver dominated.

Folse had won at Lincoln the past three years and prior to that Bobby Grim of Indianapolis won four straight in Hector Honore’s Bardahl Special.

Today, Al Sweeney, president of National Speedways, Inc., says the race for individual honors for 1962 is “the closest in 47 years of automobile race”.

Results –

Inaugural Dash – Johnny Rutherford
National Speedway Dash – Johnny White
American Triumph Dash – Eddy McVey
Nebraska Handicap – Colby Scroggins
Consolation – Colby Scroggins
Al Chamberlain Sweepstakes –
1. Harold Leep
2. Pete Folse
3. Jerry Blundy
4. Colby Scroggins
5. Buzz Rose
6. Sonny Helms
7. Arnie Knepper
8. Howard Gardner
9. Hal Logan
10. Froggy Droz
11. Bill Burdick
12. Gordon Woolley

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