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sam won the firecracker 400 several years ago......was instrumental in NASCAR and the petty's bringing corporate sponsorship to the sport, with Firestone
Though McQuagg never found stardom in the big leagues, he was a well-known local short-track racer who played a role in bringing brothers Bobby and Donnie Allison and Red Farmer to Alabama.
McQuagg told his story to the Ledger-Enquirer in 1996.
He was at a North Florida Championship race when he ran into the men who later formed the famed Alabama Gang.
“It was about 1958, 1959, and they were asking me what racing was like up here and I told them we were racing three or four nights a week,” McQuagg said. “And they came up here and run some races with us and then decided to move here. But they liked the Birmingham area better than Georgia.”
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McQuagg also played a big role in one of NASCAR’s most famous wrecks. In 1965 -- the year he was Grand National Rookie of the Year -- he was leading the Southern 500 at Darlington.
Yarborough tried to get past McQuagg’s yellow No. 24 car. Yarborough’s car flew over the guardrail, rolled six times, and ended up in the parking lot.
For several year’s ABC’s Wide World of Sports showed the clip during its intro.
“That was the agony of defeat,” McQuagg Jr. said.