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Paul "The Ghost" Gose

2010 Cherokee Speedway Hall of Fame Inductee. 540 feature wins and 74 championships.

Location: Morristown, TN and Marshall, TX
Members: 24
Latest Activity: Jul 25, 2013

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Comment by Warren Carpenter on February 8, 2012 at 1:41pm

Yep, we started going to Kingsport Speedway when we quit racing at Sportsman Speedway in Johnson City.  I remember seeing Buck Simmons and Tootle Estes put on quite a show at Kingsport one night.  We also raced at Appalachian Speedway in Kingsport.  For whatever reason, that track didn't last too many years.

Comment by WideOne on February 4, 2012 at 9:39pm

Warren, I never knew Paul raced at Kingsport. It's back open as concrete.

Randy 

Comment by Danny Casteel on October 15, 2010 at 7:01pm
I remember Paul coming to the Sportsman Speedway in Johnson City Tn. He was definatley the car to watch. I was too young to be racing myself at the time, but I remember the kids all got a kick out of it when the "Ghost", was there.
Comment by Warren Carpenter on September 9, 2010 at 3:37pm
Paul's great-grandson Cody Carpenter drove Paul's orange #32 at the Cherokee Speedway Hall of Fame race Sunday night. Paul's grandson Charles Carpenter rode with his son. (Photo courtesy of Colin Harper)

Comment by Warren Carpenter on September 9, 2010 at 3:32pm

Comment by RANDY GILBERT on September 8, 2010 at 7:52pm
I HAD THE HONOR OF GETTING TO KNOW PAUL AS A FRIEND AND A DRIVER. WHEN I WAS A KID MY DAD TOOK ME TO MORRISTOWN, TENNESSEE TO SEE PAUL (ONE OF MY MANY RACING HEROS). PAUL WAS WORKING IN THE BACK YARD (UNDER THE SHADE TREE) ON HIS 32 FORD. PAUL STOPPED WORKING AND SAT DOWN AND TALKED TO ME LIKE I WAS AN OLD LOST FRIEND FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR. I WAS TREATED LIKE FAMILY AND NOT JUST SOME KID THAT CAME OUT OF NORTH CAROLINA TO VISIT HIM. FOR THE REST OF PAUL'S TIME HERE ON EARTH WHEN I SAW HIM AT OUR LOCAL TRACK HE RECOGNIZED ME AS MUCH AS HE WOULD HAVE SOMEONE THAT WANTED TO SPONSOR HIM....I WAS TREATED LIKE AN OLD FRIEND....THAT WAS PRETTY EXCITING FOR A KID........PAUL AND I BECAME FRIENDS..........I LOST OUT ON PAUL WHEN HE RETURNED TO TENNESSEE TO RACE LOCALLY INSTEAD OF COMING OVER THE MOUNTAIN TO THE RUTHERFORD COUNTY SPEEDWAY IN SPINDALE, N.C. I ALWAYS WONDERED WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO HIM. BY THE HELP FROM ABOVE AND....MAYBE PAUL HAD A LITTLE HAND IN IT.......WHO KNOWS?......WARREN CARPENTER AND I RAN INTO EACH OTHER ON THE INTERNET.......WARREN WAS WANTING TO FIND OUT ABOUT SOME HISTORY OF PAUL IN OUR AREA AND I WAS WONDERING WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MY CHILDHOOD FRIEND AND HERO. WARREN WAS PAUL'S SON N LAW AND JUST LIKE PAUL HE BECAME AN INSTANT FRIEND. IN FACT, THE WHOLE GOSE FAMILY HAS TAKEN UP WHERE PAUL LEFT OFF..........THEY'VE BECOME MY FRIENDS......THEY MAKE ME FEEL LIKE FAMILY...........I MUST SAY PAUL HAD TO HAVE TAUGHT THIS FAMILY HOW TO LIVE BECAUSE THEY ARE CHIPS OFF THE OLE BLOCK.. I'M NOT TAKING ANYTHING AWAY FROM ANYONE, BUT I THINK THAT PAUL "GHOST" GOSE WAS THE BEST DIRT DRIVER I EVER SAW RUN. ..........BUT OF COURSE LIKE ON THE TRACK.............I HAD FRIENDS LIKE BILLY SCOTT, AND "SINGING' SAM SMITH AND ELMO HENDERSON AND NED SETZER AND BOBBY ISAAC AND DUB NELSON AND HAROLD PAINTER THAT WERE RUNNING RIGHT UP CLOSE TO PAUL.....THE RACING PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR ME..........SETTING EXAMPLE AFTER EXAMPLE ON HOW TO KEEP DIGGING AND DIGGING TO SUCEED.....IT HAS BEEN AN HONOR TO HAVE KNOWN PAUL AS A DRIVER AND A FRIEND..........NOW TO HAVE HIS FAMILY AND WARREN, AND JAMES LONG, AND TOMMY WILLIAMS AND GRANDSON CHARLIE CARPENTER AND GREAT- GRANDSON CODY CARPENTER TO FOLLOW IN HIS PLACE IS LIKE LIVING A DREAM....THANKS FOR PUTTING UP THIS FOR PAUL'S FRIENDS AND FANS WARREN..........RANDY
Comment by Warren Carpenter on September 8, 2010 at 11:47am
The following history of "The Ghost" was presented at the 2010 Cherokee Speedway Hall of Fame induction ceremony by Kevin Wray:

