Fifth Annual National Championship Jalopy Races

On the Historic Half-mile Racetrack at the

Kansas State Fairgrounds

Hutchinson, Kansas

Sunday – July 30, 1961

  

Time trials for these races were run on Saturday afternoon, July 29, 1961 

 

Promotional Company – Merrick Racing Promotions (M.R.P.)

Race Director – Jack Merrick of Dodge City, Kansas

Trophy Queen – Lana Braden of Wichita, Kansas

 

Posted Purse – $3,000 plus $1,000 in lap money5

Attendance – 15,000

 

These cars were known regionally as “rails” and were assigned flypaper numbers to coincide with the position they had qualified in time trials the day before.

 

  

This photo was taken during the feature race.  The drivers were: #25 J. D. Cox, #26 Bill Bookout, #22 Gene Angel, #20 Bill Curless, and #24 Dick Walker – Loretta Cox collection

 

Bill Nelson

81 Speedway program

 

K. O. Christian

David Ross collection

 

Leland Salmans

Schrater family collection

 

Davey Ross

David Ross collection

 

Pete Jacobs

 Jacobs family collection

 

 Orval Beckel

David Ross collection

 

Ralph Cole

77 Speedway program

 

Bill Curless

77 Speedway program

 

Gene Potts

Schrater family collection

 

Charlie Hiner

Charlie Hiner collection

 

Jay Woodside

Bob Mays collection

 

Henry Ellington

Ellington collection

 

Pinky Mullens

Mullens family collection

 

Jerry Collins

Gary Shinkle collection

 

Jack Petty

Ken Gretemen photo

 

Alvin Riley

Gary Shinkle collection

 

Bill Bookout

Mullens family collection

 

Reuben Loepp

Mohawk Speedway program

 

Cliff Durr

Gary Virden photo

 

Todd White

Todd White collection

 

Dick Hendershot

Mohawk Speedway program

 

Charlie Pitts

Charlie Pitts collection

 

Leon Bowman

Bob Mays collection

 

Bud Hutson

Gary Virden photo

 

Forrest Coleman

National Jalopy Championship program

 

Larry Torson

David Ross collection

 

Willie Hecke

Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame

 

Red Walker

Gary Virden photo

 

Jerry Everhart

Jerry Everhart collection

 

Grady Wade

Kenny Greteman photo

 

Dick Walker

Gary Virden photo

 

J. D. Cox

Dwayne Cox collection

  

Harold Leep

Kenny Greteman photo

 

Jim McAmis

Stults collection

 

Keith Cofield

Claudine Cofield collection

 

Jack Walker

Gary Virden photo

 

Ted Maupin

Perry Luther collection

 

Ray Riner

Kenny Greteman photo

 

Nut Cokeley

Cokeley collection

 

Gene Coffman

Cokeley collection

 

Bert Davis

Cokeley collection

 

Bert Phares

Cokeley collection

 

Francis Kingan

Cokeley collection

 

Bill Wilson

Jehu Speedway racing program

 

Melvin Herrell

Melvin Herrell collection

 

Bob Peck

High Plains THUNDER  by Bob Mays

 

Frankie Lies

Lies collection

 

Roy Bryant

Lies collection

 

Dick Doran

Doran collection

 

First Heat Race

15 Cars – 10 Laps – Time: 7:05.0 – Purse: $150 plus trophy

Start

Finish

Car #4

Driver

From

Purse

  7

  1

73

T. J. Newman

Wichita, KS

$35

  3

  2

78

Roger Davis

Sublette, KS

  25

  6

  3

77

George Heiny

Olmitz, KS

  20

13

  4

66

Leroy Powell

Great Bend, KS

  16

  8

  5

74

Bill Harper

Hutchinson, KS

  14

  5

  6

76

Dick Doran

Wichita, KS

  12

11

  7

68

Chet Phares

Enid, OK

  10

15

  8

64

Milton Luft

Great Bend, KS

    8

10

  9

70

Fate Martin

Wichita, KS

    5

  2

10

81

Don Graves

Great Bend, KS

    5

  9

DNF

71

Alvin Riley

Medora, KS

 

  4

DNF

79

Verne Morton

Hutchinson, KS

 

