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Louis Jerome "Red" Vogt
September 22, 1904   -   March 7, 1991

NMPA Jeannie Barnes Painting - clcik Picture for her websiteLouis Jerome "Red" Vogt, the man who named the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, has long been recognized as NASCAR's first master mechanic. Red's racing career began in the 1920's and ended with his retirement in 1968.

Vogt was born in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 1904. At age 12 he got his first job with a local Cadillac dealership. In his early 20's he moved to Atlanta and opened the soon-to-be famous
Red Vogt Garage on the corner of Spring Street and Linden Avenue.

Red's recognition as a master mechanic began with his association with Raymond Parks.

Vogt Specials were well known on race tracks throughout the South and can be seen in every old racing film from the 40's and 50's. Although the cars bore several different numbers, the most famous were Nos. 14 and 22 owned by Parks. From 1946 to 1949 the team of Vogt and Parks won four consecutive beach races.

Vogt brought a group of Atlanta car owners and drivers to Daytona in December 1947 to meet with Bill France and discuss ways to protect the fledgling sport from unscrupulous promoters. Although he owned a Georgia charter for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Red suggested a joint effort. To ensure a beginning without controversy, Red gave up the Georgia charter and suggested that the new organization use the name NASCAR.

Red and BettyAfter the inaugural NASCAR race in February 1948, Red Byron said, "You can't win a horse race without a good horse, and you can't win a stock car race without a good car. What the trainer is to the horse, a mechanic is to the car, and I've got the best mechanic in the racing business. Red Vogt is the reason I win. He puts those motors together like a watch. When other mechanics learn his secret gear ratio, there won't be any stragglers in a race. They'll all travel."

Red operated a garage, maintained race cars for several owners, and built racing engines for many other owners. His cars won untold races on tracks in many small towns on the modified circuit. Those fortunate drivers, who were the envy of all racers, included stock car drivers Johnny Allen, Red Byron, Bob Flock, Fonty Flock, Bill France, Roy Hall, Banjo Matthews, Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, Lloyd Seay, Jack Smith, Curtis Turner, and Jerry Wimbish and Indy car drivers Chet Gardner, Tony Gulatto, Floyd Roberts, and Tony Williams.

In the mid-50's Red closed the Atlanta garage, moved to Charlotte, and worked for the Ford team of Pete DePaolo. He later became crew chief for Carl Kiekhaefer and for Fish Carburetor.

Red was inducted into the:
National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame (Darlington) in 1980
TRW/NASCAR Mechanics Hall of Fame (inaugural ceremony) in 1987

Red lived for many years to the south of the back stretch at Daytona International Speedway.

He passed away on March 7, 1991 at his home in Daytona Beach at the age of 86.

From the LivingLegendsofAutoRacing.com Website

Banjo Matthews
Banjo Matthews scampers down the two-lane backstretch en route to victory in the 1958 Modified-Sportsman race on Daytona's colorful Beach-Road course. Matthews was wheeling one of the famous Fish Carburetor cars, owned by the inventive Bob Fish and wrenched by crew chief Red Vogt and his side-kick Ray Fox. Matthews' steed was a 1955 Ford powered by a 430 cubic inch Lincoln engine with three M-2 Fish carburetors.

Roy Hall

Roy Hall was a tripper who ran shine from the hills of North Georgia to Atlanta. By age 19 he had a reputation for a reckless disregard of the rules, both on and off the road. One Atlanta newspaper reported that the police chased him for two years for running illegal liquor, speeding, and reckless driving. "He was a genius at the wheel," said one officer.

Raymond Parks and Roy Hall were cousins, and Raymond agreed to sponsor Hall on the race track. He hired Louis Jerome "Red" Vogt to prepare the car.

In March 1940 Hall entered his first Daytona beach race. In true daredevil style he arrived with the proud boast that he drove from Atlanta in seven hours and averaged 62 mph, an impressive feat before the days of interstate highways. A few days later he thrilled race fans by running his car on two wheels through the North and South Turns.

Roy won that race in the pits when the race leader, Joe Littlejohn, had a two-minute pit stop on lap 29. Hall pitted on the 36th lap, and Vogt got him out in 40 seconds. (Remember this was 1940 when two-minute pit stops were the norm.) Roy won by half a lap and established a new race record of 76.53 mph. After the race, he declared, "I was getting about 95 mph out of my car and I was getting it all the time. I kept it wide open down both straightaways and never eased up on the pace, even when I was way ahead."

Hall won the March 2, 1941 beach race by nearly half a lap over Smokey Purser. In the March 30th race that year, he finished second behind Purser. He came in eighth in the July race, butFonty Flock, Red Vogt, Bill France, Nascar Official finished outside the top ten in August. When racing resumed in 1946, he competed in the April race and dueled Red Byron until he threw a wheel in the South Turn.

When racing resumed after World War II, Roy arrived in Daytona three days before the June race. He was immediately arrested for speeding and cutting donuts on Main Street. He explained that he wanted to go to the local jail because the Daytona hotel rates were too high.

Hall was competing at Tri-City Speedway in September 1949 when his car went out of control on the first lap. He sustained critical head injuries that ended his racing career at the age of 28. He died in 1992.

Raymond Parks, Red Byron, and the naming of NASCAR

Story 1: Georgia played a big part in NASCAR's success, right from the start. Dawson County native Raymond Parks and Atlanta garage owner Louis "Red" Vogt had prominent roles in the formation of Bill France's new sanctioning body.

         The 2 Reds : Byron and Vogt
Parks, who owned cars driven by France in the '40s, provided financial assistance -- and was the owner for the 1949 Strictly Stock championship won by Red Byron. Vogt, who was Parks' chief mechanic and car designer, reportedly came up with the phrase "National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing" during that famous 1947 meeting in France's Daytona Beach garage.

Story 2: Big Bill began driving in, and then organizing and promoting, primitive stock car races on this beach. And in December of 1947, France called a meeting of racing moguls to organize what he wanted to call the National Stock Car Racing Association. But at the meeting, Atlanta race car builder Red Vogt suggested an alternative: the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing -- NASCAR.

Red with Fonty FlockStory 3: In December 1947, France, Bill Tuthill and 18 racing men gathered in the Streamline Hotel (now a Youth Hostel) at 14 0 South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach to form the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) with France as its President.  The name was coined by legendary Atlanta racing mechanic, Red Vogt, who operated a garage on Bellevue Avenue behind the Daytona Beach Airport.   Tuthill was the national secretary and Erwin G. "Cannonball" Baker was Commissioner.  The first office was in the Selden Building located at 800  Main Street (now Froggy’s Saloon.)  Later the NASCAR office was moved to 42 N. Peninsula  Drive.  Although they promoted races all over the South, their main event was at Daytona Beach.  France moved the original 1936  beach road course farther south toward Ponce Inlet.  The area was growing and more space was needed for the course.  France's new beach track opened in 1948.  It featured two tracks, one for motorcycles and one for cars.  The names of competing drivers include Lee Petty, Cotton Owens, Curtis Turner, Tim Flock, Sammy Packard, Joe Weatherly, “Banjo” Matthews, Marvin Panch  and many more. 


Timeline: 1904--1991

1930's -  Opens "Vogt's Garage" in Atlanta and befriends Raymond Parks.

1938 - November 11th. First stock car race ever at Atlanta's Lakewood Speedway, won by Lloyd Seay driving a Raymond Park's car, built by Vogt.

1940 - '41 & '46- Won races at the old Daytona Beach/Road Course.

1941 -  Won AAA Stock Car Championship ironically edging out his cousin Lloyd Seay who finished second in points.

1946- 49 - Built winning cars at Daytona, four races in a row.

1947 - Gave NASCAR it's name.

1948 - Feb 15th,  Red Byron wins the first Nascar sanctioned auto race in a 1939 modified Ford
owned by Raymond Parks and tuned by Red Vogt. Of the 62 cars that enter, 50 start. A crowd of 14,000 pay 2.50 each to watch the historic moment at the Daytona Beach Road Course.

1949 - Built winning car for NASCAR's first "Strictly Stock" (Nextel Cup) season.

1950's - Moved to Charlotte, then Daytona Beach working with the Ford Teams of Pete DePaolo, Chrysler's Carl Kiekhaefer, and then for Fish Carburetor.

1952 - Fastest qualifier at Daytona Beach/Road Course.

1955 - The Fish Carburetor 1955 Buick Century M-1 as raced by Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, was one hot car, and the story of Glenn's stolen win on the beach in 1955 is interesting. Supposedly, the NASCAR tech team (Cannonball Baker and Buddy Shuman, I think) came and told Big Bill France that they couldn't find anything wrong with the car. With Carl Kiekhaefer breathing down his neck, France said "Well go and inspect it again until you do." The belatedly discovered infraction was "illegally shortened pushrods," which Red Vogt did to compensate for the .030" thinner head gasket that NASCAR had supposedly approved. Anybody with OHV engine-building experience knows that if you lower one side of the valve train assembly (the rocker pivot point being the center), you have to do the same to the other side. There are a few ways to do this, but shorter pushrods is by far the most reliable, durable and simple way. That's why "under" pushrods are a common aftermarket item for many V-8 engines. There is no performance advantage to be gained by shortened pushrods alone. The “advantage” was all Tim Flock’s.
As re-told by Josh Davidson

1981- Elected to Mechanic's Hall of Fame


Red Vogt Sports Car Mechanic Story: Ray Heppenstall: When the federal 
government mandated the first safety measures for automobiles, Ford Motor Company's crash tests compliance consisted of, 
corrugating the main frame rails of the chassis, so that on impact that corrugation would give way, taking the energy of the impact 
away from the passenger area. Which was a great idea, but shortly after they did that, they pulled replacement chassis off the 
market and out of the parts book, so that a five mile an hour impact could not be properly repaired. I was employed by the Chilton 
Publishing Company as an automotive expert to go out and speak to the Ford Motor Company, about what the heck did they think 
they were doing? But getting back to the other story. Anyhow, before I left for Daytona, I had ripped the engine out of a 350 GTH that 
had been destroyed in an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The engine was in the back of the truck. Red Vogt, who was a long 
time mechanic and competitor at Daytona had a shop right behind the Speedway, and agreed that if I brought him the bits 
and pieces, he would screw it together. So I ripped the engine apart, drove all night and was sitting in Miami at Crane 
Engineering the next morning. They were kind enough to balance everything while I waited; I rented a Piper Cub, flew 
back to Daytona. Red stayed up that night and screwed the engine together, I went out and qualified the next day. 
In three laps the brakes locked up, the master cylinder was not returning far enough to bleed back, it took me a while to find that. 
As I didn't have the time to waste, I opened the brake bleeder and qualified without brakes. I finished ninth in the 24 hours of Daytona. 
We ran as high as fifth before a leaking head gasket moved us back finished ninth at Daytona? Who was your co-driver? 
RH: Bill Sealey, from Ohio. 

3 hour Daytona Continental Nov. 11, 1962
20th Place:  #20 Marvin Panch / USA    Chevrolet Corvette     Red Vogt 

The Valiant Story - Marvin Panch
First-ever Compact Car Race - 3.81 mile infield course  - First Place
There was a lot of interest in the three new compacts in 1960. So much so that Bill France, the major-domo of NASCAR, scheduled races for them as part of "Speed Weeks" at his Daytona Super Speedway which culminated in the crown jewel of NASCAR, the Daytona 500. The first race was on the 3.8 mile road racing course, followed an hour later by a 20 lap sprint on the high speed oval.

CBS TV carried the road race live on national TV, sponsored in Detroit by Dick Shalla Chevrolet. Eight Valiants were entered, lead by driver Marvin Panch in a car sponsored by a Daytona Beach Chrysler-Plymouth dealer named W. Brewster Shaw. Entries included a number of Corvairs and Falcons as well as a few foreign imports.


Qualifying ended up with Panch in pole position with the other Valiants filling the front of the starting grid. After a couple of laps, it became clear that no other cars had much of a chance. The race was pretty much a procession of Valiants which Mr. Panch led from start to finish. In fact the first seven places were taken by Valiants, while a Volvo driven by female journalist/race driver Denise McCluggage came home in 8th. It was too bad CBS didn't cover the high speed oval race which was far more exciting.
During the hour between races Panch's mechanic, Red Vogt, switched his car to a lower numerical axle ratio which gave him an edge in top speed on the oval. However, the crew was still completing the pit work when the flag fell. Marvin found himself in last place, one lap behind the field. There was much jousting for the lead among the Valiants with no others in contention. However, this was one of those days race drivers dream about, where everything they touch turns to gold. Richard Petty had one of them four years later on the same race course.

The four leading Valiants removed themselves from the race in a monster of a crash. The resulting yellow flag gave Panch the opportunity to rejoin the field, which he passed without too much exertion once the green flag dropped. He was timed at better than 128 mph on the oval. He later was clocked on the beach, historic scene of many land speed records, at 117.187 mph for the two-way flying mile.

First place Valiant driver Marvin Panch's average speed was 122.282 mph.

The car which dominated at Daytona was not your everyday Valiant. The heart of its engine was a package called the "Hyper Pack". This was a dealer-installed option which sold for a bit over $400, not exactly pocket change in 1960. It consisted of an aluminum intake manifold with long branches made possible by the "slant" in the Slant Six. The carburetor was a Carter AFB 4-bbl with the mechanical throttle linkage operating the secondary throttles. For racing there was a whole raft of stuff, most of it available through your friendly Mopar dealer. The Marvin Panch car had 10.5:1 compression ratio pistons, a wild camshaft, inner and outer valve springs with surge dampers, an engine oil cooler, heavy-duty clutch, brakes, and shock absorbers. Larger diameter torsion bars and an extra leaf in each rear spring completed the suspension modifications.

The exhaust system on the winning car was also something special. Fabricated of stainless steel tubing, the front three and the rear three cylinders were connected after about two feet of separate pipes to two collectors, each two feet long. These came together into a single 21/2" diameter exhaust pipe which ended ahead of the left rear wheel. I was not part of engine performance at that time so I don't have any old insider data but I can assure you of one thing; the advertised bhp of 148 was hugely understated.


