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Edward Lewis "Eddie" Pagan
Born: August 1, 1918  -  August 1, 1984
Born: Midland County, Texas
Resided: Lynwood, CA


Eddie Pagan

.....was a NASCAR driver from Lynwood, CA. He competed in sixty-two NASCAR events in his career, mainly racing at the West Coast tracks. Pagan, the 9th place finisher in the 1958 season, had a remarkable career: four victories, thirty-eight top-tens, and six poles. He won at San Mateo (1956), Portland Speedway (twice in 1957), and Los Angeles (1957). His average finish was 10.9, making Pagan one of the most consistent drivers in NASCAR history.

 

EDDIE PAGAN        www.stockcarreunion.com

The late Eddie Pagan made the choice to move out of modified racing and into NASCAR’S Pacific Coast Late Model circuit in 1955, and never looked back.

A native Californian
(*see note) Pagan had his greatest success in the Oscar Maples Fords of the late ‘50’s. Perhaps his biggest triumph came in 1956, when he bested Parnelli Jones and a host of east coast NASCAR regulars to win the Bay Meadows 250 on the famed and treacherous one-mile Bulingame, California horse track.

Pagan sat on the Southern 500 pole at Darlington in 1958 (more on that story below), and ultimately won 4 Winston Cup races to compliment his 9 Pacific Coast Late Model victories.

Pagan co-founded Hutcheson Pagan Engineering, an early leader in Ford Stock Car racing chassis and high performance parts.

It is both interesting and impressive that Pagan led 40% of the races that he entered. A real “stand on the gas” kind of driver, Pagan is an obvious choice for induction in the West Coast Stock Car Fall of Fame.

(*Note: Eddie Pagan was not a native Californian. This is a common error. He was actually born in Midland County, Texas. Then his family moved to Barstow, Ward County, Texas by the 1920 Census. He told people he was from Barstow, Texas but since he was lived most of his life in California, it was transliterated to Barstow, California. I appreciate your earnest effort to get it right. Glad I could help get it right. I was his stepson.  Danny Pickett)

THE Crash

In 1958, Eddie Pagan, as the top qualifier in his '58 Ford, ran in the pole position at the Southern 500 in Darlington, South Carolina. On lap 136, his right front tire blew-out sending him into the guardrail in turn one. The crash is one for the ages, as his #45 Ford took out the guardrail. A photograph of this crash, taken by Tom Kirkland, was used in Sports Illustrated (the first time this magazine did a piece on NASCAR).

Fireball Roberts (L) walks past the Pagan machine

Broken nose ....black eyes, but says Eddie, "I'm OK".

 

 

DRIVER Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1954 35 2 of 37 0 0 0 0 682 0 140 80 23.0 16.5
1955 36 2 of 45 0 0 0 0 287 0 120 107 17.0 19.0
1956 37 8 of 56 1 4 4 2 1366 31 4,095 32 9.0 9.1
1957 38 15 of 53 3 11 11 2 2620 3 7,274 15 8.9 6.3
1958 39 27 of 51 0 11 18 2 3961 57 7,472 9 9.3 12.0
1959 40 1 of 44 0 0 1 0 439 0 375   15.0 10.0
1961 42 5 of 52 0 1 4 0 581 0 985 68 13.2 12.6
1962 43 1 of 53 0 0 0 0 354 0 250 98 24.0 15.0
1963 44 1 of 55 0 0 0 0 137 0 325 132 35.0 29.0
9 years 62 4 27 38 6 10427 91 21,036   10.7 10.9




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