Speedy Thompson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alfred "Speedy" Thompson
SpeedyThompson1960NASCARWin.jpg
Speedy Thompson is adoring his fans after winning the 1960 National 400 in Charlotte
Born (1926-04-03)April 3, 1926
Monroe, North Carolina
Died April 2, 1972(1972-04-02) (aged 45)
Cause of death Heart attack resulting in racing crash
Awards Inducted in the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame and Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
198 races run over 14 years
Best finish 3rd - 1951, 1957, 1958 and 1959 Grand National seasons
First race 1950 Vernon Fairgrounds race
Last race 1971 World 600 (Charlotte)
First win 1953 Central City Speedway race
Last win 1960 Capital City 200 (Richmond)
Wins Top tens Poles
20 106 19

Alfred Bruce "Speedy" Thompson (April 3, 1926, in Monroe, North Carolina – April 2, 1972, in Charlotte, North Carolina) was a NASCAR pioneer and driver in the Grand National series from 1950 to 1971; capturing 20 wins along the way.

Racing career[edit]

He made his debut in 1950 and won two of the seven races he competed in 1953 in the #46 Buckshot Morris Oldsmobile (including the 1953 Wilkes 160). Thompson made 15 starts in 1955 and made a serious attack on the Championship the next year, competing in 42 races in Carl Kiekhaefer's factory-backed Chryslers and Dodges, winning eight times and finishing third in points. 1957 saw a switch to Hugh Babb's and his own Chevrolet's and another third place result, only capturing two victories that year. Speedy drove his own Chevy for the entire 1958 season, and another third place was the reward for his four victories in 38 starts.

Another third place in points came in 1959 from 29 starts in a variety of different cars, this time with no wins. 1959 would be his last full-time effort in the series (participating in 24 different racing event including the 1959 Hickory 250) and he left Grand National after the 1962 season, choosing to race at late models at local North Carolina short tracks. He returned to NASCAR's top series, then called Winston Cup, in 1971 for the World 600 where he finished 16th.

Death[edit]

During a late model race on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1972, at Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte, where he started the race despite reporting he was not feeling well, Thompson's car stopped on the track. He was found in his car not breathing, was revived and put into an ambulance, but he died on the way to the hospital, one day before his 46th birthday.[citation needed] The medical examiner said that he died of natural causes, an acute coronary occlusion.

Awards[edit]

He was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame and the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame.

References[edit]