NOTE: I do NOT have any email addresses
home/office addresses, phone numbers
for any retired drivers.......any links I know of are posted on right side of this page at top....
News on retired drivers, legends and deceased legends and tributes
Jeff Gordon and wife attend gala in NYC for good cause: Jeff Gordon along with his wife, Ingrid, attended the Breast Cancer Research Foundation gala in New York City on Tuesday night. The "Hot Pink Party" was held at the Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The event was also highlighted with a special performance by legendary singer, pianist and composer Elton John.(FoxSports)(4-14-2016)
What's up with Ron Hornaday? Ron Hornaday is currently not competing in NASCAR, but the four-time champion appears to be as busy as ever. And racing remains his focus. Hornaday, winner of a series-best 51 victories in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series, is more hands-on these days, building dirt Modifieds for grandson Slater Blickensderfer and teammate Billy Workman Jr. as well as several other competitors. There are those who kick up the dust and ride the cushion on local tracks in the Carolinas, Kentucky, Indiana and various other venues who put their faith in a Hornaday-built entry. Given their success, it seems that trust has been well placed. A recent Saturday night outing at Fayetteville Motor Speedway indicated as much -- the top three in the Open Wheel Modified division were built by Hornaday Race Cars. "Back to building dirt cars and having fun again," Hornaday said recently from his race shop, surrounded by cars in various states of progress. "Back to doing a little bit of everything, I guess." It's been two years since Hornaday made his last start in the Truck Series, running what turned out to be an abbreviated schedule with the former Turner Scott Motorsports group and NTS Motorsports. He has competed in all three of NASCAR's national series -- Sprint Cup, XFINITY as well at Trucks. Last year, he made five attempts with The Motorsports Group in Sprint Cup, but qualified for only one race. See full article at NASCAR.com.(4-13-2016)
Update on Jerry Nadeau: Thirteen years ago, Jerry Nadeau's life changed forever. During a practice session at Richmond International Raceway, he crashed hard into the wall, driver's side first. That crash left Nadeau with a traumatic brain injury, immobility on his left side, a collapsed lung and broken ribs. The crash not only ended Nadeau's career, but also had great implications for his personal life. "A lot of tough things happened," Nadeau said. "I got divorced, had to sell my house and had to start over again. Then I lost my father who I was very, very close to from cancer." While Nadeau admits his road has been up and down, he has had some successes recently both on and off the track. "I've got a great wife," Nadeau said. "I have a little girl who is eight months old. I also have a thirteen year old Natalie from my first marriage. So, I have two girls and that's really interesting." Nadeau has also been keeping his hand in racing in a way that might be somewhat surprising to his fans. "I love driving and I don't think I can get that out of me," Nadeau said. "I got asked to go to Japan a month ago and I did some driving at Fuji Speedway, an old Formula One race track. His racing fix also included attending one of dirt track racing's most competitive events. "I went this year to one of the greatest weekends in racing, the Chili Bowl," Nadeau said. "It was amazing and really fun. I reconnected a little bit and saw a couple of people I knew from the past. It was just great to be back."
Nadeau has also kept his driving skills sharp in a unique way, by helping young drivers handle the challenges of being newbies behind the wheel. "I do work for an organization called B.R.A.K.E.S.," Nadeau said. "It's a driving company where we help teenagers learn to drive." B.R.A.K.E.S., which stands for 'Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe', was started by drag racer Doug Herbert after his two boys were killed in a car accident. In addition to his work on the track and with teen drivers, Nadeau has also been focused on reaching out to others who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
"For me, right now, it's all about family and kids," Nadeau said. "Like so many people, I'm still on the fence on where I want to go and what I want to do. "I appreciate all of my former fans. But I need them to know that I'm now trying to move on and get on with my new life as it is today. I want everyone to know that you just have to keep going and marching forward, no matter what You all have to know that there will be something on the horizon that will hopefully inspire you. That is what I'm trying to hold onto at this point in my life."(Popular Speed)(2-6-2016)
NC Governor honors Gordon: Gov. Pat McCrory surprised NASCAR champion and North Carolina resident Jeff Gordon by awarding him with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award the governor can bestow, according to a news release from the governor's office. McCrory celebrated Gordon's achievements and the contributions of the motorsports industry to North Carolina at a banquet with nearly 400 business leaders, elected officials and members of the motorsports community. "Jeff Gordon has been a tremendous ambassador of motorsports, NASCAR and North Carolina," said McCrory. "We are not only recognizing Jeff tonight for his performance on the racetrack, but also for his philanthropic work in communities across our state and nation." Off the track, Gordon' philanthropic efforts supported pediatric cancer research, treatment and patient support programs through the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord. McCrory also discussed the contributions of the motorsports industry to North Carolina's economy. "NASCAR and the motorsports industry are a major part of our state's identity and our economy," said McCrory. "In fact, the motorsports industry has a $6 billion economic impact on North Carolina and employs more than 25,000 people in our state."(WSOC)(1-15-2015)
Congrats to Kyle Petty on his wedding Saturday to Morgan Castano. Petty announced the news on his Twitter account. Morgan is the executive director of the Kyle Petty Charity Ridea, an annual fundraising trip for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(12-14-2015)
Get Well Lennie Pond UPDATE: Lennie Pond, NASCAR's rookie of the year in 1973, was scheduled to undergo cancer surgery Friday in Richmond, Va. Pond, 75, who had one career Cup victory (at Talladega in 1978), beat out Darrell Waltrip for the '73 rookie honor.(Charlotte Observer)(11-7-2015)
UPDATE: driver Lennie Pond was recovering at home in Chester on Monday after undergoing surgery Friday for a cancerous tumor on his brain. Pond's brother, Wright Pond, said the surgery was successful and doctors told the family they were able to remove all the cancerous tissue from Lennie Pond's brain. Wright Pond said his brother still is battling cancer in other parts of his body. "They had already started chemotherapy and they'll resume that and some radiation treatment," Wright Pond said. Wright Pond said his brother is maintaining an upbeat attitude, "and he and his family really appreciate the support that has poured in." Pond's last Cup Series race was in 1989. He had 234 career Cup starts with 88 top-10 finishes. After retiring from racing, Pond got into automotive sales. He is a member of the staff at Heritage Chevrolet in Chester.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-11-2015)
Larry Foyt gets married: former NASCAR driver and current president of AJ Foyt Racing,Larry Foyt married Kelly Curran this past Saturday afternoon at Houston Oaks Country Club in Hockley, TX. Former NASCAR driver A.J. Foyt IV was the Best Man.(AJFR)(11-10-2015)
Former NASCAR driver sets Tractor speed record: A 1952 Ford 8N series farm tractor, dubbed the "8NCREDIBLE," stunned those on hand September, 27th at Wilmington Ohio's Airborne Park when it roared to a final round top speed of 96.3185 miles per hour. The tractor, driven by Fletcher, NC's Jack Donohue (ran five NASCAR Cup races in the 1970's), is the first to ever compete at an East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) sanctioned land speed record event.(Bang Shift/JackDonohue.com)(10-7-2015)
Ned Jarrett cancer-free after treatment for melanoma: Ned Jarrett, a two-time champion in NASCAR's premier series, said Thursday that he is cancer-free after surgery and four weeks of recent treatment for melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Jarrett, 82, said he was diagnosed with the disease this winter but that his health prognosis was encouraging. The NASCAR Hall of Famer said he was able to participate in last weekend's festivities at Darlington Raceway without restriction, joining the NBC Sports booth to broadcast a portion of Sunday's Bojangles' Southern 500. "It is very positive and I feel good," Jarrett told NASCAR.com. "In fact, I feel the best I've felt in a couple of years at least. Getting my immune system built up and getting toxins out of my body and the cancer, I'm really feeling good and feeling good about the whole situation. I know now how to better take care of my body, so hopefully, it won't come back." Jarrett said that a biopsy was performed in January after dermatologists discovered a spot on his left arm during a check-up. After the diagnosis, he had successful surgery Feb. 20 to remove the cancerous areas. After further consultation and tests at the Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research in Cornelius, North Carolina, Dr. Rashid Buttar discovered additional melanoma and prescribed a four-week course of treatment in July. Jarrett was declared cancer-free after completion of the program. "There are no limitations," Jarrett said. "I'll be a little bit more careful about what I eat and the sun exposure that I get, although I'm not going to stop playing golf or going to the races or wherever I need to go. I'll just be a little bit more careful about exposure for my skin to the sun." Jarrett said that skin cancer wasn't even an afterthought growing up in the rural North Carolina foothills, but that cancer was part of his genealogy. He lost seven family members, including his father, to the disease during a six-month stretch in 1983. Jarrett said the purpose of making his story public was to raise awareness for cancer treatment, but the revelation is part of a much longer-running mission. Jarrett has helped raise more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society as host of a charity golf tournament in his home state for more than 25 years. Jarrett was voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011, the second group of five chosen for enshrinement.(NASCAR.com)(9-11-2015)
Skinner discusses driving hurt: former NASCAR driver, Mike Skinner, was interviewed and discussed about driving hurt during his Sprint Cup career:
"I had six or seven not minor concussions, but pretty major concussions," Skinner recalls. "I had a vertebrate sore in my neck a couple of times, broke my scapula a few times, had a punctured lung, elbow, arm, knees, ankles and if you name it, I've had it broken or torn. I broke both my shoulders and both biceps. I just got beat up so bad before we started to use the HANS device and having the walls a little softer. I was just very lucky. I was lucky that I got to keep going as long as I did. It was definitely one of those things where it was time for me to hang it up because like the doctors said, they didn't know if you can take two more or one more hit for you to might not ever be normal again."
In the year following his stint with RCR, Skinner found himself racing for Morgan-McClure Motorsports, piloting the #4 car. But he stated numerous times that he rushed back, which was one of the few things he wishes he could go back and change. "The biggest thing that tarnished my career was me," he explains. "When I got hurt, I tried to drive that racecar at a Sprint Cup level while I was hurt. I wasn't only physically hurt, I was mentally hurt. Nobody has ever been able to do it. I was probably the 80th guy to try to do it and probably the 80th guy that failed at it. You can't do it at the top level. You can't ask a quarterback to go out there and throw the football with a broken arm. When you are physically beat up, you have no chance to be competitive. I tried to do that, and if I had to do it all over again, I would've stepped out of the car like Kyle Busch instead of coming back earlier. He made sure he was 100 percent before he came back in there."(Frontstretch)(8-21-2015)
Where is ... Ricky Rudd? Even as a youngster riding around his neighborhood on a small, lawn mower engine-powered car, Ricky Rudd wanted to go fast. Moving on to go-karts capable of speeds topping 100 mph as he got older just solidified the mindset. Rudd even dreamed of a future in Formula One racing. But when a family friend offered him a shot at taking the wheel of a stock car, Rudd headed down a different track - one that would propel the Chesapeake native toward a racing career as one of NASCAR's most successful drivers. Rudd holds the record for most consecutive starts with 788. Jeff Gordon is on track to break that mark next month. After his final two years saw limited action and an attempt at owning a team, Rudd stepped away for good after a 21st-place finish at the Ford 500 in Homestead-Miami in 2007. He hasn't been back to a track since.
