Paul Stradtner

Paul Stradtner
Photos courtesy of Wayne Guy

Paul Stradtner was born on February 25, 1925, Woodburn, Kentucky. At maturity he stood 6 feet tall and weighed 175 lbs. He has gray eyes, black hair, and a ruddy complexion.

Paul got into stock car racing by accident. He had gone with his employer, who owned a stock car, to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to assist with the car. When the driver didn’t show up, Paul’s boss said, “I guess you’re it.” Paul protested to no avail that he knew nothing about driving a racecar. He said, “I don’t even know what the flags mean.” The boss replied, “All you need to know is that the checkered flag means the race is over.”

The track at Hopkinsville was a one mile racehorse track that was being used to race cars. After one lap Paul was in the lead, which he maintained until the last lap. Coming out of the final turn he could see the checkered flag waving when a wheel spindle broke, keeping him from victory. It didn’t matter in the long run, as Paul was hooked on racing.

Stradtner’s last car was powered by a 1950 Olds 88 with a 1936 Ford body on a 1936 LaSalle chassis. The motor was modified with a racing cam, crankshaft, and bored and stroked. Stradtner was always one of the most competitive drivers at Beech Bend Park.

He gave up racing in 1953 as he moved to Tennessee for a job as a long-haul truck driver. Paul resides today in Joelton, Tennessee.

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