Move over Papa Bear, here comes NASCAR

Saturday, July 21, 1956 – Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears of the NFL for several decades, played host to NASCAR’s top series for a 200-lap affair contested on the 0.5-mile track surrounding the football field. Glen “Fireball” Roberts won the race, the 33rd of the season, piloting the No. 22 Pete DePaolo-owned Ford. Jim Paschal, Ralph Moody, Speedy Thompson and Frank Mundy rounded out the top five.

The facility hosted weekly stock car racing for a short period of time in the 1950s as well as NASCAR convertible series events in 1956 (two races) and ’57.

Andy Granatelli, who would go on to become a major player in automobile racing in the U.S., promoted the weekly Chicago races in the beginning. As the CEO of STP, Granatelli eventually put his company’s sponsorship behind Richard Petty to start one of the longest-running sponsorship relationships in NASCAR.

Billy Myers started on the pole. It was the only No. 1 qualifying spot in 84 starts for Myers.

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