Racing History Minute - August 26, 1956

TMC Chase
5 years ago
4,041 posts

I'm headed west Friday for a few days in Portland, Oregon. Lovely part of the country - though Oregon isn't exactly a hot bed of NASCAR history. Or is it?

On August 26, 1956, NASCAR hosted a 250-lap Grand National race on Portland Speedway's paved half-mile track. The race was actually the second one at Portland that season. The drivers also raced at Portland two months earlier on June 24th. John Kieper won that race - his one and only GN triumph.

Preview from August 22 The Oregon Statesman of Salem.

Some of the big dogs were promoted as participating in the race. I'm not sure what happened - perhaps the show money didn't show. Herb Thomas raced. And Buck Baker was SUPPOSED to race - but there is no indication that he did.

From the Salem paper.

Kieper picked up where he left off two months earlier by winning the pole. Clyde Palmer started 2nd, and Eddie Pagan - who raced a handful of times in the east - qualified third.

I haven't been able to find a race report, and Greg Fielden's Forty Years of Stock Car Racing doesn't have many details either. What IS known is that Royce Hagerty and Clyde Palmer were racing near one another late in the race. The checkered flag fell and Hagerty took a bit of a surprise win. The win wasn't so much a surprise that he took the checkers as much as it seemed the race wasn't over. A check of the scoring records revealed the race was ended four laps early .

Race officials chose, however, not to restart the race but to end it "as is". Hagerty in his #15 Dodge was allowed to keep the win, and Palmer finished 2nd. They were the only two cars on the lead lap.

As Alex FL Racing Fan noted, Hagerty passed away on July 2, 2015. At his death, he was the oldest living NASCAR GN winner.

From Gary Larson on Pinterest .

Hopefully, the race was a pretty good one. I'm visualizing fast straights and hard braking as the cars powered left through the corners. I do so because most folks in Oregon tend to break left. Well, politically that is.

Fin # Driver Car
1 15N Royce Hagerty '56 Dodge
2 1 Clyde Palmer '56 Ford
3 11 Curley Barker '56 Chevrolet
4 56 Chuck Meekins '56 Chevrolet
5 45 Eddie Pagan '56 Ford
6 50N Harold Beal '56 Ford
7 52N Herb Thomas '56 Chevrolet
8 88N Lloyd Dane '56 Oldsmobile
9 98N John Kieper '55 Oldsmobile
10 21 Scotty Cain '56 Ford
11 27N Len Sutton '56 Ford
12 21N Pete Diviney '56 Ford
13 41N Chub Williams '55 Dodge
14 56N Art Watts '56 Mercury
15 77N Gordon Haines '56 Dodge
16 66N Lou Sherman '56 Mercury
17 6 Harold Hardesty '54 Oldsmobile
18 71N Bill Hyde '56 Dodge
19 75N Wally Gervais '56 Oldsmobile

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 12/05/16 04:00:58PM
TMC Chase
3 years ago
4,041 posts

Pac Northwest Bump

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
Dave Fulton
one month ago
9,134 posts

Portland bump

"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"