Nashville, TN (Monday, March 22, 2021) – Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Media Contributor and Hall of Fame at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Committee Member, Donnie Redd, offers us a quick look back to two critical years in Fairgrounds Speedway history; 1958 and 1976.
They say a photo is worth a thousand words, and the men in these two photographs are etched in the history books at America’s Favorite Short Track. Their accomplishments set the tone for many aspiring race car drivers in Nashville USA.
Take a moment to enjoy two nostalgic photographs hand-picked, this week, by Mr. Redd.
64 Years of History Starts with Charlie Griffith
As we embark on the 64th Season of Asphalt Racing at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, we look back to 1958, the first season of asphalt racing at The Fairgrounds Nashville. This stunning image captures the first race winner, #14 Charlie Griffith of Chattanooga, Tennessee racing next to #44 Bob Reuther, who became the first asphalt champion at the speedway. The #87 coupe (third car pictured) was driven by Columbia, Tennessee driver, Charles Stofel.
▪ Bob Reuther – 13 Wins at Nashville
▪ Charles Stofel – 5 Wins
▪ Charlie Griffith – 3 Wins
Bob Reuther was inducted into the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame in 1987. Charles Stofel joined Reuther in the Hall in 2014.
The Kiddie Corp
In 1976, the Kiddie Corp invaded Nashville. Pictured left to right, Mike Alexander, P.B. Crowell III, Sterling Marlin, and Dennis Wiser were known as ‘The Kiddie Corp’. These four were the most popular and winning combination of drivers in 1976 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
Mike Alexander, now a Pro Late Model car owner, claimed the 1976 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Rookie of the Year award.
Sterling Marlin was inducted into the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame in 2009, one year ahead of Alexander. Marlin is second on the Nashville All-Time Feature Wins List with 64 victories.
▪ Sterling Marlin – 64 Wins All-Time at Nashville
▪ Mike Alexander – 45
▪ P.B. Crowell III – 12
▪ Dennis Wiser – 7
Though The Kiddie Corp had enormous success in 1976, the ’76 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Championship at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway was claimed by Pleasant Grove, Alabama driver, Alton Jones.
The 64th Season of Asphalt
The next chapter in the storied history of Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway begins on the weekend of April 16th and 17th 2021. On Friday, April 16th the US Legends and Bandolero Cars take center stage, under the lights, for round five of the US Legends Spring Major. On Saturday, April 17th, the US Legends conclude their Major event in Middle Tennessee and are joined by six divisions of Local Nashville Stock Car Racing. The night is highlighted by a 100 lap Pro Late Model feature to officially open the 64th Season of Asphalt Racing at America’s Favorite Short Track, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
About the Hall of Fame at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
The Hall of Fame at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway begin in 1987 and today, is led by a distinguished committee of four; Donnie Redd, Gary Neal, Malissa Smithson, and Al Jones. In 2020, three more individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame; former Speedway Promoter, Bob Harmon, former Whelen Super Truck Track Champion, Scott Borchetta, and the first female to be inducted, Lilly Buford. To learn more about the Hall of Fame, visit “Hall of Fame at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway” on Facebook.
About Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Built in 1904, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is the longest consecutive operating speedway in the United States of America. Some of auto racing’s best drivers have cut their teeth at the famed 5/8th mile asphalt oval in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee. To learn more about America’s Favorite Short Track, visit www.nashvillefairgroundsspeedway.racing online and be sure to follow Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Join the conversation on social using #RaceNashville.
By – Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Media
Photo #1 Credit – Marchman Photograph
Photo #2 Credit – Russ Thompson Photograph