Automobile Races

On the Historic Half-mile Racetrack at the

Kansas State Fairgrounds

 Hutchinson, Kansas

Friday, September 24, 1926

 

 

Promoter – D. J. Fair of Sterling, Kansas

 

Total Purse:  $1,320

 

“A crowd of fully 10,000 braved blustery north winds and rain to pack the grandstand and remained there until the racing program was at an end.”

 

      

 

 

#4 Charles Lebsack  –  #1 Leonard Kerbs

Betty (Kerbs) Able collection

   

 

 

Vic Felt

Carolyn (Felt) Junod collection

John Gerber

Roy Eaton collection

L. O. Hughes

Hughes collection

  

 

 

Entry List

Driver

From

Automobile

Charles “Butch” Lebsack

Otis, Kansas

Kerbs Special #4

Leonard E. Kerbs

Otis, Kansas

Kerbs Special #1

Vic Felt

Deer Trail, Colorado

Frontenac

Lawrence O. Hughes

Wichita, Kansas

Hughes Special

John B. Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Gerber Special

Clyde Gilbert

Longmont, Colorado

Fisher Special

Delbert Ging

Hutchinson, Kansas

Fronty Ford

Fred Lentz

Hutchinson, Kansas

Lentz Special

Joe Hutchinson

Arkansas City, Kansas

Frontenac

James E. White

Sharon Springs, Kansas

White Special  (Frontenac)

W. M. “Bill” Bryant

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

Al Koepke

Great Bend, Kansas

Frontenac

Clovis Rankin*

Chicago, Illinois

Frontenac

Andrew “Cokey” Fuller

Arkansas City, Kansas

Ford Special

Oscar Anderson

Chicago, Illinois

Miller Special

Roy Rinehart

Arkansas City, Kansas

Laurel Ford

Walter Higley

Longmont, Colorado

Higley Special  (Essex)

Keene Saxon

Topeka, Kansas

Frontenac

Jess A. Pettit

Kanapolis, Kansas

Dodge Special

Roy O'Loughlin

Hutchinson, Kansas

Frontenac

O. Albert “Mike” Koenitzer

Meriden, Kansas

O. K. Special

 

 

 

Time Trials – 1 Lap

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Charles Lebsack

Otis, Kansas

Kerbs Special #4

31.0

1

Leonard Kerbs

Otis, Kansas

Kerbs Special #1

31.0

3

Vic Felt

Deer Trail, Colorado

Frontenac

31.5

4

L. O. Hughes

Wichita, Kansas

Hughes Special

31.6

4

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Gerber Special

31.6

6

Clyde Gilbert

Longmont, Colorado

Fisher Special

32.0

7

Delbert Ging

Hutchinson, Kansas

Fronty Ford

32.4

8

Fred Lentz

Hutchinson, Kansas

Lentz Special

33.2

9

Joe Hutchinson

Arkansas City, Kansas

Frontenac

33.6

10

Jim White

Sharon Springs, Kansas

White Special (Frontenac)

34.2

11

Bill Bryant

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

36.0

12

Al Koepke

Great Bend, Kansas

Frontenac

37.6

13

Jess Pettit

Kanapolis, Kansas

Dodge Special

NT

13

James White

Sharon Springs, Kansas

White Special  (Frontenac)

NT

13

Clovis Rankin*

Chicago, Illinois

Frontenac

NT

13

Mike Koenitzer

Meriden, Kansas

O. K. Special

NT

             

 

 

Class “A” Heat Race – 10 Laps – Purse:  $350

 Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Leonard Kerbs

Otis, Kansas

Kerbs Special #1

5:33.0

2

L. O. Hughes

Wichita, Kansas

Hughes Special

 

3

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Gerber Special

 

4

Charles Lebsack

Otis, Kansas

Kerbs Special #4

 

            Hughes finished “a poor second” to Kerbs.

