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Bill Rexford (March 14, 1927 – April 18, 1994) was a stock car driver in the early 1950s.

Bill Rexford
Born(1927-03-14)March 14, 1927
Conewango Valley, New York, United States
DiedApril 18, 1994(1994-04-18) (aged 67)
Achievements1950 Grand National Champion
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
36 races run over 5 years
Best finish1st (1950)
First race1949 (Langhorne)
Last race1953 (Rochester)
First win1950 (Canfield)
Last win1950 (Canfield)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 17 1

Contents

BiographyEdit

Born in Conewango Valley, New York, he made his name driving stock cars in the region. When NASCAR introduced its "strictly stock" series, Rexford appeared in three races that were held in the Northeast, with a best finish of 3rd. He became the first of two Northern drivers to regularly drive in the series in 1950, when it became known as the Grand National division, the other driver being his teammate, Lloyd Moore. That year, he won his first career NASCAR race at Canfield, Ohio.

By the end of the year, Rexford managed to involve himself in the race for the championship. He would end up benefitting from the misfortunes of three other contenders. Two contenders, Fireball Roberts and Curtis Turner, went through major late season slumps at the same time that Rexford was at his best. A third contender, Lee Petty, had more controversial problems, as he was stripped of 809 points (at that time, the equivalent of winning 4 races or 5 third-place finishes) by NASCAR for racing in non-NASCAR sanctioned races.

At the final race of the year in Hillsboro, Rexford had a slight lead and battled with Roberts for the championship. Rexford nearly cost himself the title, when he had an early engine failure. Roberts was able to win a championship with a top 5, but he drove aggressively and tried to win. His own engine gave out with less than 50 laps to go, giving Rexford a dramatic, and controversial championship.

Following his championship, Bill returned to racing in the Northeast in 1951, making a handful of appearances at some of NASCAR's bigger races in the southeast and a few northeastern Grand National events. His win at Canfield was his only career victory.

Over 50 years later, Bill is still the youngest driver to win a championship in what has become the Monster Energy Cup series. He remains the only driver from the Northeast to win a champion, and was the only non-Southerner to win a title in the series until 1989, when Missouri's Rusty Wallace won.

With only one career Grand National win, Rexford was the only series champion that was not included among NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

Motorsports career resultsEdit

NASCAREdit

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Grand National SeriesEdit

NASCAR Grand National Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 NGNC Pts Ref
1949 Julian Buesink 59 Ford CLT DAB HBO LAN
14
HAM
5
MAR 12th 286 [1]
4 HEI
3
NWS
1950 60 Olds DAB
29
LAN
22
MAR
9
CAN
1
VER
6
LAN
8
NWS VER
6
MAR 1st 1959 [2]
20 CLT
13
8 DSP
10
80 MCF
5
CLT
19
HBO
4
DSP
14
HAM
6
59 DAR
4
61 Ford WIN
3
62 Olds HBO
26
1951 61 DAB
13
72nd 130 [3]
8 Mercury CLT
21
Perry Smith 23 Studebaker NMO
13
GAR
Julian Buesink 60 Mercury HBO
19
ASF
50 NWS
14
5 MAR
16
60 Olds CAN
21
CLS CLB DSP GAR GRS BAI HEI AWS MCF
6
ALS MSF FMS
1 MOR
22
ABS
George Hartley 52 Olds DAR
71
CLB CCS LAN CLT DSP WIL HBO TPN PGS
14
MAR OAK NWS HMS JSP ATL GAR NMO
1952 Julian Buesink 60 Ford PBS DAB JSP NWS MAR CLB ATL CCS LAN DAR DSP CAN
8
HAY FMS
16
HBO CLT NA 0 [4]
Jim B. Copperheat 174 Nash MSF
36
NIF OSW MON MOR PPS MCF AWS DAR CCS LAN DSP WIL HBO MAR NWS ATL PBS
1953 Julian Buesink 60 Chevy PBS DAB HAR NWS CLT RCH CCS LAN CLB HCY MAR PMS RSP LOU FFS LAN
10
TCS WIL MCF
5
PIF MOR ATL RVS LCF DAV HBO AWS PAS HCY DAR CCS LAN BLF WIL NWS MAR ATL NA 0 [5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Bill Rexford – 1949 NASCAR Strictly Stock Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  2. ^ "Bill Rexford – 1950 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Bill Rexford – 1951 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Bill Rexford – 1952 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  5. ^ "Bill Rexford – 1953 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 14, 2019.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Red Byron
NASCAR Grand National Series Champion
1950
Succeeded by
Herb Thomas