The event I found for today is different, even for me, and I thought I had read just about all the racing history there is out there. Today, we travel across the country to a one mile DIRT track located at The State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. The drivers were set to run 150 miles/laps .
Thirty cars showed up to race that day. The list of drivers contains the names of many drivers not commonly known to those of us raised on the Southern form of stock car racing, but nevertheless this was the 6th event of the 1951 NASCAR Grand National season.
Fonty Flock started his Olds 88 from the pole and would lead laps 1-14 before yeilding to Marshall Teague in The FABULOUS Hudson Hornet. Fonty would reassume the lead from Teague on lap 73. On lap 81, Teague put the pedal to the metal and retook the lead he would hold until the end. That is the lap leader run down of the race, but the story line goes a little further in thisone.
In qualifying time trials, driver Allen Heath flipped his Plymouth and was taken to the hospital with three broken ribs, a punctured lung and head injuries. The Plymouth was repaired and Chuck Meekins was assigned to drive it. On the second lap of the race, in the exact spot where the Plymouth had flipped with Heath, it flipped again and Meekinswas transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries. The irony is that he was placed in a semi-private hospital room with Heath. At least they had something in common to talk about. As for the coincidence of two flips in the same spot by the same car, I am wondering if they checked under the dirt for perhaps a chip off the Plymouth Rock.
Another interesting fact from this race is that while Marshall Teague had the field covered and was lapping Al King on lap 72, he hooked bumpers with King and the King car flipped. Teague stopped his car on the track, climbed out and checked on King. Convinced King was ok, Teague climbed back in that Hudson and blew past Fonty Flock 10 laps later to lead the rest of the way to the win.
Top Five finishers were:
1. Marshall Teague, Hudson Hornet, winning $1,275.00
2. Erick Erickson, Pontiac, winning $800.00
3. Tim Flock, Oldsmobile, winning $600.00
4. Fonty Flock, Oldsmobile, winning $500.00
5. Dick Meyer Mercury, winning $300.00
Sixth through tenth were Danny Weinberg, Walt Sprague, Bill Holland, Leland Colvin, and Bill Stammer.
Other finishers of note were Lloyd Dane 12th, Herb Thomas 22nd, Bill Blair 23rd, Lee Petty 26th, Dick Rathman 28th, and Johnny Mantz, winner of the first Southern 500 at Darlington the previous September in 29th. The run downs denotes "drivers listed in positions 11-30 are not necessarily in correct finishing order". I found that quite interesting and wonder how many hours were spent at the pay window arguing over positions. But, then again, with positions 12 through 30 paying only $25.00 per position it may not have been worth the time to argue with NASCAR.
With that win, Marshall Teague regained the points lead he had lost the week before at the race at Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsborough, NC.
Honor the past, embrace the present, dream for the future.
updated by @tim-leeming: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM