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Roscoe Thompson
July 5, 1922 - 1988
Forrest Park, Georgia

Story from his son, Randy Thompson:

Roscoe Thompson was born in White county Georgia, on July 5, 1922. His mother died when he was 10 years old. Soon after that he had to quit school in the fourth grade to help support the family during the depression. 

As with most of the early racers trying to find a way to survive during this time, he turned to running moonshine then racing.  His racing career started in the 1940's at the old Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia. He raced in many races all over the US. Although most of his success came in the late 40's and 50's he was around to start in the first Daytona 500 in 1959. 

He always came to race and went anyplace where he could race. This caused problems with Nascar for him and many other drivers who would race closer to home than the Nascar race was. In his scrapbook is an envelope in which he received a letter suspending him from NASCAR for a period of time because he raced in an event sponsored by another organization. These men were all racers, racing for the thrill of it in those days. I  asked him, a few years before his death, if there was anything he would like to do that he hadn't already done and his answer was, ."I would like to drive in the Indy 500 and fly a jet plane. He never got to do that, but he did leave a lot of great racing memories as a legacy".

He retired from racing in 1962. Then 26 years later we lost him to emphysema.

  • He (my Dad) was just inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame 10/27/06.

  • He was the Peach Bowl Champion in 1950 and 519511.

  • NASCAR's sportsman champ for Georgia in 1953

  • Southeastern Modified champ in 1954.

  • He started 7th in the 1959 Daytona 500. (First on the track).

  • He was 10th in NASCAR'S first points standings in 1948.

  • In 1964 he was inducted into the Museum of Speed in Daytona. 

Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction    October 27, 2006

The Mountain Moonshine Festival committee began preparations for the annual festival before last year's festivities ended, and the group anticipates an outstanding weekend at the 39th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival this weekend.

The events begin with a ceremony Friday evening to induct Georgia racing legends James Baker, Charlie Bagwell, Bill Hemby, Aubrey 'Po Boy' Holley, James Marvin Mills, Hubert Platt, Jimmy Summerour and Roscoe Thompson into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will take place at Dawsonville City Hall at October 27, 2006 at 6 p.m. followed by the unveiling of the 2007 Mountain Moonshine Calendar featuring each of the inductees.

Roscoe Race bits . . . .

  • Raced car numbers 15, 21a, 24, 81
     
  • 1962 SOUTHERN 500    At Darlington (Film Review)

     One of the rarest films of NASCAR racing is the actual TV broadcast of the 1962 Southern 500 originally shown on ABC’s “Wide World Of Sports”! The nearly 1 hour television broadcast is the OLDEST known TV broadcast that exists of any American auto race! What’s more, it’s an original B & W kinescope of the controversial 1962 Southern 500 at Darlington, in which Junior Johnson was originally declared the winner, only to have a scoring re-check show that Larry Frank had actually won!

     The broadcast of the beginning of the race starts immediately after nice closeups are shown of several of the drivers: Fireball Roberts, Johnny Allen, Bobby Johns, Lil’ Joe Weatherly, David Pearson and Larry Frank. Junior Johnson and Fireball are on the front row as 44 cars (13 Fords, 13 Pontiacs, eight Chevys, three Plymouths, three Mercurys and two Dodges) take the green flag! After only a couple of laps H.G. Rosier in the #5 spins out his Pontiac! Roscoe Thompson’s #81 Mercury spins out twice early in the race and eventually crashes after 39 laps. Fireball leads the first 58 laps until Bobby Johns passes him on the backstretch. Herman Beam, in his #19 Ford is shown soldiering around the track and McKay informs the audience that Beam never races to win, but only to keep his car in one piece and finish! Suddenly Fireball Roberts smashes the guardrail in turn three and comes limping into the pits! As his pit crew tries to inspect the right front end damage, Fireball climbs out of the car and immediately Economaki is right on the spot with the TV microphone! Roberts explains to both his crew chief and the TV viewers together what caused his mishap! Throughout the race, pit stops are shown of other cars, such as Jim Pardue, Bobby Johns and Richard Petty! This is also one of the few films showing Ralph Earnhardt racing in NASCAR Grand National!

  • Speedway Division Championship   Round Two 25 May 1952
    Martinsville Speedway - Martinsville, Virginia
    Distance: 150 laps of 0.5-mile dirt track for 75.0 miles   Attendance: 7,500

    Starting Grid
    1st Bill Miller, Oldsmobile 88 Special
    2nd Buddy Schuman, GMC Special
    3rd Gene Darragh, Ford Special
    4th Jack Smith, Chrysler Special
    5th Bob Peterson, Oldsmobile 88 Special
    6th Roscoe Thompson, Ford Special
    7th Bob Johnson, Kaiser Special
    8th Wally Campbell, Ford Special
    9th                 Mickey Fenn, Ford Special
    10th Al Fleming, Hudson Special
    11th Buck Baker, Cadillac Special
    12th Lyle Scott, DeSoto Special
    13th Frankie Schneider, Ford Special
    14th Fred Peters, Ford Special
    15th Sam Waldrop, GMC Special
    16th Tex Keene, Mercury Special
    17th Herb Swann, Oldsmobile 88 Special

