Expect 300 for Daywalt Banquet, Presentation
Ticket sales for the Jimmy Daywalt banquet moved into the last day Wednesday with a crowd of at least 300 assured for the event scheduled for 6:30 p. m. Thursday in the Honeywell Memorial Center.
Highlight of the banquet honoring the Wabash race driver who finished sixth in the 500-mie race at Indianapolis Memorial Day will be the formal presentation of the Stark & Wetzel Rookie-of-the-Year award. Daywalt was voted winner of the trophy by representatives of Indianapolis newspapers and radio stations, wire services, and Speedway officials.
The trophy was to have been presented to Daywalt at the annual award dinner the evening after the race but Jimmy smacked the wall while driving that day at Winchester. Injuries kept the 27-year-old Sumar Special pilot from attending the Indianapolis program and receiving the trophy at that time.
Plans for the local banquet began rolling soon after Daywalt flashed across the finish line at Indianapolis. Dick Miller and Hugh Reahad agreed to under write the banquet. The results are still to be heard, but Wednesday morning it was apparent that it would be the biggest collection of sports personalities seen here in many a moon.
Here’s what’s been lined up thus far:
The banquet will open in true “500” fashion at 6:30 with starting bombs. Dick Neher will sing “Bach Home Again In Indiana.” The assistant starter of this year’s “500,” Herb Lewis of Stark & Wetzel will be on hand to get things underway.
Maybe Wilbur Shaw won’t ride around the banquet room in a shiney new convertible to pace the field but he will be there. The three-time winner of the “500” and now president of the Indianapolis Speedway informed Miller Tuesday that he would be glad to attend.
Officials of Stark & Wetzel will present the company’s $6,000 trophy to Daywalt along with a check for $1,000. Daywalt’s name will be inscribed on the 40-inch high trophy and he will be given a replica of the award to keep.
Pal Burch, treasurer of the company, Fred Conrad, assistant advertising director, and Thomas Baker, Wabash district sales representative, will be present along with Lewis who is assistant sales manager.
Art Cross, winner of the Stark & Wetzel trophy in 1952 will be at the banquet as well as Duane Carter who finished fourth in this year’s race. Other drivers are being contacted for appearance Thursday.
Sid Collins, popular Indianapolis sportscaster, will be on hand to interview the drivers. Collins will leave his nightly radio show for the Wabash banquet.
The Sumar Special, the car Jimmy rode to sixth, will be on display in the Center. The pit crew and chief mechanic will accompany the car from Terre Haute and will answer any questions race fans might have about the car.
The Exchange club which holds its meetings on each Thursday has voted to cancel this week’s dinner so that its members may attend the banquet.
Bill Vukovich, winner of this year’s “500,” has notified the banquet sponsors that he will attend if at all possible. He has accepted two tickets. Vukovich has plans to go to California but will attend if he is not on the way to the coast.