Sunday 2nd April 1972
Racer Alfred ‘Speedy’ Thompson died one day before his 46th birthday, on Easter Sunday, at Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte, where he started the NASCAR late race despite reporting he was not feeling well, Thompson’s car stopped on the track. He was found in his car not breathing, was revived and put into an ambulance, but he died on the way to the hospital. The medical examiner said that he died of natural causes, an acute coronary occlusion.
He made his debut in 1950 and won two of the seven races he competed in 1953 in the #46 Buckshot Morris Oldsmobile (including the 1953 Wilkes 160). Thompson made 15 starts in 1955 and made a serious attack on the Championship the next year, competing in 42 races in Carl Kiekhaefer’s factory-backed Chryslers and Dodges, winning eight times and finishing third in points. 1957 saw a switch to Hugh Babb’s and his own Chevrolet’s and another third-place result, only capturing two victories that year. Speedy drove his own Chevy for the entire 1958 season, and another third place was the reward for his four victories in 38 starts.
Another third place in points came in 1959 from 29 starts in a variety of different cars, this time with no wins. 1959 would be his last full-time effort in the series (participating in 24 different racing event including the 1959 Hickory 250) and he left Grand National after the 1962 season, choosing to race at late models at local North Carolina short tracks. He returned to NASCAR’s top series, then called Winston Cup, in 1971 for the World 600 where he finished 16th.