Home   NAME LIST   Stories   Statistics   Links   Contact

New Curtis Book



Bobby Myers
Born: June 27, 1927      Died: September 2, 1957
Home: Winston-Salem, NC
Also See:           Billy Myers          Danny "Chocolate" Myers

Bobby Myers (June 27, 1927 - September 2, 1957) was a NASCAR driver from Winston-Salem, NC. He competed in fifteen Grand National Series events in his career, racing part-time between 1951 and 1957. Though his part-time schedule prevented him from placing high in points, Myers earned three top-tens in his career (20% of starts). His best effort was a 7th at Wilson in 1956.

In 1957, Myers was driving a solid race for Petty Enterprises in the Southern 500 at Darlington. Starting 2nd, Myers even led his first career lap. But tragedy struck, as Myers was killed in an early race accident and thus ending the career of a promising driver.

Family Tradition        By John Clayton
Myers Clan Still Racing Strong After Nearly 60 Years

ASHEBORO, N.C. — Burt Myers is checking his tire temperatures and staring down an electronic thermometer the way you would imagine Sherlock Holmes peering through a magnifying glass in search of a clue.

Myers had just completed hot laps during an open test at Caraway Speedway, a paved short track hidden amidst rolling hills and evergreens two hours north of Charlotte.
There, he was looking for the same thing two other generations of Myers have sought over the years — speed.

“We think we found something this week, but we’ve struggled here this year,” said Myers with a glance around the .455-mile oval. “We had to find something.”
In nearby Winston-Salem, the Myers clan has reached legendary status with 110 combined victories at Bowman Gray Stadium, most of those coming in the modified division that has helped give Bowman Gray, the unique home of both Friday night racing and Winston-Salem State University football, its identity since NASCAR’s top series left for bigger venues in 1971.

Those victories, which started to accumulate in 1949, are split among family patriarch Gary Myers, who drove in Winston Cup from 1977-79, and his sons, Burt and Jason, along with the elder Myers’s father, the late Billy Myers, and uncle, the late Bobby Myers. Danny “Chocolate” Myers, the former gasman on Dale Earnhardt’s “Flying Aces” pit crew, is the eldest son of Bobby Myers.

“Bowman Gray is something else,” said Jason. “It may not always be a great race, but it’s always a good show.”

Burt won the track title at Bowman Gray this past season, but both brothers have now branched out as regular competitors on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, which takes them away from the obvious comfort of their home track, but to familiar places such as Caraway, Ace and Martinsville speedways.

“A lot of people look at racing as a hobby, but with us, it’s a lifestyle,” Burt said. “It’s something we plan vacations around. It’s always taken priority over just about everything.”
The Myers story is not unlike those of many families who have spent more than a half-century in the sport, though there are few without the surname Petty who have been in it for as long. It has had its share of celebrations over the years, but it began with more than its share of tragedy.

Billy Myers won the NASCAR Sportsman Division National championship in 1955. On April 12, 1958, while racing in a modified event at Bowman Gray, he suffered a heart attack and died. His son, Gary, was eight years old.

While racing in the 1957 Southern 500 at Darlington, Bobby Myers was involved in a crash on lap 27 after Fonty Flock spun on the backstretch and stopped sideways in turn three, where he was hit by Myers and Paul Goldsmith. Goldsmith and Flock suffered serious injuries. Myers was killed.

In their honor, the national Motorsports Press Ass’n awards the Myers Brothers Memorial Award each year to the person or company deemed to have contributed the most to racing during that year.

Still, the sport had its hold on the Myers family and would be passed down, now to a third generation.

“I encouraged them and tried to help them all I could,” Gary Myers said. “I’d rather have them at the race track than at the bar.

“A lot of people look at racing as a hobby, but with us, it’s a lifestyle. It’s something we plan vacations around. It’s always taken priority over just about everything.” — Burt Myers

“I always worry about them, but, you know, I feel like they’re just as safe out there as they are driving out there on the highway sometimes. If you let stuff like that worry you, it’ll worry you to death.”

Jason echoed his father’s sentiments.
“If it’s your time, it’s your time,” he said prior to competing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Made In America 300 in September at Martinsville Speedway. “It doesn’t matter if you’re out here on the race track or sitting in church on Sunday morning.”

The family tradition had begun long ago. in a Stroppe Mercury and a Hubert Westmoreland Chevrolet. It gained enough momentum to carry it through three generations and into another century.

“The fact that Daddy raced is probably the reason why I race and my brother races,” Burt said. “The fact that my grandpa and his daddy raced was probably why my daddy raced. It wasn’t a question of ‘if’ I was going to drive a race car, but ‘when’ I was going to drive a race car. I never doubted for one second that I’d be in a race car.”

