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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 12 April 1924Floyd, Virginia, USA
Date of Death 4 October 1970DuBois, Pennsylvania, USA  (plane crash)

Mini Bio (1)

Named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers in 1998, Curtis Turner was perhaps the hardest charger ever to drive a race car. Turner was there from NASCAR's beginning. He finished sixth in the championship standings during NASCAR's first season in 1949 and won 18 races in NASCAR's top division in his career. He was also an entrepeneur; he owned a lumber business, owned and flew his own plane, and along with Bruton Smith built the Charlotte Motor Speedway (now Lowe's Motor Speedway). Though it was his dream, the Charlotte Motor Speedway project caused an unexpected interruption in Turner's driving career in 1961. Strapped for cash after numerous cost overruns, Turner turned to the Teamsters Union for help. In exchange for the money he needed to pay the debt on the speedway, Turner agreed to help organize NASCAR's drivers into the Federation of Professional Athletes. When Bill France, Sr. got wind of Turner's efforts, he called a meeting of the drivers and, with pistol in hand, declared that none of NASCAR's drivers would be involved with a union. He then banned Turner and fellow driver Tim Flock for life from NASCAR. From 1961-64, Turner raced in various non-NASCAR events winning, among other events, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. France and Turner eventually settled their differences and Turner was reinstated in late 1965. In his comeback, Turner won the American 500, the first race held at the North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, NC. He retired from racing in 1967 after a crash at the Atlanta International Raceway but was planning a comeback when he died. On October 4, 1970, Curtis Turner was flying his Aerocommander with professional golfer Clarence King when the plane crashed into a mountainside near Punxsutawney, PA. Turner was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame in 1971, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trivia (2)

Professional golfer Clarence King was flying with Turner in his plane when it crashed in DuBois, PA. King was in the pilot's seat and officials concluded that King suffered a heart attack while piloting the plane.
Was one of the first NASCAR drivers to purchase and fly his own plane.

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