Flock delivered moonshine as a teenager on his bicycle and a
few years later he was making trips in his car from Atlanta to
Dawsonville, Georgia hauling moonshine. Fonty once said that he would
seek out the sheriff and get him on a chase because he had a faster
car. Fonty would send off to California and get the best parts for his
car and the sheriff couldn't keep up with him and loved to tease him.
The sheriff didn't have the sources to get the parts to make his car
keep up with Fonty's.
Fonty ran some of the
semi-organized races before World War 2 broke out, winning a 100-mile
race at Lakewood Park in Atlanta in 1940. He ran the dirt tracks in
Georgia for a couple of years before making his way to Daytona Beach,
Florida searching for the high speed excitement of the Beach-Road
Fonty's first race after getting
to Daytona was on July 27, 1941 where he landed the pole position
along side Roy Hall. Flock took the lead over Hall early in the
race but Hall kept nipping at Fonty all the way. In the south turn
Fonty and Hall made contact and Flock's Ford headed toward the high side
of the corner. Flock's Ford climbed the outer edge of the track and
flipped end-over-end and side-over-side into a clump of bushes. The
seat belt snapped during the rolling and Flock tumbled like a rag doll
inside the car. The car landed upside down and yet Fonty somehow
survived the crash. Flock was rushed, by ambulance, to the Medical
Center in Daytona Beach. Fonty suffered a crushed chest, broken pelvis,
head and back injuries and severe shock.
Four months after Fonty's wreck
the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Auto Racing was banned until 1945
when the roar of stock car engines could be heard again in the south.
Fonty missed the 1945 and 1946
seasons because of his injuries and the '47 season was well under way
when he was healed enough to race again.
Bob Flock, Fonty's older
brother, convinced car owner Ed Schenck to put Fonty in his car
for the inaugural stock car race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The
grand opening for the new track was May 5, 1947 and 10,000 fans and a
couple dozen drivers showed up for the event. Fonty won the pole and
his heat race despite being out of racing for four and half years. He
then raced to victory in the 30-lap feature, outrunning Glenn
Dunnaway and Pepper Cunningham.
month later Fonty won at Greenville, South Carolina. He won again the
next week at Greensboro which put him in a battle for the Points race.
Victories followed at Charlotte and Trenton while driving a car owned by
Al Dykes. Fonty and brother Bob were tied for the points lead at
one point during the season for the National Championship Stock Car
Circuit, the name used prior to the NASCAR name. Ed Samples the
1946 National Champ was also in the hunt for a title, his second in a
Bob Flock driving for Raymond
Parks crashed his Ford and broke his back in a race at Spartanburg
in October. Fonty took over the #14 Ford and accumulated more points,
from that point to the conclusion of the season, than any other driver
to win the Championship.
Fonty started 47 races in 1947 and
won seven of those races. He finished 235 points ahead of Ed Samples,
who won two of his 34 starts. Red Byron who won nine of his eighteen
starts finished third in the points race.
What stands out so much about
Fonty was his incredible win in his first start and then finishing it
off with the Championship
Herb Thomas (left) and
Fonty Flock (center) at Palm Beach, Florida
fairgrounds (taken between 1952 and 1954),
Courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection
Fonty, Bob, driver Sara Christian in the middle
was inducted in the
Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame
- He was
inducted in the
Automobile Racing Hall of Fame
Association in 2004.
During the early 1950s, Flock drove mostly
in Grand National events. He finished second
in the point standings in 1951, fourth in
1952, fifth in 1953, and tenth in 1955. He
had established an insurance agency in
Nashville and raced only part-time beginning
1957 he entered only the beach-road race at
Daytona, though he also drove in the
Darlington 500 as relief for
who'd been injured in a practice crash. The
car was also in bad shape. It blew a tire on
the sixth lap and got hit by two other cars.
Flock fortunately walked away unhurt, but he
also walked away from racing.
Carl Lee and Maudie Flock's children, Ethel,
Bob, Fonty and
Tim with a combined total of 379 NASCAR
starts finished in the top-ten 230 times!
Fonty Flock Picture Gallery
Check out Fonty Flock's Granddaughter
Pictures courtesy of