"The sport was changing and TV changed it," said Rudd, who sold his house in Chesapeake decades ago and comes to South Hampton Roads only sparingly. "It was a difficult decision, but not as difficult as you'd think. "I deal with the contrast of my life pretty good."
Rudd maintains his own property on a lake and enjoys making up for lost time with his family. He goes mountain biking almost every day and the family - which consists of his wife of 36 years, Linda, and 20-year-old son Landon - often travels to the Virgin Islands with his sisters and their families. Every now and then he gets a call for a speaking engagement and at one point gave TV race commentary a try. "Nowadays I do as little as possible, to be honest," Rudd said. But when he does get the urge to go fast, it's not in his Jaguar or Ford GT. Rudd keeps one of the go-karts he grew up with at a local small track and gives himself a 100 mph thrill ride when he needs it. He even competed in a racing series last year against drivers that remind him of his spitfire youth. "I kept a low profile but the kids ended up finding out" who he was, Rudd said. "They're so involved, so they don't care. But you can see the talent coming up and they don't hesitate to hand it to the old guy." Rudd finished second in two of the series' 10 races and was third in the points race at the end. "I was doing it for the fun of it. It's a great workout," he said. "But that third kind of bothered me." Read more at the Virginian-Pilot.(8-6-2015)
Kenny Wallace to make his final NASCAR start: Kenny Wallace will make his third NASCAR XFINITY Series start of the 2015 season at Iowa Speedway in the U.S. Cellular 250 on August 1. The veteran driver will go behind the wheel of the #20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing at the short track. Wallace finished 23rd in the May race at Iowa.(NASCAR.com)(7-14-2015)
UPDATE: The August 1st U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway will be Kenny Wallace's third NASCAR Xfinity Series start of 2015. The ever-popular Wallace announced that after what will be a series-record 547 career starts, the Iowa event will also mark the final start of his 26-year NASCAR career. When all is said and done after Iowa, the former Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year and three-time Most Popular Driver will leave behind a remarkable legacy of longevity and perseverance that is nearly unparalleled in the sport. This is shown by what will be--following Iowa--an all-time record 547 career Xfinity Series starts and 904 combined NASCAR national series starts (14th all-time). After making his NASCAR debut in Dale Earnhardt's #8 Xfinity Series ride at Martinsville in 1988, Wallace would go on to finish among the top-10 in the Xfinity Series standings in 10 of his 14 full seasons, including a runner-up finish in 1991. His nine series wins and ten poles rank him among the top-40 all-time in both categories, while his 173 top-ten finishes mark the seventh-best all-time career total. Wallace may have most often competed in the Xfinity Series, but he also enjoyed a fruitful career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well, where he had 344 career starts, including three poles. While he may not have reached victory lane in the Sprint Cup series, Wallace played a vital role in several of its most memorable finishes, including pushing the late Dale Earnhardt to his final NASCAR victory at Talladega in 2000. In recent years, Wallace has been able to capitalize on his charismatic personality and racing experience in becoming a NASCAR analyst for FOX Sports. In that role, he currently appears on Fox Sports 1's NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane shows.(Wallace PR)(8-1-2015)
Buddy Baker facing death with predictable courage: Buddy Baker is facing the end of his life with the same courage he demonstrated during a long NASCAR career, when he sometimes drove at more than 200 mph. "I'm right with The Man Upstairs," Baker said Saturday when I [Tom Higgins] visited him along with Humpy Wheeler and Waddell Wilson at the Baker home on the western shore of Lake Norman near Terrell. "If I feared death I never would have driven a race car." Baker, 74, is stricken with inoperable lung cancer, discovered in December.(full article at Charlotte Observer)(7-28-2015)
Where is Rick Mast? At age 15, Rick Mast sold a 4-H project steer for $575 to get money for his first race car. He rebuilt the wrecked '57 Chevy with the blown engine and began winning dirt-track races at Natural Bridge Speedway in western Virginia. That $575 deal led to a solid 15-year NASCAR career that left Mast, now 58, comfortable and content. Mast's career highlight was winning the pole and leading the first two laps of the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indy in the #1 Skoal Ford of Richard and Leo Jackson. At 45, chronic carbon-monoxide poisoning ended Mast's career. He began suffering early in 2002, lacking energy and enduring headaches, fatigue and nausea. "It's like the worst hangover in your life," he said at the time. "You want to throw up but can't; your head is pounding; you feel awful." After struggling through 50 laps at Charlotte in May of that year, he stepped away from the No. 90 Ford of owner Junie Donlavey. "Those 50 laps wore me down," Mast says, "so I knew I was done. I'd tried to gut it out since March because racers never want to show weakness. Nobody knew what it was for a long time. I just knew that racing wasn't important on the days I couldn't get out of bed. I wasn't worried about racing, I was worried about dying." Mast retired early in 2003. He talked with NASCAR brass about the dangers of carbon-monoxide exposure, which led to the organization moving headers to the right side of its cars and improving cockpit ventilation. He and his wife, Sharon, live in western Virginia, where he owns a hazmat cleanup company. His son works for Major League Baseball, and his twin daughters attend James Madison University and the University of Virginia, respectively.(Autoweek)(7-28-2015)
Buddy Baker has lung cancer; retiring from SiriusXM: Buddy Baker, whose storytelling and friendly demeanor made him a fan favorite, announced Tuesday night that a "huge tumor" in his lung is inoperable and he is leaving his role as a co-host of SirusXM NASCAR Radio, effective immediately. "For those who feel sorry, hey I'm 74 years old, have great friends, had a career," he said on "The Late Shift" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "The toughest part for me is not being able to talk to some of our regulars that are almost like family. "There comes a time when you talk to the doctor and say what are my chances and there's a dead silence. I went how long. 'Well, we don't own the hotel, we don't know when we check out. It's something that we cannot fix." Baker then added: "Do not shed a tear. Give a smile when you say my name." The 74-year-old Baker won 19 races in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the 1980 Daytona 500. He made his series debut in 1959 and ran his final Cup race in 1992. The son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker, the 6-foot-6 Baker was known as the "Gentle Giant" during his racing days. That same friendly style endeared him to fans when he worked on television after retiring. He served as a broadcaster for TNN and CBS. He started with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio in 2007.(NBCSports)(7-7-2015)
Dick Trickle Memorial emerging: The beginnings of the Dick Trickle Memorial at the Rudolph Community Park (Wisconsin) are slowly beginning to emerge from the grassy field, thanks to the hard work of those dedicated to preserving the racing legend's memory. Trickle, a central Wisconsin resident and stock car racer, died by suicide May 16, 2013, in Iron Station, NC at the age of 71. His former central Wisconsin racing buddies choose to focus on Trickle's life and contributions to the racing community. Less than a year after Trickle's death, friends joined together to build a memorial in Trickle's boyhood home of Rudolph. This weekend not only marks the second anniversary of Trickle's death, but also the second annual Dick Trickle Memorial Celebration at the Rudolph Community Park, the site where the building of the memorial is underway. Sunday's event also kicks off a summer of 12 race event appearances by committee members to raise awareness and funds for the memorial. More information at icktricklememorialproject.com.(Wisconsin Rapids Tribune)(5-16-2015)
Schrader wins ARCA race at Salem: Ken Schrader held onto the lead during several late-race restarts and pulled away from the rest of the field to win Sunday's Federated Auto Parts 200 at Salem Speedway. Schrader, 59, won for the first time at Salem since 1999 (and first ARCA win since 2013 at DuQuoin, IL), picking up his 18th all-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory (in 74 races). He led the final 138 laps. "Just winning anywhere feels good," Schrader said. "It had been so long since we've been able to win here. We've had a good car here several times, but for whatever reason we didn't win it." Driving the #22 Cunningham Motorsports Ford, Kyle Weatherman charged in front of Dominic Ursetta on the final lap to finish second. Fifteen-year-old J.J. Haley was fourth in the Braun Auto Chevrolet and Austin Wayne Self finished fifth in the AM Technical Solutions Ford.(ARCA Racing)(4-29-2015)
Film To Be Made About Bobby Allison: Posse Films, LLC, the inspirational feature film production company that controls the rights to several historically significant and uplifting life stories, recently announced the making of a biopic about the larger-than-life NASCAR pioneer, and NASCAR Hall of Fame member, Bobby Allison. Together with the Allison family, the Posse Films team will put the dramatic story of one of the greatest NASCAR legends on the silver screen. Posse Films is in pre-production on the heart-centered motivational story of Bobby Allison. "My family and I are thrilled to have this film produced by Posse Films," Bobby Allison said in a recent statement. "Mark and his team at Posse Films are like family to us, and I know we can trust them with our story." The movie project will be based on Bobby Allison's rise to the top of NASCAR as a three-time Daytona 500 winner, followed by a crash that ended Bobby's career at 50 years of age. Thereafter, Bobby and Judy suffer the loss of their two beloved racing sons. The film will showcase the highs and lows of the 55-year love story between Bobby and Judy Allison.(Yahoo Finance)
AND An independent feature film on the life story of NASCAR legend, Bobby Allison, developed by Bobby Allison Production LLC. ("The Company") is scheduled to commence pre-production in late 2014 and filming in early 2015. Theatrical release is planned for fall 2015.(allisonfilm.com)(4-5-2015)
Rusty Wallace to run Off-Road Truck at the X Games: Officials of Rusty Wallace, Inc. announced today that NASCAR Hall of Famer and 55-time Sprint Cup Series race winner, Rusty Wallace has accepted an invitation to compete in this year's Off-Road Truck Racing event at X Games Austin. The 2015 edition of the world-renowned extreme sports competition will be held at Circuit of the Americas, home to the Formula One United States Grand Prix. Backing Wallace and his truck in the event will be Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches. Said Wallace, "I may be retired from driving, but that doesn't mean I don't have the itch to get back behind the wheel; I love to compete. Plus, the X Games are just such a big deal. During my time with ESPN, I watched the X Games a lot and really enjoyed them. Some of the world's best athletes are there. So when the opportunity came to be a part of the event, there was no way I was going to say no." The Off-Road Trucks event at X Games Austin will be held on June 7, 2015. The event will feature live television coverage by ABC.(RustyWallace.com)(4-3-2015)
Elliott voted into NMPA Hall of Fame: Less than two months after being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, legendary driver Bill Elliott has been selected for induction into yet another notable motorsports hall of fame. This September, the 1988 Winston Cup champion will become the 95th inductee in the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, the organization announced. In voting of the NMPA membership, Elliott was a near-unanimous selection, being chosen on 98 percent of the ballots. A minimum of 65 percent of the total votes is necessary for a candidate to be eligible for induction. Others receiving votes were: former drivers L.D. Ottinger and Sterling Marlin, former crew chief/driver Kirk Shelmerdine and sportswriter David Poole. Elliott's induction will be held Sept. 4 at the Darlington (S.C.) Country Club. Founded in 1965, the NMPA Hall of Fame and museum is located on the grounds of nearby Darlington Raceway.(NBC Sports)(3-19-2015)