 

 

Class “B” Heat Race – 10 Laps – Purse:  $320

 Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Fred Lentz

Hutchinson, Kansas

Lentz Special

5:39.6

2

Joe Hutchinson

Arkansas City, Kansas

Frontenac

 

3

Al Koepke

Great Bend, Kansas

Frontenac

 

4

Bill Bryant

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

 

5

James White

Sharon Springs, Kansas

White Special  (Frontenac)

DNF

            Lentz started this race from the pole position and easily pulled away for the win.  White was forced to drop out on the ninth lap when he crashed into the fence at the north end of the racetrack.  He was not injured and no damage was done to either his car or the fence.

 

 

 

Class “C” Heat Race – 10 Laps – Purse:  $250

 Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Charles Lebsack

Otis, Kansas

Kerbs Special #4

5:31.6

2

Al Koepke

Great Bend, Kansas

Frontenac

 

3

Joe Hutchinson

Arkansas City, Kansas

Frontenac

 

4

Fred Lentz**

Hutchinson, Kansas

Lentz Special

 

 

Jim White

Sharon Springs, Kansas

White Special  (Frontenac)

DNF

 

Clovis Rankin*

Chicago, Illinois

Frontenac

DNF

 

Mike Koenitzer

Meriden, Kansas

O. K. Special

DNF

            The race was stopped after one lap had been completed as the machines of White, Rankin, and Koenitzer tangled going into the first (south) turn on the first lap.  None of the drivers were injured but the O. K. Special had a wheel smashed off and the machines were disabled.  After the race was restarted, Lebsack had an easy time pulling away to finish with a big lead.

 

 

 

Free-For-All – 20 Laps – Purse:  $400

 Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Charles Lebsack

Otis, Kansas

Kerbs Special #4

11:08.5

2

John Gerber

Meriden, Kansas

Gerber Special

 

3

Vic Felt

Deer Trail, Colorado

Frontenac

 

4

L. O. Hughes

Wichita, Kansas

Hughes Special

 

 

Al Koepke

Great Bend, Kansas

Frontenac

 

 

Clyde Gilbert

Longmont, Colorado

Fisher Special

 

 

Delbert Ging

Hutchinson, Kansas

Fronty Ford

DNF

Lebsack, Hughes, and Clyde Gilbert were tightly bunched going into the (first) south turn before Lebsack took off with a big burst of speed and sped away to a big lead that he maintained for the rest of the race.  Hughes fell into second place at the start with Gilbert in third and Gerber in fourth but running some distance behind the front three.  Ging, driving Roy O'Loughlin’s Fronty Ford, dropped out after the second lap with engine trouble.  On the fifth lap, Gerber was holding the outside track and gaining speed when the engine in Gilbert’s Fisher Special developed a miss.  That allowed Gerber to catch and pass Gilbert for third.  Gerber was gaining on Hughes in second place when the Hughes Special threw a tire on the fourteenth lap.  That allowed Gerber to slip into the runner-up spot.  The right rear tire then came off of Gerber’s car on the sixteenth lap but he still managed to hold onto second place at the finish some 200 yards behind Lebsack.  Gerber and Lebsack had lapped all of the other cars by the competition of the race.

 

 

 

 

Cokey Fuller

Lew Irwin collection

Jim White

Oakley Graphic photo

Al Koepke

Jeff Adams collection

 

 

 

 

Fred Lentz

Hutchinson Gazette photo

Delbert Ging

Robert Ging collection

Joe Hutchinson

Winfield Courier photo

 

 

 

 

* Clovis S. Rankin (1897-1967) was actually from Salina, Kansas and was probably convinced by the promoter to pretend he was from Chicago, Illinois to help make it appear as though a field of cars had entered these races from far and wide..

 

** Another source states that the 4th place finisher in the Class “C” Heat was Jess Pettit of Kanapolis, Kansas in his Dodge Special.

 

 

 

 

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