Racing in the Early 1950's

In 1949, to the best of my knowledge, there was 1 race tracks in Jackson Mississippi. That was about to change. The track was named the Johnny Cleveland Speedbowl and it was located just Southeast of the I-20 and I-55 interchange in South Jackson.

In 1950, Pat Patrick and Sheffield Clark ask a simple question, why not race 2 nights a week and have twice the fun? Mr Patrick, who now lives in Madison, remembers those days as more hard work then fun. "We just loved to race", he said. "We started the Jackson Racing Association in April 1950 and leased some land from Mr. Elmer Graham. The land was on Livingston Road in North Jackson where Lake Hico is now. We built a 3/8 mile dirt track and called it the Jackson Motor Speedway. We used an Army Surplus 4-wheel drive Dodge Army truck and a broken down pull along grader. We ran the track for 2 years and was making very little money so we sub-leased the track to Mr. CE Smith". Mr Smith changed the name to Speedbowl Park and cut the track down to a 1/4 mile track. The rest is history...

Mr. C.E. Smith worked with other tracks in the area to develop a racing circuit in Mississippi. By the mid 1950's there were race tracks in Hattiesburg, Laurel, Meridian and Jackson. The good drivers could race 4 nights a week and make a living having fun driving race cars.

The picture above was taken in 1950 or 51 at the Jackson Motor Speedway. The car on its side is 8C driven by Toby McCord. Toby is being run over by car 49 driven by Floyd Kyser. Car 7 driven by John McCann managed to miss the accident and went on the win the race.

The picture below is one taken just after the race and shows the two drivers, Toby and Floyd, standing beside their cars. These priceless pictures were taken from the Curley Walters Photo Album.

(Note: Click on Underlined Text to view pictures)