A.J. Foyt still recovering: A.J. Foyt continues to recover from his triple bypass surgery and subsequent complications at home in Houston. Foyt has been more active since his first return to his IndyCar Series race shop in mid-January. "I'm doing a lot better; every day I'm doing a little bit more," Foyt said. "I'm getting more of my strength back and I'm eating a better than I was when this first happened. I feel with all of the problems I had I'm looking pretty good. I've been on my bulldozer a couple times. Nothing to brag about, I was very weak and very tired but I have done some stuff with it. I probably should keep that quiet because I'm not sure the doctor would enjoy hearing that." Foyt, who has lost 50 pounds over the winter, does not expect to make it to a race before May as his current treatment keeps him tied to Houston.(Charlotte Observer)(3-14-2015)
Darrell Waltrip speaks at National Prayer Breakfast: On his birthday, NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip gave the keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning in Washington, DC, addressing a crowd that included President Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and 4,000 attendees from 170 countries. As Waltrip prepares to broadcast his 15th Daytona 500 on FOX, he paused to reflect on the path that brought him to 84 wins, tied for fourth on the all-time list with fellow Hall of Fame member Bobby Allison and behind Hall of Famers Richard Petty and David Pearson, as well as future member of the club Jeff Gordon. Waltrip recalled a conversation with Petty that made him think about changing his ways. "Richard Petty once told me, 'I don't know how you keep a sponsor. You're so unpopular with the fans. I don't know how you keep a sponsor.' This is Richard Petty. He's the icon of our sport. He's the king of our sport. I wanted to be king, but I went at it all the wrong ways," Waltrip said. "This is what people said about me. They said I was brash, ruthless, pushy, cocky, conceited, aloof, boastful, arrogant and just downright annoying," Waltrip said. "And I've go to tell you, those were people that liked me so you can imagine what people that didn't like me had to say about me." After dominating the sport and winning 24 races, 18 poles and two consecutive championships in 1981 and 1982, Waltrip suffered a crash in the 1983 Daytona 500 that changed his life. "When I finally came to or woke up, I realized that that wreck had knocked me unconscious," Waltrip said. "It scared the hell out of me, and I mean that literally. I realized that I could have been killed that day. What if I'd lost my life right there that day at Daytona? What would I have done? Would I have gone to heaven? "I thought I was a pretty good guy, but folks, let me tell you something. Good guys go to hell." The Waltrips started going to church together, and he said his life changed for the better. The National Prayer Breakfast has been held annually since 1953, when the United States Senate and House of Representatives met with President Eisenhower to discuss privately his experience with the "Almighty" on D-Day. Every U.S. president since Eisenhower has participated.(NASCAR.com)(2-5-2015)
NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson recovering from stroke: NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson is recovering after he suffered a mild stroke Dec. 9. A statement provided by Pearson's family Wednesday said the stroke affected his left side, but the 80-year-old is 80-85% back to normal as a result of therapy. The family said "we expect a full recovery soon." Nicknamed the "Silver Fox" for his sly, quick moves on the track and his prematurely graying hair, ?Pearson is considered by some to be the greatest NASCAR driver of all time. He is second on the all-time wins list with 105 victories and won three championships -- in 1966, '68 and '69, before retiring in 1989. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, the leading vote-getter in his class. Only Richard Petty has more Cup wins -- he retired with 200. Petty also has seven titles. The Pearson family statement also said: "He is able to walk slowly and his arm continues to get better with maneuverability. He has great grip with his left hand, so we are very much encouraged. He continues to have therapy on both his leg and arm and progresses each day. ... Thanks to the NASCAR family and all of his fans and friends for their support and concern." The stroke followed another health issue for Pearson -- an abdominal aneurysm, which occurred in October and left him hospitalized for more than a week.(USA Today)(1-29-2015)
A.J. Foyt released from hospital: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt has been released from a Houston hospital more than three weeks after triple-bypass heart surgery. Spokeswoman Anne Fornoro says Foyt was released from Baylor-St. Luke's Medical Center on Tuesday and is recovering at home. She says the Nov. 12 surgery was successful, but he developed serious complications and was kept on a ventilator for eight days to allow his lungs to recover full function. In all, Foyt spent 25 days in the hospital after being admitted Nov. 7 with chest pains, including 10 days in intensive care. Fornoro said previously that doctors found blockages in three arteries in which the 79-year-old Foyt previously had stents placed. He is expected to make a full recovery.(Associated Press/ESPN)(1-16-2015)
What is Mark Martin up to? Jared Landers will team with late model dirt-race legend Scott Bloomquist, with both drivers competing for the Lucas Oil Late Model Championship in 2015. Landers Triple 7 machine will carry primary partnership from Crop Production Services, along with Mark Martin Automotive, Bad Boy Mowers, Auto Services' Company and Paul McKenna of Big Dog Motorsports. "We are very excited about the opportunity to team Jared up with Scott Bloomquist this season," said NASCAR legend Mark Martin, who cut his racing teeth at the dirt track before moving on to NASCAR stardom. "Scott is the master of racing dirt models and anytime you can team with someone of that caliber, you can rest assured it will have a great impact on your program."(Mark Martin Automotive)(1-15-2015)
Victory Lane Racing Association to honor Ard, others: On Tuesday night, February 17, one of the top drivers to ever strap himself into a race car will be honored along with five others at the 10th annual Victory Lane Racing Association Awards Banquet scheduled to be held at the Pelican Bay Country Club. Sam Ard will be honored with the Fireball Roberts Award. Others being honored for their accomplishments in auto racing are Curtis Turner, Mike Duvall, Dick Hutcherson, Gene Stokes and Steve Waid.
Ard, a native of Scranton, South Carolina, set many records after joining the Busch Grand National Series of NASCAR in 1982 at the age of 43. After a storied career running mainly short tracks across the country, the sanctioning body saw fit to cater more to the factory-backed teams and most of the cars back then and even more today, are driven by Cup regulars and the independently financed teams have to take what's left, but not Ard. He finished his first year in the BGN division in second place to Hall of Fame driver Jack Ingram. He competed in 29 events and was in the top 5 at the finish 20 times and finished in the top ten 23 times with four wins to his credit. He also ran the Late Model Sportsman circuit and in 1982, Ard competed in 52 events, winning 16 times and finishing in the top five 41 times. He won the Mid-Atlantic Regional title as well. The following year, Ard was in the top ten 30 times in 35 races, with 23 top five finishes and ten victories. At the end of the season, he was the points champion. He repeated as the points champion in 1984, winning eight times and finishing in the top five 24 times in 28 races. His driving career ended on October 20, 1984 at North Carolina Motor Speedway near Rockingham when he was involved in a terrible crash. Ard suffered a head injury which led to other complications and eventually brought on the dreaded Alzheimer's disease. He is now confined to a bed and requires supervised care 24 hours a day.(Victory Lane Racing Association)(1-12-2015)
A.J. Foyt released from hospital, recovering at home: A.J. Foyt was released from Baylor-St. Luke's Medical Center Tuesday afternoon and is recovering at home from his Nov. 12 triple bypass heart surgery. Although his heart surgery was successful, Foyt developed serious complications with his lungs. He was kept on a ventilator for eight days to allow his lungs to recover full functionality. Ten days in the Intensive Care Unit was followed by an additional 10 days in the hospital. The four-time Indianapolis 500 winner's stay was his longest ever-a total of 25 days from when he was admitted Nov. 7 with chest pains. "It's been pretty rough but I guess I slept through the roughest part," said Foyt, who will turn 80 in January. "I had some problems that most people don't have after open heart surgery so I made my doctors work extra hard but they saved my life. We've turned a corner so everything's pretty good. I've got a long way to go but I'm feeling better every day." Foyt is expected to make a full recovery but his doctors have explained to him that it may take longer than he is anticipating. For Foyt, that is called motivation.(PR)(12-5-2014)
Foyt remains hospitalized: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt remains in a Houston hospital, more than two weeks after he had triple-bypass surgery on his heart. Anne Fornoro, the spokesman for Foyt's two-car IndyCar team, said in a release Wednesday there was a post-surgical complication, but that has now been resolved. She did not elaborate on what the complication was. Larry Foyt, the team director and Foyt's youngest son, says his father is doing "really well," though doctors have not said when the elder Foyt might be released. Larry Foyt also says his father is improving each day and is expected to make a full recovery.(Associated Press)(11-28-2014)
A.J. Foyt Undergoes Successful Triple Bypass Surgery: Four-time Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 winner and former NASCAR team owner A.J. Foyt underwent successful coronary bypass surgery today in Houston after being diagnosed with blockages on Monday. Foyt, 79, had been admitted to the Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center on Friday with intermittent chest pains but initial testing results were inconclusive. However, a cardiac catheterization procedure performed Monday revealed blockages in arteries where Foyt had several stents from past procedures, most recently in March, 2010. Foyt is expected to remain in the hospital through Monday.(Foyt Racing)(11-13-2014)
Bill Elliott sells land for housing project: A developer plans to build 300 upscale single-family homes in Cumming (GA) on 143 acres purchased from NASCAR champion Bill Elliott. SunBelt Atlanta/Cummings I LLC said the $120 million project, the second major project announced for the Forsyth County area in recent weeks, will be off Matt Highway, or State Route 369. Homes will be priced from $350,000 to $500,000. The developer said it closed on the property Friday, spokesman Roland Alonzi told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. SunBelt paid Elliott, a NASCAR hall of famer, $4.2 million for the land. SunBelt said it is working with local home builders to construct the homes. The project will get under way in October.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(10-1-2014)
Lee Petty and Harry Gant to be honored: Lee Petty and Harry Gant will have N.C. Auto Racing Hall Of Fame in-ground plaques dedicated to the two NASCAR legends in an Oct. 8 ceremony in Mooresville, NC. The late Lee Petty, a Randleman, N.C. native, won 54 races in his 16-year career in what is now known as NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. He will be represented by his son, Richard Petty, at the ceremony. Lee Petty was known as a hard charger who had a "never-give-up" driving style and one who never backed down from a challenge.
