Every so often, we here at Splash ‘n Go like to give you, our readers, a little treat in the form of three interesting tidbits of NASCAR trivia and/or history in an article titled “Did You Know That?” This is the fourth edition.
Each article includes three interesting tidbits or stories about NASCAR that you may have not heard before. Hopefully, you will find them interesting and they will initiate conversation among your friends about other little-known facts regarding our favorite sport.
The three facts 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. Farrell is the Marketing Manager for Lionel Racing.
FACT #1: YOU GOTTA LOOK GOOD DRIVING
If there’s something Curtis Turner knows how to do, it’s how to look good while driving … even in a race. For those in attendance at the August 18, 1966, NASCAR premier series race at Columbia (S.C.) Speedway, they got to see just how well he could dress for a race. He piloted Junior Johnson’s Ford to a third-place finish, but it was what he was wearing that more people were interested in finding out about. Instead of wearing the typical racing uniform common during the 1960s, Turner was wearing a three-piece business suit. He had this to say about his unusual racing attire: “Johnson’s sponsor, Holly Farms Poultry, told me that if I was gonna drive for them, I would have to wear a suit. They wanted me to be a gentleman driver and I figured this was the first step. You’ve gotta look good, you know.”
FACT #2: A NASTY SITUATION
You never want to confuse a cesspool for a lake, but unfortunately former NASCAR racer Wilbur Rakestraw wasn’t so lucky. During a race at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, the driver lost control of his car while in Turn 3. He accidentally steered his car into what he thought was a lake in the track’s infield. However, he was wrong. The lake was instead a cesspool. He was able to survive the messy accident due to his past training as a Navy Seal, but no one would go near him once he returned to pit road. Can’t say we really blame them.
FACT #3: ONE INTIMIDATING ACTOR
Everyone knows that Dale Earnhardt was a force to be reckoned with on the race track, but not many people may remember that he made cameos in two mainstream movies. In 1983, he appeared as a NASCAR driver in the cult classic Stroker Ace, starring Burt Reynolds. Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, Terry Labonte, Benny Parsons, Kyle Petty, Tim Richmond, Ricky Rudd and Cale Yarborough also appeared in the film. Fifteen years later, Earnhardt appeared in an uncredited role playing himself as a taxi driver in 1998’s BASEketball. The comedy starred Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who together created the long-running animated comedy South Park.