Aug. 25th 1951 - The forgotten race at Air Base Speedway (Greenville, SC)

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
16 posts

Hi to everyone. First of all, I want to apoligize because of my language because I'm from Italy.

I've got a question to all of you great historic racing fans. Just one year ago, I noticed from racing-reference.com that the 1951 NASCAR Grand National Division race at Greenville was not helded at Greenville-Pickens Speedway but at the unkown Air Base Speedway. Indeed that race was always recorded as "paved", but the Greenville-Pickens Speedway was dirt until the early seventies.

Someone knows the exact place of that track? Was it at the former Donaldson Air Force Base (now Donaldson Center Airport) or at the former Greenville Municipal Airport (now Greenville Downtown Airport) or somewhere else?


updated by @aldo-canzian: 09/07/19 05:27:23PM
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
3 years ago
4,019 posts

Not sure yet on location. Hopefully others here have better information. But one of these previews indicates the place was a half-time DIRT track. I've found a couple of additional clippings that reference cancelled races at the track. But so far, I haven't found many promotional articles or ads for them that might include more track info or an address.

Many of the driver were bopping over from Darlington where they were doing practice and qualifying runs for the 2nd Southern 500. Any chance they'd bring the same car over to Greenville for a Saturday night half-mile race - and then take it back to Darlington? Could have I suppose.




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
3 years ago
4,019 posts

I pulled on the thread of promoter Charlie Hicks' name. Looks like he was the promoter at the dirt, half-mile Greenville Textile Speedway as late as November 1950. I found this ad and race preview. The ad says GTS was located on Highway 25. Is it possible the track was renamed in 1951?




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
16 posts

There's an article by John Nelson & Tom Schmeh on page 12 of January 2015 SPEED SPORT magazine called "NASCAR's Forgotten Race". Maybe we can know something more if someone's got that one.

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
16 posts

This site confirms that the Air Base Speedway was previously known as Textile Speedway and Greenville Textile Speedway. It says that the track was located 10 miles south of town on the the Highway 25 near the Donaldson Air Force Base.

There's was also a 1/4 mile track. Both 1/4 and 1/2 mile tracks are noticed as dirt.

http://www.autoracingrecords.com/tracks.php?lid=28511

Aldo Canzian
@aldo-canzian
3 years ago
16 posts

So I made a good research and I've got the answer. Looking at https://lta.cr.usgs.gov/ , i catched this:

Coming from town down the Augusta Road going south, turn left at Antioch Church Road. The speedway was 400 yards after crossing Harris Road on the right side of the street, at the entrance of Sundland Distribution Inc.

SOLVED! =)

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,129 posts

Nice work!




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
hwf0712
@hwf0712
2 months ago
2 posts

Apologies, as I'm bumping a thread. This thread has made some "infamy" from a recent Youtube video. Youtuber S1ap Sh0es is currently searching for photos of this track, however we have yet to be able to find any, and this thread has what we need, but it is dead.

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
2 months ago
4,019 posts




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Oklyn
@oklyn
2 months ago
2 posts

Hmmm guys, i think i found something really suspicious in the possible area of this speedway 

Capturar7.JPG
Capturar7.JPG  •  46KB

Oklyn
@oklyn
2 months ago
2 posts

Using all the photos that i got to see(from the video from S1apSh0es) there's nothing that look like it, for me this is a lost part of the speedway

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

[quote="MotorCityOctane"]

FOUND A NEW LINK!!!!!!! From Pontiac racing, they called it a PAVED!! track too. Pontiac sat out race #21 &#22

and returned for race #23 at Air Base Speedway on August 25th. Erik Erickson was the driver racing a 1951 Pontiac

& was sponsored by Packer. "15 entrants recorded in the racing history books, observers believe that many

drivers/teams were preparing for the Southern 500, leaving mostly heavy hitters who were intent at participating in as many races as possible" https://pontiacracing.wordpress.com/tag/nascar-pontiac-erickson-air-base-speedway-greensville-textile/

Someone posted a pic to Jalopnik that shows what looks like the actual track & lighting. Sure looks like dirt to me.

[/quote]

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

Found the actual race article kinda hard to read tho.

I will try to upload the Image of the clipping, not sure if it will work.

FLOCK BROTHERS TAKE ALL HONORS AT LOCAL STOCK EVENT

7,000 on Hand as Bob, Tim & Fonty finish 1-2-3 (not Buck Baker like Racing-ref)

Fans flocked to the Air Base Speedway last night & the Flocks thrilled the fans

Bob, Tim , Fonty came in 1-2-3 in the 200 lap 100 mile Grand National Stock car race

to cheer the over 7,000 fans. The race was held up for some time when word came down

that Tim Flock was on his way from a New York race last night. The younger Flock boy

fell in 20th place & in a matter of laps was in the first 10. Bob Flock the winner started

in 6th place & on the 7th lap took the lead over (can't read) Taylor driving the Hudson

Hornet out of Macon, Georgia. At the half way point behind Bob was Fonty in second

place & Tim in 3rd and Erick Erickson out of Gardenia was in fourth.

The last 2 paragraphs I can't read, I have access to all the articles give me some time

I will try to find more info.

https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?institutionId=0&user=7083374&id=187032584&width=557&height=871&crop=2226_3697_1096_1746&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=0&invert=0&ts=1567543078&h=a02efbfeb810ff5e14d0d183693968b4

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

Found the Race Day article as well
The Purse was $5,700
Pole Time Thursday was 31.06 by Jesse Taylor

https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?institutionId=0&user=7083374&id=187031576&width=557&height=314&crop=2296_5483_1616_928&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=0&invert=0&ts=1567545142&h=2cf26d6e4826a55b8dd2cebc196475de

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

Article 3 Another Q Day

https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?institutionId=0&user=7083374&id=187030319&width=557&height=2012&crop=1291_519_568_2090&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=0&invert=0&ts=1567546187&h=bb6be03a78cafb81f11e019f5fe7d3c5

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

And Another

https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?institutionId=0&user=7083374&id=187028922&width=557&height=728&crop=757_1881_1102_1468&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=0&invert=0&ts=1567546684&h=d28feea0269ced02fca6701875a63e48

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?institutionId=0&user=7083374&id=187027128&width=557&height=1279&crop=2328_4353_576_1347&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=0&invert=0&ts=1567547133&h=37a72c18e58e86fa460b84248492a8a4

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
2 months ago
4,019 posts

Great adds!




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?institutionId=0&user=7083374&id=187023436&width=557&height=1809&crop=2839_2230_559_1849&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=0&invert=0&ts=1567548165&h=3126fdeace7352d668e2b814e129a31b

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

This was posted about a 5-6 days after the race.

"UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT"

https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?institutionId=0&user=7083374&id=187038372&width=557&height=426&crop=172_5218_1609_1254&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=0&invert=0&ts=1567548748&h=ee3d612e4d3bc0ae220758841701e746

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

Buck Baker & business partners leased the

Air Base track track shortly after the Grand national race

https://img.newspapers.com/img/img?institutionId=0&user=7083374&id=187040514&width=557&height=1233&crop=1700_3838_663_1495&rotation=0&brightness=0&contrast=0&invert=0&ts=1567548933&h=83b7a32a314b1887b8666780036a5efd

MotorCityOctane
@motorcityoctane
2 months ago
10 posts

Sept 1, 1951 was the last article I could find announcing Baker, Kiser & Combs took control &

leased the the track less than a week after the first GN race. Why would someone build/promote

an event and then decide to lease a track less than 1 week after it's first big race

Sounds shady as hell like some tax evading/money washing. "7,000" people attending

this race & I don't see any permanent structures, facilities, bathrooms, etc. 

Almost like they knew this track would never be used again.

Not one single mention of any race, results, sale or events for months after.

Buck Baker took control in less than 1 week & the Air Base track vanished from the earth


updated by @motorcityoctane: 09/03/19 09:22:34PM
hwf0712
@hwf0712
2 months ago
2 posts

The promoter, LC Hicks/Charles Hicks, was charged for trying to sell it with no liens on it, when he did have liens on it. https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/617892224927268864/617922215177879552/unknown.png
Further Info: 
-It hosted motorcycle races
-Sometimes just gave free grandstand seating
-Sold food
-6 feet of banking

zyfred
@zyfred
one month ago
1 posts

this i very unclear but maybe it can help you guys

text.jpg
text.jpg  •  39KB

Hyatt95
@hyatt95
2 weeks ago
1 posts

This is very interesting. I want to do some digging myself on this. I get to do some video work for nascar and the next time I am at the track, I will try to talk to someone about this track (maybe Richard Petty?). I also do filming at an airplane renovation company located at the Donaldson Center in Greenville so maybe they will know something about the track.