Tim Flock’s Hall Of Fame Profile
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – By contemporary standards, Julius Timothy “Tim” Flock was a late bloomer. Flock was 24 years of age when he competed in his first stock car race in 1948.
But the Fort Payne, Ala., native, who raced out of Atlanta, was a quick study finishing second in NASCAR’s inaugural season of modified stock car competition. Flock, along with older brothers Fonty and Bob, were among the field of 33 drivers competing in the organization’s first Strictly Stock – now NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – race at Charlotte, N.C., in June 1949.
Tim Flock won the premier series championship in 1952 and again in 1955 to become NASCAR’s second two-time champion. He competed in 187 races over 13 seasons winning 39 times. Flock’s best year was 1955 in which he won 18 races and 18 poles driving the famed No. 300 Chrysler 300 for outboard motor manufacturer Carl Kiekhaefer.
In an era of rough and tumble competition – mostly on dusty and often rutted dirt surfaces – Flock was known for his precise driving skills.
“To me, he was a cool customer,” said NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, who broke Flock’s season victory record in 1967. “You would see a bunch of them drivers running sideways. Tim would just be running around.
“When the race was over, Tim won. Those other guys were still running sideways.”
Flock retired after the 1961 season and spent 30 years in marketing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, dying in 1998 at age 73.
“He was truly one of the heroes of his day,” said the late Bill France Jr., then NASCAR’s president upon Flock’s passing.
Flock was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. He previously was enshrined in the International Motorsports, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and National Motorsports Press Ass’n and Georgia Racing halls of fame.
The Flock clan – eight sons and daughters of textile worker Lee Flock and his wife, Maudie – lived on the edge to say the least. Lee Flock was a tightrope walker and bicycle racer. Older brother Carl raced speed boats. Sister Reo was a dare-devil parachutist, who got paid $50 a jump at fairs and airshows. Bob and Fonty Flock hauled moonshine for an uncle, Peachtree Williams, one of the region’s highest-producing bootleggers. Another sister, Ethel Mobley, also raced stock cars.
The family moved to Atlanta after Lee Flock’s death while Tim Flock was a young child.
Both Bob and Fonty – whose given name was Truman Fontell – were dead-set against their younger brother driving race cars, as was their mother. Tim Flock accompanied his siblings to a race in North Wilkesboro, N.C., where another competitor asked the younger Flock to “hot lap” his modified – which he did and a career was born.