Every so often, we here at Splash ‘n Go do a “Did You Know That?” Each post features three interesting tidbits or stories about NASCAR that you may have not heard before. Hopefully, you will find them interesting and will initiate conversation about other little-known facts about our favorite sport.
The three facts today come from “The Official NASCAR Trivia Book,” which was written by John C. Farrell and was published by Fenn / McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House of Canada.
FACT #1: HOLD MY CALLS
Everyone has those days when they just don’t want to be bothered, especially over the phone; however, sometimes on the end of the line just may be the biggest opportunity of your life. Years ago, Clint Bowyer almost made a huge faux pas by disregarding one such call. Before he became the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver that everyone knows and loves today, he was working at a fabrication shop in his hometown of Emporia, Kan., when car owner Richard Childress called the shop asking to speak to him. Childress had seen Bowyer competing at several tracks near Emporia and wanted to offer him a job as a race car driver. Bowyer, thinking one of his friends was playing a trick on him, almost didn’t take the call. Good thing he did!
FACT #2: ANGER PAINS
We all know or have heard the phrase, “it doesn’t pay to get angry.” In NASCAR, getting angry means sometimes means having to pay. One such driver who learned this the hard way was Joe Frasson during the 1975 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Frasson tried to qualify for the race in his self-owned Pontiac; however, he was unsuccessful. Upset with his performance (and most likely his car’s performance), Frasson took a jack handle to his race car. NASCAR fined the Minnesota driver $100 for beating up the car. For all those Frasson fans out there, don’t worry. He still got to compete in the race after qualifying in a different car – Henley Gray’s No. 19 Gray Racing Chevrolet. He ultimately finished the race 28th.
FACT #3: A SLOW DAY AT THE OFFICE
For those people out there who experience road rage on a regular basis, you may want to consider the following anecdote the next time you’re stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle on the highway. When you think of racing, especially racing in NASCAR’s premier series, one of the first things that usually comes to mind is the extremely fast speeds. However, this is not always the case. On September 28, 1952, Herb Thomas won a 100-mile event at Wilson (N.C.) Speedway that would be typical of driving through a neighborhood today. The race set a “blistering” speed record of 35.398 mph. Of course, the record the race (if you could call it that) set was for the slowest race in the NASCAR premier series. More than 60 years later, the record is still holding strong and will likely never be broken.