Harry Gant, from Taylorsville, N.C. won over 300 races in the NASCAR Sportsman (Nationwide) series and three NASCAR National Sportsman titles before turning his sights on what was the Winston Cup Series in 1979. "Handsome" Harry won 18 races in his 15-year Cup career, including four races in a row in September 1991, plus two more in the then-Busch Series, to earn another nickname, "Mr. September." Gant holds the record as the oldest driver at age 52, to ever win a Cup race, in 1992 at the Michigan 400. He was also voted as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. Gant and his family will be in attendance.
Don Miller, the Chairman of the Board for the N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame is ecstatic about of the up and coming event. "I am very pleased to be able to resume our celebration of the rich racing history here in North Carolina and specifically in Mooresville. The N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame celebrates its 20th year, honoring the finest drivers in all of motorsports and the Walk of Fame expands its role for the fifth year." said Miller. "Mooresville, is the absolute center of the sport of auto racing and the home of many of its famous personalities. We need to preserve this heritage." Open to the public, the dedication of the Petty and Gants in-ground plaques will be held outside the Charles Mack Citizen Center on the Walk of Fame located at 215 N. Main St. in historic downtown Mooresville. from 4-5 pm/et.(NSSN)(9-26-2014)
Tommy Baldwin Jr. and Steve Park form American Muscle Driving Experience: Two of the most successful motorsports professionals to come out of the northeast have blended their wealth of knowledge to develop the most unique driving experience anywhere in the country. New York natives, Tommy Baldwin, Jr. and Steve Park, announce the creation of The American Muscle Driving Experience. Headquartered at the famed Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park and Golf Club, the program offers three customizable skill levels to advance through utilizing everything from high-performance American muscle cars to authentic race-ready professional stock cars. The program utilizes professional motorsport vehicle data acquisition systems to minimize the learning curve, allowing participants to advance their skills quicker than any other driving school. The program's custom data acquisition systems record driver inputs such as throttle, steering, and braking; along with other vehicle parameters such as engine RPM, vehicle speed, and accelerations. GPS and video-overlay technology is also used to map out racing lines and to make comparisons to our professional instructors. The American Muscle Driving Experience will also host several of the top racing drivers in the country. Participants will not only get to meet and ask questions to these special guest instructors, they will also get to see comparisons of driving data to the professional driver in the same vehicle and can even go for a ride-a-long experience at full racing speeds. Look for the American Muscle Car Driving Experience on Reed Sorenson's Sprint Cup Series #36 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and at Dover International Speedway on September 28th.(140 BUZZ)(9-18-2014)
Can money be allotted to help retired drivers? NASCAR is a billion-dollar industry filled with wealthy team owners, deep-pocketed sponsors and a number of millionaire drivers, all directed by the ultra-rich France family. The only folks who seem not to have done well from their involvement in NASCAR are retired drivers. Instead, a number of them need financial help in their everyday lives, especially with medical expenses. But there is no fund to provide such help. There should be. And the idea has some high-profile supporters.
"I think that would be a positive thing," said Dale Earnhardt Jr., the perennial choice of fans as NASCAR's most popular driver.
"I'm in favor of giving back to our sport," said Jimmie Johnson, six-time Sprint Cup champion.
NASCAR drivers at all levels - Sprint Cup, Nationwide, World Camping Truck, K&N Pro Series - are independent contractors. They make the best deal they can with an owner and hope they eventually hit the big time. That has worked well for such veteran drivers as Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Earnhardt and Carl Edwards. And it seems to have worked well for some of the younger, established drivers such as Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch.
But there are drivers in all series who struggle to survive competitively, which means they also struggle to survive financially. Their short-term needs are difficult to meet. They'd rather not think about the long term. "I certainly think any retired athlete needs some sort of benefits package or a fund or something for guys who end up on the less fortunate side of things," said Greg Biffle, who is in the midst of a solid career on the Sprint Cup circuit. "I'm in favor of it. We see a lot of players in all sports that end up on hard times."
As for funding it, Biffle said, "Man, I am not a financial guy whatsoever." There is ample money available. NASCAR is completing a 10-year, $4.8 billon television contract. Next year, it begins a 10-year, $8.2 billion television contract. As little as 10% of the new deal would provide more money for a driver's fund than was in the initial concussion proposal between the NFL and its retired players.
There are sponsor dollars generated by NASCAR. If teams contributed a small percentage of that money each year to a pool for retired or disabled drivers in need, fewer retired or disabled drivers would be in need. NASCAR's leadership has done remarkable things to make a dangerous sport as safe as possible. But without drivers, there are no TV contracts, no fans in the stands and no one buying high-priced souvenirs. "There's a little bit of a responsibility on everybody's part, not just the sport as a whole, but the drivers that are currently having the success they're having, myself included," Earnhardt said. "I'm sure it wouldn't be too tall a challenge to put something together. And if it's run properly and managed properly, it could be a huge assist to all those guys who are struggling, especially when you get older and the medical bills start piling up on you. Yeah, I think it would be a great thing."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-7-2014)
Rusty Wallace inducted in Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Former NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace was one of seven men inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on Wednesday. Wallace made his debut on the top circuit in 1980 in a Roger Penske-owned car and joined the series full-time in 1984. His first victories came in 1986 with Raymond Beadle's Blue Max Racing team and he won the 1989 Sprint Cup championship after holding off Dale Earnhardt. Wallace moved to Penske's team in 1991 and ran the final 15 years of his career for the car owner, who presented him for induction Wednesday. Wallace finished his career with 55 wins - 37 with Penske - and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013. Five of those victories came at Michigan International Speedway, once owned by Penske. Arie Luyendyk, who began racing on the IndyCar circuit in 1985 and won the Indianapolis 500 in 1990 and `97, also was inducted. The remaining members of the class - Ole Bardahl, founder of the Bardahl Oil Company that has sponsored entries in a variety of motorsports; IMSA founder John Bishop; three-time American Motorcyclist Association grand national champion Ricky Graham; and NASCAR pioneer Marshall Teague - are dead.(Associated Press)(8-7-2014)
Rusty Wallace to join Watkins Glen Walk of Fame: Auto racing legend Rusty Wallace will be inducted into the Watkins Glen Drivers Walk of Fame during a ceremony at 4:30pm Friday. The Rusty Wallace marker in the Drivers Walk of Fame is located in the sidewalk front of Unique Country Boutique, 212 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen. Wallace, who retired in 2005, had a career that included 55 NASCAR championship event victories, the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup championship, the 1991 IROC Championship and the 1983 American Speed Association Championship. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in February 2013. The Drivers Walk of Fame, located in the sidewalks of Watkins Glen, honors the drivers who have competed in Watkins Glen events since the first race in 1948.(Elmira Star-Gazette)(8-6-2014)
Drivers on guest on TV shows (Tonight & Tuesday): Current and former NASCAR drivers make guest appearances on popular BBC America, USA Network and TBS television shows this week.
Jamie McMurray, Rusty Wallace and Junior Johnson are scheduled to appear on Idris Elba: King of Speed on BBC America, July 14th at 10:00pm/et. NASCAR drivers help actor Idris Elba uncover the world of NASCAR racing in an episode of the BBC America original docu-series, Idris Elba: King of Speed. Carl Edwards is scheduled to make a cameo appearance on USA Network's Royal Pains, Tuesday, July 15 at 9:00pm/et. In the episode the character Divya (Reshma Shetty) treats a NASCAR crew chief (guest star Michael O'Keefe) who suffers from anxiety. Edwards gives the crew chief's daughter Ashley (guest-star Spencer Grammer), who is an up-and-coming race car driver, tips about excelling on the track.
Brad Keselowski makes second guest appearance on TBS' Sullivan & Son, July 15th at 10:00pm/et. In the new episode entitled "Luck of The Half-Irish," Keselowski plays himself and finally breaks his losing streak. Keselowski credits his big win to visiting his favorite bar, Sullivan & Son, and the establishment declares the bar stool he sat on before the race "lucky." Keselowski first appeared on Sullivan & Son last season. He played himself and got into a fender bender with character Ok Cha (Jodi Long) when attempting to parallel park.(7-14-2014)
School Hopes To Memorialize Benny Parsons: While a student at little Miller's Creek High in Wilkes County (N.C.), Benny Parsons was dedicated to playing the school's baseball and football. The depth of his dedication can be measured in what he went through to attend practices. Since practice was held after class hours, this meant Benny, the student body president his senior year, missed getting to ride the school bus home-and he lived deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He had to either walk the several miles across steep ridges or else hitch-hike, hoping a kind soul would give him a lift to his family's old homeplace in a picturesque valley called Parsonsville. "It was about 5 or 6 miles if I walked," Parsons recalled in later years. "And I did that most of the time unless the weather was awful." Benny brought the same devotion to racing when he became a NASCAR driver in 1964. This led him to the Cup Series championship in 1973, 21 career victories and recognition as one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers. After retirement from the track, Parsons became an award-winning analyst of races on TV, winning an ESPY for his work. Parsons died in 2007 at age 66 of complications from cancer. Now, a school in the area of Wilkes County where he once lived is undertaking a drive to memorialize Benny. West Wilkes High, into which Miller's Creek was consolidated, plans to upgrade the broadcast booth at its football stadium and name the facility for Benny. "We think it's a fitting way to honor the legacy of an alumni who had such a successful career in both racing and broadcasting," says West Wilkes principal Wayne Shepherd. "We'd like to hear from Benny's fans who might be interested in contributing to the project." Shepherd can be reached at (336) 973-4503.(from NASCAR writer Tom Higgins)(7-1-2014)
Sterling Marlin back racing: Sterling Marlin, winner of back-to-back Daytona 500s in 1994 & 1995, has committed to racing in the Howie Lettow 150, ARCA Midwest Tour vice president Steve Einhaus said. ARCAFest runs June 7-8 at the Milwaukee Mile. Marlin, 56, won 10 times in 748 starts in NASCAR's top division, including Daytona in 1994 and '95. His best seasons was 2002 when he won twice for Chip Ganssi and Felix Sabates and led the standings for 25 straight weeks before suffering a neck injury that caused him to miss the final seven races. Although the colorful Tennessean retired from NASCAR national series competition in 2009, he has raced some on the local short tracks.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(5-16-2015)
Darrell Waltrip to speak Tuesday at Samford University: NASCAR Hall of Famer and NASCAR on Fox analyst Darryl Waltrip will become downright professorial when he speaks next Tuesday, April 15, at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. The school's Journalism and Mass Communication Department will host Waltrip, who will speak on campus in Reid Chapel, starting at 11:00am/et, followed by a one-hour meet-and-greet with Waltrip afterward. While admission is free and open to the public, there will be a silent auction of NASCAR memorabilia to raise money for Feed the Children, a charity Waltrip supports that provides resources for those without life's essentials.(NBC Sports)(4-14-2014)
The decal ran by JD Motorsports cars (#01, #4, #87) at Darlington
on April 11th to honor former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge
Sad News - Billy Standridge: former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge passed away of cancer at 1:30am/et on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Standridge made 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts from 1993-1999 with a best finish of 14th in the 1995 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. For services and visitation info or leave a comment at the blog set up by Billy's family, go to: Billy's Battle, a site for posting and sharing information for Billy Standridge.
