October 28, 1961: The other South Carolina race

TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
7 years ago
4,049 posts

Tim Leeming posted about the October 28, 1961 Grand National race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina here:

http://racersreunion.com/community/forum/stock-car-racing-history/28279/racing-history-minute-october-28-1961

But on the same day, the MARC series (later known as ARCA) also raced in South Carolina at Columbia Speedway. Having led the effort to build Charlotte Motor Speedway, Curtis Turner was dumped by the board of directors and was banned by NASCAR in 1961. But he and Tim Flock - also banned "for life" by Bill France - didn't just retire to the porch. They worked with John Marcum to promote MARC races in the south.

While I see nothing in these articles stating specifically so, my hunch tells me Turner scheduled the Columbia race to deliberately go head-to-head with France's GN race in Greenville.

Race preview from Sumter Daily Item

Race preview from Spartanburg Herald .

Race preview from Sumter Daily Item

I haven't yet found a race report article though I did learn Curtis won his own race (not altogether surprising I suppose). The race was scheduled to begin at 8PM on a Saturday night. Its likely to have finished after the press deadline for the Sunday edition papers.




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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 11/26/20 08:57:24AM
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
7 years ago
9,134 posts

I suspect you're right about Curtis purposely scheduling that MARC race against the NASCAR race in Greenville, SC. The October 29, 1961 event was part of the 1962 MARC points schedule and Curtis did exactly the same thing on April Fool's Day, 1962, promoting a MARC race at the Virginia International Raceway road course near Danville head to head against the NASCAR Grand National race in Richmond.

( TOLEDO, Ohio - March 27, 2011) - The late Curtis Turner made headlines "This Week in ARCA" on April 1, 1962 when the Floyd, Virginia racer drove his Ford to victory lane in the 250-mile event on the Virginia International Raceway road course in Danville, Virginia, thus adding his name to the illustrious list of ARCA Racing Series road course winners.

Turner joined Fred Lorenzen, Nelson Stacy, Jack Bowsher, Bob Schacht, Elmer Musgrave, Ken Schrader, Darrell Waltrip and Justin Allgaier as some of ARCA's road course winners. Turner also won ARCA Racing Series events at Columbia Speedway (Columbia, S.C.) in 1961 and the first ever ARCA race held at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October of 1964. Sadly, Turner died in a plane crash near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on October 4, 1970 when the single-engine Aero-Commander 500 plane he was piloting crashed shortly after take-off from Dubois-Jefferson Airport en route to Roanoke, Virginia. Clarence King also died in the crash.

Courtesy ARCA

1962 MARC Season

Date Event Cars Winner Make Track/Location Average Speed Cautions
10-08-61 MARC-01 Ken Reeder Dodge Cloverleaf Speedway
10-15-61 Harold Smith Chevrolet Baer Field Raceway
10-22-61 MARC-03 Harold Smith Chevrolet Lakewood Speedway
10-28-61 Curtis Turner Ford Columbia Speedway
11-05-61 MARC-05 Ernie Derr Pontiac Birmingham Speedway
3-4 MARC-06 Ernie Derr Pontiac Lakewood Speedway
3-16 Dick Hutcherson Ford Austin Speedway
3-18 MARC-08 Ernie Derr Pontiac Meyers Speedway
3-23 MARC-09 17 Dick Freeman Ford Montgomery Fairgrounds Speedway
4-1 American Road 250 18 Curtis Turner Ford Virginia Int'l Raceway 1 for ? laps
4-7 Iggy Katona Ford Rock Hill Speedway
4-15 MARC-12 20 Roy Wathen Ford Fairgrounds Motor Speedway
4-21 MARC-13 Dick Freeman Chevrolet Canfield Speedway
4-29 MARC-14 Curtis Turner Ford Lakewood Speedway
5-6 Dick Freeman Ford Toledo Raceway Park
5-13 MARC-16 Iggy Katona Ford Heidelberg Speedway
5-27 MARC-17 19 Jesse Baird Pontiac Fairgrounds Motor Speedway
5-30 MARC-18 Harold Smith Chevrolet Canfield Speedway
6-3 MARC-19 Bobby Watson Ford Salem Speedway
6-10 Dick Freeman Ford Dayton Speedway
6-17 Harold Smith Chevrolet Nashville Fairgrounds
6-23 Dick Freeman Ford Cloverleaf Speedway
6-24 MARC-23 Iggy Katona Ford Heidelberg Speedway
6-29 MARC-24 Harold Smith Ford Berlin Raceway
6-30 Iggy Katona Ford Mt Clements Racetrack
7-14 Metropolitan 200 Jack Shanklin Ford Dayton Speedway 82.338 mph
7-28 Paul Parks Ford Cloverleaf Speedway
8-4 MARC-28 Paul Parks Ford Toledo Speedway
8-5 Paul Parks Ford Lancaster Speedway
8-12 Iggy Katona Ford Dayton Speedway
8-19 Harold Smith Chevrolet Fairgrounds Motor Speedway
8-26 Dick Freeman Ford Salem Speedway
9-2 Iggy Katona Ford Michigan State Fairgrounds
9-16 Iggy Katona Ford Dayton Speedw



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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
7 years ago
9,134 posts

From the ARCA web site:

New Places, New Faces

With a schedule of 34 races, Midwest Association for Race Cars (MARC) continued to spread to new tracks, branching into 12 states in 1962. NASCAR legend Curtis Turner won his second MARC victory in the series' first race at Columbia Speedway in Columbia, S.C. Another notable win included Dick Hutcherson, co-founder of Hutcherson-Pagan Racing MARC event at Texas' Austin Speedway. Iggy Katona continued to dominate the series, winning seven races, as he claimed his fourth championship.




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"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
TMC Chase
@tmc-chase
one month ago
4,049 posts
1961 Columbia MARC ad 102861OrangeburgTimes.png
1961 Columbia MARC Curtis Turner 103061GreenvilleNews.png



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Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.