PAUL “THE GHOST” GOSE

THE LEGENDARY RACE CAR DRIVER AND FLATHEAD ENGINE BUILDER

Paul Gose was born in 1925 in Claiborne County, Tennessee being the youngest of eight children. He moved to Morristown, Tennessee at an early age. A veteran of the U.S. Army, his driving abilities were utilized during the time he served in Germany during World War II, riding motorcycles to deliver messages, and also by serving as a firefighter.

He started racing at age 21, just out of the Army. He participated in motorcycle road racing in England and raced motorcycles after he returned to the United States, with the plan of being a motorcycle racer. He switched to cars as a hobby and got caught up in auto racing. The more he raced, the more his hobby turned into a profession. He never worked on a public job, as he preferred to be self-employed as a race car engine builder and race car driver.

His first car racing events were in the late 1940’s at the old Tri-City Speedway in Johnson City, Tennessee and at Morristown Speedway in his hometown of Morristown, Tennessee. He raced all over the south and won championships at tracks such as Tennessee-Carolina Speedway, Davy Crockett Speedway, Athens Speedway, Sportsman’s Speedway, McMinnville Raceway, 411 Raceway, Kingsport Speedway, Knoxville Raceway, Appalachian Speedway, Oak Ridge Speedway and Tazewell Speedway in Tennessee, Boyd’s Speedway and Athens Speedway in Georgia, Corbin Speedway and Monticello Speedway in Kentucky, Rutherford County Speedway and Harris Speedway in North Carolina, and Cherokee Speedway, Golden Strip Speedway, Anderson Speedway, Mountainview Speedway and many others in South Carolina.

His favorite race track was Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina where he had great success. In one five-year period, he finished every race that he started except one. He ran 47 races at Cherokee and won all 47. He was paid for 48 wins, as the promoter offered to pay him first place money if he wouldn’t show up. That night he went to Mountainview Speedway in Cowpens, SC and won the race there. In addition, Paul won every race that he ran at Rutherford County Speedway in Spindale, North Carolina.

Everyone always laughed because he always came in late and wouldn’t run the warm-up laps. The car would be warmed up before it was unloaded, and he’d go in the back gate and start racing. Lots of times, he wouldn’t even qualify, he’d just start at the back of the pack and work his way to the front. It’s been told that when he would arrive at Cherokee, the fans would begin to say, “Well, wonder who will run second tonight”.

