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Rex White oral history interview, 2008 May 15

 Digital Record
Identifier: OH-WH0540

Dates

  • 2008-05-15

Summary

In this interview, Rex White recounts his early life and his career as a stock car driver from the 1950s to 1965. He begins by describing his life growing up in rural Taylorsville, North Carolina, including experience working on his father's Ford Model T as a boy. Mr. White recalls how he left home at an early age, married, and began working at a service station where he developed an interest in stock car racing. He began spending time in Frankie Schneider's pit, which gave him the opportunity to work on race cars in Brownie Brown's welding shop before officially starting his racing career in 1954. He recalls how he learned racing strategy and gained an understanding of the importance of the chassis from Mr. Schneider. White attributes some of his success as a driver to his understanding of a car's mechanics, which gave him an advantage over other drivers. Reflecting on his racing circuits, Mr. White talks about various tracks including Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, and about the excitement and difficulty of racing at Daytona where visibility was poor due to sand. He recounts how he retired from racing in 1965 and then went to work as a service manager for a Chrysler dealership, where he earned more money than he ever did as a driver. Mr. White then shares additional stories and thoughts about his stock car racing days, including times when he and other drivers bent the rules during inspections, a minor collision with Tiny Lund, and how stock car racing was physically demanding. He reflects that his driving style was consistent throughout his career and that even in 1960 when he won the Grand National championship he drove conservatively and avoided wearing out his tires or engine too early in a race. Mr. White concludes by discussing how he lost interest in NASCAR by the end of his racing career and withdrew from the racing community entirely until the 2000s.

Extent

159 Minutes

Language of Materials

English

Repository Details

Part of the Oral Histories, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Contact:
Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 USA

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Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:


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