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Racing Fans Honor Jimmy Daywalt with Hugh Banquet in Center; Rookie of the Year Trophy Presented

            Five hundred and four persons gather in the Honeywell Memorial Center Thursday night to mingle with the many racing celebrities and to collect autographs, but mostly they were there to honor Wabash’s Jimmy Daywalt, Speedway Rookie of the Year and driver of the sixth-place Sumar Special.

            Wilbur Shaw, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was there along with Drivers Duane Carter and Art Cross.  Daywalt’s pit crew stood by to answer questions about the Sumar car that was trucked in from Terre Haute by Owner Chapman Root.

            Officials of Stark & Wetzel were on hand to present Daywalt with the company’s coveted Rookie of the Year trophy along with representatives of the A. P. Parts company. Frank Funk, owner of the Winchester speedway attended.

            Race fans had a chance to examine the sleek Sumar Special in front of the Center before the program got underway.  Upon entering the building, they were asked to sign in one of tow register books that will be given to Daywalt in remembrance of the occasion.  The Rev. James Y. Brown offered the invocation at the start of the dinner.

            Following the meal, Dick (Morton Downey) Neher, opened the program in true “500” fashion by singing “Back Home Again in Indiana.”  Introduction of distinguished guest by Toastmaster Dick Miller followed.

Good News Pilots

            Mr. Shaw was then introduced by Miller.  Shaw paid tribute to the top-notch crowd of new drivers appearing at the Speedway this year.  Shaw said that this made Daywalt’s accomplishment even more outstanding.

            Hoosier Art Cross, winner of the Stark & Wetzel award last year, briefly described the driver’s test that all new “500” pilots must pass before attempting to qualify a car for the Memorial Day grind.

            Both drivers were interviewed by Sid Collins, Indianapolis sportscaster.

            Mayor James Smallwood presented Daywalt with the key to the city.  Dick Neher awarded Jimmy with the Chamber of Commerce Orchard of the Month and J. Dudley Lavengood presented a plaque from the Race Fans of Wabash.

            Daywalt received a jacket from the owners of the Mercial Power special in which he smacked the wall at Winchester last week,

            Herb Lewis of Stark & Wetzel presented Jimmy with the large Rookie-of-the-Year award.

            Daywalt told his audience that words could not express his feelings of gratitude.  He said that last week when he was in Winchester hospital following the accident, he asked his doctor if it would be possible to attend the Speedway banquet set for that night.

            “I was disappointed when the doctor said no,” Jimmy related.  “About midnight a nurse slipped into my rom and told me they had heard on the radio I had been named Rookie-of-the-Year,” he said.  “I’m glad now I didn’t get to go to that banquet,” said Daywalt.  He said nothing could beat receiving the trophy at home.

            He gave his pit crew great credit for the race he drove and said next year they plan a new car for Jimmy.  One that will be built before next spring.