    Originally scheduled for 200 laps, 100.0 miles, the race shortened due to rain. 1 hr 27 min 36 sec, 51.370 mph

    Results:
    1st Tex Keene   No. 75 Al Wheatley Mercury Special 150 laps, , $1,000, 250 points
    2nd Jack Smith   No. 2 Roy Shoemaker  Special Kurtis Miller 32 ‘001’ Chrysler143 laps,  $600, 240 points
    3rd Buck Baker No. 87 Penny Mullis Cadillac Special 136 laps,  $500, 230 points
    4th Lyle Scott  No. 77 Lyle Scott DeSoto Special  130 laps, $450, 220 points
    5th Bob Johnson Arch Yates Kaiser Special 113 laps, $400, 210 points
    6th Frankie Schneider No. 5 Ike Kiser Ford Special 112 laps,  $300, 200 points
    7th Al Fleming No. 74 J.B. Seigfred Hudson Special 98 laps, overheating, $250, 190 points
    8th Bob Peterson Oldsmobile 88 Special  97 laps, overheating, $200, 180 points
    9th Fred Peters  No. 52 Edwin Darnell Ford Special   73 laps, fire, $150, 170 points
    10th Roscoe Thompson Ford Special 65 laps, flagged, $100, 160 points
    11th Bill Miller No. 7 Raymond Parks Oldsmobile 88 Special 58 laps, fuel pressure, $100, 150 points
    12th Herb Swann No. 66 Herb Swann Oldsmobile 88 Special 52 laps, battery, $100, 140 points
    13th Buddy Schuman No. 77 Norm Olsen GMC Special 50 laps, crash, $100, 130 points
    14th Mickey Fenn No. 25 Leland Colvin Ford Special 44 laps, engine, $100, 120 points
    15th Sam Waldrop GMC Special 38 laps, overheating, $100, 110 points
    16th Wally Campbell No. 1 Wally Campbell Ford Special 20 laps, overheating, $100, 100 points
    17th Gene Darrargh Leland Colvin Ford Special 18 laps, axle, $100, 90 points

 

  • September 7, 1952 Macon Ga. Central City Speedway 1/2 mile dirt track 150 mile race
    Roscoe Thompson
    , 1951 Studebaker, Started 6th, finished 13th / 27 entries
     

  • November 16, 1952 Atlanta Lakewood Speedway 1 mile dirt trace 100 mile race
    Roscoe Thompson
    , 1951 Studebaker #81 Started 5th, finished 20th / 24 entries
     

  • April 18th, 1948: Jacksonville, FL: Winner: Skimp Hersey (started 4th), ford, race avg at 56.524, 3 cautions. Pole Winner: Roscoe Thompson by virtue of winning a heat race.
     

  • APRIL 20, 1952 - Atlanta, Georgia...Taking the lead when Gober Sosebee's Cadillac broke a spindle with 7 laps to go, Bill Blair won the 100 mile NASCAR Grand National race on the 1 mile dirt Lakewood Speedway. Ed Samples was 2nd to give Olds 88s a 1-2 finish. Roscoe Thompson replaced the injured Fonty Flock in the Frank Christian Olds. Fonty, hoping to keep from losing more points to Lee Petty, decided he'd try to drive at the last minute. Since he'd already turned his car over to Thompson, Flock scrambled into a back-up Christian Olds & drove as long as he could. Shortly, Fonty was relieved by Jack Smith. Smith drove to 7th, earning 152 points, but Flock only received 58 of those since NASCAR points in driver change situations at the time were based on percentage of laps driven.
     

Roscoe Thompson Grand National Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn RAF Miles LLF
1950 27 2 of 19 0 0 0 0 69 0 50 97 42.5 44.0 0 217.6 0
1951 28 3 of 41 0 0 0 0 64 0 75   7.0 18.7 0 64.0 0
1952 29 7 of 34 0 0 0 0 332 11 240 170 7.8 19.7 0 227.8 0
1953 30 2 of 37 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 82   17.0 0 0.0 0
1958 35 1 of 51 0 0 0 0 44 0 75 90 34.0 32.0 0 44.0 0
1959 36 2 of 44 0 0 0 0 96 0 100 96 10.5 19.5 0 138.0 0
1960 37 2 of 44 0 0 0 0 402 0 710 58 27.0 19.0 1 603.0 0
1961 38 6 of 52 0 0 2 0 721 0 2,535 40 15.3 25.5 2 1341.1 0
1962 39 4 of 53 0 0 0 0 305 0 1,605 54 19.8 29.8 1 494.6 0
9 years 29 0 0 2 0 2033 11 5,440   17.5 24.0 4 3130.1 0


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