Photo ID # 05.14.03_300_McL_ALC_0056_1
Car #: #300
Driver (s) : Jackie McLaughlin
Location: Alcyon Speedway, Pitman, NJ
Date: 1956
Photographer: William Curley
Photo provided by: Russ Dodge
Comments: Comments provided by Russ:  I have sent this picture to show those who never had the opportunity to meet Jackie McLaughlin, his "Hollywood" smile. He was such a talented driver. Most people do not know he was equally talented in an open wheel sprinter. Here he is pictured with the Case 300 (numbered after a Case 300 tractor and painted in Case tractor colors), the car that took him to the 1956 Flemington modified championship. This is a Bill Curley photo taken at Alcyon Speedway in 1956.
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05/15/03 3-Wide I wish I had gotten to see to see Jackie race, but I never did.  I have heard and read so many stories that I feel like I have.  When people talk about Jackie, it goes to a whole different level as far as talent, ability, potential, etc.   This picture is so outstanding for so many reasons in including as Russ says, "Jackie's Hollywood smile", along with the T-Shirt, the goggles, and the excitement on the kid's faces looking on in the background....)  Thank you to William Curley for his talent behind the camera and thank you to Russ Dodge for sharing it with us.
05/15/03 Tom Bilger "Hats off "to Russ Dodge for sharing this picture with us. The first feature I saw at Alcyon was won by Jackie. I got to meet him a number of times at the South Jersey Speed and Sport Shop. What a lucky kid I was !!!!!!
05/17/03 Jim Murrow Great Picture, Russ – Thanks I first saw Jackie McLaughlin race in 1956, at Alcyon, in this car, and I was astounded! I had the extreme pleasure of watching him drive hundreds of races, and of getting to know him very well. He was a really nice guy. Despite his good looks, and his phenomenal driving ability, he was a very shy and quiet guy. Over the years, I have developed a theory, which I believe is valid. There are many Great Race drivers, who can get in a race car, and really drive it hard, fast, and text book perfect. These are the track champions, and top drivers you see at the various tracks, or the guys driving Winston Cup, IRL, Etc. Every once in a great while, however, someone straps them self into a race car, and their brain, for some reason, accepts the car as part of their body, and the car functions, for them, as an arm, or hand or leg does for the rest of us. Automatically, without having to think about it. These are the ones that are the greatest of the greats. Jackie McLaughlin was one of those "Naturals". Others, in recent history, were A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Rich Vogler, and a few others, (Probably including Tony Stewart, but my mind's not made up on that, yet).. They could drive any kind of race car, on any kind of track, and beat the best of the regulars in those cars at that track, the first time out. If Jackie had lived past his untimely death, at the age of 31, I'm sure he would have made it to Indy cars, or Winston Cup, whichever way he decided to go.
06/07/03 L. Talbert Years after his death people around the Flemington still talk about him. Jimmy Horton Jr. considered him one of the best there ever was.
07/20/03 Jim Murrow I was looking at the comments of L. Talbert, about Jackie. I'm sure a lot of people who never saw him race are puzzled as to why his legend lives on, as it does. I don't mean to go on and on about the guy, but, he did have some kind of magic. Was he one of the best there ever was? No question about it! You know, I never saw Jan Opperman race, but from the things I've heard, he and Jackie must have had the same kind of magic.

Maybe this example will explain why Jackie McLaughlin is so highly regarded.

The handicapping system at Alcyon Speedway went something like this - Slowest cars - 1st heat, next fastest - 2nd heat, fastest - 3rd heat. The rule was you had to run the feature in the last car you qualified. The level of competition at Alcyon was extremely high. Consequently, many good drivers would not make the show.

Many owners would ask Jackie to qualify their cars for them. Jackie often qualified 2 cars a night, and sometimes 3. running different cars in all 3 heats. Jackie would climb into a car he had never sat in before, that had failed to qualify 6 weeks in a row, and win or at least finish 3rd or 4th in the heat race, instead of the 12th, or 13th spot the car normally finished in. in the process, he would be turning laps way faster than that car had ever gone before . Owners, drivers and fans would just stand there, mouths hung open, in awe, since no changes had been made to the car.

Unbelievable performances like this, which were accomplished weekly, are part of what made him a legend, not just the feature wins in his regular modified. A great driver, in a great car is always a threat to win, but everybody knew that even in a slow car, Jackie always had a shot at winning. How did he do it? nobody knows, but, no car went slow, when Jackie was in it. It was absolutely amazing!

Speaking of how did he do that, Jackie was strictly a dirt track driver, but one year he decided to accept an offer to drive the 95A car on pavement. The car was definitely not one of the big buck, top drawer pavement modifieds, and was enjoying only moderate success when Jackie climbed into it. He put together a string of feature wins at Vineland in the 95A, while doing the same on dirt in the Lucky Jordan duece.

02/11/05 Jim Penney Jackie McLaughlin was killed August 23, 1964 at Nazareth, Pa.
I could probably find the article in my NSSN collection .
Jim Penney
Auto Racing Library
05/06/07 Mr. Dave On the day he died, earlier in the day Jackie raced in the 100 mile Modified race at the Trenton Speedway. I was there that day and after the race was a part of the crowd gathered around Jackie. He was in really good spirits (even though I'm not sure where he finished at Trenton). But he saw that time was getting short to get to Nazareth for the usual Sunday nite show. As he worked his way away from the people, he looked back and told the folks there that they should 'follow him up to Nazareth' to enjoy the Modified racing program that evening. With that he smiled, waved and left for Nazareth, which I believe was about 80 miles away. That 'invitation' were the last words I heard him say. Only a few hours later he was gone.

Being too tired from the day at Trenton, I decided to stay home and not go to Nazareth that fateful night. I'll never forget it.
06/06/08 Holly J. Focht What a great picture of Jackie! I was just a kid, but my mom had a boyfriend who was a stock car driver at the time - Al Tasnady - and racing just got under our skin! We used to always sit with his Jackie's wife when we were at the races - which was usually twice a week somewhere! He was a great guy and a great driver! But the hardest time was seeing his final and fatal crash. That day stock car racing lost one of it's best. . . . if not the best!
02.05.10 Patricia Semborski Wow - memories - I was such a fan of Jackie and had hundreds of pictures from Flemington and Nazareth of him, Al Tasnady, Bud Olsen, Bill Osmun, Frankie Schneider, and others- they hopefully are still somewhere out there in New Jersey with the young man I gave them to. I was just telling a friend from New Jersey about Jackie and decided to look for a photo and there it was. Thank you for posting it. I have great memories of all the east coast race tracks and drivers and their families. They were great people to know and work with.
03.29.11 Kim Whaley The best I've ever seen. He was so smooth it was poetry to watch!
12.26.14 Anthony Fichera

Here is my favorite stock car driver Jackie. With the 300 at Vineland speedway in 1957.  What a great picture.



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