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Russ & UsPioneer racer Russ Truelove, who competed on Daytona's Beach-Road course in the 1950's, is joined by author Greg Fielden and The Speed Zone webmistress Andre' Morrison with the #226 Mercury in the background during Speedweeks 2000. Truelove qualified 5th fastest in the 76-car field for the 1956 Grand National event, but a crash ended his bid for victory.
Rumblin' RagtopsBob Pronger #99 leads Lee Petty #42 down the narrow A-1-A backstretch during the 1957 NASCAR Convertible race on the famous Beach-Road course in Daytona.
Dashing Through the ol' North TurnFireball Roberts whips his Buick Century into the North Turn
just ahead of Tim Flock's Chrysler in the 1955 Daytona Beach Grand National. Roberts won the event, but was disqualified on a technicality, giving Flock the victory.
Boss of the BeachHall of Famer Red Byron was often considered "Boss of the Beach" in the 1940s. He won four times on the demanding Beach-Road course at Daytona. Byron also won the very first race sanctioned by NASCAR in 1948, and prevailed in the 1949 Strictly Stock event, today regarded as the Winston Cup Series.
Crowded QuartersA pack of cars jockey for position during the opening laps of the 1955 Daytona Beach-Road Grand National. Fonty Flock #14 and Jimmie Lewallen #59 take the high groove to pass Bob Dawson as a herd of hungry rivals nip at their heels.
Double FlipJim Wilson #576 and Buddy Krebs, teammates on the Harvey
Walters-owned Dodge team, both flipped simultaneously in the opening laps of the 1956 Daytona Beach Grand National. The incident occurred near the entrance to the South turn. The famous Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is visible in the background.
1955 Pace Lap
Front row starters Tim Flock and Lee Petty, in a pair of Chrysler 300s, lead the 48-car field on the pace lap prior to the start of the 1955 Daytona Beach Grand National. The second row consists of Dick Rathmann and Fireball Roberts, with Dick Joslin and Junior Johnson occupying the third row. Flock was declared the winner after apparent winner Roberts was disqualified.
Banjo in TuneBanjo Matthews scampers down the two-lane backstretch en route to victory in the 1958 Modified-Sportsman race on Daytona's colorful Beach-Road course. Matthews was wheeling one of the famous Fish Carburetor cars, owned by the inventive Bob Fish and wrenched by crew chief Red Vogt and his side-kick Ray Fox. Matthews' steed was a 1955 Ford powered by a 430 cubic inch Lincoln engine with three M-2 Fish carburetors.
Twelve WideWhat a magnificent sight it was to watch the Modified cars storm up the beach in 12-to-15 wide formation during the Beach-Road days! The wide, spacious shoreline afforded the opportunity to race in freewheeling style, but the cars had to file down in order to negotiate the tight North turn. In 1953, 136 cars comprised the starting field, the most in any recorded NASCAR-sanctioned event. Cotton Owens won the wild race.
Road RageCurtis Turner #26 and Fireball Roberts #M-1 duel side-by-side down the backstretch in the 1958 Daytona Grand National. The narrow strip of blacktop, merely two lanes wide, was two-miles in length and the fastest portion of Daytona's famous Beach-Road race. Speeds would approach 150 mph. Turner finished 2nd in the '58 event while Roberts came home 9th.
South Turn ActionThe crowd watches at arm length as Gwyn Staley #2, Pete Yow #203 and Charlie Scott #300 dice it up through the South Turn in the 1956 Daytona
Grand National. Scott, driving one of six cars fielded by team owner Carl Kiekhaefer, was the first African-American driver to compete in NASCAR's premier series. In that particular event, 76 cars started the event. Scott finished in 19th place.
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