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Billy Myers
Born: October 19, 1924      Died: April 12, 1958
Home: Germanton, NC
Also See:           Bobby Myers          Danny "Chocolate" Myers


Billy Myers was born October 19, 1924. He began competing in the NASCAR Grand National Division in 1951. In his first event, he finished 8th at Asheville-Weaverville Speedway. He then drove at Detroit and Darlington for Hubert Westmoreland recording an 18th place finish in the Southern 500. Myers then began driving R. G. Shelton’s #22 Hudson. At the ˝-mile dirt Martinsville Speedway, Myers qualified 4th and finished 3rd. An 18th place finish at the .625-mile dirt North Wilkesboro and a 17th place finish at the ˝-mile dirt Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida capped Myers rookie season.

In 1952, Myers only entered one Grand National event, the Motor City 250 at Detroit where he drove Joe Hawkin’s #98 Plymouth to a 14th place finish after starting 33rd.

In 1955, Myers returned to NASCAR’s premier division after a two-year absence. A crash at Columbia, South Carolina resulted in a 19th place finish. Myers then drove Westmoreland’s Chevrolet to a 9th place finish at the Forsyth County Fairgrounds’ ˝-mile dirt track at Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In the Southern 500, Myers finished 23rd, 24 laps down. On October 3, 1955, Myers entered the 100-lap NASCAR Sportsman event at Martinsville on the newly paved track and won the first race on the smooth pavement.

In 1956, Myers started 42 of the 56 NASCAR Grand National Division events. He finished 3rd at West Palm Beach, 2nd on the Daytona Beach course. When the series returned to West Palm Beach, Myers qualified 3rd and won his first NASCAR Grand National Division race. He finished 2nd at North Wilkesboro, 4th at Richmond Fairgrounds, and 2nd at Hickory. He qualified on the pole at Soldier’s Field in Chicago but finished 17th after losing his brakes. He bounced back recording a 3rd place finish at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds at Shelby, North Carolina, 2nd at Road America at Elkhart Lakes, Wisconsin, 3rd at Old Bridge Stadium at Old Bridge, New Jersey, and then won again at Norfolk Speedway at Norfolk, Virginia. He recorded a 2nd place finish at Coastal Speedway at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 2nd at Southern States Fairgrounds at Charlotte, North Carolina, and a 5th place finish at Columbia Speedway at Columbia, South Carolina.

For the year, he had 1 pole, 2 wins, 13 top-5s, and 22 top-10s to finish 6th in the championship title chase.

In 1957, Myers started in 28 of the NASCAR Grand National Division’s 53 scheduled events. He recorded 4 top-5s and 9 top-10s. In 1958, Myers campaigned his own #14 Mercury in the division. He lost and engine at the Daytona Beach course and finished 25th at Concord Speedway at Concord, North Carolina.

On April 12, 1958 while racing in a Modified event at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Billy Myers suffered a heart attack and died.

In his 6 year NASCAR Grand National Division career, Myers recorded 84 starts, 1 pole, 2 wins, 18 top-5s, and 34 top-10s.

In his memory and the memory if his brother, Bobby, The Myers Brothers award was established. It is awarded annually to a person, or persons, who have made outstanding contributions to stock car racing. The recepeint is elected each year by members of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).

Old Soldiers... Tom Higgins Scuffs (Edited for space)

Fireball Roberts. George Halas and Red Grange. Sid  Luckman. Gayle Sayers and Walter Payton. William "Refrigerator" Perry. What can they possibly have in common? All were winners in Chicago.

Roberts won at Soldier Field, the storied stadium in the nation's "Second City" that's home to the National Football League's Chicago Bears, founded by Halas and led through varying periods by Grange, Luckman, Sayers, Payton and Perry. It's true.

Generally lost in the mist of time is the fact that NASCAR staged a 100-mile race at the great arena on July 22, 1956.

The Soldier Field track covered a half-mile.

According to auto racing historian Greg Fielden, a quarter-mile cinder racing surface was put in place at the stadium in 1935, nine years after the facility opened.  The asphalt half-mile track was created in 1956 and remained in place until '67.  A .375-mile track followed in '68, but was torn out in '70 when protesters objected to the city, which owns and runs Soldier Field, being involved in motorsports.

Billy Myers won the only pole of his career prior to the NASCAR race in 1956 in Chicago.  His speed is among the records lost over the decades.  Myers was to live only two more years, succumbing to a heart attack on April 12, 1958 while racing at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, his hometown.

Myers' brother, Bobby, had died in a horrific crash the previous September during the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Roberts started third in a Ford fielded by Peter DePaolo.  No where in the record books can it be found how many laps Roberts led, nor when he was in front.  His winning average speed is available, however--61.037 mph.

Jim Paschal was the runnerup in a Mercury, followed by Ralph Moody in a Ford.  Then came Speedy Thompson and Frank Mundy in Dodges fielded by the legendary Carl Kiekhaefer.

The top five finishers completed all 200 laps.

Of the quintet, only Mundy survives.  He's 89 now.  The colorful Mundy's real name, by the way, is Francisco Melendez.  He adopted the Frank Mundy monicker, in part, to gain acceptance among Southern fans.

Other notable drivers in the Soldier Field race were Buck Baker, Paul Goldsmith, Lee Petty, Herb Thomas, Fred Lorenzen and Tom Pistone.

Baker, who finished sixth, a lap down, left Chicago with a 224 point lead over Thomas in the chase for NASCAR's top title.  Baker was destined to win the crown in 1956 and again in '57.

Almost unbelievably, NASCAR's foremost division appeared in Illinois only one other time from its founding in 1949 until 2001.

That other race was held at Sante Fe Speedway, a half-mile dirt track at Willow Springs, on July 10, 1954.  Dick Rathman won it in a Hudson.

 Chicago, one of the nation's major population centers, justifiably became part of the NASCAR schedule again six years ago, giving avid stock car racing fans in the upper midwest a venue to visit close to home.

       Billy Myers Grand National DRIVER Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1951 26 8 of 41 0 1 2 0 609 23 850 59 16.0 16.5
1952 27 1 of 34 0 0 0 0 220 0 50   33.0 14.0
1955 30 3 of 45 0 0 1 0 512 0 240 78 20.7 17.0
1956 31 42 of 56 2 13 22 1 6270 103 15,829 6 9.4 11.9
1957 32 28 of 53 0 4 9 0 3933 201 6,566 12 11.0 15.1
1958 33 2 of 51 0 0 0 0 28 0 50 162 28.0 27.5
6 years 84 2 18 34 1 11572 327 23,585   11.4 14.0

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