Sunday, June 16, 2024

1957 – Thomson is Reading Fairgrounds Winner

Johnny Thomson

Reading, Penn. (June 16, 1957) - Wresting the lead in the homestretch of the fourth lap, Johnny Thomson of Boyertown, Penn., roared to an easy victory in the third annual 100-lap Mike Nazaruk Memorial Big Car Race Sunday at the Reading Fairgrounds.

Thomson’s winning time for the 50-mile grind was 47 minutes, 20.64 seconds. He was at the wheel of Sam Traylor’s #2 Offenhauser.

He finished a good three quarters of a lap in front of Bill Randall, of Reading, Mass., who displaced Tommy Hinnershitz in the runner-up spot during the 92nd lap. Jim Packard, Indianapolis, finished fourth and Dutch Schaeffer, Floral Park, N.Y., fifth.

Eight of the 14 starters still were running when Thomson received the checkered flag.

The main event was run under the caution flag five times because of spinouts but there were no serious injuries. Thomson was treated for leg burns after the race.

Besides collecting $788.50 for first place, Thomson pocketed $970 in lap money. Randall’s monetary reward for second place was $664 while Hinnershitz collected third place money of $539.59 and $30 in lap cash.

Ernie McCoy, a Reading, Penn., driver, made a clean sweep in the 20-lap consolation for drivers who did not qualify for the Nazaruk. McCoy, picked up first place money of $150 and $200 in lap prizes, Jud Larson of Kansas City, finished second; Johnny Kay, New Britain, Conn., was third, and Eddie Sachs, Allentown, Penn., fourth.

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