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Driver Biography - Page 2 1 3

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

Walter Hartman

Walter Hartman and Bob Coolidge__Click...

Walter Hartman from Chattanooga, Tennessee had a successful 25-year racing career. He ran stock and modified racecars primarily in the Tri-State area from his Chattanooga base. He was 4 time Tennessee State Champion from 1947 through 1950. He finished 4th in the NASCAR Championship in 1950.

Walter entered three NASCAR Grand National events in 1951. He finished 17th/38 entries at the Canfield Fairgrounds Speedway in Canfield, Ohio on May 30th, finished 22nd/31 entries at the Columbus Speedway, Columbus, Georgia on June 10th and finished 24th/34 entries at the Columbia Speedway, Columbia, South Carolina on June 16th. He drove a 1950 Plymouth in all three races.

Walter HartmanWalter is pictured standing next to the 1953 Studebaker Commander he won a feature event with at Boyd's Speedway in Chattanooga. His win in that race was a close one over the Hudson entries. The car was owned by H. C. Kirk owner of the Moccasin Speedway and co-sponsored by Tennessee Food Fair stores and Dick Jones Motor Company, Chestnut Street, Chattanooga.

Walter HartmanThe second photograph is of a photo of Walter taking the victory lap with the checkered flag. It was a real please to meet and talk with Walter, his wife and son Jackie at the Chattanooga Area Racers Reunion held in January 2003. The third and fourth photographs were taken at that event. He is retired and living in South Carolina.

Walter Hartman holding the photograph of his 1953 win in the Studebaker Commander.


Ted Horn


Eddie Metler

Eddie Metler & Son David
Eddie Metler and his Son, David
Eddie Metler & Bob Coolidge
Eddie Metler & Bob Coolidge

Eddie Metler of Knoxville, Tennessee raced from 1949 through 1954. He began racing at the Broadway Speedway, Knoxville, in the midget division. In addition to midget racecars he competed in modified sportsman, and stock cars. He was a regular at the Oak Ridge Speedway, Greeneville Speedway, Asheville Highway Speedway-Knoxville, Chattanooga and other area tracks. Ed Harvey, owner of Eddie's Auto Parts built and maintained Eddie Metler's racecars. Eddie held a "Racing Driver License" from the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association. It was unusual for a local driver to be so licensed.

In 1953, Eddie joined the "Circuit of Champions", a touring stock car series based in Chicago. He drove a 1953 Studebaker Commander, # 1, sponsored by the Norris Motor Company, Central Avenue, Knoxville. The circuit included stops at the Broadway Speedway, Knoxville, West Memphis, Arkansas, Ohio and other speedway locations.

Eddie won numerous speedway championships and was inducted into the Tennessee Racing Hall of Fame in 1987. Following his driving career, he built race engines and chassis, promoted events at the Oak Ridge Speedway and served as flagman at Knoxville Raceway.

It was a real pleasure to meet Eddie and his son David at the Chattanooga Area Racers Reunion in January 2003.

Photographs, copies of news accounts, and a copy of Eddie's AAA Racing Driver License appear below.

Eddie Mettler Eddie Metler

Broadway Speedway, Knoxville after suffering a broken rear axle


Newspaper Article #1
Newspaper Article #2
Newspaper Article #3
Eddie Metler Driver License from the AAA Contest Board
Eddie Metler Two Midget Racer #1 | Racer #2


Earl Moss

   Earl Moss from Creedmoor, North Carolina raced in 11 NASCAR events from 1951 through 1959. His first race came on April 15, 1951 at Hillsboro, North Carolina where he came in 6th driving a 1950 Ford.

   On September 3, 1951 Earl drove a V8 powered 1951 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe #86 to a 30th place finish in the second Southern 500 held at Darlington, South Carolina. J. B. Watkins owned the car.

   On September 28, 1952 Earl finished 11th driving a 1951 Plymouth at Wilson, North Carolina. In 1956, Earl ran two NASCAR races at Hillsboro and Wilson, North Carolina. He finished 14th and 24th respectively driving a 1956 Mercury. In 1959 he also ran two NASCAR races at Myrtlr Beach, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. He finished 9th and 24th respectively driving a 1957 Ford.

   The photographs show Earl in his western hat and beside one of his sportsman racing cars. The racing photograph shows Earl on the backstretch during the 1951 Southern 500 at Darlington, South Carolina. Following Earl is Sandy Lynch in the #97 Ford and Joe Eubanks in the #82 Oldsmobile. Photographs, courtsey of T. Taylor Warren.


