The Georgia Gang Were Kings Of The Beach

Bob Flock

Bob Flock picked up his first win on the beach on March 9, 1947. Photo courtesy GARHOFA

Things did not look so rosy for the Georgia Gang the morning of March 9, 1947.  Red Byron was looking for his third straight win on the beach, and had drawn the pole position.  But a rare mechanical failure on the Parks’ Ford during a warm up session on race morning put the #22 out of the running.

But all was not lost for Parks’ team.  Bob Flock, of Atlanta, was Byron’s teammate, and took an early lead in the event and never looked back, leading every lap for the victory.  Flock’s #14 Ford won by over four miles over the second place finisher.  Georgia’s Ed Samples and Gober Sosebee finished fourth and fifth.

Bob, the oldest of the three brothers, started the family tradition of winning on the beach on that day.  It was the first of many wins at Daytona for the Fabulous Flock brothers.

Bob would back up that first beach win with another in the next event, held on August 17.  In doing so, he made what well may be the most incredible charge in the history of auto racing.

Starting 31st due to being unable to qualify, Bob Flock flew through the field to take the lead before the FIRST MILE of the race had been completed.  After taking the top spot, Bob never looked back, leading every lap of the event for the win.

The feat led local sportswriter Bernard Kahn to dub Bob Flock “The Wizard of Whiz”.  Flock credited the power to car builder Red Vogt.

The race was significant for another reason for the Georgia Gang.  It was the first beach race back for Bob’s brother Fonty since his injuries at the circuit back in 1941.  Fonty would finish in the top 20 piloting a Ford.  He would go on that year to with the NCSCC points title.

With 1947 at an end, cars owned by Raymond Parks had won all five beach road course events at Daytona in the previous two years.  And more success was not far away.

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