18/6/1916 - 14/5/2009
One of the founding members of NASCAR, Mundy won the AAA Championship twice and worked for Roger Penske for many years until he retired in the late 1980's. Frank Mundy died 13 years ago, he was 93
Frank Mundy was from Atlanta, Georgia and even though he only won three Grand National races, he was one of the pioneers of NASCAR racing.
In 1930's the bootleggers were mainly responsible for starting what became NASCAR racing, to see who had the fastest car. They would go out into field on Sunday, mark out a track, put some money up and go racing, mostly with modified '39 and '40 Fords. Mundy didn't run moonshine but he did join in the races.
Growing up during the Depression Mundy made a living caddying at one of Atlanta's public golf courses and delivering telegrams on a motorcycle that he had bought.He became a very good rider and when "Lucky Teeter's Hell Drivers" needed a replacement he joined them.
He served in World War II and after the war he returned racing and was one of the group of drivers that fromed NASCAR in 1947.
On Labor Day 1951, 120 drivers attempted to qualify for the inaugural race at Darlington. Mundy was one of the successful 82 that took the start and led early on until his motor went on lap 12.
Mundy loved to race. He once took a trip to California with Marshall Teague to race at the Carroll Speedway, near Los Angeles. He had been promised a ride but when they arrived, the car was not there. So Frank got someone to drive him to the local 'Hertz U Drive It' where he hired a new Chevrolet. He bought a can of white wash, put a big X on the doors and went racing, finishing 11th and winning $200. After washing the crosses off, he took the car back after dark and everything was fine until the Hertz man checked the tires! He remarked how smooth they were and Mundy, without cracking a smile, just said the alignment must be out.
In 1951, Mundy teamed up with Perry Smith, a Studebaker dealer in Columbia, SC, to put the name Studebaker on the racing charts and also won the first night race held by NASCAR. He was the 1953 AAA National Points Champion. He entered and failed to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1954.
In 1955 he won the AAA Championship again this time in Kiekhaefer-prepared Chrysler 300.
Worked for years as a member of Roger Penske's Indy Race team until the late 1980's.