Chicago Stock Car Racer Bob Halston, 93

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Bob Halston poses next to his Henry J No. 95 at Chicagoland’s Raceway Park in 1951. (Johnnie Salamon Photo)

CHICAGO — An early Chicago-area racer and competitor in NASCAR’s Speedway Division in 1952, Bob Halston passed away on Feb. 9 at the age of 93.

Halston was a life-long resident of Chicago and, with the help of some neighborhood buddies, built a stock car and raced at Soldier Field in Chicago and Raceway Park near Blue Island. He scored a heat race win at the south suburban track in 1949.

The racing newcomer even had several “top three” feature finishes at the Blue Island dirt oval. He won a semi-feature and five heat races at Raceway Park in 1951, most of the time behind the wheel of a 1951 Henry J No. 95.

In 1952, Halston competed in NASCAR’s new Speedway Division, which featured Indianapolis Speedway-type cars, powered by approved American-made automobile and truck engines.

Halston made three starts in the short-lived division during the ’52 season with his best finish being a sixth at Langhorne, Pa., in his Nash Special No. 12.

When the new circuit was debuted at Daytona Beach, Fla., in February of 1952, Halston and his Nash-powered machine were among those who made timed runs on the Daytona Beach sands.

Getting married in 1955, Halston and his late wife, Jean, raised a family, which includes children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Due to the pandemic, funeral services were private.