Not too long ago, when Billy Scott was asked if he remembered running with Paul Gose, Billy said, “Yes we did run on the same tracks as Paul and knew him real well. As you will notice I said run on the tracks as he did, not too many of the drivers could say we run with him!! He was an outstanding race car driver!!! We will never forget quite a few times he would be late getting to the race at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. He always had someone there to draw for starting position. He would unload outside the infield gate and as the parade lap was being made by the other cars, he would pull inside the gate and onto the track into his starting position. There was never too many, if any, bets lodged against Paul as everyone felt the same about the position he would finish, we believe they called it the "winner". Bets were only made for second place, etc. He would finish the heat race and possibly clean the windshield and mud from the grill, but that was it!! Everyone used to kid him, telling him if he should ever need a tool, he could borrow one from them. We do remember many people talking about the few tools he ever brought to the track. Ralph Earnhardt was the only other one we can remember finishing the heat race and getting upon top of his truck until the main event. Seems all the rest of us would work on our cars until the main began”.

His father, Arthur Gose, was his biggest fan. The familiar orange paint scheme that Paul ran was picked because Mr. Gose couldn’t see too well, and the bright orange color was picked so that his father could easily pick out the car on the race track.

One driver that Paul was very close friends with was “Tootle” Estes, who raced out of Paul’s shop in the late ‘50s. On a weekly basis, Tootle would run the East Tennessee tracks and Paul would run the South Carolina tracks, or vice versa. When Tootle won several races in a row at a particular track, the promoter would put a bounty on him. The next week Paul would show up at the track and win the race, with Tootle running second. When they got home, Paul and Tootle would evenly split the total of the first and second place winnings plus the bounty money. The same thing would happen when there was a bounty to outrun Paul. Tootle would show up, win the race and split the winnings and bounty. This occurred many times in the late ‘50s – early ‘60s.

A few of the honors bestowed upon “The Ghost” over the years include the Sportsmanship Award at Tennessee-Carolina Speedway in the early ‘50s and at Tazewell Speedway in 1969, Tennessee-Carolina Speedway Track Champion for several years in a row in the mid to late ‘50s, Monticello Speedway (Kentucky) Track Champion in 1952, Tazewell Speedway (Tennessee) Track Champion in 1971, and many other Track Championships. In 1977 he was inducted into the Tennessee Racing Hall of Fame at Atomic Speedway in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was named “King of the Flatheads” when he was honored at the “Paul Gose 100” race at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee in 1980. The orange #32 earned “Fastest Car in the South” award at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Georgia. He won over 540 feature races with 74 championships to his credit in his racing career spanning from 1949 through the early ‘70s.

He was married to Louise Gose and had three daughters, Glenda, Angie and Connie. He had four grandsons, John Paul Carpenter (who is deceased), Charles Carpenter, Eric Atkins and Kevin Atkins, and one great-grandson Cody Carpenter. Cody Carpenter, at age 17, is a crew member on the Shannon Buckingham #50 race team out of Morristown, Tennessee. Cody will be driving his great-grandfather’s #32 coupe acting as the pace car for the Hall of Fame race.

In his younger days, Paul was always several years ahead of the time, not only with his philosophy regarding engineering race cars, but he also believed that it was just as important for the driver to be in good physical condition. Therefore, Paul is remembered as much for his physical feats as for his racing. Even before gymnastics became the popular sport it is today, he rigged his own workout equipment from older model Ford car parts and worked out regularly in the back yard behind his garage. Friends would gather every evening to watch him perform incredible feats on his homemade horizontal bars and lift weights made from various size cylinders filled with cement. It was nothing for him to walk all the way around his house on his hands.

One of the secrets to Paul’s success was taking care if his equipment. He always raced the other drivers clean, giving them lots of room. He’d give up positions on the racetrack to avoid contact, and then race his way back to the front.

Paul Gose was a fan favorite, always taking time to sign autographs, have pictures taken and talk with fans for as long as they wanted to talk. One night in the mid ‘60s at Cherokee Speedway, Paul won the feature, and after the race his fans came into the pits for autographs and to talk to him. His crew members, James Long and Warren Carpenter, recall taking their time getting everything packed up and the car ready for the trip home, and waiting on Paul for another hour or so while he talked to his fans. That’s just the way he was – he never got in a hurry when it came to the fans.

Paul Gose was truly a kind and gentle person that was admired and loved by those that he came in contact with.

Sadly, Paul suffered a stroke in January of 1990 and died in a nursing home in 1994.
 

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