Which sin was biggest in the eyes of France - the deal with Bruton, the Teamsters financing plan, or a proposed drivers' union - isn't truly known. Either way, the lifetime ban went into effect though it lasted only until 1965.
Turner was more, however, than just a driver in NASCAR-sanctioned races or a thorn in France's side. He was also a businessman away from the track - as well as within the sport. In 1958 for instance, he and France worked together to promote races at Starkey Speedway in Roanoke, VA. However, as Greg Fielden notes in his book, Rumblin' Ragtops: The History of NASCAR's Fabulous Convertible Division:
The event at Roanoke was scrapped when Curtis Turner, who was co-promoting the event with Bill France and Alvin Hawkins, was seriously injured in a crash at the Charlotte Fairgrounds. While attempting to qualify for a July 6 Modified-Sportsman race, the throttle on Turner's Ford coupe hung open and he crashed through the guard rail. The popular driver suffered seven broken ribs in the mishap. While he was confined to his bed, Turner felt it would be best to cancel the Roanoke race. ~ p. 103
|Source: Spartanburg Herald via Google News Archive|
|Source: Wilmington Morning Star via Google News Archive|
Tiny Lund started on the front row with Estes. Larry Frank and Bob Welborn in Julian Petty's #49 Chevy comprised the second row. Ken Rush started 16th in the 19-car field in a second #44 Julian Petty Chevrolet. Starting shotgun on the field was a driver with one of the most unfortunate names not just in racing but life in general: Richard Spittle.
As was so often the case in 1958, Welborn was first to receive the checkered flag. The victory was Welborn's sixth convertible division win of the season and third in a row - all in Julian Petty's cars. Rush rallied from his poor starting spot to finish 4th in Julian's second car behind Lund and Frank. And poor Mr. Spittle? He finished where he started: 19th and dead last in car #0.
Most records indicate the date of the race as July 27, 1958. Because of its blue laws, NASCAR didn't race on Sundays in South Carolina. The race was held on Saturday night. It's likely the race ended a bit after midnight. NASCAR's scoring officials likely dated the race based on its conclusion rather than its beginning.