Late Model mayhem and a near riot

Thursday, March 15, 1956 – NASCAR fined points leader Bob Welborn and Herb Thomas, second in the standings, $250 each for unsportsmanlike conduct following a 150-lap Late Model race at Fayetteville Raceway on March 11. Both drivers were also required to post $250 bonds to assure their compliance with all NASCAR rules for the balance of the year.

A series of on-track altercations throughout the race got out of hand after Welborn was knocked out of the lead in the final laps by Thomas. Fans, upset over the contact, attempted to accost Thomas in the pits after the race. Reports indicated fans also broke windows out of the Thomas car. Local police had to climb atop Thomas’ entry while he was still behind the wheel to hold irate fans at bay with dry fire extinguishers.

NASCAR’s Bill France Sr. suspended the two drivers until an investigation into the incident could be completed.

Driver Gwyn Staley grabbed the lead with three laps remaining and won the race. 

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