Herb Thomas

Class of 1994

Biography

Born on April 6, 1923, in Hartnett County, North Carolina. Herb Thomas started a sawmill business, supplying the military with lumber during World War II. After the war Thomas discovered racing, becoming a race car owner first, then competing in wildcat races as a driver. Thomas joined NASCAR as soon as it was started in 1947, and went on the Grand National (now Winston Cup) circuit as soon as it was organized two years later. Thomas won his first Grand National race with a Plymouth at Martinsville, Virginia in 1950. In 1951, racing a Hudson Hornet, Thomas won the Grand National Championship. Thomas won 48 NASCAR Winston Cup races during his driving career. Herb Thomas was seriously injured in a Shelby, NC race in October 1956, ending his racing career. During that time, he won the Grand National Championship twice (1951 and 1953), and came in second for that title three times (1952,1954, and 1956). Thomas was the first person to win three Southern 500's (1951, 1954 and 1955).
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