Thursday, May 16, 2019

"NASCAR Pioneer" Bob Flock Dies - May 16, 1964

April 16, 1918 - May 16, 1964
Bob Flock
Born in Fort Payne, Alabama, USA.
He was a well established driver before NASCAR was formed, and along with Red Byron, is considered one of the two best drivers from that era.

He took over NASCAR founder Bill France's ride in 1946. He won both events at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1947. Flock was known for his daring driving style. For example, during a race on June 15, 1947, Flock overturned his car in an accident. Instead of accepting a DNF, he solicited help from spectators, who turned the car back on its wheels, and he finished the race.

He sat on the pole for NASCAR's first race at Charlotte Speedway on June 19, 1949. He had two wins that season, and finished third in the points behind Lee Petty and champion Red Byron.

He won two 100 lap ARCA races at Lakewood Speedway in 1954. He had over 200 modified wins in his career.

He was the brother of NASCAR pioneers Tim Flock and Fonty Flock, and the second female NASCAR driver Ethel Mobley. The four raced at the July 10, 1949 race at the Daytona Beach Road Course, which was the first event to feature a brother and a sister, and the only NASCAR event to feature four siblings. Ethel beat Fonty and Bob by finishing in eleventh.

The Flock family had an illegal moonshine business. The federal agents discovered that Flock would be running a race in Atlanta, and they staked out the place to make an arrest. A gate opened as the race was beginning, and he drove on the track to take the green flag. The police vehicles quickly appeared on the track. They chased Flock for a lap or two before he drove through the fence. The police followed him until he ran out of gas later. Reminiscing years later, Flock said, "I would have won that race if the cops had stayed out of it"

Flock retired from driving when he broke his back in an on track accident. He became a track promoter in Atlanta. He hired three women, Sara Christian, Mildred Williams, and his sister Ethel Mobley to race at his new track.

Bob Flock died on May 16, 1964. He was inducted in the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame in 2003 and was a member of the National Motorsports Hall of Fame Association.

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