From the Living Legends of Auto Racing Museum:
Red Vogt Shop Display:

Another Mechanics Story:
Joe Jacono
stared out the smoked glass window at the huge mass of people that were filling up the Fairgrounds, Jose continued.................

"I went to Florida with this car… with the Cadillac in it, with all the carburetors on it, and I learned about… I had help (we’re talking about 1959 here - B.). I ran into this Stock Car guy named Red Vogt, he had a shop out in the woods right outside of Daytona. He was at the race track one night when we were running. I made a run, the car was going crazy, it would’t handle, and he said to me (him and Smokey Yunick were together)... he said to me "You’re gonna get hurt in that car, boy... cause that Pitman arm is way too long. You need to shorten it up."

"Well… I knew everything and didn’t want to listen to nobody, and I sure as hell didn’t want to listen to him."

Vogt said, "Now I’m down here in the woods and I got one of these things in my shop. And if you put it on, the car’s gonna steer better. And one more thing… the engine’s too damn rich!" He asked me "What jets do you have in those carburetors?"

"I said, I don’t know… I just put ’em on there however they came out of the box, and he started laughing at me! ‘What?’ Red said. ‘Then they’re all #52 jets in there?’ (Or whatever the number was).

"I said, I thought that was it… if that’s how they came."

"Man, you’re way off! We’re gonna change those jets too. Come on out to the shop. When you get the arm, we’ll open those carbs up, see what’s in there, then maybe I’ll help ya."

" So I go to Red Vogt's famous shop. He gives me the new Pitman arm with three holes in it. He said ‘Put that thing in that middle hole, right in there, that’ll probably do it.’ Then he said ‘Take the top off that carb.’

So I took the top off and he saw the jet. He saw the jet and said ‘Pheeew... no wonder this car don’t run!’

I said " What do you mean it don’t run? It’s running 125 in the quarter! "

Red said "It won’t run, it won’t steer... it won’t go! I don’t know how you don’t get hurt in this car! Look… here’s what we’re gonna do, we’ll change all the jets."

I told him, "I ain’t got no jets!!"

"Hell, I got stuff," Red said. And he opened up a drawer full of jets. Must have been 500 of em in there! And he’s got three of four different drawers that all got different numbers on 'em."

He said, "Take these #46’s and put them in all the carburetors. Then I’m gonna give you these #42’s... so to speak. At least I think that’s what the numbers were."

"Put these in there and see what happens. I can’t come out to the race track tonight (we were running every night for five nights), you come back tomorrow and let me know how you did"

"So I go to the track and make the first run with the car. Not only did it go straight down the track... it went 144 mph! On the very first run!! And it kinda got my attention. I don’t mean it scared me... it just got my attention, because all of a sudden, it ain’t laying down no more… it’s keeping right on running!"

"So I went back to Red the next day and said ‘Man, these 46’s are good, I’ll bet the 42’s will really be good!’

But then he got to thinking "Man, let’s don’t do this all at once… just change the center ones to the smaller jets on the next move."

"So I took the center jets out, and put the new ones in. That night... it almost went 150mph!"

" I wound up winning a couple or two or three nights, and I was tickled to death. I came back to Vineland, N.J. and it got easy all of a sudden. I wound up winning 11 Top Eliminators in a row!"


Red Vogt - Strictly Stock Mechanic Statistics

Red Byron (Driver)
Born: March 12, 1915      Died: November 11, 1960 Home: Anniston, AL

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1949 34 6 of 8 2 4 4 1 633 103 5,800 1 2.2 7.7
1950 35 4 of 19 0 3 3 1 634 85 3,300   3.3 7.0
1951 36 5 of 41 0 1 2 0 609 0 925   23.8 15.2
3 years 15 2 8 9 2 1876 188 10,025   10.4 10.0
Race Site Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner / Mechanic Car Laps Money Status Led
1 Charlotte 33 3 3 22 (Raymond) Parks Novelty   / Red Vogt Olds  /200 500 running 0
2 Daytona Beach 28 2 1 22 (Raymond) Parks Novelty    / Red Vogt Olds 40/40 2,000 running 6
3 Hillsboro 28   22 22 (Raymond) Parks Novelty    / Red Vogt Olds 39/200 0 crash  
4 Langhorne 45 1 3 22 (Raymond) Parks Novelty    / Red Vogt Olds 199/200 800 running  
6 Martinsville 15 3 1 22 (Raymond) Parks Novelty    / Red Vogt Olds 200/200 1,500 running 97
8 North Wilkesboro 22   16 22 (Raymond) Parks Novelty    / Red Vogt Olds 155/200 0   0

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