  1

DNF

80

Jim Roper

Newton, KS

 

14

DNF

83

Tom Stanbach

Wichita, KS

 

12

DNF

65

 Don Lytle

  Beaver City, NE

 

      The cars driven by Martin and Graves had been lapped by the leader by the completion of this race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Heat Race

17 Cars – 10 Laps – Time: 5:00.0 – Purse: $150 plus trophy

Start

Finish

Car #4

Driver

From

Purse

  2

  1

62

Melvin Herrell

Hutchinson, KS

$35

  1

  2

63

Lyle Lewis

Dighton, KS

  25

  5

  3

59

Jack Petty

Wichita, KS

  20

13

  4

49

Pinky Mullens

Wichita, KS

  16

  3

  5

61

Bob Moberly

Colorado Springs, CO

  14

  8

  6

54

Bill Wilson

Junction City, KS

  12

  6

  7

58

Willie Hecke

Franklin, NE

  10

  4

  8

60

Charlie Pitts

Hutchinson, KS

    8

  9

  9

55

Bert Davis

Dodge City, KS

    5

15

10

47

John Riead

Hutchinson, KS

    5

16

11

46

Bob Peck

Manhattan, KS

 

17

12

44

Vester VanSickle

Hutchinson, KS

 

14

13

48

Bob Riner

Wichita, KS

 

 

 

65

Don Lytle

Culbertson, NE

 

12

DNF

50

Gene McClellan

Hutchinson, KS

 

11

DNF

51

Fred Perry

Adams, OK

 

10

DNF

52

Bud Hutson

Ponca City, OK

 

  7 

DNF

57

Gene Coffman

Liberal, KS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Heat Race

22 Cars – 10 Laps – Time: 4:55.0 – Purse: $150 plus trophy

Start

Place

Car #4

Driver

From

Purse

  9

  1

35

Harold Leep

Wichita, KS

$35

18

  2

26

Bill Bookout

Wichita, KS

  25

14

  3

30

Forrest Coleman

Wichita, KS

  20

  4

  4

40

Ted Maupin

Wichita, KS

  16

20

  5

24

Dick Walker

Arkansas City, KS

  14

  5

  6

39

Gene Potts

Great Bend, KS

  12

10

  7

34

Clifford Durr

Wichita, KS

   10

  3

  8

41

Keith Cofield

Wichita, KS

    8

21

  9

23

Grady Wade

Wichita, KS

    5

22

10

22

Gene Angel

Hutchinson, KS

    5

19

DNF

25

J. D. Cox

Wichita, KS

 

17

DNF

27

Paul Befort, Jr.

Garden City, KS

 

16

DNF

28

Jay Woodside

Wichita, KS

 

15

DNF

29

Roy Bryant

Wichita, KS

 

13

DNF

31

Jerry Collins

Hutchinson, KS

 

12

DNF

32

Reuben Loepp

Hutchinson, KS

 

11

DNF

33

Todd White

Hutchinson, KS

 

  8

DNF

36

Chuck Jones

Wichita, KS

 

  7

DNF

37

Jim McAmis

Wichita, KS

 

  6

DNF

38

Bill Nash

Enid, OK

 

  1

DNF

43

K. O. Christian

Wichita, KS

 

  2

DNF

42

Carl Hayes

Hutchinson, KS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Heat Race

20 Cars – 10 Laps – Time: 4:45.0 – Purse:  $150 plus trophy

Start

Place

Car #4

Driver

From

Purse

  5

  1

17

Pete Jacobs

Wichita, KS

$35

16

  2

5

Charlie Lutkie

Wichita, KS

  25

  1

  3

21

Francis Kingan

Enid, OK

  20

  6

  4

16

Dick Hendershot2

Hutchinson, KS

  16

17

  5

4

Orval Beckel

Wichita, KS

  14

  9

  6

12

Donald “Red” Walker

Arkansas City, KS

  12

19

  7

2

Frank Lies

Wichita, KS

  10

10

  8

11

Henry Ellington

Hutchinson, KS

    8

20

  9

1

Bill Nelson

Wichita, KS

    5

  7

10

15

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley

Liberal, KS

    5

  2

11

20

Bill Curless

Arkansas City, KS

 

  8

DNF

14

Bert Phares

Enid, OK

 

18

DNF

3

Ray Riner

Wichita, KS

 

15

DNF

6

Charlie Hiner

Wichita, KS

 

13

DNF

8

Larry Torson

Dodge City, KS

 

12

DNF

9

Ralph Cole

Arkansas City, KS

 

11

DNF

10

Dick Unger

Wichita, KS

 

  4 

DNF

18

Jack Walker

Hesston, KS

 

  3 

DNF

19

Jerry Everhart

Wichita, KS

 

14

DNF

  7

David Ross

Dodge City, KS

 

     #7 Ross rolled on the first lap causing a complete restart of this race.

     #15 Cokeley spun into the infield in the 3rd turn but he returned to finish the race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trophy Dash

11 Cars – 5 Laps – Purse: $75 plus trophy

Place

Car #4

Driver

From

Purse 

  1

26

Bill Bookout

Wichita, KS

$25

  2

30

Forrest Coleman

Wichita, KS

  20

  3

4

Orval Beckel

Wichita, KS

  15

  4

17

Pete Jacobs

Wichita, KS

  10

  5

35

Harold Leep

Wichita, KS

    5

  6

62

Melvin Herrell

Hutchinson, KS

 

  7

59

Jack Petty

Wichita, KS

 

  8

73

T. J. Newman

Wichita, KS

 

  9

78

Roger Davis

Sublette, KS

 

10

49

Pinky Mullens

Wichita, KS

 

11

66

Leroy Powell

Great Bend, KS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Semi-Final Race

30 Laps – Purse: $650 plus lap money and trophy for owner and driver

Place

Car #4

Driver

From

Purse 

  1

58

Willie Hecke

Franklin, NE

 $135

  2

73

T. J. Newman

Wichita, KS

     95

  3

78

Roger Davis

Sublette, KS

     85

  4

60

Charlie Pitts

Hutchinson, KS

     70

  5

80

Jim Roper

Newton, KS

     60

  6

71

Alvin Riley

Medora, KS

     50

  7

76

Dick Doran

Wichita, KS

     45

  8

48

Bob Riner

Wichita, KS

     35

  9

59

Jack Petty

Wichita, KS

     25

10

50

Gene McClellan

Hutchinson, KS

     20

11

 

Unknown

 

    16

12

 

Unknown

 

    14

 

63

Lyle Lewis

Dighton, KS

 

 

62

Melvin Herrell

Hutchinson, KS

 

 

61

Bob Moberly

Colorado Springs, CO

 

 

55

Bert Davis

Dodge City, KS

    

 

57

Gene Coffman

Liberal, KS

 

 

81

Don Graves

Great Bend, KS

 

 

49

Pinky Mullens

Wichita, KS

   DNF

 

64

Milton Luft

Great Bend, KS

   DNF

 

67

George Witzke

Wichita, KS

   DNF

 

65

Don Lytle

Culbertson, NE

   DNF

 

54

Bill Wilson

Junction City, KS

   DNF

          Witzke’s car spun out on the back straightaway and both Luft and Lytle swerved to avoid hitting Witzke’s car.  In doing so, their cars collided with Lytle’s car sailing high into the air and overturning several times.  Wilson could not avoid the pileup and his car plowed into Lytle’s.  Lytle’s seat belt broke and he was thrown from his car receiving critical injuries.  He passed away one week later.

          Mullens was leading this race when his car ran out of gasoline less than ½ lap from the finish line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Championship Race

50 Laps – Time: 22.00.0 - Purse: $1,275 plus lap money and trophy for owner and driver

Place

Car #4

Driver

From

Purse

1

35

Harold Leep

Wichita, KS

$300

2

29

Roy Bryant

Wichita, KS

   225

3

25

J. D. Cox

Wichita, KS

   175

4

1

Bill Nelson

Wichita, KS

   115

5

31

Jerry Collins

Hutchinson, KS

    95

6

2

Frank Lies

Wichita, KS

    80

7

9

Ralph Cole

Arkansas City, KS

    70

8

43

K. O. Christian3

Wichita, KS

    60

9

39

Gene Potts

Great Bend, KS

    45

10

20

Bill Curless

Arkansas City, KS

    35

11

36

Chuck Jones

Wichita, KS

    25

12

9

Ralph Cole

Arkansas City, KS

    20

13

38

Bill Nash

Enid, OK

   16

14

33

Todd White

Hutchinson, KS

   14

15

27

Paul Befort, Jr.

