Bill Rexford

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Bill Rexford
Born (1927-03-14)March 14, 1927
Conewango Valley, New York, United States
Died April 18, 1994(1994-04-18) (aged 67)
Achievements 1950 Grand National Champion
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
36 race(s) run over 5 year(s)
Best finish 1st (1950)
First race 1949 (Langhorne)
Last race 1953 (Rochester)
First win 1950 (Canfield)
Last win 1950 (Canfield)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 17 1
Statistics current as of February 22, 2013.

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

Biography[edit]

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 Sprint 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.

Complete NASCAR results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Number Sponsor 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 Place Pts
1949 Julian Buesink 59 none Ford CHA
DAB
OCC
LAN
14
HAM
5
MAR
12th 286
4 HEI
3
NWI
1950 Julian Buesink 60 none Ford WIN
3
1st 1959
Oldsmobile DAB
29
MAR
9
CAN
1
VER
6
LA2
8
NWI
VE2
6
MA2
20 CHA
13
80 LAN
22
MON
5
CH2
19
OCC
4
DY2
14
HAM
6
59 DAR
4
62 OC2
26
8 Mercury DAY
10
1951 Perry Smith 23 none Studebaker NMO
13
CAR
72nd n/a
George Hartley 52 Oldsmobile DAR
71
CB2
CEC
LAN
CH2
DY2
WIL
OC2
THO
n/a PIG
14
MA2
OAK
NW2
MAB
JAC
LKW
CR3
NM2
8 Mercury (automobile) CHA
21
5 MAR
16
50 NWI
14
Julian Buesink OCC
19
ARI
61 Oldsmobile DAB
13
n/a CAN
21
CLS CBA DAY
CR2
GRS
BAI
HEI
ASW
MCF
6
ALS
MSF FOM
1 MOR
22
GRP
1952 n/a n/a none Ford PAB
DAB
JAC
NWI
MAR
CBA
LKW
CEC
LAN
DAR
DAY
CAN
8
HAY
NC 0
Julian Buesink 60 FOM
16
OCC
CHA
Jim B. Copperheat 174 Nash MSF
36
NIF
OSW
MON
MOR
SOB
MCF
ASW
DAR
CC2
LA2
DY2
WIL
OC2
MA2
NW2
LW2
PB2
1953 Julian Buesink 60 none Chevrolet PAB
DAB
HAR
NWI
CHA
RIC
CEC
LAN
CBA
HIC
MAR
POW
RAL
LOU
FIF
LA2
5
TRC
WIL
MCF
10
PIF
MOR
LKW
RAV
LCF
DAV
OCC
ASW
PRA
HI2
DAR
CC2
LA3
BLF
WI2
NW2
MA2
LW2
NC 0
Preceded by
Red Byron
NASCAR Grand National Champion
1950
Succeeded by
Herb Thomas