Jayski.com was the listed sponsor of the #47 Ford at Talladega in October 1997. I made a page back in 1997 with some notes and images of the #47 Jayski.com Ford at Jayski's Talladega Experience page.
Three cars entered by the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team in Friday's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway carried decals honoring Billy Standridge. Standridge also raced in the Nationwide Series from 1986 to 1993. JD Motorsports owner Johnny Davis formerly worked for Standridge as a crew chief, engine builder, truck driver and all-around mechanic. The Standridge decal was carried on the C post of JDM Chevrolet's driven by #01-Landon Cassill who finished 12th, #4-Jeffrey Earnhardt (20th) and #87-Kevin Lepage (19th) at Darlington and will run in other races this year.(4-12-2014)
SERVICES service info and more can be found at Billy's Battle blog or see the full obituary at cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com.(4-13-2014)
Billy Standridge ill UPDATE to be honored: former NASCAR driver Billy Standridge has cancer and is seriously sick but is in good spirits. Billy made 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts from 1993-1999 with a best finish of 14th in the 1995 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. See more and leave a well wish / comment at Billy's blog: Billy's Battle, a site for posting and sharing information for Billy Standridge. Billy commented on the page: "I just want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. This has been a hard time but the support has lifted my spirits. Thanks again."
Jayski.com was the listed sponsor of the #47 Ford at Talladega in October 1997. I made a page back in 1997 with some notes and images at Jayski's Talladega Experience page.(4-5-2014)
UPDATE The three cars entered by the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team in Friday's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway will carry a decal honoring former NASCAR driver and team owner Billy Standridge. Standridge, who raced in the Nationwide Series from 1986 to 1993 and in Sprint Cup from 1993 to 1999, is battling cancer. He lives in Shelby, N.C., where his NASCAR team was based. JD Motorsports owner Johnny Davis formerly worked for Standridge as a crew chief, engine builder, truck driver and all-around mechanic. "Billy is a great guy who loves to race and who loves being around the sport," Davis said. "He put everything into that race team, and we ran full-schedule Busch (now Nationwide) racing out of that shop with just a few people and a lot of hard work. He has a lot of years in the sport." The Standridge decal will be carried on the C post of JDM Chevrolet's driven by #01-Landon Cassill, #4-Jeffrey Earnhardt and #87-Kevin Lepage at Darlington and in other races this year, Davis said. Standridge, 60, ran 23 Cup races and 84 Nationwide events.(JD Motorsports)(4-8-2014)
Bud Moore recovering: NASCAR Hall of Famer Bud Moore suffered a mild heart attack over the weekend and is recovering in a hospital near his home in Spartanburg, S.C. "He had a procedure done and is doing fine. He will be in the hospital a few days and is expected to be released later this week," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall. Moore, 88, a decorated veteran of World War II, was part of the Hall's second class in 2011.(Charlotte Observer)(4-8-2014)
Memorial planned for Dick Trickle: Green Bay has Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau and Vince Lombardi; Madison has speedskater Eric Heiden. Rudolph [WI] has racing legend Dick Trickle, and now friends are working to build a memorial in Trickle's former stomping grounds. Trickle, 71, died May 16 in Iron Station, N.C. "Dick deserves it," said longtime friend and fellow racer Tom Reffner, 73, of Rudolph. "He did the best of anybody from our area by far, and I just think it's the right thing to do, and I think it's the right thing to do for Rudolph itself." Family members are supportive of the efforts. Trickle is survived by Delores Iwanski of Waukesha, Chuck Trickle of Las Vegas, Sue Trickle of Minneapolis, and Duaine Trickle of Plover. Memorial plans include a statue of Trickle with ceramic tiles featuring photos of Trickle and his cars. Aluminum frames will have descriptions of the cars, owners, sponsors and the years Trickle drove the car. The project kickoff date is May 18 at the Rudolph Community Park on the west side of highways 13 and 34 in Rudolph. Reffner didn't have any cost estimates; the project still in in the planning stages, and no numbers are set in stone, he said.(Wisconsin Rapids Tribune), donations can be made to: Dick Trickle Memorial, 6846 Meadow View Lane, Rudolph, WI 54475. Or money can be sent via PayPal to: email@example.com.(3-8-2014)
Richard Petty receives North Carolina Winner's Circle Award: Governor Pat McCrory and the NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development announced the recipients of the Winner's Circle awards, given annually since 2004 to people who have made significant and continuing contributions to the growth and success of North Carolina's tourism industry. The 2014 honorees include: Richard Petty, charter member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Horace Holden, Aurelia Kennedy and Payson Kennedy, founders of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and Ron Kimble, Charlotte Deputy City Manager. Gov. McCrory participated in the Winner's Circle awards luncheon in Charlotte Monday as part of the three-day Governor's Conference on Tourism. The state's largest gathering of the tourism industry brings together nearly 500 leaders from resorts, attractions, destination marketing organizations, hotels/motels, real estate rental companies, restaurants and retail outlets each year to learn about the latest trends and issues facing the travel industry.(Breaking Limits)(3-4-2014)
Ricky Rudd to be honored Monday: Created by Rotary Club of Daytona Beach West to honor legendary drivers and personalities in stock car racing, the Stock Car Hall of Fame event has raised funds for local charities for almost 25 years. This year, the proceeds from the event will benefit Habitat for Humanity. Well known for its community based housing initiatives, Habitat for Humanity has already earmarked the funds it will receive from the SHOF event to build a home for a wounded veteran. The Stock Car Hall of Fame and Rotary Club of Daytona Beach West are proud and honored to assist in raising funds for this amazing cause. The 2014 Inductee will be Ricky Rudd. Known as the "Iron man" of NASCAR; Ricky Rudd holds the record for most consecutive starts in NASCAR racing. Rudd had made 788 consecutive starts. More info at stockcarhalloffame.org.(2-16-2014)
Get Well DW UPDATE: NASCAR Hall of Famer and Fox broadcaster Darrell Waltrip is having gall bladder surgery today (Feb 13th) in Nashville, TN.(2-13-2014)
UPDATE: Waltrip was released from the hospital Saturday [Feb 15]. DW will not be in Daytona for the Sprint Unlimited or Daytona 500 qualifying on Sunday, but plans to be back at the track on Monday. Michael Waltrip will replace his brother Darrell in the booth for the Sprint Unlimited.
