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Marshall Pleasant Teague[1] (February 22, 1921 – February 11, 1959) was an American race car driver.

Marshall Teague
Marshall Teague Fabulous Hudson Hornet 1952.jpg
Marshall Teague beside the Fabulous Hudson Hornet with his daughter at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1952
Born(1921-02-22)February 22, 1921
Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
DiedFebruary 11, 1959(1959-02-11) (aged 37)
Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
Cause of deathInjuries from racing accident
  • 1951 & 1952 Daytona Beach Road Course Strictly Stock Car winner
  • 1952 & 1954 AAA National Stock Car champion
  • Inducted in the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame (1968)
  • 1951 AAA Stock Car Driver of the Year
  • Inducted in the National Auto Racing Hall of Fame (1988)
  • Inducted in the TRS/NASCAR Mechanics Hall of Fame (1989)
  • Inducted in the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (1991)
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
23 races run over 4 years
Best finish62nd - 1949 (Strictly Stock)
First race1949 untitled race (Daytona Beach Road Course)
Last race1952 untitled race (Columbia)
First win1951 untitled race (Daytona Beach Road Course)
Last win1952 untitled race (Speedway Park)
Wins Top tens Poles
7 11 2
Formula One World Championship career
Active years19531954, 19561958
TeamsKurtis Kraft, Kuzma
Entries5 (3 starts)
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1953 Indianapolis 500
Last entry1958 Indianapolis 500
Marshall Teague restored Hudson Hornet

He was nicknamed by NASCAR fans as the "King of the Beach" for his performances at the Daytona Beach Road Course.

He walked into fellow Daytona Beach resident Smokey Yunick's "Best Damned Garage in Town", and launched Yunick's NASCAR mechanic career.



Teague competed in 23 NASCAR Grand National races from 1949 to 1952, winning seven of them.

Teague approached the Hudson Motor Car Company by traveling to Michigan and visiting the automaker's factory without an appointment. By the end of his visit, Hudson virtually assured Teague of corporate support and cars, with the relationship formalized shortly after his visit. This "is generally regarded as the first stock car racing team backed by a Detroit auto manufacturer."[2]

During the 1951 and 1952 racing seasons, Teague was a member of the Hudson Motors team and driving what were called the "Fabulous Hudson Hornet" stock cars.[3]

Teague was also instrumental in helping Hudson tune the 308 cu in (5.0 L) straight-6 powered Hudson Hornet to its maximum stock capability. When combined with the cars light weight and low center of gravity, the Hornet allowed Teague and the other Hudson drivers to dominate stock car racing from 1951 through 1954, consistently beating out other drivers in cars powered by larger, more modern engines. Smokey Yunick and Teague won 27 of 34 events in major stock car events.[4]

In 1953, Teague dropped out of NASCAR following a dispute with NASCAR founder William France Sr. and went to the AAA and USAC racing circuits.

Teague was also the inspiration for Doc Hudson in the film Cars.[5]


Driving a reconfigured Indy car at the newly opened Daytona International Speedway, Teague died while attempting to break the closed course speed record, which had been established by Tony Bettenhausen in qualifying for the 1957 Race of Two Worlds at about 177 mph. Teague was conducting test sessions in preparation for the April start of the 1959 USAC Championship Car season, piloting a "Sumar Special" streamliner, a Kurtis Kraft chassis with a 270 c.i. Meyer-Drake Offenhauser engine, streamlined fenders, and a canopy enclosing the driver, thus being classified as Formula Libre.

On February 9, 1959, Teague, clocked at 171.821 mph (276.5 km/h), markedly improved Ed Elisian's unofficial 148-mph-one-lap record for an American race track, which had been set in preparation for the 1958 Indianapolis 500.[6][7]

The next day, the left rear tire was cut as a result of running over a foreign object, which forced Teague to pit.[8]

Teague was trying to go even faster on February 11, 1959, eleven days before the first Daytona 500. "Teague pushed the speed envelope in the high-powered Sumar Special streamliner – to an estimated 140 mph (230 km/h)."[5] His car spun and flipped through the third turn and Teague was thrown, seat and all, from his car. He died nearly instantly.[4][9][10][11]

Indianapolis 500 resultsEdit

* Shared drive with Duane Carter, Jimmy Jackson and Tony Bettenhausen
** Shared drive with Gene Hartley

World Championship career summaryEdit

The Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and participation. Marshall Teague participated in three World Championship races, but scored no World Championship points.


  1. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley. July 24, 2013. WFNI.
  2. ^ Wood, Perry Allen (2010). Declarations of stock car independents: Interviews with twelve racers of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. McFarland. p. 5. ISBN 9780786457809. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  3. ^ Via, Roland (2010). "Marshall Teague". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Via, Roland (2003). "Marshall Teague Biography". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b Parente, Audrey (9 February 2008). "Life lost; legend lives local race car hero's death preceded 1st Daytona 500". News Journal. Daytona Beach, Florida. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  6. ^ Marc. "The Jimmy Daywalt Tribute Site". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Just 'playing around' at 171 mph – Teague". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. 10 February 1959. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  8. ^ Kahn, Bernard (11 February 1959). "Teague had close call and didn't know it!". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  9. ^ Hinton, Ed (2002). Daytona: From the Birth of Speed to the Death of the Man in Black. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-61178-7.
  10. ^ "Teague dies in Daytona wreck". The Spartanburg Herald. Associated Press. February 12, 1959.
  11. ^ Kahn, Bernard (12 February 1959). "Experts divided on wreck cause". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Retrieved 1 June 2015.

External linksEdit