Marshall Teague – An Early Star in NASCAR
In his relatively short life-time, Marshall Teague earned a place in the history of auto racing that will not be forgotten. Marshall Teague was one of the pioneers in NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) and also one of its first stars.
Driving his “Fabulous Hudson Hornet“, Teague captured two pole positions and claimed seven victories in just twenty-three career starts, beginning in 1949. In 1951 and 1952 on the Daytona Beach course, Marshall Teague claimed first place, earning himself the nickname of “King of the Beach”. He was also the winner of the first NASCAR race that was held at Carrell Speedway in California in 1951.
Following an altercation with Bill France Snr, Teague left the NASCAR series in 1953 to race in the USAC (United States Auto Club) and AAA series. Fortunately, they later settled the dispute.
Marshall Teague established a relationship with the Hudson Motor Car Company, and was part of the Hudson Motors team during the 1951 and 1952 racing seasons. It was during this time that he nicknamed his car as the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet”. Teague played a significant role in assisting Hudson to tune the Hudson Hornet to its full stock car potential. With the Hudson Hornet’s light weight and its low centre of gravity, no other car of the time could match it and Teague and other Hudson drivers dominated stock car racing from 1951 to 1954. Marshall Teague, with the assistance of his friend and mechanic, Smokey Yunick, won the majority of the stock car events he participated in. Teague was awarded the AAA Stock Car Driver of the Year in 1951 and AAA Stock Car Champion in 1954.
Tragically, Marshall Teague lost his life when his car crashed while he was attempting a closed course speed record at the new Daytona International Speedway on 11 February 1959 – he was only 36 years old. He was posthumously honoured by the National Motor Sports Press Association’s Hall of Fame at Darlington Raceway in 1968, the National Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1988, TRS/NASCAR Mechanics Hall of Fame in 1989 and The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 1991. Clearly, Marshall Teague was one of the best!