Flock announces departure from NASCAR

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.

Appeals Panel upholds Hendrick penalties

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 – A three-member National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel upheld penalties assessed against Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet, and crew chief Chad Knaus for violations uncovered during opening-day inspection at Daytona International Speedway. Those penalties consisted of a $100,000 fine and six-race suspension for Knaus; a six-race suspension for car chief Ron Malek; the loss of 25 championship driver points for Johnson; and the loss of 25 championship owner points for team owner Jeff Gordon.

Knaus was penalized for what NASCAR officials deemed “unapproved body modifications,” illegally modified sheet metal located between the roof and window areas of the team’s car. Knaus said that the vehicle had not been through the inspection process when NASCAR officials deemed it illegal.

HMS officials filed for a final appeal before Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook. On March 20, Middlebrook ruled in favor of the No. 48 team, rescinding the loss of driver/owner points as well as the six-race suspensions of Knaus and Malek. He did not, however, alter the $100,000 fine levied against Knaus.

On This Date: March 1

For the past year I have posted NASCAR items on my pay site, www.patreon.com/kennybruce, that featured something of note that had occurred on that particular day – only years earlier.

The posts began March 1, 2018 and ended Feb. 28, 2019.

It was a learning experience, very worthwhile, and I now have a rather substantial file of information on drivers, tracks, races … plus a decent amount of odd news (pace car crashes and a race that included Bill France Sr., and Bill Jr. in the lineup, for example).

With the interest in such things growing, based on what I’ve noticed on social media lately, it’s a simple turnaround to post those daily items here on kennybruce.net each day. I hope you enjoy. – kb

Tuesday, March 1, 1955: NASCAR officials declared Tim Flock the winner of the Grand National race held Feb. 27 on the Daytona Beach & Road Course. Local favorite Fireball Roberts, who was initially declared the winner, was disqualified after altered push rods were discovered in the engine of his 1955 Buick.

Ironically, Flock had been disqualified the previous year after an apparent win for a technical violation as well.

The disqualification put Roberts last in the 48-car field. Lee Petty, Ray Duhigg, Curtis Turner and Fonty Flock completed the top five.

Flock, driving the No. 300 Chrysler for team owner Cark Kiekhaefer, earned $2,350 for the win and led all 39 laps around the 4.1-mile beach and road course. It was his 18th career win in NASCAR’s premier series.