News & Media


Herb Thomas

April 10, 2013, NASCAR.com

Herb Thomas

NASCAR Hall of Fame member

Herb Thomas was truly one of NASCAR’s first superstars. He was the first to win two NASCAR premier series championships (1951, ’53). He finished second in the points standings in 1952 and 1954 giving the North Carolina veteran top-two championship finishes in four consecutive seasons. He finished outside the top two in the championship only once (fifth in 1955) between 1951 and 1956. Thomas won the 1951 championship driving self-owned cars.

(b. 4/6/23 – d. 8/9/00)

Hometown: Olivia, N.C.

Competed: 1949-62

Starts: 228

Wins: 48

Poles: 39

Thomas won the second running of Darlington Raceway’s famed Southern 500 in 1951 and with back-to-back victories in 1954-55 was the race’s first three-time winner.

Thomas won 48 times in series competition, a number that continues to rank 13th all-time. His 48 victories in 228 starts equates to a series-record winning percentage of 21.05. Thomas won races in seven consecutive seasons from 1950 through 1956.

After retiring from competition following the 1962 seasons, Thomas went on to start a trucking company and sawmill. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Year Age Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led AvSt AvFn RAF Miles LLF
1949 26 4 of 8 0 1 1 0 197 0   18.0 3 123.1 0
1950 27 13 of 19 1 4 6 0 719 176 4.0 11.4 9 446.6 1
1951 28 34 of 41 7 16 18 4 2015 954 4.2 11.5 26 1613.2 7
1952 29 32 of 34 8 19 22 10 5134 863 4.1 8.3 24 3533.1 14
1953 30 37 of 37 12 27 31 12 4292 1632 1.3 5.2 32 3101.2 16
1954 31 34 of 37 12 19 27 8 5605 1255 1.6 7.7 24 3966.9 16
1955 32 23 of 45 3 14 15 2 3437 249 7.0 9.3 15 2788.1 6
1956 33 48 of 56 5 22 36 3 7890 261 7.4 8.4 37 5181.5 6
1957 34 2 of 53 0 0 0 0 146 0 13.5 37.0 0 123.0 0
1962 39 1 of 53 0 0 0 0 377 0 23.0 14.0 1 235.6 0
10 years   228 48 122 156 39 29812 5390 6.6 13.1 171 21112.3 66
%>