March 30, 1952
“Wilkes County 200”

Top 5 finishers…..

The Hudson Hornet made its first trip to North Wilkesboro Speedway’s victory lane in the race. Herb Thomas qualified it on the pole (75.075 mph) and went on to lead all 200 laps in the race. Of the 24 cars entered, 8 were Hudson’s. Thomas’ Hudson would be the only one to be running at the finish.

Fonty Flock brought a two race win streak at NWS with him. He ended up one spot short of making it 3 three in a row. Flock finished one lap behind the winner in his ’51 Oldsmobile.

“The Flying Milkman”, Bill Blair, finished third in the race. Blair was given the nickname because of a diary farm he owned. Blair also built and owned the Tri-City Speedway in High Point, NC. NASCAR ran two Grand National races at that track in 1953 and 1955. In 1949 at the first Strictly Stock race at NWS, Blair started 2nd and went on to lead the first 180 laps before engine problems took him out of the race. Blair is also credited for driving a Mercury to its first win in 1950 at Vernon Fairgrounds in New York. And he was also the first driver to win while driving with an automatic transmission, at Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway in 1952. Blair’s third and final NASCAR win came at Daytona’s Beach Course in 1953. My thanks to Blair’s son, Bill Jr, for taking the time to share some information with me recently.

Herb’s younger brother, Donald Thomas finished 4th in the race. The Thomas Brothers bested the Flock Brothers this time. Fonty’s younger brother, Tim, suffered engine problems and finished 21st. In his first four races at NWS, Donald Thomas finished in the top 5 three times.

Dave Terrell took fifth place honors in his 1951 Plymouth. It was his best finish in 5 attempts at NWS.

A reported 10,000 were on hand to see just seven cars running at the finish. The NWS fans saw Dick Rathmann for the first time. They would get used to seeing his car among the leaders the next few years. Marshall Teague ran his only race at NWS on this day. He withdrew to a 16th place finish. Teague lost his life in a practice session at the new 2.5 mile Daytona track in 1959.

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