NASCAR Cup Series
Chicago Street Race Aims to Grow NASCAR, Deliver Action
Jul 19, 2022
This week's Throwback Thursday has a little bit of everything. NASCAR racing in Chicago? Been there, done that. A look at a past Oxford 250? We've got you covered. A 400-lap race at Bowman Gray Stadium? It's happened! All of that, plus a final win for a NASCAR Cup Series competitor and more.
1956 - Fitting for the week, the NASCAR Cup Series raced at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The 200-lap race was won by Fireball Roberts, who started third in a Pete DaPaolo '56 Ford. Jim Pachal, Ralph Moody, Speedy Thompson and Frank Mundy made up the top five for that race. Soldier Field did host two more NASCAR Convertible races that season and several USAC events into the 1960s before racing left the city. On Tuesday, NASCAR announced the return to Chicago with a Street Course race set for July 1-2 next year.
THE THIRD TURN: NASCAR Grand National Series at Soldier Field
1962 - If you like long distance races, then this one's for you. On this day in 1962, Perk Brown won a 400-lap race at Bowman Gray Stadium. Brown broke the track record in time trials with a 17.04, which trumped the previous mark held by him at 17.23. Brown bested a 30-car field as Red Foote was second, Jack Hart was third and Ed Flemke was fourth. Brown finished 10th the following week before winning the final three races of the season.
THE THIRD TURN: 1962 Carolina 400 at Bowman Gray Stadium
1974 - Just eight days after winning the Oxford 200, now known as the Oxford 250, Joey Kourafas was at it again. This time it was a much shorter race as he picked up a feature win at Airborne Speedway Park in Plattsburgh, New York. Bobby Dragon was second after being fifth the weekend before at the Oxford event. Hector Leclair redeemed himself after finishing 37th the week before, as he ended up third behind the front two.
1985 - The summer of 1985 was truly special for Bill Elliott as his No. 9 Thunderbird was the fastest thing in NASCAR. On this date, Elliott swept the season at Pocono Raceway; it was his second win of the season at the venue. Starting from the outside of the front row, Elliott led 52 laps, but it was Neil Bennett who paced the field for 72 circuits to lead the most. Bennett would finish second behind the number nine. Elliott would win five times in his career at Pocono.
THE THIRD TURN: 1985 Summer 500 at Pocono Raceway
1996 - Larry Gelinas was handed the checkered flag after Ben Rowe ran out of gas in the closing laps of the 1996 Oxford 250. Part of the confusion of the way the 250 was scored was that caution laps were scored, but not counted towards the full total. On this day they ran 316 laps. There were some years where the lap total was over 360 laps. Gelinas took home $50,000 for the win as Ben Rowe would go on to win in 2003 and 2004. Gelinas would post two more top fives in the 250 after his win and four more overall finishes in the top 10 in the event.
THE THIRD TURN: 1996 True Value Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway
2002 - Ward Burton's final NASCAR Cup Series victory came on this day in 2002. Burton won the New England 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, finishing ahead of Jeff Green and Dale Jarrett. Matt Kenseth led 77 of the race's 300 laps, but surrendered the lead to Burton with 10 laps to go and finished 33rd due to a flat tire.
THE THIRD TURN: 2002 New England 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
2007 - Back in its day, the Georgia Asphalt Series was a great place to see veterans race with young and upcoming drivers in the Pro Late Model ranks. On this day in 2007, Russell Fleeman captured his fifth win of the season at Peach State Speedway (GA). Fleeman was the victor over Joey Senter, Jimmy Garmon, Greg Motes and David Watters. Bubba Pollard and Paul Kelley had a rough summer that year at Peach State where they were involved in a number of accidents with each other. Kelley would return to win the World Crown at the end of the season.
THE THIRD TURN: Georgia Asphalt Series at Peach State Speedway