February 5, 1950 - Harold Kite soars to victory in Daytona

TMC Chase
6 years ago
4,029 posts

Tim Leeming is likely hard at work on his next installment about the Daytona 500. But I thought I'd inject this one about a pre-DIS Daytona GN race.

On February 5, 1950, Georgian Harold Kite defeated the heavy favorite and fellow Georgian, Red Byron, in the season-opening race on the Daytona Beach and Road Course. The event was Kite's first GN event. WIth 1950 being only the 2nd season of NASCAR's Strictly Stock / GN division, I imagine others made their debut in 1950 as well.

Read Brandon Reed's column about Harold Kite to learn more about him at Georgia Racing History's website:


Race program from [  Motor Racing Programme Covers  ]

Lloyd Moore plowing through the sand on his way to a 3rd place finish behind Kite and Byron - a spectacular picture from [  OldSchool59  ] collection.

Eventual winner Kite is shown leading Frank Luptow through the sand. Luptow finished 18th.

Kite's Lincoln.


From [  Daytona Beach Morning Journal  ]

Kite raced in only 8 more GN events over the next 15 years before being killed in an accident during the National 400 at Charlotte.

Plaque along Daytona Beach from [  Backmaster at Deviantart.com  ].

Fin Driver Car
1 Harold Kite '49 Lincoln
2 Red Byron '50 Oldsmobile
3 Lloyd Moore '49 Lincoln
4 Al Gross '50 Oldsmobile
5 J.C. Van Landingham '50 Buick
6 Tim Flock '48 Cadillac
7 Bob Flock '49 Oldsmobile
8 Otis Martin '49 Plymouth
9 Buck Baker '49 Ford
10 Fonty Flock '47 Buick
11 Curtis Turner '49 Lincoln
12 Jim Rathmann '49 Lincoln
13 Roscoe Thompson '49 Lincoln
14 Cotton Owens '49 Plymouth
15 June Cleveland '48 Buick
16 Lee Petty '49 Plymouth
17 Al Keller '49 Ford
18 Frank Luptow '49 Lincoln
19 Will Albright '46 Pontiac
20 Jack White '49 Lincoln
21 Alton Haddock '49 Lincoln
22 Joe Jernigan '49 Ford
23 Lee Schmidt '47 Buick
24 Russ Lee '49 Hudson
25 Larry Shurter '49 Ford
26 Tommy Thompson '49 Chrysler
27 Jack Smith '50 Oldsmobile
28 Billy Carden '49 Oldsmobile
29 Bill Rexford '49 Oldsmobile
30 Gober Sosebee '49 Oldsmobile
31 Bob Apperson '47 Ford
32 Marshall Teague '49 Lincoln
33 Fireball Roberts '48 Hudson
34 Bill Blair '49 Cadillac
35 Joe Littlejohn '50 Oldsmobile
36 Dick Clothier '47 Pontiac
37 Frank Mundy '49 Cadillac
38 Slick Smith '47 Hudson
39 Herschel Buchanan '47 Nash
40 Joe Harrison '49 Ford
41 Louise Smith '49 Ford

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 02/05/18 09:36:40AM
Cody Dinsmore
6 years ago
589 posts

Thought you might like to see the actual trophy that Kite won at this race. He is an 2011 Inductee to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, where this trophy along with several pictures are on display.

*Sorry for the bad quality picture. I didn't realize that there was a glare.*

TMC Chase
6 years ago
4,029 posts

Very cool. Nice to know trophy still exists - and complements the post perfectly. Thanks man.

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
TMC Chase
5 years ago
4,029 posts

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 02/05/18 09:35:00AM
bill mcpeek
5 years ago
820 posts

its always amazing to see these race cars with front license plates and realize that back in the day a lot of them were driven to and from the race. great report Chase, really enjoyed reading about someone winning the first race they entered.

TMC Chase
4 years ago
4,029 posts

A column by Benny Phillips of the High Point Enterprise about Harold Kite following his death in 1965 on lap 2 of the National 400 at Charlotte.

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Alex FL Racing Fan
4 years ago
221 posts

J.C. Van Landingham was a local racing veteran and actually came out of retirement to run this as his name was large enough to be an attendance boom. I saw this in some edition of the Daytona paper.

Jim Streeter
4 years ago
242 posts

I attended modified Race on Saturday.

It was Great!

TMC Chase
3 years ago
4,029 posts


Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.