The Georgia Gang Were Kings Of The Beach

Tim Flock’s Revenge

Tim Flock found himself in a fast ride on the beach in 1955, piloting Carl Kiekhafer's Chrysler 300. Photo courtesy Frances Flock

After running a Pure Oil gas station in Atlanta for a year, Tim Flock accepted the invitation of some friends to return to Daytona Beach as a spectator in February of 1955.

As he sat watching the cars go by on the beach, he saw a particularly quick 1955 Chrysler 300 power it’s way around the course.

Flock told his friends that if “I had that car, I’d win this race again this year.”

Standing within earshot was Tommy Hagood, a local outboard engine dealer.  He introduced himself to Flock after recognizing him as the man flagged the winner of the ’54 race, and offered to introduce him to the car’s owner, Mercury Outboard engine company president Carl Kiekhafer.

The two were introduced, and the rest is history.

Flock shattered the qualifying record by nearly seven miles an hour with a pass through the measured mile at 130.293 mph.

But there was a problem, and Flock had spotted it right away.  The Chrysler was equipped with an automatic transmission, which would slow the car coming out of the turns.

As the race unfolded, Fireball Roberts, driving the Red Vogt tuned Fish Carburetor Buick, took an early lead, with Flock giving chase in the powerful Chrysler 300.  Flock would close on Roberts down the straightaways, but would lose contact with him on the turns due to the automatic transmission.  Roberts was flagged the winner 14 seconds ahead of Tim.

But in post race tech, officials discovered that the push rods were not stock.  24 hours after finishing second, Tim Flock got his victory and his revenge.  He won his first race at Daytona Beach, joining his brothers Fonty and Bob in the history books.

It also put the Georgia Gang back on top on the beach.

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