The 1946 Atlanta 100 at Lakewood Park Speedway was marred by tragedy in the race's closing stages. Billy DeVore suffered mechanical troubles with just three laps left. George Robson (#16), the 1946 Indianapolis 500 champion, and George Barringer (#7) were battling side-by-side for position as they headed down the backstretch and into Turn 3. The track was notorious for its low visibility, and DeVore's orange-painted machine blended in with the thick dust kicked up from the reddish Georgia clay surface; as a result, he was not seen by either Robson or Barringer until the last moment.
Robson quickly jerked his car to the outside line to avoid DeVore, causing him to collide with Barringer. He was knocked back into DeVore, sending Robson flipping end over end while DeVore landed upside-down in a ditch on the inside of the track. Robson was ejected from the vehicle, where his lifeless body was ran over by at least two other drivers. As Barringer's car came to rest, he was hit hard by Bud Bardowski, shoving the steering column into his chest. Race leader Ted Horn suffered damage when he hit the hood of Barringer's car. Horn pulled off the track and began waving down other drivers in an effort to slow the field. Though the race was stopped on the 98th lap with Horn leading, he would be disqualified, as AAA rules stated that a driver involved in an accident was automatically ruled out of the race. George Connor would be declared the winner.
Robson, 37, was killed instantly. Barringer, 40, was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. A group of spectators were able to turn Billy DeVore's machine back over, saving him from drowning in the 4-5ft of water in the ditch. He suffered a broken collarbone. Bardowski escaped with only facial cuts.
|Series||American Automobile Association (AAA)|
|Circuit||Lakewood Park Speedway|
|Photo Credit||AP/Acme Telephoto/GeorgiaRacingHistory.com|
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