Bicentennial Biographies is a not-for-profit radio project designed to raise awareness and increase interest in local history. It is brought to you as a public service by the Chautauqua County Historical Society throughout 2011 to celebrate the county’s 200th birthday. To learn more, visit www.McClurgMuseum.org or contact your local historical society.
When it comes to stock car racing, no event is bigger than the Daytona 500. The roots of the Daytona 500 go back to the early 1950s, when several short-track races were held on Daytona Beach. And one of the drivers who took part in some of those early races was Chautauqua County’s own Lloyd Moore.
Born on January 6 June 8, 1912 in Frewsburg, Moore was a major factor in the start of auto racing in this area. Developing his skills in several grass fields around Frewsburg, Moore eventually approached Findley Lake car owner Julian Buesink about becoming a driver.
He first started racing in 1939 at the old gravel pit track in Onoville, N.Y., “Dipsy Do Raceway” and also “Satan’s Bowl of Death” on the Big Tree-Sugar Grove Rd. in Busti. He raced there and other local tracks into 1941, when WWII put the kibosh on racing in the area until 1947. In the late 1940s he resumed racing at the Penny Royal Track in Leon, N.Y. From there, he and teammate Bill Rexford eventually moved to the NASCAR Grand National (later called the Winston Cup) to race for Buesink. He participated in both NASCAR and MARC(ARCA) until 1955.
Moore had many accomplishments during his career, one being selected as the only “Yankee” to make the NASCAR Top 20 in 1951. It was that year that he recorded the fastest time in the Daytona Qualifier. In all, he competed in five NASCAR sanctioned races at Daytona between 1950 and 1952, finishing in the top 10 on three different occasions.
Among his most notable victories was a 150-mile race at Dayton, Ohio on June 6, 1954. He managed to win despite local drivers doubling up on him trying to run him into the ground. He also had wins at the Detroit Speedway, Kokomo, Indiana, most of the New England states and many of the local and regional tracks of the time.
He retired from racing in 1955 and later accepted a job at Frewsburg Central School as a bus driver. Additionally, he was in charge of the bus garage. Moore was the third auto racer inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He died in May, 2008.
Ref: Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame – Lloyd Moore; Reg Houghwot – Frewsburg resident and long-time Moore acquaintance
– J. Sample