The Wild Injun’
The Georgia Gang was loaded for bear when they arrived at Daytona Beach for the start of the 1950 season. Among the favorites was a fast driver out of Dawsonville, Georgia named Gober Sosebee, nicknamed the Wild Injun’.
Sosebee was one of several drivers looking for the win on Feb. 4, 1950 in the NASCAR modified event at Daytona. Sosebee started on the outside pole, and jumped out to an early lead over pole sitter Bob Flock. As the two moved away from the field, a 17-car pile up ensued behind them, bringing out the red flag to clear the track.
On the restart, Flock took the lead, but the race was again red flagged due to a six-car pileup in the south turn.
Flock again took the lead when the race was restarted, but Sosebee pushed his Ford out front on the seventh lap and never looked back. He finished one minute and 11 seconds ahead of second place Fireball Roberts.
That wasn’t the only high point for the Georgia Gang that weekend, however.
After starting in the second row of the Feb. 5 Strictly Stock event, East Point, Georgia’s Harold Kite pushed his way to the front of the field to lead by the end of the first lap. By lap seven, Kite was lapping slower cars while other competitors experienced mechanical issues.
Meanwhile, Red Byron charged to the front, despite having no brakes on his Oldsmobile. After experiencing brake failure 25 miles in, Byron used his emergency brake to slow the car for the turns. Despite this, Byron had the fastest car on the course, and found his way around Kite for the lead.
Kite continued to give chase, and when Byron experienced transmission trouble on the 24th lap, Kite sailed back into the lead. He would go on to pick up the win while Byron recovered for second place.
Of note is the fact that this was the last year that car owner Raymond Parks made a major effort in racing at the beach. Since the war, his cars and drivers had dominated the races at the beach.
Parks would enter cars in only six more events over the next five years. His last entry into racing on the beach would come in 1955, with Curtis Turner behind the wheel. The Parks entry would finish fourth on that day.
Parks departure left a hole in the fabric of the Georgia Gang. But their winning ways at Daytona were far from over.