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Driver Biography - Page 3 1 2

L. Merritt Brown | Frank Gise | Walter Hartman | Ted Horn
Walt Keller | Dick Linder | Eddie Metler | Earl Moss | George W. Parrish
William H. "Blackie" Pitt | George Seeger | Harold W. Smith
Ray Thompson | Lois Tyler | Gayle Warren

Harold W. Smith

   Harold Smith of Dayton, Ohio entered 9 NASCAR races from 1959 through 1979. In two of those he drove a Studebaker. Those two races were at the new Daytona International Speedway in 1959. In the qualifying race for the Daytona 500, held on February 20th, 1959, Harold started at 22nd position in his 1959 Studebaker Lark. He advanced one position to finish 21st out of the 38 entries

   The first Daytona 500 was held on February 22, 1959. A field of 55 cats took the green flag. Harold started in 50th position. Well known drivers starting behind Harold included Johnny Allen, Roy Tyner, and Buck Baker. Harold advanced 19 positions to finish 31st and was running at the end of the race.

   Harold entered the Daytona 500 the next year driving a 1960 Plymouth. He started 59th in the field of 68 cars. The Plymouth's engine blew up on lap 94 resulting in a finish of 49th.

   In 1966, Harold raced a 1964 Ford to a 4th place finish at Rockingham in March, a 33rd place finish at Charlotte in May, and a 16th place finish at Daytona in July. Lyle Stelter owned his Ford.

   In 1968, Harold raced a 1966 Ford to a 15th place finish at Charlotte in May. In 1970, he raced a 1966 Ford to a 15th place finish at Charlotte in May. In 1970, he raced a 1969 Chevrolet to a 33rd place finish at Michigan in June.

   Harold raced for several years in the Midwest Association for Race Cars (MARC). This racong association is now known as the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). Harold won his first MARC race in 1958. He placed 10th in points in 1959, 7th in points in 1960, won the National Championship in 1961, and placed 2nd in points in 1962.

   For his Championship run in 1961 he drove the #32 1961 Chevrolet owned and prepared by Emerson and Dick Ruebush of Miamisburg, Ohio. Harold won 15 of the 29 races on the circuit including 10 of 11 races run in June and July. Harold ranks 7th among all time MARC/ARCA winners with a total of 24 victories.

   In 1968 despite starting two months after the racing season began Harold won the Pittsburgh Racing Association "Driver of the Year" award. He won 12 of the final 14 races including the 150 lap Tri-State Championship and the Pittsburgh 200 races at the Heidleberg Speedway in Carnegie, Pennsylvannia. Jeep Leonardo was Harold's car owner for the 1968 season.

   Harold retired to Florida and died in the 1990's.

   The photographs show the 1959 Studebaker Lark on pit road prior to the start of the first Daytona 500. Immediately to the left of the Lark are pictured the #4 Chevrolet of Rex White, the #11 Ford of Junior Johnson and the #43 Oldsmobile of Richard Petty. The garage area photograph photograph shows the Lark and the 1957 Chevrolet's of Johnny Allen and Roy Tyner. The photograph at the start/finish line shows the Lark and the #19 Chevrolet of Herman Beam, the #15 Ford Thunderbird of Tim Flock, and the #47 Chevrolet of Jack Smith. The photograph on the backstretch shows the Lark in the background.

   Also pictured is Harold and the 1961 Chevrolet, winner of the MARC Championship. Photographs, courtesy of Richard Ruebush.


Harold's Racing Results


George Seeger

    George Seeger of Whittier, California enjoyed a racing career that spanned from the late 1930's up to 1960. He raced motorcycles, sprint cars, roadsters, and stock cars. He entered events sanctioned by the AMA speedway circuit, California Roadster Association, AAA, USAC, and NASCAR.

    George entered 19 NASCAR events between 1951 and 1957. Makes of racecars he drove included Plymouth, Ford and Studebaker. During the 1951 NASCAR season, George drove Studebakers in 7 events. His best finish was 8th at Toledo, Ohio on August 19th.

    He and his car owner, Tony Sampo of Downey, California made a tour east during the 1951 season. George finished 34th at Detroit, Michigan on August 12th, 8th at Toledo, Ohio on August 19th, 20th at Darlington, South Carolina on September 3rd in the Southern 500, and 23rd at Columbia, South Carolina on September 7th.

    On the return trip to California, George and Tony had a falling out which resulted in Tony driving off and leaving George sitting in the Men's room of a gas station in Wickenberg, Arizona!

