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Interview with Rex White

Interviewee: 
White, Rex, 1930-
Interviewer: 
Wright, Christina
Date of Interview: 
2008-05-15
Identifier: 
OHWH0540
Subjects: 
White, Rex, 1930-; Schneider, Frankie, 1926-; NASCAR (Association); General Motors Corporation. Chevrolet Motor Division; NASCAR racing; Grand National series; Farm life; Stock car drivers; Stock car racing; Motorsports; Pit crews; Automobiles, Racing--Chassis; Automobiles, Racing--Design and construction; Sports--Corrupt practices; Automobile racing--Psychological aspects; North Carolina--Charlotte; North Carolina--Taylorsville; North Carolina--Winston-Salem; Florida--Daytona Beach; Georgia--Fayetteville; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Abstract: 
In this interview, Rex White recounts his early life and his career as a stock car driver from the 1950s to 1965. He begins by describing his life growing up in rural Taylorsville, North Carolina, including experience working on his father’s Ford Model T as a boy. Mr. White recalls how he left home at an early age, married, and began working at a service station where he developed an interest in stock car racing. He began spending time in Frankie Schneider’s pit, which gave him the opportunity to work on race cars in Brownie Brown’s welding shop before officially starting his racing career in 1954. He recalls how he learned racing strategy and gained an understanding of the importance of the chassis from Mr. Schneider. White attributes some of his success as a driver to his understanding of a car’s mechanics, which gave him an advantage over other drivers. Reflecting on his racing circuits, Mr. White talks about various tracks including Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, and about the excitement and difficulty of racing at Daytona where visibility was poor due to sand. He recounts how he retired from racing in 1965 and then went to work as a service manager for a Chrysler dealership, where he earned more money than he ever did as a driver. Mr. White then shares additional stories and thoughts about his stock car racing days, including times when he and other drivers bent the rules during inspections, a minor collision with Tiny Lund, and how stock car racing was physically demanding. He reflects that his driving style was consistent throughout his career and that even in 1960 when he won the Grand National championship he drove conservatively and avoided wearing out his tires or engine too early in a race. Mr. White concludes by discussing how he lost interest in NASCAR by the end of his racing career and withdrew from the racing community entirely until the 2000s.
Coverage: 
North Carolina--Taylorsville; North Carolina--Winston-Salem; North Carolina--Charlotte; Washington (D.C.); Maryland--Lanham; circa 1930s - 2008
Interview Setting: 
J. Murrey Atkins Library (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Collection: 
Motorsports Collection
Interview Audio: 
Transcript:
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