Vicki Wood

Vicki Wood

Although there is very little recorded evidence of her personal life and her achievements she deserves a mention. Vicki is now in her eighties and is a much respected founder member of the elite group, Living Legends of Auto Racing. Vicki Wood was introduced to racing in the early 1950’s. It all started by a chance comment that she made to her husband, Skeeter, at the local race track in Detroit.

During the Powder Puff race she remarked, “If I couldn’t drive any better than that, I’d quit.” The next time that they visited the track he took her to the pit area, pointed to a car and said, “That’s your car.” Taking him at his word she took her 5’ 3″ frame onto the track. She came in at 9th position. Her husband also influenced her style of driving, telling her that if she approached two cars and she could not get through on the outside or the inside just go through the middle of them moving them aside. “I did as he said,” Vicki recalls, “but when they saw my car between them, they both closed in and all three of us sat out the race.” She is remembered for her skill in driving and the speed records that she set.

Between 1955 and 1960 Vicki set records on the Daytona Beach Road Course. In three of those years she recorded times faster than any of the men. Vicki’s name is still in the NASCAR record books. She was third in the two-way Chrysler 300 Flying Mile in 1955 with an average speed of 125.838 mph. In 1956 she set a new ladies speed record when she was second in the two-way Chrysler 300 Flying Mile with a speed of 136.081 mph driving Tim Flock’s car and that same year she had the fastest one-way run in measured mile history – 143.827 mph.

In 1958 and 1959 she won the Pure Oil Performance Trials in the passing test against male competition, and in 1959 set a new (all drivers) measured mile record of 147.420. She holds the woman’s record for the measured mile (150.375), the woman’s record at Daytona International Speedway (130.379) and the woman’s record at Atlanta International Raceway (121.30). In 1960 she set a one-way record speed of 150.375 miles per hour. Even today there is nothing slow about Vicki Wood. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, Vicki was riding with friends on a long, straight, modern highway. The husband of one of the women was driving 90 mph when this 81-year-old grandmother smiled and said, “I thought you said you could drive fast.” Vicki lives in West Palm Beach and can often be found at LLOAR events.

References

http://www.livinglegendsofautoracing.com/drivers_pages/drivers_vickie_w.html

http://bump-drafts.com/2009/02/13/a-true-legend-jeremy-sellers-at-daytona-with-50s-nascar-pioneer-vicki-wood/

http://www.allpar.com/cars/chrysler/chrysler-300-at-daytona-beach.html

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