Automobile Races

On the Historic Half-mile Racetrack at the

Kansas State Fairgrounds

 Hutchinson, Kansas

Friday, October 8, 1920

 

“The American Legion Motor Racing Carnival”

Sponsored by – Lysle H. Rishel Post, American Legion, Hutchinson, Kansas

Racing committee chairman – Frank Knight

Admission – $1.00 

 

 

 

Leonard Kerbs

in his Ford

Don Radbruch collection

Fred Lentz

in his Hudson

Hutchinson Gazette photo

Merle Warren

in his Essex

Wichita Eagle photo

Al Koepke

in his Ford

Jeff Adams collection

 

 

 

Time Trials – 2 Laps

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

Purse

1

Harold Roller 9

Abilene, Kansas

Ford Special

1:06.2

$150

2

Leonard Kerbs 10

Otis, Kansas

Ford

1:08.6

 

3

Johnny Lee

Wichita, Kansas

Dodge

1:09.6

 

4

Jake Strickler

Enid, Oklahoma

Hudson

1:10.6

 

5

James I. “Toots” Higgins 6

Newton, Kansas

Hudson Special

1:11.2

 

6

Fred Lentz 8

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

1:12.2

 

7

Elmer J. Negy 1

Hutchinson, Kansas

Haynes

1:12.6

 

8

Merle Warren

Newton, Kansas

Essex

1:13.0

 

9 – tie

Al Koepke

Topeka, Kansas

Ford

1:13:6

 

9 – tie

_____  Baker

Hutchinson, Kansas

Studebaker

1:13.6

 

11

George Gass 5

Hutchinson, Kansas

Ford #22

1:15.8

 

12

Jeff Crafford

Hutchinson, Kansas

Ford #23

1:17.4

 

13

Ralph Gamble 7

Hutchinson, Kansas

Oakland

1:23.8

 

14 – tie

Bud Strong 4

Hutchinson, Kansas

Laurel Ford

No Time

 

14 – tie

Bill Bryant

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

No Time

 

14 – tie

Guss Dobrinski 2

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hupmobile

No Time

 

14 – tie

_____  Davis

Hutchinson, Kansas

Davis Special

No Time

 

14 – tie

_____  Roberts

Hutchinson, Kansas

Studebaker

No Time

 

14 – tie

Tommy Rayl

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

No Time

 

14 – tie

Johnny Mais 3

Salina, Kansas

Essex

No Time

 

14 – tie

J. U. Brasier

Hutchinson, Kansas

Fiat

No Time

 

14 – tie

Frank Chacon 11

Wichita, Kansas

Ford

No Time

Harold Roller received $50 for setting the fastest time in time trials and an additional $100 for breaking the previous 2-lap track record.  He also received his choice of starting positions in the line-up for all races throughout the day.

 

 

 

Match Race – Scheduled to be 6 Laps

4 Fastest Qualifiers from Time Trials who were from Reno County, Kansas

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Reason Out

 

Fred Lentz 8

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

Withdrew

 

_____  Baker

Hutchinson, Kansas

Studebaker

Withdrew

 

James I. “Toots” Higgins 6

Newton, Kansas

Hudson Special

Wreck

 

Elmer J. Negy 1

Hutchinson, Kansas

Haynes

Wreck - Disqualified

Going into the first corner on a false start (the starter did not display the green flag), Negy crowded Higgins and the two cars made contact causing Higgins to crash through the inside fence into the infield.  Higgins’ Hudson suffered a smashed radiator and was unable to restart the event.  A rear wheel was torn off of Negy’s Haynes and he was disqualified for his crowding maneuver.  Lentz and Baker then decided to withdraw their entries rather than to run a race between just the two remaining cars.  Lentz and Baker were then added to the next match race’s lineup.

 

 

 

Match Race – 10 Laps

 All Qualifiers from Time Trials who were from Reno County, Kansas – 6 cars started

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

Purse

1

Bill Bryant

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

6:47.4

$100

2

George Gass 5

Hutchinson, Kansas

Ford

 

    60

3

Jeff Crafford

Hutchinson, Kansas

Ford

 

    40

 

Ralph Gamble 7

Hutchinson, Kansas

Oakland

 

 

 

_____  Baker

Hutchinson, Kansas

Studebaker

DNF

 

 

Bud Strong 4

Hutchinson, Kansas

Laurel Ford

DNF

 

Bryant won by a wide margin.  Strong dropped out of the race on the third lap with engine trouble.  Baker crashed in the north turn on the sixth lap smashing his radiator.

Since the two match races were consolidated into one, the posted purse was doubled to the amount shown above.

 

 

 

Sweepstakes – 20 Laps

6 Fastest Qualifiers from Time Trials – Paid 3 Places

Place

Driver

From

Automobile

Time

1

Harold Roller 9

Abilene, Kansas

Ford Special

11:56.2

2

Fred Lentz 8

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hudson

 

3

Al Koepke

Topeka, Kansas

Ford

 

4

Jake Strickler

Enid, Oklahoma

Hudson

 

5

Leonard Kerbs 10

Otis, Kansas

Ford

 

6

Johnny Lee

Wichita, Kansas

Dodge

 

Strickler finished the race on a flat tire having suffered a blowout on the 13th lap.  Kerbs finished the race after stopping to repair an engine rod that was knocking.  Lee dropped out of the race on the fourth lap with engine trouble.

 

 

 

 

Race Officials:

Promoter

Frank Knight

Starter

 -

Frank Knight

Flagman

 -

Frank Knight

Timer

 -

Albert Teed

Timer

 -

Dr. H. G. Welsh

Timer

 -

Walter Soden

Judge

 -

Harry H. Taylor

Judge

 -

Ray Hockaday

Judge

 -

Lloyd Brown

 

 

Barney Oldfield was scheduled to be the starter for these races.  He got as close as Kansas City but did not make it to Hutchinson.  No reason was given for his failure to appearance.

 

 

 

 

Bud Strong

in his Ford

The Accessory and Garage Journal, Vol. 10

Harold Roller

in his Ford

Bob Mays collection

Frank Chacon

in front of his Ford

Bob Mays collection

 

 

 

 

1 Elmer John Negy (1891-1985)

 

2 Guss Dobrinski (1885-1948) owned a Hupmobile dealership in Hutchinson, Kansas.  He moved to Arizona in 1927 and lived there for the remainder of his live.  He is buried in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

3 John A. “Johnny” Mais (1888-1934) had competed in the Indianapolis “500” in 1915.

 

4 Ancel “Bud” Strong (1893-1952).

 

5 George William Gass (1894-1943)

 

6 James Irving “Toots” Higgins (1895-1947)

 

7 Ralph Dewey Gamble (1898-1971)

 

8 Fred Sherman Lentz (1885-1952)

 

9 Harold Stanley “Doc” Roller (1893-1964)

 

10 Leonard E. Kerbs (1895-1960)

 

11 Francisco Pauda “Frank” Chacon (1902-1990)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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