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NASCAR Hall of Fame 5th Class Finalist - Curtis Turner - Driver


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Curtis Turner (ISC Archives/Getty Images)

SEE ALSO: Complete List Of Finalists - Includes Official NASCAR Bio's and Pictures

(b. 4/12/24 – d. 10/4/70)

Hometown: Roanoke, Va.
Competed: 1949-68
Starts: 184
Wins: 17
Poles: 16
 
Called by some the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing," Curtis Turner was among the fastest and most colorful competitors in the early years of NASCAR premier series racing. Turner posted his first of 17 career victories in only his fourth start on Sept. 11, 1949, at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway.

Although many of Turner’s victories came on short tracks and dirt ovals – much of his career pre-dated NASCAR’s superspeedway era – he won the 1956 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and the first American 500 at Rockingham Speedway in 1965. He also won 38 of 79 races in which he competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division.

Turner competed in NASCAR’s first "Strictly Stock" race in 1949 in Charlotte and was the only driver to win a NASCAR premier series race in a Nash. He remains the only series driver to win two consecutive races from the pole leading every lap.

Turner drove for many legendary NASCAR owners including the Wood Brothers, Junior Johnson, Smokey Yunick and Holman-Moody.

Turner was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

 

 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Year Age Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Rank AvSt AvFn RAF Miles LLF
1949 25 6 of 8 1 1 4 1 564 78 4 3.0 12.2 6 410.6 1
1950 26 16 of 19 4 7 7 4 1626 1110 1 4.3 14.6 12 1416.6 5
1951 27 12 of 41 3 3 5 0 1164 513 6 11.3 16.3 5 986.0 3
1952 28 7 of 34 0 1 1 0 500 12 39 15.1 27.0 1 328.4 0
1953 29 19 of 37 1 3 5 3 1396 191 10 3.1 14.8 13 1360.3 1
1954 30 10 of 37 1 7 8 1 1678 277 7 6.6 6.5 9 1490.6 3
1955 31 9 of 45 0 4 4 0 928 14 42 8.6 19.2 5 822.4 2
1956 32 13 of 56 1 4 5 0 1967 466 11 9.9 16.5 6 1428.3 2
1957 33 10 of 53 0 2 4 1 1397 109 19 8.8 13.0 7 1310.2 2
1958 34 17 of 51 3 8 10 1 3068 827 16 11.0 10.4 11 2423.5 6
1959 35 10 of 44 2 4 4 1 1293 438 27 15.2 12.2 5 1174.9 4
1960 36 9 of 44 0 0 1 1 1090 106 37 16.6 22.7 2 1699.6 0
1961 37 8 of 52 0 1 2 0 1182 162 42 10.0 22.8 3 1255.4 1
1965 41 7 of 55 1 3 3 0 1360 256 39 5.9 19.0 3 1312.0 2
1966 42 21 of 49 0 5 6 2 3698 385 24 7.0 18.8 7 4211.1 3
1967 43 4 of 49 0 0 0 1 241 6 71 8.5 31.0 0 522.3 0
1968 44 6 of 49 0 1 4 0 1448 0 46 7.7 8.8 4 1554.5 0
17 years   184 17 54 73 16 24600 4950   9.0 16.8 99 23706.7 35