The Post-Journal

Rexford, Moore Put Jamestown Area on Stock Car Racing Map

Bill Rexford, a soft-spoken, slender, almost fragile appearing young man from Conewango Valley is like a lot of rodeo cowboys, test pilots and steeplejacks - his appearance belies his profession.Rexford is one of the nation's leading stock car racers - he's third in the newly formed MARC standings - but one glance and you might mistake him for a bank teller or gas station attendant.

"Yes, I guess auto racing is a lot like other sports competition - they come in all sizes and shapes," Bill laughed yesterday. "Now take my good friend Lloyd Moore - he's a big, burly cuss who looks like he could pick the car up and carry it around the track and I'm a little geezer, but we both get there."

And "get there" is just what Little Bill and Big Lloyd are doing.

The Jamestown Chamber of Commerce owes both of them a vote of thanks. They are putting the area on the map.

New Organization Set Up

The story of MARC is a story of feuding and revolt among the men who risk their lives in the roaring stocks.

A fellow named John Marcum of Toledo, a promoter - one of the best and most honest - didn't like some of the things that were going on in the NASCAR supreme body in the sport. Being an outspoken gent who was just as quick on the draw, Marcum pulled out, kit and kaboodle, and set up his own organization - the MARC (Midwest Association for Race Cars).

"He's a grand guy and it's a great outfit," Rexford tells you.

Rexford is wheeling a Chevy, co-owned with Bob Duell, a used car operator on Foote Avenue who lives in Frewsburg, the hometown of Lloyd Moore.

Ohio Stars One-Two

Two Ohio Hudson Hornet racing aces, Jim Romine of Youngstown and Bucky Sager of Toledo, are one-two in the MARC standings.

"But I'll overhaul 'em," Rexford says with quiet confidence.

Young Bill, who is a veteran of the roaring ovals despite his 26 years - he's been tromping a gas pedal in competition for 10 years - will talk cars by the hour.

"They're all good - they've got to be - but I have converted to the Chevy for racing. Not as fast as some, but it sure takes a beating. Why, do you know, I have failed to finish in only one in 15 starts."

Bill is married and has two boys, Bryan, 3, and Billy, 1. His missus, that's Thelma, unlike many wives of race drivers, doesn't sit at home chewing her fingernails when Bill is due to hit the roaring road. "She just takes it for granted I will come through all right - guess she's got a lot of confidence in me," Bill explains.

Won National in 1950

Apparently Thelma's confidence isn't misplaced, for Bill has never been hurt and has never been in a serious crackup.

"We've had two deaths on MARC tracks," Bill explains, but both were due to the same careless cause - failure to wear a safety belt. They get tossed out and that's it."

Rexford brought acclaim to the area when he won the national NASCAR championship in 1950. He was feted, presented $200 - and a new car at the annual shindig in Daytona Beach.

His best single killing ($1500) was his biggest thrill - fourth in the Darlington 500 in 1950.

Scared at Times - Sure

What does a driver think about when he's in a "jam" tearing around a racing oval at top speed?

"Well," Bill answered slowly, "I guess he's wondering if his wheels, hubs and spindles are going to hold. That's the crackup points. If they go, you spill. If your motor conks out, you just get out of the way and let the rest of them roll."

Scared? "Sure," Bill tells you frankly. "I've been scared many times but I have never been in a situation I didn't feel I was coming out of all right."

Rexford and his father, Kermit, operate the Chevy agency at Conewango Valley. It's a quiet, homey business but Bill doesn't expect to take full advantage of it until his days on the thunder strips are over.

Moore, like Rexford, is an iron-handed, steel-nerved hombre who knows when to tromp a gas pedal and knows when to let up. The husky Frewsburg ace has been around for years and he's a familiar figure on the nation's tracks. His coming schedule and his list of performances was outlined in a Post-Journal story Wednesday.

Both Bill and Lloyd swing into action again tomorrow at Canfield, Ohio, the latter at the wheel of a Ford owned by Julian Buesink of Corry.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.