| Wilkes County 160|
| April 4, 1954 (1954-April-04)|
North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Permanent racing facility
0.625 mi (1.00 km)
160 laps, 100 mi (160 km)
Chilly with temperatures approaching 64.9 °F (18.3 °C); wind speeds up to 15.9 miles per hour (25.6 km/h)
The 1954 Wilkes County 160 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on April 4, 1954, at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Until the 1957 running of the Wilkes 160, North Wilkesboro Speedway was an unpaved oval track that naturally slowed down the speeds of the vehicles.
The race car drivers still had to commute to the races using the same stock cars that competed in a typical weekend's race through a policy of homologation (and under their own power). This policy was in effect until roughly 1975. By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power anymore.
1954 Wilkes County 160 Wikipedia
It took one hour and twenty-seven minutes for the race to reach its full conclusion. Dick Rathmann would acquire a significant victory over Herb Thomas by a margin of twenty seconds in front of five thousand and five hundred people. All 24 drivers that were involved in this racing event were born in the United States; no foreigners attempted to qualify for this event. Notable speeds were: 68.454 miles per hour (110.166 km/h) as the average speed and 78.698 miles per hour (126.652 km/h) as the pole position speed. John Ditz would win his first race as an owner during this event; a diverse range of automobile manufacturers would enjoy starting positions within the relatively unregulated NASCAR atmosphere of the mid-1950s. Monetary winnings for each driver ranged from a then-incredible amount of $1,000 ($8,918.22 when considering inflation) to a meager $25 ($222.96 when considering inflation). Total winnings for this race were $3,825 ($34,112.17 when considering inflation).
This race was also notable for being held the week before April 11, 1954; which has been analyzed by a computer search engine as being the least interesting day in the 20th century. Rock and Roll Music was "invented" at a New York City recording studio on April 12 (Monday) when Bill Haley & His Comets would record the incredibly famous song Rock Around the Clock. Rock Around the Clock quickly became a number one single on both the US and UK charts and also re-entered the UK Singles Chart in the 1960s and 1970s.
No NASCAR Cup Series races were held on Sunday, April 11, 1954.
* Driver failed to finish raceStart of race: Gober Sosebee started the race with the pole position
Lap 12: Blackie Pitt had problems with his vehicle's wheel
Lap 26: Stan Kross' vehicle developed a problematic post on, forcing him to leave the race
Lap 31: Dave Terrell had a problem with his vehicle's bearings, causing him to withdraw from the race
Lap 44: Steering wheel problems ended Arden Mounts' day on the track
Lap 46: Ted Rambo had a terminal crash; forcing him to withdraw from the event
Lap 58: A hose problem on Elton Hildreth's vehicle meant that his race weekend was over prematurely
Lap 70: Ralph Dutton would see no more racing this weekend when his steering wheel started acting funny
Lap 95: Dick Rathmann takes over the lead from Gober Sosebee
Lap 97: Gober Sosebee takes over the lead from Dick Rathmann
Lap 115: Dick Rathmann takes over the lead from Gober Sosebee
Lap 129: Bud Harless had a terminal crash, forcing him to withdraw from the event
Finish: Dick Rathmann was officially declared the winner of the event