Jack Smith (American racing driver)
Jack Smith (May 24, 1924 in Metropolis, Illinois – October 17, 2001 in Spartanburg, South Carolina) was an American stock car racer. He raced in the very first NASCAR race ever in 1949, and is a member of the NMPA Hall of Fame in Darlington, South Carolina.
|Born||May 24, 1924|
|Died||October 17, 2001(aged 77)|
|Cause of death||Congestive heart failure|
|Awards||Inducted in the National Motorsports Press Hall of Fame
Inducted in the Daytona Beach Hall of Fame 1959 NASCAR's Most Popular Driver AwardInducted in the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in 2002
|NASCAR Cup Series career|
|264 races run over 15 years|
|Best finish||4th (1962)|
|First race||1949 Race No. 1 (Charlotte)|
|Last race||1964 Sunshine 200 (Savannah)|
|First win||1956 Old Dominion 400 (Martinsville)|
|Last win||1962 untitled race (New Ashville)|
Smith moved to Georgia when he was two years old. He worked at a service station in the 1940s near Roswell. He began racing against local bootleggers on rough dirt tracks and asphalt superspeedways, and across fields. He began racing in 1947 after building a car.
He made his debut in NASCAR's first race in 1949 at the Charlotte Speedway and finished 13th. He is remembered for flipping his car five times and rolling into the parking lot at a 1958 race at Darlington. He won the NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award in 1959; although he tied Junior Johnson in the initial voting, a second ballot was opened that Smith won. He went to win 21 races over the next 14 years.
He died from congestive heart failure in 2001.
- Winston, Chris (October 19, 2001). "Local racing legend dies JACK SMITH: Hall of Famer won 21 NASCAR races Smith's 21 wins rank 24th all-time". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
- "Jack Smith NASCAR's Most Popular Driver". Johnson City Press. AP. January 19, 1959. Retrieved January 17, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Jack Smith driver statistics at Racing-Reference
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