FOX Statement: "Darrell Waltrip underwent a minor surgical procedure today [Thursday] near his home in Tennessee and is resting comfortably. We wish him a speedy recovery and his on-air status is day to day."(Charlotte Observer)(2-15-2014)
Rusty Wallace among inductees in Motorsports Hall of Fame: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America will induct its 26th class of racing legends Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at Detroit's historic Fillmore Theater. Those being honored include Ole Bardahl, Raymond Beadle, John Bishop, Ricky Graham, Arie Luyendyk, Marshall Teague and Rusty Wallace. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is racing's Cooperstown, memorializing achievement in all forms of motorized competition. Over the years, 209 motorsports luminaries have been inducted. The 99-person nominating panel itself reads like a who's who of racing, including names like Mario Andretti, Don Garlits, Craig Breedlove and Richard Petty.(Motorsports Hall of Fame)(1-25-2014)
AND: Two of the greatest names in racing soon will share the same address. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, motor racing's Cooperstown, announced today that it will move its operations and collection of historic racing machines and memorabilia from the Detroit area to the "World Center of Racing," Daytona International Speedway by January 2016. The move coincides with the scheduled January 2016 completion of DAYTONA Rising, the speedway's $400 million frontstretch renovation project currently underway. Plans call for the Hall of Fame's displays featuring cars, images, stories and bronze sculptures of 209 icons of American motorsports to be located in the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building, which was formerly known as the "DAYTONA 500 Experience." Vehicles and artifacts representative of the diversity of motorized competition celebrated by the Hall of Fame, including Open Wheel, Stock Cars, Motorcycles, Aviation, Drag Racing, Sports Cars and Powerboats, will be exhibited as a regular part of the tours admission at Daytona International Speedway all year long.(DIS)(1-25-2014)
Rusty Wallace to drive #2 'Retro' Ford in Daytona test: Team Penske and Miller Lite announced that Rusty Wallace, NASCAR Hall of Famer and the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will drive the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion this Thursday, January 9 during a NASCAR test at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The occasion coincides with the 25th anniversary of Wallace's 1989 championship and the approaching 40th anniversary of the original Miller Lite beer. The Hall of Fame driver and current ESPN analyst will be wearing a firesuit with the original Miller Lite logo during the test. This retro firesuit will also be worn by Brad Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite Ford team crew members at the upcoming Daytona 500 as well. The Miller Lite Ford Fusion will also feature a commemorative white Miller Lite paint scheme for the "Great American Race". "I am pretty pumped up about this," said Wallace. "This is a big deal, and I can't wait to get the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford up to speed - especially at Daytona. This will be my first time driving the new Gen-6 car, and I think it will give me a better perspective on how I cover the races for ESPN as an analyst. This is going to be a lot of fun, yet there is also a business component too. I can't thank Miller Lite, ESPN and Team Penske enough for giving me this opportunity. Man, what a fantastic way to start the year." The last time Wallace piloted the storied #2 Penske machine was at the season ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway November 20, 2005. "This is a terrific way to pay homage to the heritage and prestige of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford," said Keselowski. "To have Rusty Wallace, a NASCAR champion and a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, assist Miller Lite in recognizing the long association they have had with Team Penske and NASCAR is something special. I feel privileged to be a part of it." Miller Lite and Team Penske began their over two decade long relationship with Rusty Wallace driving the storied No. 2 car. During his time behind the wheel of the Miller Lite machine, Wallace earned 39 victories. "Miller Lite is proud of our heritage and partnership with Team Penske," said Ryan Reis, senior director of marketing for Miller Lite. "Having Rusty Wallace on board to celebrate the original light beer and our rich tradition with NASCAR is something our fans are excited about."(Team Penske), see an image of the #2 Miller Lite Retro scheme on my#2 Team Schemes page.(1-8-2014)
Darrell Waltrip opens Buick GMC: Darrell Waltrip Automotive opened its new $14 million, 28,000-square-foot Buick GMC showroom and service center on Thursday to add to the 30-acre auto campus along Highway 96 in Franklin, TN. A grand opening will be in the spring. Waltrip, a NASCAR Hall of Famer, lead analyst on NASCAR for FOX and Franklin resident, opened his Honda dealership in 1985. The Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group also sells Volvo, Subaru and used vehicles. The campus also has two service centers specializing in Honda, Volvo and Subaru service. "Ironically, two of the best years I ever had in racing was driving a Buick. In 1981, 1982, I won 24 races and two championships driving a Buick Regal," Waltrip said. "When I heard we had the opportunity to get this point, we just went to work on it to see if we could put it together and we were able to." As a part of the expansion, Darrell Waltrip Automotive will add 100 jobs.(Tennessean)(1-5-2014)
Bud Moore/Bobby Isaac #15 NASCAR Torino to be Auctioned: Gran Torino Sport fastbacks are liked by plenty of folks even though they were built during the twilight of the performance era. The Clint Eastwood movie Grand Torino brought these vehicle to a younger audience, building more appreciation for this sleeper among collectible Fords. What may be the greatest version of them of all will be auctioned at Russo and Steele's Scottsdale event during January 15 - 19, 2014: the Bud Moore #15 Grand National stocker driven by Bobby Isaac.(Hot Rod Magazine)(1-5-2014)
Kyle Petty / Terry Labonte candidates for U.S. Congress? According to an article on RollCall.com, former NASCAR driver and now Fox Sports TV analyst Kyle Petty [also mentions Terry Labonte as a candidate] could be a candidate for U.S. Congress in 2014 in North Carolina. The district would be the one currently represented in North Carolina by Republican Howard Coble, who announced Thursday this would be his last term.(Charlotte Observer)(11-8-2013)
79-year-old Hylton says good bye to racing: James Hylton gingerly climbed out of his #48 car after an ARCA test at Kansas Speedway on Friday, and nobody could blame him for moving a little bit slower than his competitors. He's 79 years old, after all. The oldest driver to race in each of NASCAR's three highest divisions, Hylton was calling it a career after Friday night's race. The Cup rookie of the year in 1966, Hylton has spent the last several years of his career racing in the ARCA series.(Associated Press)(10-5-2013)
Geoff Bodine inducted into Legends of the Glen: Popular race car driver Geoff Bodine was inducted into Legends of The Glen on Friday afternoon. Bodine, a native of Chemung, NY, raced at Watkins Glen International from 1986 through 2000 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The third-generation driver's accomplishments at Watkins Glen International include three Top-5s and his eventual final win in the series, which came in 1996. Bodine also competed at Watkins Glen International in NASCAR's Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, as well as the IROC Series, among other touring series during a career that spanned more than four decades. In 2012, the Green Grandstand was renamed the Bodine Grandstand in recognition of contributions to The Glen by Geoff and younger brothers Todd and Brett. Since 2008, Watkins Glen International has selected drivers from all racing backgrounds to the elite class known as The Legends of The Glen. Last year's inductees included: Former sports car and Formula 1 great Derek Bell; sportscar legend Scott Pruett; and James Hunt, who was inducted posthumously.(WGI)(8-10-2013)
A.J. Foyt Is Recovering from Hip Replacement Surgery: Motorsportss Legend and 1971 Daytona 500 winner A.J. Foyt, who has not been to an IndyCar race since the Ft. Worth event on June 8th, underwent successful hip replacement surgery on his left hip Monday in a Houston hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. Foyt had been battling pain in his left leg for most of the year. In April, he underwent a laminectomy in the lumbar region of his spine to relieve sciatic nerve pain. He had missed two races (Alabama and Long Beach, Calif.) prior to that surgery as well as the one in Sao Paulo, Brazil immediately after it. The chronic leg pain increased dramatically after he fell while working on his ranch before the Texas race. He had consulted with several doctors before agreeing to the most recent surgery. Foyt will be in the hospital for several days.(PR)(7-3-2013)
Bill Elliott's son wins ARCA race: Seventeen-year-old Chase Elliott became the youngest superspeedway winner in ARCA Racing Series history Saturday, winning the Pocono ARCA 200 at Pocono Raceway. Elliott, in the #9 Aaron's Dream Machine-Hendrickcars.com Chevy, raced his way from the 32nd starting position, took the lead with 21 laps to go, and then held back a hard charge from fellow 17-year-old driver Erik Jones to earn his career-first ARCA victory. "This was a lot of fun," Elliott said. "This means a ton to me. It was about 10 years ago that I was sitting in victory lane here with my dad." Elliott, who had to test at Pocono beforehand just to be eligible to enter the race, is a few months younger than Shelby Howard was when Howard won at Kansas Speedway in 2003. Despite an event-filled race, Elliott was the story of the show, setting the age mark on a track that his father won five career NASCAR races at. The elder Elliott stood alone atop the Hendrick Motorsports ARCA team transporter for most of the race watching his son make laps, take the lead, and then hold on for the victory. "He definitely helped me out a lot," Chase said. "He wasn't here Wednesday, but we talked on the phone. It was strange coming here because I am so used to coming here with dad and watching him race. Being able to come to the ARCA series and run at Pocono Raceway is huge for me. It definitely opens some doors for us and enables us to do something different."(ARCA)(6-9-2013)
Ten years since Nadeau's injury UPDATE: NASCAR's annual spring visit to Richmond International Raceway marks the 10-year anniversary of Jerry Nadeau's near fatal accident at the track. Nadeau crashed driver's-side first into the outside wall between Turns 1 and 2 during a May 2, 2003, practice at Richmond. He was airlifted to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in critical condition with a moderate to severe head injury, partially collapsed left lung, fractured shoulder blade and left-side rib-cage injuries. It took 20 days for Nadeau to regain full consciousness and begin to speak again, and four more before he was transferred to Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation to begin physical, occupational and speech therapy. Nadeau was in inpatient care until June 6, and in therapy until July 25. When NASCAR returned to Richmond in September that year, Nadeau made an emotional visit to VCU Medical Center to thank the medical staff. He went on to form World Karting Endurance at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and has done some driver coaching, but never raced again in NASCAR.(Associated Press)(4-27-2013)
UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau still draws an imaginary line down the middle of his body to describe the accident that changed his life 10 years ago this week. On one side of the line his body feels normal, on the other side it's still numb. That's the result of a brain injury sustained in practice for a NASCAR Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. His Chevy spun and hit the Turn 1 wall at 135 times the force of gravity. The line is also a kind of metaphor for a life that is a mixture of frustration and joy, courageous acceptance and occasional regret. Jerry Nadeau does not live in the past. He go-karts often with daughter Natalie, 10, born months before the crash. And he's a proud father in the stands at her gymnastics meets. His marriage to Natalie's mom ended the year after the accident, but he remarried last year to Maryana, a Ukrainian he met online. But if Nadeau doesn't live in his glory days of racing, he remembers them. And though he's accepted that his physical limitations ended his career at 33, it still frustrates him. "Things were going so well and to have it taken away, yeah, I have a lot of bad feelings over that," Nadeau said. "It's amazing how time flies. The toughest part, Nadeau says, is that a brain injury makes you feel like a different person. He adds that he'd rather have broken every bone in his body at once than have his mind altered. Unless things change, he not sure when or if he'll be able work again. But he's not sad. "I still love racing, everything about it, and would still be doing it if I could," Nadeau said. "I had a great life in racing and met a lot of good people. But I'm a different person. I've moved forward and I'm trying to make the best of everything."(Newport News Daily Press) (4-28-2013)
Truce for Bo-Dyn, bobsled federation: Pending litigation between the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. has been dropped. An out-of-court agreement has been signed by both sides, according to Phil Kurze, vice president of Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering, who also serves as president of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. Kurze said all previous agreements between the two organizations are void and that the USBSF is authorized to make any modifications on the bobsleds in their possession. However, Bo-Dyn still owns the intellectual property in those bobsleds, he said. The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, created by former NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine, has provided bobsleds to the U.S. team for two decades and also refurbished them. But the two sides split in 2011 in a disagreement over intellectual property. Bo-Dyn sleds have won six Olympic medals, two of them gold.(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-9-2013)
On Thursday, April 4, 2013 from 5 to 7 p.m., the Elmhurst Historical Museum welcomes visitors to mingle with one of NASCAR's legendary drivers during a Meet & Greet with Bobby Allison. Mr. Allison is scheduled to be in the Museum's first floor research library, and the hard-driving racer will sign official autograph cards (provided by the Museum for $5 each) and pose for photos. The driving force to bring Bobby Allison to the Chicago area for a rare visit is the Elmhurst Historical Museum's current exhibit, On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen. Allison is a long-time friend of "The Golden Boy," a friendship that dates back to the start of Allison's career in the 1960s. Allison's appearance at the Elmhurst Historical Museum was made possible by the Lorenzen family, and Tawzer added that Allison has been highly supportive of the On the Road to Glory exhibit from its inception. Allison narrated the original documentary that plays in the gallery, and he provided many anecdotes and insights on Fred's career to help develop the storyline of the exhibit. The Elmhurst Historical Museum is located at 120 E. Park Ave. in Elmhurst. Admission to the Meet & Greet with Bobby Allison is free (donations welcome), and limited on-site parking is available. The $5 autograph cards will be available for sale in the Museum gift shop during the event. Please note: no additional merchandise will be signed by Mr. Allison. Be sure to drop by and see one of NASCAR's finest drivers on April 4th, and check out the On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen exhibit which will be open through May 19, 2013. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 1-5 p.m. and admission is free. For more information, please visit www.elmhursthistory.org or call 630-833-1457.
