For the the 16th race of the 19-race, season 2 of NASCAR's Strictly Stock / Grand National division, the drivers found themselves in Vernon, NY at the Vernon Fairgrounds. Ed Otto promoted the 200-lap race on the half-mile dirt track. The race was the second of the season at Vernon, and it turned out to be the final time the GN cars raced at the track. The first race was on June 18, 1950 ( link to my RHM ).
The race was expected to draw a mixture of GN vets as well as several area, local drivers who planned to make their first GN start or certainly an infrequent one. One of those drivers was Bashful Bill Burton, a frequent winner in Vernon's weekly series of races. He made the show - and the race turned out to be his one and only career GN start. (A crash relegated him to 19th in the 29-car field.)
Otto made sure to promote another big name for his race. Johnny Mantz, the winner of the first Southern 500, was expected to race. For reasons that aren't clear, Mantz apparently didn't race. His name is not listed in the finishing order. The car with which he raced at Darlington DID race at Vernon but with Ted Swaim behind the wheel rather than Mantz.
Pittsburgh's Dick Linder won the pole. The rest of the starting line-up is unknown. Linder came into the event on a bit of a hot streak. He had won two of the five races immediately preceding Vernon - including back to back wins in Dayton, OH and Hamburg, NY.
Linder grabbed the lead at the drop of the green. He dragged the field around the dirt half-mile for the first 30 laps. NASCAR HOFer Herb Thomas then took over the top spot, and he led the next 41 circuits.
Linder, however, wasn't done. He re-took the lead and didn't surrender it the rest of the way. He led the remaining 129 laps to claim his third win in six starts. The victory also turned out to be his last career GN win. His win wasn't an easy one though. Swaim in the re-numbered Plymouth hounded Linder in his 1950 Oldsmobile.
Twenty of the field's 29 cars were still running at the finish - including Ann Bunselmeyer who finished 18th in a Packard. Bunselmeyer is among that small group of female drivers who have participated in a NASCAR SS / GN / Cup race. Her one and only start was in the Vernon race.
But Bunselmeyer apparently had pretty good credentials to enter the show. The weekend before Vernon's GN race, Bunselmeyer won the pole and led the first 20 laps in a race at Rhinebeck Speedway. (The race also featured JockoMaggiacomo who later had a limited GN / Cup career of his own.)
A month after Vernon, Bunselmeyer won a late model race at the famed track in Islip, NY.
|1||Dick Linder||'50 Oldsmobile|
|2||Ted Swaim||'50 Plymouth|
|3||Lloyd Moore||'50 Mercury|
|4||Tim Flock||'50 Oldsmobile|
|5||Jack Reynolds||'50 Plymouth|
|6||Bill Rexford||'50 Oldsmobile|
|7||Lee Petty||'49 Plymouth|
|8||Jimmy Thompson||'50 Plymouth|
|9||Chuck Mahoney||'50 Mercury|
|10||Dick Jerrett||'49 Oldsmobile|
|11||Herb Thomas||'50 Plymouth|
|14||Jim Delaney||'50 Plymouth|
|15||Paul Parks||'50 Plymouth|
|16||John Borden||'50 Ford|
|17||Ted Chamberlain||'50 Plymouth|
|18||Ann Bunselmeyer||'49 Packard|
|21||Speedy Thompson||'50 Plymouth|
|22||Frank Mundy||'50 Nash|
|27||Jack White||'50 Ford|
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
updated by @tmc-chase: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM