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04/09 2016

The Story of “Jocko Flocko”

Thank you tt Geno Schlaefer for bringing this to RRAZ’s attention and and extra special thanks to Elizabeth Wheat for researching Jocko Flocko.

Jocko Flocko was a Rhesus monkey and remains the only known “co-driver” in NASCAR history. On May 16, 1953, Jocko helped Tim win the Grand National race at Hickory, N.C. – becoming the only winning monkey to date. Unfortunately, Jocko was forced to retire from “driving” duties two weeks later in Raleigh, N.C. Tim Flock recalls the incident:

“I actually raced with a monkey, which I named Jocko Flocko, for eight races in 1953. It started as a publicity stunt, and we gave him his own driving uniform and a specially designed seat.”

“Back then the cars had a trap door that we could pull open with a chain to check our tire wear. Well, during the Raleigh 300, Jocko got loose from his seat and stuck his head through the trap door, and he went berserk! Listen, it was hard enough to drive those heavy old cars back then under normal circumstances, but with a crazed monkey clawing you at the same time, it becomes nearly impossible! I had to come into the pits to put him out and ended up third. The pit stop cost me second place and a $600.00 difference in my paycheck. Jocko was retired immediately. I had to get that monkey off my back!”