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</blockquote>Frank Luptow (November 20, 1905 - September 21, 1952) was a NASCAR driver from Tampa, FL. He competed in five Nextel Cup Series events in his career. ==Prior to NASCAR==

Luptow started racing class "B" midgets in the early forties, but it was after the war that he emerged as a top driver, racing regularly in the IMCA (International Motor Contest Association) series.

Driving his famous #9 Black Panther Offy he became the 1949, 1950 and 1951 IMCA champion. In 1949 he graded winning 38 of the 47 races he started. Luptow achieved a record of 98 wins in the six years he raced in IMCA. ==NASCAR Career== Luptow's debut came in 1950, when he competed at Daytona Beach. Starting 11th in the field of forty-one, Luptow fell five laps down in the race and drove to a solid 18th place effort.

Luptow's final four races came in the 1951 season, when he finished 69th in points. It was a mixed season for Luptow, who this time struggled to 53rd (of fifty-four) in his season opener at Daytona Beach and then was a poor 30th at Hillsboro in his final career race. But in between Luptow was solid, recording a career-best 5th place effort at Charlotte and 11th at Mobile.

AAA and DeathEdit

Frank Luptow, won two AAA stock car races in 1952 at Milwaukee and four days later at Terre Haute driving his #2 Oldsmobile. Luptow usually raced in the Oldsmobile in 1952, but photographic evidence in newspapers of the time shows he was killed in a #9 Hudson Hornet, sponsored by Rodecker Motors, Inc. of Indianapolis. This was confirmed by Tim Flock who also participated in the race and witnessed the accident. The axle of Luptow's Hudson broke in the first turn and it threw him end over end down the back stretch. The only trouble with the Hornet 1951 model was that it had a weak rear axle. By the end of the year Hudson came out with a new and stronger axle, but some of them would still break.

In 1952, Luptow went to race in the AAA series and he seemed to be on his path to new brilliant results when he was killed during a stock car race. That day he was scheduled to race in the AAA champ series in Indiana, but then he opted for the stock car division event at Lakewood. At the time of his death Luptow was second in points after Marshall Teague in the AAA stock car championship.

Frank Luptow left a wife, Betty Drake, and a two-and-half-year-old daughter, Susan. They have been living in a trailer in Speedway, IN, for most of the racing season. Luptow’s widow later married Bobby Grim, an IMCA champion and many time Indianapolis 500 qualifier. Luptow had been entered in the 1952 Indianapolis 500, driving the Bardahl Special, but was unable to qualify for the race.

Even though most contemporary reports stated that Luptow was thirty-seven-years old at time of death, he was actually forty-six.


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