Racing History Minute - July 5, 1954

TMC Chase
5 months ago
3,985 posts

This portion of RacersReunion is dedicated to STOCK CAR racing. This RHM is about a AAA "Indy Car" race - but on a track known for it's NASCAR stock car racing history. Therefore, I thought it appropriate to add a post to add to the documented history about Darlington.

For the third time in four years, Darlington hosted the AAA championship roadsters of the Indy circuit. Chuck Stevenson won the pole. Stevenson was a recent winner of the Mexican road race. That event was won in 1950 by Hershel McGriff - who happened to be in South Carolina that week as well to race from the pole on July 3rd at Spartanburg. (Tim Leeming's RHM)

1954 Darlington AAA pole 070354SHJ.png

The Spartanburg provided a pretty good race report for an event that was atypical in the south. The Spartanburg Herald staff also had a local NASCAR Grand National event to cover at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds.

I knew about two of Darlington's fatalities - Bobby Myers in 1957 and Buren Skeen in 1965 - both in Southern 500 races. I was not aware until today about the death of Bob Scott at Darlington. 

Manuel Ayulo won  the 200-mile races that was overshadowed by Scott's injury and subsequent death.

1954 Darlington AAA Ayulo 070654SHJ.png

Following Scott's death, the AAA ended its Darlington experiment - though the roadsters returned once more in 1956 under USAC sanctioning and promotion. To this day, it seems AAA-USAC-CART-Champ Car-IRL-IndyCar and whatever other sanctioning bodies I omitted really struggled to get a toe-hold in the southern US where stock car racing and NASCAR more specifically have always reigned.

Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.

updated by @tmc-chase: 07/06/18 03:54:38PM