Iowa Governor honors NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace: Iowa Governor Terry Branstad honored NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace with a State Proclamation in a special ceremony Wednesday afternoon, February 27, at the Capitol building in Des Moines. Speaking on the main floor of the historic State Capitol Rotunda, Governor Branstad commended Wallace for his contributions to the state of Iowa as designer and part owner of the Iowa Speedway in Newton, and to the sport of NASCAR racing nationwide. "As Governor of Iowa, I am very proud to honor Rusty Wallace with this Proclamation today," Branstad said. "His many contributions to NASCAR racing have earned him a well-deserved induction to NASCAR's Hall of Fame, and his forward-thinking design of Iowa Speedway helped to create a destination in central Iowa that benefits every Iowan. Rusty may have been born in Missouri, but we will always claim him as one of our own." Wallace expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support he has received from Iowans all across the state, and specifically to Governor Branstad for the official Proclamation. "I am humbled and honored that Governor Branstad made time to recognize me today with an official Proclamation," Wallace said. "As an 'Honorary Iowan', I couldn't be more proud of this great state, or of the racetrack we have in Newton, and I look forward to being here for as many Iowa Speedway events as possible." Wallace, whose post-racing career combines a busy ABC/ESPN broadcast schedule, managing his son Steven's NASCAR Nationwide Series race team, overseeing his auto dealership interests and fundraising for the charitable NASCAR Foundation, nevertheless finds ample time to promote Iowa Speedway.
"Rusty is without a doubt our best promoter," said Iowa Speedway President and co-owner Stan Clement. "He literally goes out of his way to be here whenever possible. Rusty gladly does media interviews, greets fans, and spends time with our promotional partners. Certainly he is deserving of this official Proclamation, as well as his recent induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame." Iowa Speedway is a state-of-the-art 7/8 mile asphalt paved tri-oval race track and motorsports facility located just 30 miles east of Des Moines at I-80 Exit 168 in Newton, Iowa. The track is owned and operated by U.S. Motorsport Corporation and designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, now an anchor and analyst for ABC-TV/ESPN. Call 1-866-RUSTY-GO, or visit www.iowaspeedway.com to learn more.(Iowa Speedway)(3-1-2013)
On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen: Fred Lorenzen The story of NASCAR legend and Elmhurst (IL) native Fred Lorenzen comes to life through photos, artifacts, and exciting race footage depicting a little-known local hero who etched his name in the annals of racing history. Find out how this Midwestern outsider, known as "Fearless Freddie," got the inside track in the early days of professional NASCAR racing to become a fan favorite and winner of the 1965 Daytona 500. See the Fred Lorenzen tribute car, an exact replica of Lorenzen's #28 1964 Ford Galaxie, on opening weekend, Feb. 1-3 from 1-5 p.m. and on Museum Day (May 19). This exhibit is supported by Chicagoland Speedway. On the Road to Glory is in exhibit from February 1 thru May 19, 2013 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum . There will be a special preview on Thursday, January 31st. More info at elmhurst.org.(1-28-2013)
Randy Bethea featured in new documentary: Throughout the 1970s Tennessee racer Randy Bethea was a regular competitor in NASCAR's second tier series now known as the Nationwide Series. He made history in 1973 becoming the first Afircan American NASCAR racer to win a pole in an upper division race when he knocked Darrell Waltrip off the pole in the Late Model Sportman (Nationwide Series) Southern 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
In 1975 he made history again, starting the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and becoming one of only seven African Americans to compete at NASCAR's highest level, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. But, Bethea's dream of NASCAR success was unfulfilled for reasons he attributes to color. That color was green, and like the majority of up-and-coming drivers of that era Bethea didn't have enough green in his wallet to compete at his full potential.
Although Bethea did experience some racism during his driving career, he is quick to state he was 'Not a Black Racer', he was a racer who happened to be black. Currently employed as a high school automotive instructor in Newport, Tenn., Bethea still remains active in local racing and among the most popular drivers in Tennessee.
"Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" tells the story of Bethea's racing life, from sweeping the floors in legendary engine builder Banjo Matthews' shop, to his venture into Formula Super-V racing, which he attributes as the main reason he failed to maintain long term success in NASCAR. The 60 minute documentary was filmed and edited by Kingsport Times-News reporter Jeff Bobo and includes interviews with many of Bethea's NASCAR racing contemporaries including retired racers Paul Lewis, John A. Utsman, active Nationwide Series driver Brad Teague, and engine builder Stanley Allison. "Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" can be viewed for free on Youtube.(1-1-2013)
Jarrett's son to play baseball with Charlotte 49ers: Zach Jarrett, the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett, was one of eight baseball players signed by UNC Charlotte during the early commitment period for the 2014 season. Jarrett, 17, played third base for the Hickory High (N.C.) Red Tornadoes for coach David Craft, and was a prep teammate of current 49er Tyler Barnette. He also was a participant in the State Games after an All-Northwestern Conference season and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs. He posted 15 RBI in 62 plate appearances with a .355 batting average. He was also rated as a national "high follow" by Perfect Game Crosschecker. A two-sport star at Hickory, Jarrett was a member of the varsity basketball team which finished as the state runners-up in the 3A classification.(Charlotte Observer)(12-23-2012)
Foundation to honor Guthrie: Janet Guthrie will be honored at the 10th Women in the Winner's Circle Awards Celebration Dec. 7 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Guthrie, who in 1977 became the first woman to start in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, will be presented the Mildred Marcum Pioneer award. Her ninth-place finish in the 1978 Indianapolis 500, with a team she formed and managed, was the best by a woman until 2005. In 1980, she was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Lyn St. James, a seven-time Indianapolis 500 starter, founded the Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation in 1994 to focus on programs for driver development, advocacy, diversity and education, particularly for women who aspire to become race car drivers. "I was racing in SCCA in Showroom Stock when Janet made the headlines at Indianapolis in 1977, and I never dreamed at the time that I would ever reach the level of Indy car racing but it certainly made an impression on me," St. James said.
"I admired Janet's determination and ability to stay focused during all the media hype and controversy that surrounded her, and I've always said by being the first she took all the bullets both straight on and in her back. And she did this after Title IX was passed in 1972 and Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in 1973, so it also brought motorsports into the spotlight. I'm pleased we can honor Janet with the Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award, as she was truly a pioneer in motorsports." The Women in the Winner's Circle Celebration is the foundation's major fundraiser, celebrating the success of women in racing. For information and reservations, visit www.lynstjames.com.(indycar.com)(12-3-2012)
Geoff Bodine has no more plans to race UPDATE: After competing in 575 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races over 27 seasons, Geoff Bodine is calling it a career. Bodine, who hasn't run full-time since 1999, has run part-time since his injury in the then NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Daytona opener in 2000. Although he had a sponsor willing to back him this season if an opportunity arose to run with a team in any of NASCAR's three series, no deal panned out for the veteran. "I hate to use that 'retirement' word, but I'm 99.9 percent sure I'll never drive a racecar again," said the humble Bodine. Bodine, 63, ran select races in 2011 for Tommy Baldwin Racing. In his four starts last year, Bodine finished with a best of 30th at the season finale Homestead-Miami Speedway. At that time, Bodine didn't feel that would be his last start in NASCAR, but he now is saying he will retire from the sport due to a number of factors.(Racing Experts)(10-18-2012)
MORE After more than 50 years of racing, 27 of those spent in NASCAR's top three divisions, Geoff Bodine said he is ready to move on. He said Wednesday he has other priorities in life - his family, charity work, running his new Honda motorcycle dealership, and building the next generation of bobsleds for the U.S. Olympic team. Bodine is quick to point out he is not retiring. "I'm not using the word retirement because people misinterpret what you are saying," he said. "I don't want that word associated with me. I'm not retiring from life. I'm more active now than ever. I'm just not going to drive a race car anymore. That's all." Bodine began to rethink why he was still trying to race at the Sprint Cup level at the age of 63 after he suffered a lifetime of hard hits to his head, including a concussion from a spectacular Truck Series crash at Daytona International Speedway in 2000 that almost cost him his life. "I don't know the definition of what a concussion is, but all I know is that I've been knocked out several times and have hit my head and jarred it several times really hard," Bodine said. "I even got knocked out in high school football, so my head injuries started a long time ago. I've had all of those multiple concussions and they add up. You never know if the next one is going to put you down." Bodine said he received a wake-up call last month when Dale Earnhardt Jr. sat out two NASCAR Sprint Cup races because of a concussion. "Dale Jr.'s situation kind of pushed me into making this decision," he said. "I commend him for doing it because it takes a lot of courage and integrity to not race for two races. He realized his health was more important." Bodine intended to run as many as 15 races in this year before his sponsor, Luke & Associates, pulled financing before the season.(much more at the Elmiria Star Gazette)(11-28-2012)
Fire destroys garage of Sterling Marlin: A fire has destroyed three race cars and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage at a garage in Middle Tennessee owned by retired NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin. Marlin told The Daily Herald in Columbia that the fire that started Friday morning destroyed his 2,500-square-foot garage in Maury County and three cars that belonged to his son-in-law, Michael House. He said he believed that there was a leak on a propane heater and welding sparks ignited the fire. A shop worker who was inside the garage when the fire stared was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Maury County Fire Chief Mark Gandee said that crews had to work to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings and fuel tanks.(Assocaited Press/USA Today)(11-3-2012)
Sterling Marlin has Parkinsonism: For the past year or so, Sterling Marlin's brain would tell his right hand to complete a fine-motor task, such as cranking a boat or buttoning the collar on a shirt. And the fingers on that hand wouldn't respond. And with time his hand began to shake. Marlin said symptoms first began after he suffered a laceration to the knuckle on the middle finger of his right hand. The injury, he said, included nerve damage. But rather than go to the doctor he simply Super-Glued it closed. "Cut the knuckle real bad on (my) bird finger ... I couldn't shoot a bird. Just impossible," said Marlin, reached by phone. "It wouldn't move and I thought that was the problem. But it got healed up and I said, '... Something's still wrong.' And it kept getting worse and worse and worse, so I went to the doctor to see what the hell's going on." During that visit, Marlin said, doctors revealed that he had developed Parkinsonism.
