Curtis Turner

usa United States
Full Name
Curtis Turner
Roanoke, VA
Date of Birth
Date of Death
First Year
Last Year


Curtis Turner was an American stock car racer. In addition to bring a driver, Turner helped build the Charlotte Motor Speedway with Bruton Smith.<br><br>He was the first recipient of the Most Popular Driver award in 1949 and won it again in 1956. The most notable of his 17 career wins was the 1956 Southern 500.

Turner drew the ire of NASCAR president (and founder) Bill France when he helped organize a drivers union in 1961. Turner, along with Tim Flock, were banned by NASCAR from competing for four season. He returned for the 1965 season, running seven times and winning at Rockingham Speedway, his final career victory.

After the 1968 season, Turner retired from NASCAR after making 184 starts over a 17 year career. On October 4, 1970, he died when the private plane he was piloting crashed outside of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

He was posthumously named as one of NASCAR’s 50 Great Drivers in 1998, inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992, inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006, and inducted in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2016.


10/04/1970 – Turner perishes in a private plane crash over Pennsylvania

07/31/1965 – The lifetime ban on Turner and fellow driver Tim Flock has been overturned and both can resume their racing careers.

08/15/1961 – For remaining as a member of the Teamsters Union, Turner and fellow driver Tim Flock are handed lifetime bans from NASCAR.

07/29/1959 – Construction begins for Charlotte Motor Speedway, led by Turner and businessman O. Brurton Smith.

Cup Series

SeasonTeamStartsPolesWinsTop5sTop10sLaps CompLaps LedRaces LedDNFDNQWD
1949No Team Data60114564782000
1950No Team Data1644771626111012400
1951No Team Data12033511645136700
1952No Team Data70011523121600
1953No Team Data19313513961914600
1954No Team Data10117816782773100
1955No Team Data90044928141400
1956No Team Data13014519674663700
1957No Team Data71023963532200
1958No Team Data30000574881300
1958Wood Brothers Racing100002600100
1959No Team Data10124412934385500
1960No Team Data2000019500100
1960Wood Brothers Racing100007800100
1961Wood Brothers Racing700119491595500
1961No Team Data1000123331000
1965Wood Brothers Racing4013312082562100
1965Junior Johnson & Associates2000010100200
1965No Team Data100005100100
1965Petty Enterprises7013313602562410
1966No Team Data12202317601514900
1966Wood Brothers Racing600221276804300
1966Junior Johnson & Associates300116621543200
1967No Team Data4200024161410
1968No Team Data60014144800200