Shuman wins as NASCAR series turns north

Tuesday, July 1, 1951 – Buddy Shuman made it to the winner’s circle in his 17th career NASCAR premier series start, finishing two laps ahead of the competition in winning at Stamford Park, Ontario. It was Shuman’s fourth start in the No. 89 Hudson for team owner B.A. Pless and the first time NASCAR had competed outside the United States.

Shuman, a native of Charlotte, made just a handful of starts after his victory, ending his career as a driver in 1955 with the lone win and four top fives in 29 career starts.

The race, No. 18 for the season, featured a 17-car field. Only three cars were running at the finish of the 200-lap race. Herb Thomas finished second, two laps down.

A rules infraction in 1950 allegedly resulted in Shuman being suspended from NASCAR, leading the racer to paint “The Outlaw” on the back of his race car. When he returned to NASCAR competition the following year, he replaced it with “The Inlaw.”

Shuman, a standout Modified racer and track promoter prior to racing the full-bodied stock cars, became NASCAR’s chief inspector after his retirement from driving. By the end of the summer of ’55, however, he had been named technical advisor to Ford Motor Company’s NASCAR endeavors.

Shuman was working in that capacity in November when he died as a result of smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in his hotel room in Hickory, N.C. and he was unable to escape the room.

The Buddy Shuman Award is named in his honor and has been presented annually since 1957.

Hickory Motor Speedway hosted the Buddy Shuman 250 NASCAR premier series race from 1956 through 1971.

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