8/11/1916 - 10/6/2008
Record updated 08-Mar-23
Erick raced tracks up and down the west coast of America winning more than his share. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. paid him to compete back east. But his roots were elsewhere and he soon returned to race in the west.
Erick Erickson started racing in 1948 driving a Rockne Coupe. The Rockne Coupe was manufactured in 1932 and 1933, and named after Knute Rockne, the celebrated Notre Dame American college football coach.
Studebaker had formed a subsidiary company, the Rockne Motors Corporation, and Knute would have been the Vice President as he intended to give up coaching after the 1931 season. However he was killed in a plane crash in Chase County, Kansas, on March 31st, 1931.
Anyhow Erickson bought the car for $20! He developed as both a driver and engineer and graduated to the strickly stocks cars division that were popular after WW ll. He drove a 1948 Pontiac straight 8, that was also the car in which Eric's wife did the shopping and ran errands with. He went to take frequent wins and two West Coast Championships with the Pontiac in 1949 and 1950.
In 1951 he drove in Arizona's first NASCAR Grand National race at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Marshal Teague made the trip from Daytona Beach and took the lead in a 1951 Fabulous Hudson Hornet on Lap 81 from Fonty Flock and led the remainder of the 150-lap race. 12,000 spectators watched Teague cross the line ahead of Erick in second.
After another top 5 in the first 2 NASCAR races west of the Mississippi, Bill France Sr. paid Erik to race his car back east. Erick drove his Pontiac all the way to Darlington, North Carolina, then on to Trenton, New Jersey, Canfield, Ohio and West Memphis, Arkansas. France tried to get him to stay but to no avail and Erick drove back to California.
Erick retired in 1956 and still lives in the desert town of Mojave, California.
hr - with thanks to the the Vintage Racer