Troy A. Curtis sr.

fire 1962

fire @ strawberry hill 1962
June
@june   11 years ago
Paul Sawyer told me that "he thought he'd never get the fire crews over there that day." My father, Ralph Rose, was in the Z-1 that his crew pushed away from the fire. Johnny Roberts of Baltimore pulled a trapped Ralph from his car, which was laying on its side, and then went into the infield and collapsed. My mother, Toni Rose, wrote a handwritten letter to Bill France commending Johnny for his heroic actions, and he ended up winning the coveted McNaughton Award that year. The 31 was Gene Lovelace of Newport News, and the 25 was Jack Mulligan of Hampton, VA.
June
@june   11 years ago
We were not allowed in the pits at Strawberry Hill (VA state fairgrounds) and were sitting in the stands. As soon as the wreck happened, Toni ran down the grandstands to the entrance of the track. Two officials grabbed her arms to restrain her, and Paul Sawyer said he saw Toni Rose "stretch her arms out straight and run right out of her jacket" and kept on going. They were left with only her jacket. She was at Ralph's side as he & Johnny were laying in the infield at the wreck. Toni always said "I drove every lap of every race that Ralph did" and she meant it! Paul and wife, Virginia, were close friends with Ralph & Toni Rose, and would often drive from Norfolk to the track in Richmond together. Ralph Rose's only fear of racing stock cars was being trapped in a burning car. Needless to say, they didn't have the equipment back then that is in place today. He told me he thought it was all over when he saw all of that fire and he was hanging mid-air in Z-1 with a seat belt he couldn't get unlocked. Lawrence Leonard, sportswriter for the Richmond Times Dispatch, did an interview with him where he said "Johnny Roberts stuck his arm in there "bleeding like a cut hog" and got me free.
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett   4 years ago
IS THAT GENE LOVELACE'S #31 COUPE IN THIS PHOTO?
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett   4 years ago
WHO IS #25 COUPE?
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton   4 years ago
Yes, Dennis, the #31 is Gene Lovelace of Newport News according to a comment below by Ralph Rose's daughter and the #25 is Jack Mulligan of Hampton..
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