The very first NASCAR Strictly Stock Car race at North Wilkesboro Speedway

October 16, 1949
“Wilkes 200”


Top 5 finishers…..


A reported 10,000 were in attendance to witness the 8th and final race of the 1949 NASCAR Strictly Stock Series held at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Robert “Red” Byron walked away the points champion for the season. He was also the points champion the previous season in 1948 when the modifieds were run. After being shot down from a mission as a B-24 tail-gunner in WWII, he wasn’t given much of a chance to walk again as a result of the damage he sustained to his left leg. He spent over two years in military hospitals while doctors tried to rebuild his left leg. Obviously the Heart of a Champion is stronger than the leg. Byron pretty much coasted to the season championship during that race. He started 22nd and finished 16th in the 22 car field in the 1949 Wilkes 200. Starting 21 spots ahead of Byron, on the pole, was Kenneth Wagner with a qualifying lap of 57.563 mph on the dirt surface.

The famous Flock brothers showed up that day. The youngest, Tim, struggled to a 19th place finish, while brothers Bob and Fonty enjoyed success. Bob was the victor in his Bob Christian owned ’49 Oldsmobile and Fonty finished third in a ’47 Buick. Lee Petty finished in second between the two brothers in a ’49 Plymouth. Clyde Minter and Herb Thomas completed the top 5. Minter was the first driver and currently only one of two, to record 4 top five finishes in his first five race attempts.



Car owner Bob Christian not only fielded the winning car, but also had two other cars entered in the race. Curtis Turner finished 9th and Sara Christian came 12th. Sara Christian was the first female to compete in a NASCAR Strictly Stock race at Charlotte in June of 1949. Pioneer Louis Smith (who recently passed away), had been running with “the boys” for some time, ran her first race at Daytona in July of that same year. Christian is the only female credited with a top 5 finish in a NASCAR race, at Pittsburgh on Oct. 2 1949, 2 weeks before her NWS appearance.

Sara Christian

Finishing Order for the Wilkes 200 - Courtesy of Racing Reference

Fin

St

#

Driver

Sponsor / Owner

Car

Laps

Money

Status

Led

1

7

Bob Flock

Bob Flock Garage (Frank Christian)

'49 Oldsmobile

200

1,500

running

20

2

42

Lee Petty

Petty Enterprises

'49 Plymouth

200

750

running

0

3

47

Fonty Flock

Green Leaf Cafe (Ed Lawrence)

'47 Buick

199

400

running

0

4

19

Clyde Minter

Clyde Minter

'47 Ford

199

300

running

0

5

92

Herb Thomas

Herb Thomas

'49 Ford

197

175

running

0

6

14

Roy Hall

Parks Novelty (Raymond Parks)

'49 Oldsmobile

196

150

0

7

5

Ray Erickson

Ed Hastings

'49 Mercury

194

100

0

8

9

Raymond Lewis

Robert Dixon

'49 Cadillac

194

75

0

9

41

Curtis Turner

Frank Christian

'49 Oldsmobile

193

50

0

10

2

44

Bill Blair

Sam Rice

'49 Cadillac

191

50

engine

180

11

11

Bob Apperson

Bob Apperson

'47 Ford

191

50

0

12

71

Sara Christian

Frank Christian

'49 Oldsmobile

188

50

0

13

28

Slick Smith

Buddy Helms

'47 Hudson

174

50

0

14

20

H.F. Stickleather

'48 Lincoln

167

50

0

15

1

15

Kenneth Wagner

Moyer Co. (Dailey Moyer)

'49 Lincoln

165

50

0

16

22

Red Byron

Parks Novelty (Raymond Parks)

Oldsmobile

155

0

17

21

Bobby Greene

Bobby Greene

'48 Ford

148

0

18

1

Bill Greever

'48 Mercury

134

0

19

90

Tim Flock

Buddy Elliott

'49 Oldsmobile

117

0

20

8

Dick Linder

LaBelle Motors

'49 Kaiser

59

0

21

4

Otis Martin

Raymond Lewis

'47 Buick

50

0

22

2

Frank Mundy

'49 Ford

38

0


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