Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Marshall Teague Born In Daytona Beach, Florida - February 22, 1921

February 22, 1921 – February 11, 1959
Marshall Teague
Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
He was nicknamed by NASCAR fans as the "King of the Beach" for his performances at the Daytona Beach Road Course. He walked into fellow Daytona Beach resident Smokey Yunick's "Best Damned Garage in Town", and launched Yunick's legendary NASCAR mechanic career. 

Teague competed in 23 NASCAR Grand National races from 1949 to 1952, winning seven of them. Teague approached the Hudson Motor Car Company by traveling to Michigan and visiting the automaker's factory without an appointment. By the end of his visit, Hudson virtually assured Teague of corporate support and cars, with the relationship formalized shortly after his visit. This "is generally regarded as the first stock car racing team backed by a Detroit auto manufacturer."

During the 1951 and 1952 racing seasons, Teague was a member of the Hudson Motors team and driving what were called the "Fabulous Hudson Hornet" stock cars. Teague was also instrumental in helping Hudson tune the 308 cu in (5.0 L) straight-6 powered Hudson Hornet to its maximum stock capability. When combined with the cars light weight and low center of gravity, the Hornet allowed Teague and the other Hudson drivers to dominate stock car racing from 1951 through 1954, consistently beating out other drivers in cars powered by larger, more modern engines. Smokey Yunick and Teague won 27 of 34 events in major stock car events.
(Photo: Fabulous Hudson Hornet via photopin (license))
Fabulous Hudson Hornet

In 1953, Teague dropped out of NASCAR following a dispute with NASCAR founder William France Sr. and went to the AAA and USAC racing circuits. The Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and participation. Marshall Teague participated in three World Championship races, but scored no World Championship points.

Teague died while attempting a closed course speed record in a reconfigured Indy car at the newly opened Daytona International Speedway. He was conducting test sessions in preparation for the April debut of the United States Auto Club championship with Indy-style roadsters. He was piloting a "Sumar Special" streamliner, a Kurtis-Kraft chassis with a Meyer-Drake Offenhauser 270 engine, streamlined fenders, and a canopy enclosing the driver, thus being classified as Formula Libre. On February 9, 1959, Teague set an unofficial closed course speed record of 171.821 mph.

Teague was attempting to go even faster on February 11, 1959, eleven days before the first Daytona 500. "Teague pushed the speed envelope in the high-powered Sumar Special streamliner - to an estimated 140 mph." His car spun and flipped through the third turn and Teague was thrown, seat and all, from his car. He died nearly instantly.

Teague's achievements include; 1951 & 1952 Daytona Beach Road Course Strictly Stock Car winner and named 1951 AAA Stock Car Driver of the Year. He won the 1952 & 1954 AAA National Stock Car championship.

Teague was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame in 1968, the National Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1988, the TRS/NASCAR Mechanics Hall of Fame in 1989, and the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 1991.

Teague was also the inspiration for Doc Hudson in the film Cars.

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