Racing History Minute - July 2, 1950

Tim Leeming
5 years ago
3,119 posts

First up today, Happy Birthday to The King. At 76 still going strong. Also, on this date in 1964, the racing world lost Fireball Roberts who succumbed to his injuries from the World 600 in May. It was, indeed, a sad day when we lost The Fireball.

Our "Minute" today takes us back to the half-mile dirt track we have already visited once in this series. That's the Monroe County Fairground Speedway in Rochester, NY. On this day, in 1950, 25 cars showed up to compete for 100 miles/200 laps.

My source for information (Greg Fielden's "Forty Years of Stock Car Racing") does not include starting positions for this race other than to state that Curtis Turner put his Oldsmobile on the pole. When the green flag waved, Turner took advantage of his starting spot and stormed into the lead, never to be passed. He would, in fact, finish three laps ahead of runner up, Bill Blair, with Blair barely nosing out Lee Petty for the position.

Fielden's book also indicates there were three caution flags for a total of seven laps, but the only description of a caution was when Dick Burns left the track, crashing his Mercury head on into a light pole. Burns was badly shaken but suffered no other injuries.

After the race. at the post race inspection station, Lee Petty and Curtis Turner engaged in some fisticuffs for reasons not stated, which resulted in NASCAR fining both drivers $100.00. Stiff fine back in those days. Would really love to know what started that fight, but then again, that was a somewhat common happening on the short tracks. Still is on the local tracks so I hear. In fact, if Clint Bowyer could have caught Jeff Gordon last year, we may have seen an event to make the end of the 1979 Daytona 500 look like a kindergarden dodge-ball game.

This race in Rochester marked the first time a father-son team would compete in the same NASCAR Grand National event. Roscoe "Pappy" Hough and his son Lee raced together that day with "Pappy" finishing 25th and Lee finishing 18th.

Leaving the race, Curtis Turner had the points lead by two points over Lloyd Moore. Lee Petty was third, 24.5 points behind, but a week later Lee would compete in a non-NASCAR race and when NASCAR learned of this infraction, it stripped Lee of all the points (809) that he had earned in the 1950 season.

Top five finishers were:

1. Curtis Turner, Eanes Motor Company Oldsmobile, winning $1,000.00

2. Bill Blair, Sam Rice Mercury, winning $750.00

3. Lee Petty, Petty Plymouth, winning $600.00

4. Jimmy Florian, Euclid Motor Company Ford, winning $400.00

5. Bill Rexford, Julian Buesink Oldsmobile, winning $300.00

Sixth through tenth were Dick Clothier, Lloyd Moore, Lyle Scott, Dick Jerrett and Dick Lindler. Herb Thomas finished 21st.

Honor the past, embrace the present, dream for the future

updated by @tim-leeming: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
Dave Fulton
5 years ago
9,125 posts

I cannot vouch for the accuracy, but I found the statement below in a list of Curtis Turner accomplishments:

The only NASCAR driver to win two Grand National races in a row from the pole by leading every lap (Rochester, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina in July 1950)

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
6 months ago
3,985 posts

I'm not sure where Fielden (and subsequently Racing-Reference and other websites) got July 2 as the race date. The race was actually held a week later on July 9, 1950.

Ad, preview, and race report from Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle


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