1950 - 1951

The History of Motor Sports in Hibbing and Northern Minnesota - A Timeline

                                                                    1950     On June 11,1950, an estimated crowd of 6,000 gathered at the Hibbing Raceway
                                                                                                to witness the first ever “Stock” Car race. It was a part of the newly organized
                                                                                                IMCA National Stock Car Championship series. The race was won by the current
                                                                                                National points leader, Herchel Buchanan in a 1946 Nash Ambassador. Other
                                                                                                nationally known drivers such as Eddie Anderson, Wally Dahl, and Jimmy James
                                                                                                were among the competitors. Four local drivers entered the race as well. They
                                                                                                were Joe Bretto, John Spanish, Jack Valley, and Ed Sabatini. Sabatini, driving a 
                                                                                                1950 Nash, finished in fourth position, the best of the local drivers entered. The
                                                                                                race was held on the ½ mile track and was a 200 lap/100 mile event. The IMCA
                                                                                                rules required cars to be 1946 or newer models so this race can also be considered
                                                                                                to be the first “Late Model” race ever held.

                                                                    1951     June 10, 1951 had a crowd of 3,000 on hand to see the second installment of the
                                                                                                IMCA National Stock Car Championship series compete here. Again, it was a 100
                                                                                                mile/200 lap event and was won by Charles Magnison driving a 1951 Hudson. Of 
                                                                                                the several local drivers entered, Ray Sutton of Hibbing had the best finish in 
                                                                                                fourth position. Sutton was driving a 1947 Ford. Magnison had a ¾ lap lead over
                                                                                                second place finisher, Wally Dahl who was driving a 1951 Oldsmobile.

© David L. Aho 2012

Dave is a member of the Hibbing Historical Society and the Minnesota State Historical Society and is a City of Hibbing Heritage Preservation Commission board member.