Racing History Minute - April 22, 1951

Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

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: 08/05/18 10:02:02PM
Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

Trying to remember who the last driver was that ran to check on another in a crash. I know I saw it on television but I can't remember who it was. I know, for certain, that it wasn't Bobby Allison stopping to check on Donnie at the end of the 1979 Daytona 500!

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
5 years ago
3,982 posts

Gotta admit. I was surprised to find a recap of the race from Google News Archive. Searching didn't work so I went to a few trusty sources. With it being out west and a few hours removed from the east coast's deadline, I thought the race might be overlooked. But sure nuff, theDaytona Beach Morning Journal included a couple of inches about the race in its April 23, 1951 edition.




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
5 years ago
9,124 posts

I know Tim Richmond ran to Dale Earnhardt's assistance at Pocono in 1982 when Dale turned upside down on the boiler plate wall in turns 1-2. Tim and a photographer helped Dale, who had hot oil from the ruptued oil cooler reservoir running over him, get out of the car before help arrived.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
5 years ago
9,124 posts

I am "guessing" that Leland Colvin of Darlington, SC was kin to Darlington's Bob Colvin?

Anybody know?

Thanks, Tim, fo another interesting look back.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Sandeep Banerjee
@sandeep-banerjee
5 years ago
360 posts

Thanks for another cool read, Tim. Loving these 'minutes'.

Interesting to see Indy winner Bill Holland's name. Did not know he drove stockers too.

Patsy Thompkins ~ Keisler
@patsy-thompkins-keisler
5 years ago
559 posts

That was quite an adventurous day! And what a statement it says about Marshall Teagues' integrity, as well....Thanks, Tim...~Patsy~

Patsy Thompkins ~ Keisler
@patsy-thompkins-keisler
5 years ago
559 posts

Now...THAT one, I do remember...BB...

Patsy Thompkins ~ Keisler
@patsy-thompkins-keisler
5 years ago
559 posts

That was "Priceless" footage...to me, anyway..Thanks, Dave..

Charles Ray Stocks
@charles-ray-stocks
5 years ago
222 posts

cant wait to see what it will be tommorow another great history minute tim

Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

Dave, thanks! Yes, that is the one I remember so clearly. Just couldn't bring the details to mind. I must be getting really bad in the memory department these days. Funny how things from the 50s and 60s are so clear and the 70s aren't bad. After that, it gets rough. I would report myself to the guy who runs this site but I can't remember his name.

Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

Billy, that one I remember very clearly. It is as if I've seen it a couple million times. It's also one of those things I sort of put in the back of my mind because the horror of the loss we suffered that day causes my eyes to tear up. Thanks for pointing out that Ken Schrader did that. Ken is really a fine guy. So are you! Thank you.

Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

It is my understanding Leland was a cousin to Bob but I have no way to verify that. I did have contact a couple years ago with Bob Colvin's grandson who is living in Charleston, but I've misplaced his business card. The grandson told me he has many mementoes from Bob's time at Darlington.

Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

Thanks, Sandeep. I am really enjoying doing these.

Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

Thanks Patsy. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

Tim Leeming
@tim-leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

Charles, I deeply appreciate you reading and commenting each day. We are building a history record here for sure thanks to Greg Feilden and what he did and people like Dave Fulton and Chase (toomuchcountry) adding to it. I'm loving it. Keep reading and keep commenting.

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
6 months ago
3,982 posts

While the GN racers were out west, Martinsville hosted modified racing. Program from N.B. Arnold. I haven't yet found anything noting who won that day.

http://racersreunion.com/nb-arnold/gallery/27604/martinsville-speedway-1951

temp_ning_photo_file.jpg




--
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 04/22/18 01:38:32PM