|Born||Robert Newman Flock|
April 16, 1918
Fort Payne, Alabama, United States
|Died||May 16, 1964(aged 46)|
|Achievements||Won the pole for NASCAR's first sanctioned race (Charlotte, 1949)|
First NASCAR driver to win a race from the pole (Hillsboro, 1949)
|Awards||Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame (2003)|
National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame (1981)
|NASCAR Cup Series career|
|36 races run over 7 years|
|Best finish||3rd (1949)|
|First race||1949 Race No. 1 (Charlotte)|
|Last race||1956 (LeHi)|
|First win||1949 (Hillsboro)|
|Last win||1952 (Weaverville)|
|NASCAR Convertible Division career|
|1 race run over 1 year|
|First race||1956 Race #6 (Montgomery)|
|Statistics current as of February 20, 2013.|
Robert Newman Flock (April 16, 1918 – May 16, 1964) of Fort Payne, Alabama, USA was an American stock car racer. He qualified on the pole position for NASCAR's first Strictly Stock (now NASCAR Cup Series) race and, along with Red Byron, is considered one of the two best drivers from that era. Flock died of a heart attack in 1964.
He was the brother of NASCAR pioneers Tim Flock and Fonty Flock, and the second female NASCAR driver Ethel Mobley. The four raced at the July 10, 1949 race at the Daytona Beach Road Course, which was the first event to feature a brother and a sister, and the only NASCAR event to feature four siblings. Ethel beat Fonty and Bob by finishing in eleventh.
The Flock family had an illegal moonshine business. The federal agents discovered that Flock would be running a race in Atlanta, and they staked out the place to make an arrest. A gate opened as the race was beginning, and he drove on the track to take the green flag. The police vehicles quickly appeared on the track. They chased Flock for a lap or two before he drove through the fence. The police followed him until he ran out of gas. Reminiscing years later, Flock said, "I would have won that race if the cops had stayed out of it."
He was a well established driver before NASCAR was formed. He took over NASCAR founder Bill France's ride in 1946. He won both events at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1947. Flock was known for his daring driving style. For example, during a race on June 15, 1947, Flock overturned his car in an accident. Instead of accepting a DNF, he solicited help from spectators, who turned the car back on its wheels, and he finished the race: "Like other wrecks it wasn’t anywhere near as serious, and folks flipped Flock’s car over on its wheels." In an October 1947 race at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds, he suffered a crushed vertebra when his tire blew, sending his car through the track fencing and into a light pole.
He sat on the pole for NASCAR's first race at Charlotte Speedway on June 19, 1949, setting a qualifying time of 38.37 seconds. He had two wins that season, and finished third in the points behind Lee Petty and champion Red Byron.
Flock was the only winner of a Cup Series race held at the mysterious Air Base Speedway in Greenville, SC in 1951 on August 25. His brothers, Tim and Fonty also took part in the event. The track was closed in 1952 after only three years of racing but was still visible by 1964 and only partially by 1976.
Flock retired from driving when he broke his back in an on-track accident. He had over 200 modified wins in his career.
- He was inducted in the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.
- He was a member of the National Motorsports Hall of Fame Association.
- "Racing statistics, Charlotte Speedway in 1949". Racing-reference.info. Archived from the original on 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- Jim Francis (15 January 2008). The History of NASCAR. Crabtree Publishing Company. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7787-3186-3. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Encyclopedia of Alabama. "Flock Family". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
- Tate, William (22 November 2004). "And Here They Come to the White Flag: The Piedmont-Triad's Role in Early NASCAR History: 1940 - 1958" (PDF). University of North Carolina at Asheville: 12. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Flock Car Paces Hot Stock Cars but Flock of Wrecks Takes Show". Greensboro Daily News. 16 June 1947.
- "Bob Flock Injured In Piedmont Race". The Miami News. October 13, 1947. Retrieved January 17, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Bob Flock Sets Record at Charlotte". The Atlanta Constitution. June 19, 1949. Retrieved January 17, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bob Flock driver statistics at Racing-Reference
- Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame
- 1949 season recap at NASCAR.com
- Flock family website - includes photos (mainly of Fonty)