After moving to Spartanburg, S.C., to join the team of Louis Clements, a well-known crew chief, White posted his first victory in the 1958 season opener at Champion Speedway, a one-third-mile paved track in Fayetteville. The race actually was run on Nov. 3, 1957. White drove a Chevrolet and led only the last four laps in finishing a half-lap ahead of runner up Lee Petty.
He won one more time in ’58, then took 26 more checkered flags over the following four years while driving a No. 4 gold and white Chevrolet nicknamed “Yellow Thunder.” He won six times in 1960 and finished in the top 10 in an amazing 35 of 40 races to become NASCAR champion for the only time. He won the Most Popular Driver and Driver Of The Year awards that season.
After retirement he moved to Atlanta and worked for Delta Airlines. … White is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and Georgia Racing Halls of Fame. Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. … He has written an autobiography, “Gold Thunder,” and a book of special memories in “All Around The Track,” both with author Anne B. Jones.
Retired Observer motorsports writer Tom Higgins on Rex White: