Tuesday, October 31, 2023

1954 – Grim Sets New Mark at Shreveport

Bobby Grim receives congratulations from his wife Betty after he won the IMCA big car feature event at the Louisiana State Fair. – Bob Dial Photo

Shreveport, La. (October 31, 1954) – Bobby Grim took charge of things Sunday afternoon at the International Motor Contest Association big car auto races at the Louisiana State Fair. The “Hoosier Bombshell” pushed his powerful Honore Offenhauser to victories in the third heat and 20-lap feature and shattered the IMCA world’s record and a Shreveport track record.

The feature race was a red-hot duel between Grim and Jud Larson of Austin, Tex., with Larson chasing the speeding Hoosier right down to the wire. Grim turned the 20 circuits in 7 minutes and 10.29 seconds, to set a new IMCA world mark and wiping out the old standard of 8 minutes and 32.63 seconds set by Deb Snyder in St. Paul, Minn., in 1952. The record for the State Fair oval was 8 minutes and 37.07 seconds set last year by Vito Calia.

Grim also fashioned a new track record in the third heat, winning the 6-lap race in a thriller over Herschel Wagner of Hickman Hills, Mo., in the time of 2 minutes and 37.10 seconds, to beat the old record of 2 minutes and 40.87 seconds set in 1953 by Jim McWithey.

Jimmy Campbell of Bates City, Mo., opened the program by winning the first heat in a race which saw both Grim and Wagner spin out. Larson outran Bob Slater of Kansas City to capture the second heat. Larson also won the 4-lap handicap, beating Bob Cleburg of Rio, Wis., to the wire by a car length.

About 6,500 jammed the stands for the races.

Results –

1. Bobby Grim, Indianapolis
2. Jud Larson, Austin, Tex.
3. Jimmy Campbell, Bates City, Mo.
4. Bob Slater, Kansas Cit
5. Herschel Wagner, Hickman Hills, Mo.
6. Don Branson, Champaign, Ill.
7. Marvin Pifer, Adrian, Mich.
8. Curley Wadsworth, Topeka, Kan.
9. Harry Ross, Dallas, Tex.
10.Lee Drollinger, Champaign, Ill.

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