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INDEPENDENCE DAY
July 4, 1953

 

 

 

Winfield Daily Courier
Tuesday, June 16, 1953:

Stock Car Races Scheduled for Fourth

 

     Stock car races at the Winfield fairgrounds on July 4 are expected to attract 30 to 40 cars and drivers from Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, according to early entry lists.  The races, which are sponsored by the Lions club, are part of a day of events included in the community Fourth of July celebration.

     Joe Collins, local racing car owner and driver, who is cooperating with Ward Stuber, chairman of racing activities, and other members of the Lions club, reports that the July 4 program in all probability will out class the Memorial Day races at the park where there were numerous unscheduled thrills and excitement.

     As an added attraction on the racing program is an announced "tear-em-up" event.  It is planned to get a half dozen or more tired old cars on the track and drive them until they actually "drop" from exhaustion.

     The starter for the races will be Johnnie Autrey of Enid who started the Memorial Day races.


Take Precautions

     Every precaution is being taken to protect and safeguard lefe and property not only of the drivers, but also of the racing fans.  Parking of vehicles immediately opposite the north and south turns on the track will be prohibited.  Sometimes the racing cars get out of control on the turns and leave the track.  Picket fencing will be used to mark the limitations of the parking areas.  All persons are urged to view the races from the grandstand.  The general admission charge will admit to the grandstand.

     The Winfield city band has been asked to play in the grandstand preceding and during the program

     Lions club members are making plans to expand their refreshment facilities, particularly the soft drink concessions for the races.

     Loud speaking equipment is being furnished by Bert Deck.

     There were five Winfield drivers in the Memorial day races and it is expected that about twice that many will drive cars on the Fourth.

 

 

Winfield Daily Courier
Wednesday, July 1, 1953:

Racing Events Feature Celebration for Fourth

 

     Stock car races, fireworks, and a baseball game will be some of the events of interest in Winfield on the Fourth of July.  Starting off the afternoon attractions will be the races at the fairgrounds with time trials at 1:30.  Admission charge which admits to the grandstand will be made for this event which is sponsored by the Lions club under the general direction of Chairman Ward Stuber...   From all indications, the stock car racing program will be one of the best ever seen in Winfield.  Joe Collins, a local driver and owner who is in charge of entries, reports that three state champions have signified intention of entering.


WINFIELDERS ENTER

     Five Winfield cars already are on the entry list.  Local drivers include Willard Bodkins, Bud Webster, and Lee Wilt.  Wichita drivers will include John Bush, who made an outstanding showing at the Memorial Day races, Bill Mears, Buddy Quick, Shorty Jones, Claude Ash, Marvin Thompson, J. D. Cox, Bob Newman, and others.  Cars from Arkansas City, Wichita, Newton, Salina, Hutchinson, Enid, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Chanute, and Hardtner are expected to be on hand to be entered in the competition.
     Between ten and fifteen cars are indicated in the lineup for the first race.  Johnnie Autrey, of Enid, Oklahoma, will be the starter.

BAND WILL PLAY

     Music will be provided during the races by the Winfield municipal band.  The track has been been reconditioned and will be  wet down by Lloyd Hankins for the Lions Club.  Lions Club members will be on location Saturday morning to erect snow fences and mark off safety parking areas.  Motorists are urged not to park in areas near the track curves and everyone is requested to take seats in the grandstand so that no spectator may be hurt or any motor vehicle damaged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The photograph above was taken July 4, 1953 and published in the Winfield Daily Courier on September 2, 1953.
Can you identify any of the cars and / or their drivers above?  If so, please contact
Bob Lawrence.


The following article appeared in the Winfield Daily Courier on Monday, July 6, 1953:

Large Crowds Attended Celebrations in City

 

    Two of the largest crowds ever assembled at the Winfield fairgrounds on one day were recorded Saturday for the auto races in the afternoon and the ball game and fireworks that evening.  These Fourth of July attractions were a part of the holiday observance in Winfield and surrounding communities.

     The grandstand was packed to capacity for the auto races which provided a three-hour program of thrilling performances by dare-devil drivers.  There were several smash-ups but no serious injuries.  About 35 cars participated in the racing events.  There were 41 on the field but four broke down in time trials and three from Tulsa arrived too late to qualify.

     Competing were entries from Winfield, Arkansas City, Wichita, Grenola, Kansas City, and Enid.  Wichita entries predominated.

 

 

 

 

 

    Stock cars lining up on the front straight-away for a race at Winfield, Kansas on July 4, 1953.  The only cars above that have been identified so far were all driven by drivers from Wichita, Kansas.  They are the #15 car at left driven by Bill Nelson; car #2 driven by Riley Hill; car #57 driven by Bob Newman; car #1 near the right of the screen, was owned by Bob Martin and driven by Ralph Lies; and car #29 at right was driven by Dick Doran – Dean Crow collection

 

 

 

 

    This photo was taken at Winfield on July 4, 1953.  The 1933 Ford coupe #5 was dark green with white lettering.  It was co-owned by Lee Wilt, Delbert Peters, and Dean Crow, all of Winfield.  Lee Wilt was driving the car on this day and wound up rolling it over when the steering box locked up.  When the car was repaired, it was painted a different color and renumbered #50 so this was the only race date that this car raced with this paint scheme.

    The #4F was a red 1939 Ford coupe owned and driven by Don “Red” Walker of Arkansas City, Kansas.  This was Red’s very first race and later in the day, he lost control and crashed into the front of the grandstand right below where a very startled young Bob Lawrence was seated on the front row! – Dean Crow collection

 

 

 

 

    This photo was taken on the front straight-away at Winfield on July 4, 1953.  The 1933 Ford coupe #5 was driven by Lee Wilt of Winfield; the #1 car was driven by Ralph Lies of Wichita, Kansas; and the car in front of Ralph was a 1936 Ford sedan.  The car behind #5 Lee Wilt was driven by Bill Killion also of Wichita and the car behind that one was the #4jr Hudson believed to have been driven by Bud Webster of Winfield.  Click your mouse on the photo above to see another photo of these same cars but taken at a slightly different angle – Dean Crow collection

 

 

 

 

    This photo was taken from the grandstand at Winfield on July 4, 1953.  The #5 car was driven by Lee Wilt of Winfield.  The car lined up directly behind the #5 Wilt car was a #76.  The #37 car at left, was a Ford coupe owned by Ray Ash.  Click your mouse on the photo above to see another photo of these same cars but taken at a slightly different angle.  If you know who any of the yet unidentified cars on this page belonged to, or were driven by, that day, please contact Bob Lawrence – Dean Crow collection

 

 

 

 

    Bill Mears is on the pole in Joe Collins' five-window Ford coupe #4, Johnnie Bush is outside on the front row in a Joe Collins owned 2-door Ford sedan #39, Bob Newman is inside of the second row, Shorty Jones is outside of the second row, and J. D. Cox is inside of the third row – Dean Crow collection

 

 

 

     Left to right:  #4jr is believed to have been driven by Glenn “Bud” Webster of Winfield, Kansas; #39 Cliff Durr of Derby, Kansas is in a car he owned himself; #29 Dick Doran is in a car owned by Jack Walker and M. B. “Junior” Smith all of Wichita, Kansas; and #4 Ford five-window coupe owned by Joe Collins of Winfield and driven by Bill Mears of Wichita, Kansas – LeRoy Brooks collection

 

 

 

Return to page one of the History of Auto Racing at Winfield website.