Friday, March 19, 1954 – Former series champion Tim Flock (1952) announces that he is leaving NASCAR with the intention of competing in the following year’s Indianapolis 500. The announcement comes just three races into the season’s 37-race schedule and on the heels of a disqualification by NASCAR for Flock’s win on the Daytona Beach & Road Course one month earlier.
• Flock, a 17-race winner at the time, had won more NASCAR premier series races than only two other drivers – Herb Thomas (40) and Lee Petty (18). His Daytona victory had come in his only start that season – he skipped races at West Palm Beach, Fla., and Jacksonville, Fla.
• Flock broke from NASCAR after he was stripped of his Daytona win. Driving an Oldsmobile 88 for team owner Ernest Woods, Flock set a track record with his 90.4 mph average for the 160-mile race. However, NASCAR officials ruled that the carburetor in his car had been altered, stripped Flock of the win and awarded it to Petty, the runner-up.
• “This Flock boy never saw the car ‘til he came to Daytona Beach to drive it for me,” Woods said in a statement issued after the NASCAR ruling. “He is absolved of all blame.”
• Flock didn’t make it to Indy, however. Before the NASCAR season ended, he had returned to the series. He would win a second NASCAR championship in 1955 and end his career with 39 victories.