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The Flock Brothers made their presence known again at North Wilkesboro Speedway and showed success on this day. Fonty Flock (started 4th) became the first two-time stock car winner at NWS, adding to his victory in the spring race of 1951. Fonty led the final 118 laps in his ’51 Oldsmobile. Fonty’s younger brother, Tim Flock (started 5th) finished 4th in his ’51 Oldsmobile. The eldest Flock brother, Bob (started 2nd) brought his ’51 Hudson to the finish in 10th place. Fonty finished the 1951 season 2nd in the points standings, Tim 3rd and Bob in 14th (Bob ran only 17 of the 41 races that year).
Lee Petty finished second after starting from the 12th starting position. It was his 3rd start at NWS. Petty finished second, third, second in those three attempts.
Joe Eubanks came in third. It was Eubanks’ first of nine stock car races at NWS, and it would be his best finish. Eubanks would later appear in the 1960 movie, “Thunder in Carolina”, portraying a stock car driver. He would be joined in the movie by other drivers such as Buck Baker, Neil Castles, Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly.
Everett Owens finished the race in the fifth position. Everett won more than 100 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour races during the 1950s along with having success in the Grand National Series. With Owens behind the wheel, Pontiac’s first win came on February 17, 1957, on the Daytona’s beach course. After his retirement as a driver, Owens went on to be a successful owner. Ralph Earnhardt made his Grand National debut at Darlington in an Owens owned car in 1961. In March of 1970, Buddy Baker became the first NASCAR driver to break the 200mph barrier in a test session at Talladega—in one of Owens’ cars. And in 1966 with David Pearson as his driver, Owens’ team won the championship. The racing world knows him simply as “Cotton” Owens.
Herb Thomas had the fastest qualifying time of the 26 drivers– 68.828 mph. Thomas was the only driver, other than Fonty Flock to lead laps in the race. He led the first 82 laps before experiencing engine problems. Thomas went on to win the 1951 championship.
Track owner Enoch Staley’s brother, Gwyn, made his first of 4 Grand National appearances at NWS. He finished a disappointing 25th. Billy Myers also ran his first Grand National race at NWS. Myers finished 18th.