    George had a distinguished military career during World War II. He served with the 8th Air Force and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Air Medal, and four Purple Harts. He died in 1977 at age 57 and is buried in Rose Hills Cemetery Whittier, California.

    The racing pictures in order show George racing with Lou Figaro on June 30, 1951, at the Carrell Speedway Gardena, California, prior to the start at Detroit, Michigan on August 12, 1951, and during the race at Detroit, Michigan on August 12, 1951. George's 1951 Studebaker 2 dr. sedan is unique in that most 1951 Studebakers that were raced were Starlight coup models.


George's Racing Results


Lois Tyler

    Lois Tyler, a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania, participated in the NASCAR Women's National Championship Compact Car Race held January 31, 1960, at the Daytona International Speedway. Lois drove the #69 Studebaker Lark coupe. The racecourse for this race consisted of both the oval track as well as the road course. Lois finished 7th out of 7 entries.

   Lois has a lifelong interest in automobile racing. Her father, Ray Schimp, was a race track owner in Bradford. He opened a quarter mile racetrack in 1953. In 1957 the track was relocated and expanded to a half mile in length. Ray remained active in the operation of the track into the 1980's. Lois' husband, Carl Tyler raced for 25 years.

   He began in Pennsylvania, raced in the NASCAR Grand National Division, the last race on the beach, 1958, and the first Daytona 500 at the new speedway, in 1959. Carl raced in the NASCAR Sportsman Division from 1960 through 1969. He continued to race on area tracks in Florida until 1978. He passed away in 1993.

   Lois was a scorer for Richard Petty at Daytona for 17 years. She continues to be active in the racing community, making personal appearances, and speaking about the early days of stock racing. She is an active member of the Living Legends of Auto Racing club. During early 2002, she is overseeing the restoration of a 1957 Ford racecar, which will resemble one that Carl drove in NASCAR. Lois intends to show the restored Ford racecar at the NASCAR Winston Cup race in Watkins Glen, New York in the summer of 2002.

Lois Tyler with
Bob Coolidge

During "Speed Weeks"
February, 2001

   Information and photographs provided by Lois Tyler from the "Carl Tyler Story".


Lois's Racing Results


William H. "Blackie" Pitt

Blackie Pitts Blackie Pitt of Rocky Mount, North Carolina began racing in NASCAR's Modified Division in 1950 at Wilson, North Carolina. In 1954 he moved up to the Grand National Division and sometimes participated in the Short Track Series.

Despite beginning the 1954 Grand National 7 races into the season, Blackie finished 11th in points and was selected as "Rookie of the Year". His best finishes were 6th at the Southern States Fairgrounds in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Corbin Speedway, Corbin, Kentucky. Both of those races were run in a 1954 Oldsmobile owned by Gary Drake. Blackie drove both Plymouths and Oldsmobiles during the 1954 season.

Blackie opened the 1955 Grand National season with 3 top 10 finishes in the first 3 races. He entered 20 of the 45 races that year. His best finishes were again two 6th placed ones, at the Palm Beach Speedway, West Palm Beach, Florida and the Altamont-Schnectady Fairgrounds, Altamont, New York. Oldsmobile was the car of choice for the 1955 season, owned by brother W. W. " Brownie" Pitt.

During the 1956 Grand National season Blackie drove Oldsmobiles and Plymouths. Car owners were Ernest Woods and Brownie Pitt. Blackie entered 27 of the 56 races that year. His best finishes were three 8th placed ones, at the Palm Beach Speedway, West Palm Beach, Florida, the Atlantic Rural Expo Fairgrounds, Richmond, Virginia, and the Lincoln Speedway, Abbottstown, Pennsylvania.

In 1958 Blackie entered 7 Grand National races. This year he drove a Studebaker Hawk. His best finish was a 10th at the Orange Speedway, a 9/10th of a mile dirt track at Hillsboro, North Carolina. Blackie ended his Grand National career on April 27, 1958 at the Old Bridge Stadium, Old Bridge, New Jersey. In his 81 Grand National starts, Blackie finished in the top 10 19 times. Mostly his brother Brownie Pitt financed his racing participation. Blackie died on March 28, 1992 at the age of 67 in Florida.

The check shown is an additional payment made to Blackie due to the disqualification of Joe Weatherly and Jim Reed following the December 11, 1955 race at West Palm Beach, Florida.

Photograph courtesy of T. Taylor Warren.


Bank Check - Top Side
Check Copy - Backside

William H. "Blackie" Pitt Racing Results


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