When NASCAR celebrated its 50th Anniversary it
took time to honor what they considered the top 50 NASCAR drivers of all time.
One of those men was Rex White.
Rex is hardly a household name to racing fans today but many older fans remember and respect his accomplishments. Rex was Chevrolets best drover from the late fifties through 1963 when GM came down hard on its divisions who were providing support to drivers and owners who raced in NASCAR as well as other sanctioning bodies.
Rex has teamed up in 1959 with Louis Clements and they became a very formidable force in NASCAR racing. Rex and Louis met when they were on the Chevrolet Factory Racing Team (see picture) racing the #44, a Black Widow Fuel Injected '57. Before the American Manufactures Association's (AMA) ban on supporting all forms of racing in 1957 you could go to your local Chevy dealer's showroom and order a stock car ready to race. Who built these race cars to order? SEDCO, the Southern Engineering and Development Company. Jim Rathman for Chevrolet ran SEDCO before the AMA's ban on racing. The SEDCO crew would take the model you ordered from the Chevrolet Lakewood assembly plant in Atlanta and modify it at the SEDCO shop. They only built seven racecars before the ban was put in place. An interesting Footnote is that after the '57 Daytona Beach race Fuel Injection was banned from Competition for the rest of the season thus the term "Black Widow". Not only that but Rathman moved his entire operation to Miami. Chevrolet quit providing made to order stock cars and went undercover with its support for NASCAR through Rex and Louis. The factory support for racing was hidden in Chevrolets Marin engine Division.
Part of the Chevrolet Factory Racing Team
Rex won 28 NASCAR Grand National races. That was more Grand National races than the more well-known drivers you often hear about from that era like Lee Petty, Junior Johnson, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly and Fireball Roberts. It's nice to win more races than your contemporaries but this is where it gets good. Rex was not only Chevrolets best driver and NASCAR's Grand National divisions win-ingest driver he was NASCAR's most consistent. Rex entered 233 NASCAR Grand National races in his career and finished in the top ten 163 times. That's about 70%! Tim Flock is the only driver that is close to Rex in the Grand National event category. Those facts are easy to obtain if you have a copy of Greg Felden's "Forty Years of Stock Car Racing" and know how to work a calculator. That's a record that is not likely to be broken because today's drivers have such long careers.
There are a lot of memories attached to Rex White's career. Just to name a few.