Garden City, KS

 

 

5

Charlie Lutkie

Wichita, KS

 

 

36

Chuck Jones

Wichita, KS

 

 

24

Dick Walker

Arkansas City, KS

 

 

22

Gene Angel

Hutchinson, KS

 

 

26

Bill Bookout

Wichita, KS

   DNF

 

15

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley

Liberal, KS

   DNF

          Bookout crashed while challenging Nelson for the lead.

          Cokeley dropped out with overheating problems with just two laps left in the race.

          Nelson lead until the final turn when he spun out which allowed the cars driven by Leep, Bryant, and Cox to slip by before Nelson could get underway again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#28 Jay Woodside of Wichita, Kansas was balanced rather precariously as #32 Reuben Loepp of Hutchinson spun out – Lies collection

 

This photo was taken in the infield on this day.  Car #39 was driven by Gene Potts of Great Bend, Kansas.  The man standing at right is car owner Vernon Schrater of Great Bend, Kansas.  Car #37 at left was owned by Glenn Stults and driven by Jim McAmis, both from Wichita, Kansas, and car #57 in the background at right was driven by Gene Coffman of Liberal, Kansas.  Click your mouse on the photo to see another photo taken at about the same time and place.  Car #28 at far right in that photo was driven by Jay Woodside of Wichita, Kansas – Schrater family collection  

 

The third heat race is seen here ready to pull away for their pace lap.  Left to right: #37 Jim McAmis of Wichita, Kansas, #38 Bill Nash of Enid, Oklahoma, #39 Gene Potts of Great Bend, Kansas, #40 Ted Maupin of Wichita, #41 Keith Cofield of Wichita, and #43 K. O. Christian of Wichita.  The man in dark clothing standing on the inside of the racetrack about 20 feet to the right of the speaker tower is Max Madison a.k.a. “Peanuts” the clown – Schrater family collection

 

Cars lined up for on the racetrack for the fourth heat race.  #21 on the pole is Francis Kingan of Enid, Oklahoma.  On the outside of the front row is #20 Bill Curless of Arkansas City, Kansas.  On the inside of the second row is #19 Jerry Everhart of Wichita, Kansas while Jack Walker of Hesston, Kansas is outside of the second row.  Eventual race winner #17 Pete Jacobs of Wichita is on the inside of the third row and #15 Clarence “Nut” Cokeley can be seen starting on the inside of the fourth row – Photo from the 1962 Hutchinson Nationals racing program 

 

Another photo of the cars lined up for on the racetrack for the fourth heat race.  Starting from the pole position is Francis Kingan from Enid, Oklahoma.  #20 Bill Curless of Arkansas City, Kansas is outside of the front row.  Starting inside of the 2nd row is Jerry Everhart from Wichita, Kansas.  On the outside of the 2nd row is #18 Jack Walker from Hesston, Kansas.  On the inside of the 3rd row is Pete Jacobs from Wichita.  On the outside of the 3rd row is #16 Dick Hendershot from Hutchinson.  On the inside of the 4th row is Clarence “Nut” Cokeley from Liberal, Kansas.  On the outside of the 4th row is #14 Bert Phares from Enid.  On the inside of the 5th row is #12 Donald “Red” Walker from Arkansas City.  On the outside of the 5th row is #11 Henry Ellington from Hutchinson – Dorothy Cokeley photo

 

Heat Race Winners

Left to right:  Pete Jacobs, unidentified, Harold Leep, Lana Braden, Melvin Herrell, unidentified, and T. J. Newman – Melvin Herrell collection

 

#26 driven by Bill Bookout of Wichita is obscured by the crowd near the inside of the racetrack at the trophy presentation on this day.  The other cars in the photo have not been identified although the darker colored car at far left appears to be a #24.  If that is correct, it would have been driven that day by Jack Walker of Hesston, Kansas – Dorothy Cokeley photo

 

This photo of Bill Bookout of Wichita, Kansas was taken that evening several hours after these races had ended.  The trophy is the one he won for being victorious in the trophy dash on this afternoon – Lies collection

