AAA-Sanctioned Auto Race near Dunbar

Charleston Gazette
June 24, 1935

Doc MacKenzie Wins Auto Race

Bearded Driver From Eddington, Pa., Adds Another Point to Ranking, Beating Gardner

By Frank A. Knight
(The Gazette Sports Editor.)

Doc MacKenzie, who grew a Vandyke beard so automobile racing fans would remember him, yesterday came in first in the abbreviated 13-mile sanctioned AAA chase at the Four-H track near Dunbar, nosing out the renowned Chet Gardner by three lengths.

The Eddington, Pa., driver, topping the eastern championship standings for 1935, led the entire way to win when the race was halted because of rain at the end of the twenty-sixth lap. It was scheduled for 40 over the half-mile oval. His time was 12 minutes, 48 1-5 seconds.

Five thousand racing bugs crowded the fairgrounds grandstand and the surrounding hilltops wo watch MacKenzie and Gardner, both of whom placed among the first 10 in the last Memorial day classic at Indianapolis, stage[d] a battle royal while leaving the rest of the field of nine in the finals far behind. Coming in third was Johnny Duncan of Lawrence, Long Island, N. Y., a full lap back.

MacKenzie, besides winning the feature event in his Cresco Special, also set a new track record in the first five-mile qualifying heat with a time of four minutes, 37 3-5 seconds. Gardner, driving his Miller powered job, finished second to him in this heat while Duncan in a Drake Special, won the second qualifying event in four minutes, 51 and one-fifth seconds. Fred Bailes, former Bluefield boy, won the third qualifying heat in the slow time of five minutes, eight and four-fifths seconds and did not finish in the money in the headlines attraction.

Everett Saylor of Dayton placed fourth in the finals with Bud Wharke of Cincinnati fifth. MacKenzie and Gardner made it a two-man race with the latter threatening the leader at every turn and had it gone the entire distance he may have passed him. Duncan also grabbed third place at the start and never forfeited it to any of his competitors.

Threatening skies forced officials of the Hankinson Speedways, promotor of the first AAA sanctioned race ever held here, to rush their program in time to stage even part of the finals. Rain started as the cars wire going into the twenty-third lap, and Bill Breitenstein of Atlanta, Ga., managing director, decided to call it off rather than have an accident.

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