Johnny White is joined by car owner Dizz Wilson after winning the 30-lap IMCA big car feature at Winchester. The victory clinched the IMCA national title for White. - Wayne Bryant Photo
Winchester, Ind. (September 30, 1962) – Hard-driving Johnny White gathered all the marbles available on Sunday afternoon as he won the 30-lap Frank funk Handicap at Winchester Speedway.
White, who hails from Warren, Mich., edged Tampa, Fla., ace Pete Folse for the IMCA big car championship in what was one of the closest title contests in the 47-year history of the International Motor Contest Association.
Driving the Dizz Wilson Offy, White collected 40 points in the heat race and another 130 for winning the feature to give him a final total of 2,590 points – 105 ahead of Folse, who picked up 20 markers for his third-place finish in the consolation and 16 points for his eighth-place finish in the main event.
Folse had held a slim 29-point lead coming into Sunday’s race and managed a paltry finish on the high-banked, half-mile asphalt oval, a racing surface that Folse prefers not to drive on.
The paltry Floridian had captured the last three IMCA national titles before White “slammed the door.” Folse’s car - the Hector Honore Bardahl Offenhauser – is the same car driven to four consecutive IMCA titles by Bobby Grim of Indianapolis from 1955 to 1958.
The victory, the second for White in three attempts, was an easy one with almost half of the 30 laps run under yellow.
Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., ripped a fuel tank on lap 16 while running third. Fuel spilled out onto the car’s hot exhaust pipe and exploded. Blundy managed to safely guide the car to a stop on the backstretch, climbed out and assisted with extinguishing the blaze.
Bobby King of Muncie, Ind., winner of the first IMCA race this season at Winchester, was nipping at White’s rear treads throughout the first 16 circuits and made a final desperate attempt to catch the Michigan speedster when the white flag was waved on the 29th lap.
White set new IMCA marks in both time trials and his heat race. He toured the half-mile in 18.08 seconds to erase the old standard off 18.14 seconds, two-hundredths of second within the world mark of 18.06 seconds set by Parnelli Jones and Roger McCluskey at Winchester.
1. Johnny White, Warren, Mich.
2. Bobby King, Muncie, Ind.
3. Arnie Knepper, Belleville, Ill.
4. Tom McClellan, Dayton, Ohio
5. Calvin Gilstrap, Salem, Ind.
6. Bob Hayduk, Cleveland, Ohio
7. Curly Boyd, Middletown, Ind.
8. Pete Folse, Tampa, Fla.
9. Jim McCune, Toledo, Ohio
10.Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.
11.Ray Duckworth, Anderson, Ind.
12.Dean Mast, Sugar Creek, Ohio
13.Don Friend, Detroit, Mich.
14.Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
15.Zeke Ingland, Columbus, Ohio