A LOOK BACK-MARC RACE AT FLAT ROCK SPEEDWAY, 1958

A LOOK BACK-MARC RACE AT FLAT ROCK SPEEDWAY, 1958

You have to be somewhat of an auto racing history buff to recognize the significance that Flat Rock Speedway played in the sport, beginning in 1953, the year the track opened its gates for the first race on August 14.  The names of Bill France Sr., Tom Pistone, Joe Weatherly, Curtis Turner, Lee Petty and many more made the hard left turn at the track in its early years.

France, the founder of NASCAR, promoted races at Flat Rock in the 1950’s under the NASCAR banner, bringing in the big names of the time.  One of the races was a 500-lap race on the ¼ mile paved oval!

His right-hand man, John Marcum, entered the Midwest stock car racing picture also at that time.  Marcum and his wife, Mildred, helped the France family get NASCAR up and running.  At the urging of Bill Sr., Marcum moved his family to the Toledo, OH area and began MARC, the Midwest Association for Race Cars, the early predecessor to today’s ARCA, the Automobile Racing Club of America, which still sanctions racing at both Flat Rock and its sister track, Toledo, OH Speedway.  Marcum’s grandson, Ron Drager, now owns, operates and promotes both tracks and serves as the President of ARCA.

This photo shows the MARC race cars in action at Flat Rock in 1958.  The photo was shot by Dick Mossoney, a Detroit area resident and was provided courtesy of noted Chicago-area auto racing historian and reporter Stan Kalwasinski. Check out the convertibles!  We believe the #30 is that of ARCA legend Iggy Katona.

As Flat Rock Speedway prepares for its 70th Anniversary season in 2022, we will be going through our files and records and look back on the history of “The Rock”.

Much of the archives of the days gone by were lost in a fire several years ago at the ARCA office in Temperance, MI.  The track is seeking any information on Flat Rock Speedway from the 1950’s, 1960’s and early 70’s.  If you would like to share any history of the track, please call 734-782-2480.

Comments