Another Mississippi Racing Pioneer is Gone.

We heard that Noel Wynne passed away January 3rd, 2009 at his home in Heber Springs, AR. He had cancer and had been taking chemo. Noel was a great man and very good race car driver. After Noel found out about his Cancer he told his friends that he wasn't tore up about it. He was ready to see his wife Elizabeth again and his Grandfather George Grant. Noel was prepared to meet his maker.

By my records, Noel started driving a race car in Jackson back in the 1950. In 1952, he and friend James Ball built a heavy, full bodied car that he named "12 Gauge". Noel told me once that the 12 Gauge was big, heavy and built like a tank. It was good for a young driver to learn how to drive but not for winning. He built a new 12 Gauge in 1953 from a 1934 Ford coupe and put a souped up Flathead Ford motor in it. The new car put him up front but the wins were still too far between.

In 1954 he bought the #99 from Mr Ben Adams of Wesson, MS. Noel added a 9 to the number and raced the car as #999 in 1955. That year he won the Stock Division Championship.

Noel Wynne’s racing career lasted only 5 years (1950-1955). In 1956 Andrew Mooney, also from Jackson, was killed in a tragic racing accident at Speedbowl Park. His car rolled several times coming out of turn four. Andrew was thrown from his car and several seconds later another car came around the turn and ran over him. Noel’s wife was in the Grandstands and saw it all. She never went to a race again. She was terribly worried for Noel when he raced. Noel stopped racing in 1956 and out of the love for his wife never raced again.

Once racing gets into your blood it hard to get away from it. Noel's work moved him to Arkansas. Once there he managed to buy a race track. He called his new track Wynne's Stadium. Noel said that a very young Mark Martin would stop by ever so often to race at his track. He sent me some pictures of Mark in his early years.

Noel Wynne was a good man, good friend, good husband and a true Mississippi Racing Pioneer. He may be gone but his legacy will live on.

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