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Curtis Turner was one of the pilots at the beginning of NASCAR. It was wide open and fearless and many see him as one of the best of all time. He was born in Floyd County, Virginia, in the middle of the smuggling era, it was natural for him to become a part of it.
A story familiar, Curtis learned to drive before it is ever old enough to have a license and began exporting in the early moonlight. It has become quite a legend and is known for his talent, he has developed while driving brilliance. " He has already lined up several pots of moonlight on a remote road in the hills of Virginia, and proceeded to maneuver a Cadillac among them. He slipped to the back of the car and was able to do a 180 between them without hitting a single course. This movement became known as "Bootlegger Turn." Curtis then exited the car and drawled: "It was easy I could not waste all the good liquor.".
Early on, Curtis Turner showed his talent, regardless of What kind of car he was driving he had the family car, work truck or a plane it does not matter to him. His racing career has really began in 1946 when he entered a race on a small track in Mount Airy, NC. He finished 18th out of 18 drivers, but this has not dissuaded. He turned right and entered another race and won first place.
He started the company to become the best driver dirt road all the time. In the early 50s, Turner began driving for Oldsmobile and has been dubbed the "Blond Blizzard of Virginia." A few years later he went to Ford and became known as "Pops" because of its amazing ability of pilots 'pop' in the back of his way. He was the NASCAR driver first appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the caption: "The Babe Ruth of stock car racing."
Curtis has never run a full program so that he never won a Cup championship, but his aggressive driving style and determination makes him no less famous. It is also known for his love of alcohol and partying. Sometimes you come to the track after a hard night of partying without a wink of sleep, but that does not seem to affect his driving. He has made several records during his time in the race. In 1950, It was the first driver to win a race with two laps after leading every lap race.
In Weaverville in 1956, the race was the red flag after each car was destroyed or broken, except Curtis Turner. He won by default. He also broke the pole-sitter Speedy Thompson at Southern 500, winning by two laps. In qualifying for the Daytona 500 in 1967, Curtis became the first to break the 180 mph speed barrier with a speed of 180,831 mph.
Curtis Turner racing career ended he was driving in the Smokey Yunick and suffered a hard wreck at Atlanta. It was a terrible accident and Curtis was badly shaken but not seriously injured. Smokey however, could not bear the thought of what might have happened. He Chevrolet withdrew its entry immediately, leaving Curtis unwrinkled. "I'm not going to build the car that Curtis Turner gets killed in" Smokey said.
Curtis was not only a success on the circuit, but he also made a fortune in the purchase and sale of forest land. In 1959, he found a piece of property near Charlotte, North Carolina and has developed a plan to build a racetrack. He spent almost all the money he was started in Charlotte Motor Speedway (now Lowe's), but was overtaken by its investors, shortly after the track opened. Having no money and no circuit, Curtis has hit bottom. He was banned from NASCAR earlier after trying to organize a union and even if he was later allowed to return to the track, he came out of retirement now and then running when the price was right. He had planned to race National Assembly 500 to Charlotte in 1970, but his plane crashed on a mountain in Pennsylvania, killing one passenger and Curtis.
By: Cindy Pischel
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