| Marion Edwards Jr.,
young Marion Edwards, Jr., "Little Marion" was a second generation
driver. He learned
helping on his father's cars and by the late 1960's he was fielding his
own Chevelle late model.
A familiar face as a child at Hialeah Speedway as his father was active
with the Greater Miami Racing Association. The G.M.R.A. operated the
speedway from its inception in 1954 until it's closing.
On July 5, 1969 Sunday Marion and others from South Florida
went to New Smyrna Speedway for a 100 lap late model special event.
Fuels cells were not yet mandatory in short track cars nor were drivers
required to wear fire suits for protection.
Edwards' car had a leaking fuel tank and despite his and others best
efforts they could not completely stop the leak. In the feature Edwards'
car made contact with the wall and the leaking fuel ignited and the car
was ablaze. The bigger problem was that Edwards was using a seat belt
and shoulder harness setup with a different locking mechanism and it
would not release.
Despite the efforts of Edwards and some other drivers and crewmen, they
could not release Edwards' belts and he perished in the fire.
The inaugural Marion Edwards Memorial 200 was held at Hialeah in October
1969 with Bobby Brack the winner and it continued each year (except
1995) through 2004.
Hialeah Speedway closed in August 2005. Of all the big special events
held yearly at Hialeah the Marion Edwards was easily the most popular
and carried the most prestige over time.
Marion Edwards Jr., Memorial Events Winners