The Ole Days
ARE WE FLYING YET?
This story is true, though the passenger changes depending
on who is telling it.
Turner was a skilled, if untutored, pilot.
Once he was late reaching Darlington; instead of flying into the local air
port, he landed on the backstretch of the track.
Getting in was no problem; getting out was another story.
The back stretch of the old track was only some 1,300 feet long with two-story banking in the third turn to clear. Taking off would have been a daunting task even for Chuck Yeager.
The way Joe Weatherly told it, when Turner got ready to leave he asked Little Joe if he wanted to fly with him. Little Joe agreed of course.
Knowing it would take all his concentration to get the plane off the ground in such a short space. Turner asked Weatherly if he'd handle the landing gear. Turner taxied through the first and second turns, then gunned it.
As the plane roared down the back straightaway headed for the mountainous turn,
Turner looked over at his companion and asked, “Pops we flyin’ yet?”
Weatherly, perhaps as crazy as Turner replied
“I hope so. I lifted the landing gear a long time ago.”
FROM NASCAR'S Most Wanted by Jim McLaurin