With jaws exhausted and ears fatigued from endless stock car racing trivia sessions, leave your friends with this one and walk away.

What driver won the first NASCAR-sanctioned races at Talladega, Michigan and Dover?

After two days of begging, and a Mounds candy bar thrown in as a bonus, you might tell them it was Ken Rush.

At the brand new Talladega Superspeedway in '69, on the Saturday afternoon before the first Grand National race (which would become Winston Cup), NASCAR's Grand Touring cars staged a 200-mile event. Rush, driving a yellow Camaro, won by nearly a lap.

A few weeks later, Michigan Speedway opened. Again, NASCAR ran its Grand Touring cars on Saturday. Rush won by more than a lap.

In the summer of 1970, Dover signed its first NASCAR sanction. Once again, Rush streaked to victory on Saturday. Richard Petty won the race on Sunday.

Rush also won at South Boston, Virginia, that year. Then came a horrifying accident at Flemington, New Jersey, which led to the end of his career.

"It was a half-mile dirt track," Rush recalls. "After the first few laps, you couldn't see out the windshield for all the mud. I was coming wide-open, and Stan Styers spun in the middle of Turns 3 and 4. I didn't see him until I hit him, and I drove straight into him, head-on."

Rush lost 12 teeth and suffered a broken sternum and a broken jaw.

"They worked on me in the emergency room until about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning," Rush says. "Finally, they rolled me into a hospital room. I smoked back then, so I reached over and got a cigarette. I lit it and puffed, but nothing happened. I threw it away and got another one. Same thing happened, and then I realized my lip was cut all the way through and when I puffed, the air was going through my lip. I had to hold my lower lip together in order to puff the cigarette."

Today Rush, 70, and wife Patsy live in High Point, North Carolina. How did it all begin?

"Bob Welborn and I became friends in 1950. He was already racing, and helped me get started. Then Jim Paschal helped me get into the Late Model division."

Rush started racing in 1955 and won track championships at Bowman Gray Stadium and the Greensboro Fairgrounds. In 1964, he won the Modified championship at Bowman Gray.

"We were a wild bunch, sometimes about half human, especially at Daytona," Rush says. "In 1957, crew chief Paul McDuffie, Red Jones, myself, and two other guys, I can't remember their names, were down on the beach in this new Chevrolet station wagon. It belonged to Chevrolet.

"I was driving. We'd go down the beach at 70 or 80 mph and cut the steering wheel. On the hard sand the vehicle would spin around and around like it was on ice. Somebody said, "Let's try it at 100." I pegged the needle out of sight and cut the steering wheel. The station wagon didn't go 40 feet until it threw the right rear tire off. When that happened, here we go turning over and over. We ended up way out in the ocean. I was the only one who got hurt. It about knocked a hole in my head, and I nearly drown.

"Red Jones had a bottle of whiskey. He said the law is coming, and he stood on the roof of the car and threw the bottle as far out in the ocean as he could.