The 33rd, and next to last race of the 1952 season was run at the 1 mile dirt track known and Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, GA. The Championship was being contested between Herb Thomas and Tim Flock, with Tim holding a comfortable, but not insurmountable lead over Herb.
Herb's brother, Donald, always hidden in the shadow of his famous brother, qualified a second Herb Thomas Hudson on the pole with a speed of 72.874 mph with Herb Thomas qualifying second. Two of the FABULOUS Hudson Hornets on the front row, number 9 - Donald, number 92 - Herb. Fonty Flock would qualify the Air Lift Olds third, Tim Flock in Ted Chester's Hudson fourth and Roscoe Thompson in a Studebaker would start fifth.
Herb Thomas jumped into the lead on the green flag and was steadily pulling away from the field. Lee Petty, Donald Thomas, and Tim Flock were hotly contesting second place, but the lead was all Herb. On lap 86. the axle in the Herb Thomas Hudson broke as he exited the second turn and the big car came to a stop on the back straight. The caution was displayed and Herb jumped out and flagged down his brother. Donald stopped on the track and Herb climbed in the number 9 and Donald sat and waited for the wrecker to come haul off the number 92 and give him a ride back to the pits. At the time, a relief driver could gain points for where the car finished based on a formula NASCAR had devised to allow relief drivers to earn points.
Tim Flock's car owner and crew chief immediately expressed a howl of dissent to NASCAR for allowing Herb to transfer cars on the track rather than in the pits and to further cause issues, Herb was now leading in the car his brother started. After being allowed to lead two laps under caution, NASCAR black flagged Herb and made him pit. Herb returned to the track at the rear of the pack with only 14 cars running. At the time, Lee Petty was leading.
With 11 laps to go the green was once again displayed and Herb mounted a charge to retake the lead in his "back up" car. On lap 94. Thomas stormed around Petty and took over first place. He would hold that position to the checkered flag. Herb would leave Lakewood 194 points behind Tim Flock with 1 race remaining in West Palm Beach, FLA, on November 30th. Tim Flock would go on to win the title in 1952.
An interesting note is that NASCAR records are to reflect the name of the driver STARTING the car in the finishing order. Herb Thomas so over dominated his brother Donald, that Donald was not given credit for the win in the NASCAR records until quite sometime AFTER the end of the 1952 season. Seems NASCAR only had an interest for Herb Thomas , over looking the fact that Donald had won his first Grand National Race. In fact, NASCAR continued, for quite some time, giving credit to Herb Thomas for the win although he was driving in relief.
The average speed for the winner was 64.853mph, being slowed by 3 caution flags There were 18,000 fans in attendance to witness the Thomas Brothers combined effort.
1. Donald Thomas, Fabulous Hudson Hornet, winning $1,080.00
2. Lee Petty, Petty Engineering Plymouth, winning $700.00
3. Joe Eubanks, Oates Motor Company Hudson, winning $450.00
4. Tim Flock, Ted Chester Hudson, winning $385.00 ( 1 lap down)
5. Gober Sosebee, Chrysler, winning $200.00 (2 laps down)
6. Jack Smith
7. George Bush (not THAT one)
8. Ralph Liguori
9. Gene Comstock
10. Bub King
11. Ted Chamberlain
12. Jimmie Lewallen
13. Herb Thomas
14. Dick Rathman
15. Perk Brown
16. Buddy Shuman
17. Fred Dove
18. Fireball Roberts
19. Fonty Flock
20. Roscoe Thompson
21. Bob Welborn
22. Bill Blair
23. Mike Magill
24. Robert Wiesemeyer*
* Robert is shown as making 9 laps before being "disqualified". There is no reason given for the disqualification that I can determine.
Honor the past, embrace the present, dream for the future
updated by @tim-leeming: 11/26/20 07:48:22AM