 

Lining for the 30-lap Semi-National race.  Car #49 at right was driven by Pinky Mullens of Wichita.  The car in the shadow beside Mullins is #50 Gene McClellan of Hutchinson.  On the inside of the next row back is #59 Jack Petty from Wichita.  The car starting beside Petty is #55 Bert Davis of Dodge City, Kansas.  The car lined up behind Petty’s is #57 Gene Coffman from Liberal, Kansas.  Coffman’s car was owned by K. O. Christian of Wichita – Dorothy Cokeley photo

 

Ready to pull away on the pace lap for the Semi-National race.  The car starting on the pole position is #47 John Riead of Hutchinson.  The car starting on the outside of the front row is #48 Bob Riner from Wichita.  The car on the inside of the second row is #49 Pinky Mullens from Wichita.  The car in the shadow beside Mullins is #50 Gene McClellan of Hutchinson.  On the inside of the next row back is #59 Jack Petty from Wichita.  The car starting beside Petty is #55 Bert Davis of Dodge City, Kansas.  The car lined up behind Petty’s is #57 Gene Coffman from Liberal, Kansas.  Coffman’s car was owned by K. O. Christian of Wichita – Dorothy Cokeley photo

 

This photo was taken during the 30-lap Semi-Nationals race.  #62 is Melvin Herrell and #58 is Willie Hecke in the “Mighty Mouse” car who recovered from this spin to win this race.  Just visible in the dust behind Herrell is #54 Bill Wilson.  #61 is Bob Moberly, #57 just squeezing by underneath Moberly was driven by Gene Coffman, and #63 second from right was driven by Lyle Lewis.  #65 was the black “Little Jewel” Chevy coupe driven by Don Lytle.  Lytle would be fatally injured in an accident later in this race – Melvin Herrell collection 

 

 

This photo and the three below are a sequence taken by Fred Mendell of the Hutchinson News of the pile-up as it occurred on the back straightaway and through the northeast turn during the 30-Semi-Final involving the cars driven by Milton Luft, George Witzke, Don Lytle, and Bill Wilson.  Lytle passed away a week later from injuries suffered in this accident.

 

 

 

 

This photo was taken from the north turn looking back to the southeast turn.  The #65 driven by Don Lytle where it came to rest upside down after the flip sequence above – Lies collection 

 

This photo was taken during a red flag period on the 48th lap of the 50-lap feature race.  The car at far right is #5 Charlie Lutkie.  The white car that has been circled with blue ink is the #15 owned by Cliff Durr of Derby and driven by Clarence “Nut” Cokeley of Liberal.  Cokeley’s car was unable to restart the race due to a broken radiator hose.  Car #35 in the center of the photo was driven by Harold Leep of Wichita (the eventual race winner).  Car #36 to Leep’s left and behind him was driven by Chuck Jones of Wichita.  The #20 behind Jones was driven by Bill Curless of Arkansas City, Kansas – Dorothy Cokeley photo

 

Clarence “Nut” Cokeley of Liberal is shown here walking to his car after it had been pushed to the infield during a red flag period on the 48th lap of the 50-lap feature race.  Cokeley’s car was unable to restart the race due to a broken radiator hose.  You can see the steam still pouring off of the engine in this photo – Charlie Pitts collection

 

Gene Coffman’s pit pass – Coffman collection

 

Grandstand ticket – Leopp collection

 

To see part one of a YouTube film that was taken of the races on this weekend

Dwane Wolfe collection

To see part two of a YouTube film that was taken of the races on this weekend

Dwane Wolfe collection

 

1 The official program did not list a 13th position in time trials skipping from 12th to 14th position instead.

 

2 Richard M. “Dick” Hendershot (1925-1976) was fatally injured in a racing accident at Salina, Kansas.

 

3 Kenneth Ovid “K. O.” Christian (1914-1961) was fatally injured in a racing accident at Wichita, Kansas.

 

4 Listed car numbers were assigned for this day only and were applied to the cars on sticky paper after time trials.

 

5 Any car winning $100 or more in prize money was required to submit to a post race teardown.

 

Return to the Feature Race Winners at Hutchinson, Kansas web page