The True Story of Curtis Turner: A Racing Legend (A Two Time Hall of Famer)
by Dennis Treece
Curtis Turner won an incredible 360 races in various stock-car racing circuits from 1946 to 1965, and is widely recognized as one of the greatest dirt-track drivers in history. A true pioneer of the sport, Turner went from running moonshine for his father as a kid to earning the distinction of NASCARs first driver to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. A 1992 inductee into International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Turner is without a doubt an all-time racing legend.
It was more than Turners winning ways that cemented his legendary status with racing fans and fellow drivers. With a swashbuckling style both on and off the track, Turner was a partier, a playboy, and an innovative entrepreneur, who had an eager but edgy spirit that drove him through one of the most cantankerous lives ever lived.
Told through the eyes of best friend and business associate Dennis Treece, The True Story of Curtis Turner: A Racing Legend (A Two-Time Hall of Famer) reveals never-before-told stories from Turners life, a life Treece describes as momentous havoc.
From outrunning police during his moonshine days to out-racing NASCARs best drivers (including one year where he won a record 25 NASCAR events), Turners skill and moxie never waned behind the wheel. He earned the nickname Pops for his propensity to pop other drivers on the track. Turner attempted to organize a drivers union in 1961, earning a lifetime ban from NASCAR. (The ban was lifted in 1965.)
Yet, off the track was where the real mayhem occurred. In one tragically foreshadowing story, Treece recounts one of Turners several brush-with-death experiences in the cockpit. An avid pilotan indispensable hobby after he lost his drivers licenseTurner and a few business associates flew from Philadelphia to Charlotte in a brutal snowstorm. Landing on a snow-packed runway, his plane was estimated to carry 150 pounds of ice. After the precarious landing, Turner merely said to his passengers, Hell of a day, aint it boys!
Dennis Treece also recounts Turners entrepreneurial zeal. A self-made millionaire buying and selling timberland, Turner often sought experimental ways to supplement his income, including his ill-fated attempt to broker a deal for The Ford Motor Company to purchase advertising space on U.S. Currency.
Treece also poignantly recounts Turners final plane crash on October 4, 1970, the day Lady Luck kissed my hero goodbye.
The True Story of Curtis Turner is a tale of a remarkable life and an ode to a missed friend.
(2017, Paperback, 148 pages)