1950

1950

1950

Johnnie Parsons wins the AAA open-wheel race in a Russo-Nichels Special. The Russo-Nichels Special was actually built in the basement of the Hammond, Indiana home of its driver, Paul Russo by Russo and his chief mechanic, Ray Nichels. It had to be partially dismantled in order to be removed, earning the nickname, "Basement Bessie." By the time of the final AAA Championship race of the year, at the brand-new Darlington Raceway, Russo was trying to make a comeback after being sidelined with an arm injury. In the meantime, 1950 Indianapolis winner Johnnie Parsons, delayed by travel woes, arrived to discover that another driver was in his car. Russo and Nichels decided to turn "Basement Bessie" over to Parsons and the unlikely combination won the Darlington race.