Earl Moss Racing Results


Ray Thompson

   Ray Thompson from Orlando, Florida drove in three NASCAR races. In 1951 he entered the Feburary beach race in Daytona driving a 1951 Kaiser. He finished 35th out of 54 entries.

   In 1956 Ray again entered the Feburary beach race at Daytona. This time he drove a 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk owned by Johnny McCoy. Ray started in last position 76th, but advanced to 26th by the end of the event. One month later he entered the 100-lap race at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia. He suffered an axle failure on the 12th lap and finished 27th out of 28 starters.

   The photographs show the Golden Hawk on Beach Street in Daytona Beach, Florida prior to running of the beach race on Feburary 26, 1956.


Ray Thompson Racing Results


George W. Parrish

Click to enlarge...

   George Parrish a native of Louisburg, North Carolina grew up with a strong interest in automobiles and automobile racing. At age 25 in 1953, he founded the Parrish-Phelps Motor Company, a Studebaker dealership, located on Chestnut Street in Henderson, North Carolina.

   In 1954, George had a 1953 Studebaker Commander Coupe #11 built to race in the NASCAR Grand National (now Winston Cup) Series. He towed the completed racecar to Charlotte, North Carolina where Bill France, Sr., inspected it and approved it to race. George was issued his NASCAR competition license at this time.

   His first race was run on August 13, 1954 at the Southern States Fairgrounds track, a one half-mile dirt circuit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Studebaker performed well allowing George to speed through the corners with the race leader and winner Lee Petty in a Chrysler. George lacked as much speed down the straight-aways and finished 19th of 22 entries.

   Three weeks later, George entered his 2nd race, the 500 mile Southern 500 at Darlington, South Carolina run on Labor Day 1954. He pitted next to NASCAR star Buck Baker who had qualified for the pole position driving the #87 1954 Oldsmobile. Buck told George that he probably did not have the speed to out run the front cars but might out last them! George qualified for the 12th starting position and finished 22nd in a field of 50 entries.

    George raced the 1953 Studebaker Coupe through the rest of the 1954 and 1955 NASCAR seasons. His best race was at the Richmond, Virginia "Fairgrounds Speedway" where on May 22, 1955 he started 9th and finished 10th in a field of 28 entries. One week later at the "Forsyth County Fairgrounds Speedway" in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, George started 11th and finished 13th out of 23 entries.

   At the end of the 1955 NASCAR season George sold his 1953 Studebaker Coupe to NASCAR racer Blackie Pitt of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

    George was out of racing for the next two years. He attended a race in 1957 and decided to return to competition. He built a 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk to race.

    His first race with the Golden Hawk was the 1957 Southern 500 at Darlington, South Carolina. George qualified to start 42nd in the 50 car field. He advanced to finish 25th and was running at the end of the race. A very sobering event to George took place on the 27th lap. The fatal crash of Bobby Myers with Paul Goldsmith happened very near George. With two small children at home, he had to consider whether racing was the proper place for him. George ran five more NASCAR races during the 1957 and 1958 seasons before retiring for good.

    His best finish with the Golden Hawk was a 15th at the "Ashville-Weaverville Speedway" in Weaverville, North Carolina on September 8, 1957. In that event he raced closely with Fireball Roberts who was in a 1957 Ford. The last race came on November 3, 1957 at Fayetteville, North Carolina. That race was the first race of the 1958 NASCAR season.

    Through his connections as a dealer, George attempted to obtain support from the Studebaker Corporation for his racing effort. Unfortunately there was no interest on the part of the corporation supporting him. His racing effort was entirely self financed. He ran a total of 21 NASCAR races in Studebakers, which places him next to Frank Mundy's 24 races in 1951 in a Studebaker. George's team consisted of Odell Tart-Mechanic, Bill Poythress-Body Man, and Joe Frazier-Friend.

   The photographs show George behind the wheel of his 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk # 71, his 1953 Studebaker Commander Coupe # 11 on the front stretch during the 1955 Southern 500, qualifying for the 1957 Southern 500, spinning around during the 1957 Southern 500 on the way to a 25th place finish, and photographs of George and George and Bob Coolidge in March, 2001. Racing photographs courtesy of Tom Kirkland and T. Taylor Warren.

George Parrish and Bob Coolidge


George Parrish Racing Results

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