Birthplace of Speed
Fireball Roberts




Joe "Little Joe" Jernigan
MAY 23, 1915 -- JUNE 23, 1951


Joseph "Little Joe" Jernigan ran just four races in his NASCAR career. The Norfolk, Virginia driver died in his final start at the Royal Speedway in Richmond, Virginia. He turned over on the backstretch of the Richmond track as was facing oncoming traffic. Another race car struck his vehicle and Jernigan was killed instantly.





This 1951 Ford # 4 was originally driven by "Little Joe" Jernigan at Daytona Beach, Florida at the beach races. Joe was killed at 32 years years of age. Ralph Rose replaced Joe in this race car.

  Editors Note: Research on Little Joe Jernigan happened after I received
the following email and peaked my curiosity.

Subject: Legends Info on Joe "Little Joe" Jernigan

"Hello, my name in Joe Jernigan Amory in Williamsburg, VA. I was
named after my great Uncle Joe "Little Joe" Jernigan who raced
cars at the Princess Anne Speedway in Norfolk, VA. He was killed
in a race before I was born.
I'm trying to find old articles, films or photos of him. My
Grandmother, his sister, did not have any pictures of him racing
but I know there has to be some somewhere.
If you know of someone who may have some pictures of him
racing or round the track or even if you could direct me in the
right direction of who to contact I would greatly appreciate it."

Please forward any of this requested information using this CONTACT

Another email from Joe Jernigan Amory:
Thanks so much for the information and pictures. This means so much to
me and my family, they will be excited to hear this information about him.
My aunts and uncles from the Jernigan / Amory side of the family are old
enoughto remember him and they had gone to some of his races, so they
will appreciate the pictures and tribute.  My father (Robert J. Amory III)
passed away almost four years ago and he loved to watch him race and
would have gone into racing if Joe would have  lived longer. I thought it
would be nice to have a photo album of the person who I was named after.
Thank you for taking the time to give me this information about my great

4/7/06: Email:

I thought you maybe interested in this, it is my Great Uncles tomb stone in
Norfolk, Virginia at the Forest Lawn Cemetery. My sister, Judi Tomlin was
out on a adventure to find tomb stones of our family members and found his.
I thought it maybe some interest to other who admired him when he was
racing. My father loved to watch him race and know our family will now
appreciate knowing where he was laid to rest. If your reader have pictures or
information about him maybe they could send them into you and you could
forward them to me, thanks for taking the time and interest in my great
Uncle Joe
"Little Joe" Jernigan. 

Paul Sawyer - Princess Ann Track Owner - 1916-2005

Written by: Ben Blake Richmond, Va.  2/27/2005 Paul Sawyer, one of
NASCAR's true founders, died late Saturday after several months of declining
health. Mr. Sawyer, who operated what is now Richmond International
Raceway for more than 45 years, was 88, and in many ways was the last of
his breed.

Mr. Sawyer, a native of Norfolk, Va., served in the U.S. Army during World War
II and became a supply and salvage officer for the Navy in Norfolk. After the
war, he began building and preparing race cars and became acquainted with
fellow Norfolk resident Joe Weatherly, who went on to become NASCAR
driving champion in 1963. The two were close friends and business
associates until Weatherly's death in 1964.

Mr. Sawyer and Weatherly promoted races at several locations, including
now-defunct tracks at Princess Anne, Va., and Wilson, N.C. The most
important promotion was at the Virginia State Fairgrounds in Richmond.
The flat, half-mile horse track on that site became known as Richmond
Fairgrounds Raceway, holding its first major NASCAR race in 1953.
NASCAR Grand National Statistics
Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1950 35 2 of 19 0 0 0 0 166 0 100 87 29.0 17.5
1951 36 2 of 41 0 0 0 0 0 0 25   19.5 33.5
2 years 4 0 0 0 0 166 0 125   22.7 25.5
1950 Grand National Results
Race Site Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
1 Daytona Beach 41 29 22 56 Lambert's Auto   (Joe Jernigan ) Ford 41/48 25   0
3 Langhorne 28   13 56 Lambert's Auto   ( Joe Jernigan) Ford 125/150 75 heating 0
1951 Grand National Results
Race Site Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
1 Daytona Beach 54 25 46 4 Lambert's Auto   (Joe Jernigan ) Ford  /39 0   0
5 Hillsboro 33 14 21 4 Lambert's Auto   ( Joe Jernigan) Ford  /95 25   0
Grand National Statistics by track
Site Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings AvSt AvFn
Daytona Beach 2 0 0 0 0 41 0 25 27.0 34.0
Hillsboro 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 14.0 21.0
Langhorne 1 0 0 0 0 125 0 75   13.0
GRAND TOTAL 4 0 0 0 0 166 0 125 22.7 25.5
Speedways (2 mi. +) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ? ?
Speedways (1-2 mi.) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ? ?
Short Tracks 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ? ?
Road Courses 2 0 0 0 0 41 0 25 27.0 34.0
Dirt Tracks 2 0 0 0 0 125 0 100 14.0 17.0

Nascar Nextel Cup Series Tickets


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