Jason, 26, seems more quiet, perhaps a bit shyer at first glance than Burt, 29. But like his older brother, racing was in his blood. He is driving on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour and at Bowman Gray Stadium alongside his brother. But he’s also looking at a part-time late-model ride that will race this year as the season winds down and potentially next season.

“We want to get our schedule so that we’re going to bigger races — it’s what we need to do — but, of course, our sponsors want us at Bowman Gray,” said Jason, alluding to crowds of 10,000 or more that routinely show up for the track’s regular race programs and the desires of locally based sponsors to be in front of them.

Jason made those sponsors happy with his 2006 Whelen Modified Tour victory at its stop at Bowman Gray — his only tour victory to date, amidst a slew of second-place finishes.

“With all the history we’ve had at Bowman Gray, that was big for me,” he said. “They’ve had that race at Bowman Gray three times, and Burt’s won it twice and I won it the other time.”

At 29, Burt is still hoping to climb the NASCAR ladder, though he realizes the propensity of the sport’s owners to court the next teen phenom rather than look at a body of work that includes track titles and significant victories on NASCAR’s modified tour.

For several years, he has been rumored for potential seats in both the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series, including Rusty Wallace’s Busch team in 2003, but those rides have yet to come through.

“Ultimately, I want to try to move up through the NASCAR ranks to trucks, Busch and ultimately to Cup,” he said. “It’s a shame now that owners brainwash drivers into thinking that when they get over 30 years old, they can’t drive race cars anymore or they’re not wanted anymore… Dale Earnhardt was 30 years old when Richard Childress signed him, so you tell me who’s right and who’s wrong about that.”

While the dream of the highest level of racing remains alive in this generation, a fourth generation of Myerses is at the race track and hanging out in the garage, just like their fathers before them.

Jason’s daughter, Emma, is four years old. Burt’s daughter, Jade, is eight.

“She tells me that if she’s too short to be a super model, she wants to drive a race car,” said Burt, shaking his head.

Jason is none too sure about Emma being a fourth-generation driver.

“If she wants to be a car owner or be involved in the sport in another way, I’m for it,” he said.

But Grandpa, on the other hand, had a typical grandfatherly response.

“You know, if I’m still around to see it, and they wanted to do it, I guess I’d do all I could to help them with it.”

 The Feud

Feuds raged regularly in the early 1950s when there sometimes were several races per week on short tracks, where sheet metal was beaten and banged almost constantly.  Among the bitterest rivals were Curtis Turner and Bobby Myers as they genuinely didn't like each other. Tim Flock told this story about the feud.

One night they clashed repeatedly at a dirt track. After the race, Turner was washing the grit from his face near his car on pit road when Myers approached from behind, wielding a 2-by-4 board.  Turner, sensing trouble, pulled a .38 pistol from his pocket and turned around with the barrel pointed at Myers' belly.

"What do you think you're going to do with that board?" demanded Turner.

 "I'm just looking to find a place to put it down," answered a surprised, but discreet, Myers.

 And he did.

After that, according to Flock, Turner and  Myers got along "just fine."

Final, Fateful Dance with the Lady in Black

With the eighth annual Southern 500 coming up on Labor Day 1957, Herb Thomas asked Fonty Flock to drive his Pontiac in the race. Having won the event in 1952, Flock jumped at the chance, but Darlington's fickle blacktop held a trump card.

Flock wrestled with the ill-handling car for the first few laps. On the 28th lap, the car escaped his control and spun at the entrance of turn three. Split seconds later, Bobby Myers and Paul Goldsmith smashed full-bore into the idle Flock. Flock and Goldsmith were seriously hurt. Bobby Myers was killed instantly.

It was the final NASCAR start for Fonty Flock. He announced his retirement from a hospital bed.

    Bobby Myers Grand National DRIVER Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1951 24 2 of 41 0 0 0 0 199 0 50 208 34.0 20.5
1952 25 1 of 34 0 0 0 0 145 0 0 158 46.0 52.0
1953 26 2 of 37 0 0 1 0 321 0 390 30 50.0 15.0
1956 29 8 of 56 0 0 2 0 980 0 600 61 21.4 27.1
1957 30 2 of 53 0 0 0 0 53 1 335 126 4.0 31.0
5 years 15 0 0 3 0 1698 1 1,375   23.8 26.8

Nascar Nextel Cup Series Tickets

Copyright © 2003 LegendsofNascar.com by Roland Via. All rights reserved.  Revised: 06/08/12 08:11:21 -0400. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works. FAIR USE NOTICE: This web page may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This page is operated under the assumption that this use on the Web constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Any text or images that you feel need to be removed please contact me. LegendsofNascar.com is not associated or affiliated with any racing club or organizations including that of NASCAR. It is constructed simply as an internet information source. Images and content made be used with email permission. Opinions and other content are not necessarily those of editors, sponsors.
Please visit official NASCAR information website at NASCAR.COM.