"I've had people say, 'Man, you got Parkinson's Disease?' I say, 'F--- naw!'" laughed Marlin in signature matter-of-fact fashion. "It's called Parkinsonism. It's associated with (Parkinson's Disease), but it's nothing-near like it. You just take the medicine and you'll be fine. It ain't no problem." According to the Mayo Clinic's website, Parkinsonism is "any condition that causes a combination of the movement abnormalities seen in Parkinson's disease -- such as tremor, slow movement, impaired speech or muscle stiffness -- especially resulting from the loss of dopamine-containing nerve cells (neurons)."(ESPN)(10-28-2012)
Nadeau still feeling impact of accident: May 2, 2013 will mark the 10th anniversary of the accident that stripped Jerry Nadeau of his passion. He recalls being the fastest thing on site at Richmond International Raceway that day during practice. And after changing a shock, he re-entered the racetrack, barreled off into Turn 1 and spun into the concrete wall, driver's side. It nearly killed him. Nadeau said his wreck registered at 121 times the force of gravity. By comparison, the hits that recently sent Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the doctor with successive concussions registered 40 G's at Kansas and 20 G's at Talladega, respectively. Nadeau suffered a traumatic brain injury, four broken ribs and a collapsed lung. He spent time in a medically induced coma and didn't regain full consciousness for three weeks. He would never race again.
"I just don't know what to do now," he said. "I'm literally lost at times. I wake up like, 'Well, what am I doing today?' There are so many times that I forget things. I feel normal. I feel like I'm myself. Sounding OK is one thing. But something's not right. I used to have so much get-up-and-go. Right now I'm just a loaf. I don't know if the injury had anything to do with it, but I'm just not interested in doing anything. The hit took a lot out of me. I think right now I'm just surviving. Racing was my life, and it got taken away."
"My whole life I was selfish. It was always just me -- all me," he said. "Then I realized that if I took one more hit it could be my last hit. It doesn't take much to injure your brain. I've had a few concussions -- I've had a lot, actually -- from go-karts to modifieds to sports cars to the Cup series. And every time you get a concussion you damage something in your brain. I can't tell you how many times I had headaches -- constant headaches. And I never once thought about an injury, or my brain." Nadeau still suffers from depression. He said he takes medication daily to cope. Before he married Mary Anna four months ago, he said he would at times hole himself up in his bedroom, draw the blinds, order pizza and watch movies all day. When asked if doctors cite his brain injury as a contributing factor to his ongoing depression, Nadeau was uncertain.
He tried for a time to mentor young racers. Frye recalled Nadeau's pride in working with David Gilliland, leading up to Gilliland's breakthrough 2006 Nationwide Series victory at Kentucky Speedway. But being at the racetrack was emotionally destructive for Nadeau. He's a former Cup series winner (one victory in 177 starts), and he was made to feel like just another guy. Nadeau still wonders what's next. Fortunately he made sound financial choices both before and after the injury. "It's been hard. It's been really, really hard. It's almost like I lost my life." Read more more at ESPN.com.(10-26-2012)
Bobby Allison appears at Maine Casino: One of NASCAR's most accomplished and respected stars was in western Maine on Friday, greeting local race fans and helping Oxford Casino celebrate its first expansion of floor space. Hall of Fame driver and former national champion Bobby Allison was a guest of casino investor and local business icon Bob Bahre. Allison's visit came as 10,000 square feet of new gaming space was officially opened to the public. Part of what makes the town of Oxford so special to Allison is the fact he notched his first career Grand National victory at Oxford Plains Speedway in 1966. That win helped the leader of what became known as the "Alabama Gang" gain respect in NASCAR and launched a career more than worthy of his HOF induction.(Lewiston Sun Journal)(9-22-2012)
Junior Johnson's house auctioned off: A Lewisville woman who has deep roots in the North Carolina Christmas tree industry was the winning bidder for Junior Johnson's mansion and farm situated just north of the Iredell County line. Loretta Sides Shore, who owns Shore's Nursery, said Monday that she was the buyer of the house and 150-acre farm at the Aug. 7 auction. The identity of the buyer had been kept confidential. The winning bid was $2.3 million and the sale is scheduled to close this week. Shore's Nursery grows Fraser firs on more than a dozen farms it owns or leases in the Laurel Springs and Sparta areas of Alleghany County. Shore said she and her husband plan to make minor changes to Johnson's former home before moving in. The house was a dream home for Johnson, taking two years to build under his scrutiny. The black rails of the cattle fencing are a landmark on the north side of U.S. 421, just west of Interstate 77. Johnson, 81, raised cattle on the farm, but said his health issues meant he could no longer take care of the property. He and his wife moved to the exclusive Quail Hollow neighborhood in Charlotte. Johnson initially listed the house for $6 million and the price was dropped to just less than $5 million. When it didn't sell, Johnson decided to auction it.( Statesville Record & Landmark )(8-22-2012)
Rusty to be honored on #2 Dodge: The featured tag line on the rear bumper of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Brad Keselowski this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway will read "Inductee Rusty Wallace." This is a tribute to Wallace's 2013 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. During his time in the #2 Miller-sponsored car, the former Penske Racing driver accumulated 37 wins, 145 top-five finishes, 252 top-10 results, while leading a total of 15,012 laps.(Penske Racing)(8-22-2012)
Rusty would like to see the schedule reduced: Rusty Wallace, recently selected to the NASCAR Hall of Famer, loves plenty of things about the sport. Except maybe the increased schedule. "It's the classic case of supply and demand," Wallace said Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Too much supply and not enough demand." Wallace won 55 Sprint Cup races in a career that stretched from 1980 to 2005. He thought the series was at its best in the mid-1990s when NASCAR ran 31 or 32 races. This year, drivers will race in 36 events as they've done since 2001. "Personally, I wish the schedule were 32 again," Wallace said. Wallace still believes in NASCAR's popularity. However, he hopes the sports leaders don't water down the product with too many races. "I love NASCAR. It's been good to me, it's made me a lot of money," Wallace said. "I think it's OK for me to give my opinion. I don't think NASCAR would get upset about that. Maybe take four races off the schedule and increase that demand that means so much."(Associated Press)(5-28-2012)
Childress & Rudd inducted into NMPA Hall of Fame: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd were inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame Tuesday night at a gala event in Concord, NC. "It's is a great honor for me to carry the banner for all of the talented people who have made RCR what it's become over the past 40-plus years," said Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "To go into the National Motorsports Press Association with Ricky Rudd is very special for me personally because of his important contributions to both RCR and the sport of NASCAR racing as a whole. I had a dream as a kid of winning races and championships but I never thought it would take me to the places it has in my life." The National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway. The inaugural class was inducted in 1965 which has become a Who's Who in the world of NASCAR. Childress and Rudd were the 79th and 80th inductees.(RCR)(5-17-2012)
Jimmy Spencer to retire, move back to PA: Jimmy Spencer, a former NASCAR driver and current television personality who goes by the nickname "Mr. Excitement," has never backed down from speaking his mind. And at Darlington, he wasn't about to change. His subject wasn't racing, religion, politics or anything of the sort. It was much more personal. "I am going retire. That's it. I am going to put my house up for sale and move back to Pennsylvania where I was raised," said Spencer, who won twice in 478 Sprint Cup starts with such team owners as Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson and Travis Carter. Spencer also competed on several other NASCAR circuits. His record includes 12 Nationwide Series wins and 15 victories on the Modified Tour. "I love Pennsylvania," Spencer added. "My dad has dementia but he's still alive and so is my mother-in-law. I want to go home and spend time with them. My house is right up there off exit 28 (from Interstate 77 at Lake Norman). Wanna buy it?" Spencer, from Berwick, Pa., isn't leaving North Carolina simply to re-unite with relatives. Hardly. His plans are more far-reaching than that. "I love gardening," Spencer said. "So I am going to build a small farm near home, off of Mayes Road up there. I'll get to do some gardening, but that isn't all I am going to do. I am going to start traveling. I want to go to Germany and I'm going to Switzerland. And I'm going to take the train up in Canada.(see full story at MotorsportsUnpluged)(5-16-2012)
Junior Johnson continues to recover: Only when he lies flat on his back does Junior Johnson feel no pain. He can walk for a little more than 10 minutes before he begins to feel winded. Food does not taste good and he has trouble swallowing. Nevertheless, Johnson, the 81-year-old former NASCAR driver and team owner, does not complain. He'll tell you it is better than the alternative. "Reckon the Lord thought it wasn't my time yet," said Johnson, a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class of inductees, "for which I am grateful." Johnson came to the brink of death after contracting a raging staph infection at a North Carolina hospital. Johnson takes a daily regimen of medication to keep the infection at bay. Johnson said his plans for the immediate future remain unaltered. He and his family will move to Charlotte in June, where they have already bought a house and will become neighbors to such NASCAR notables as team owners Rick Hendrick and Felix Sabates. Johnson said he feels better each day, but, obviously, he will require more medical attention - none of which he can receive until it's certain he no longer has the infection. Johnson admits he needs, and wants, a pacemaker.(Motorsports Unplugged)(5-5-2012)
Darlington Raceway to honor Yarborough: With Cale Yarborough now having been inducted into the third class of the NASCAR's Hall of Fame, Darlington Raceway will celebrate and honor his achievements during the upcoming Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend on May 11-12. Darlington and the NASCAR Hall of Fame are partnering on a special ticket offer for fans, which will include an exclusive meet-and-greet and autograph session with the NASCAR legend and hometown hero from Timmonsville, S.C. For $59, each fan will receive a ticket in the Pearson grandstand for the Bojangles' Southern 500, a ticket to the NASCAR Hall of Fame (redeemable throughout the season), a 2012 Hall of Fame Yearbook and the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with Yarborough on race day. The package is a savings of $36 if individual tickets were purchased for each venue separately. Packages can be purchased by calling 866-459-7223 or by visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com/congratscale. "Congratulations to Cale on his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Cale is very deserving of his induction and his commitment and dedication to the growth and success of NASCAR and stock car racing is unparalleled," Darlington president Chris Browning said. "To have a hometown hero like Cale have success at the sports greatest level is wonderful for our state. We are proud of the fact that he still calls his native Timmonsville home and Darlington Raceway his hometown track." Yarborough will be on hand during the Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend participating in various activities, including being honored during pre-race ceremonies for the track's 109th Sprint Cup race. Yarborough is from Timmonsville, just 15 miles from The Lady in Black, is a local hero to race fans of all generations who call Darlington County home, where they witnessed one of the greatest stock car drivers of his time win five Southern 500 races from 1968-1982.(Darlington Raceway)(4-7-2012)
Junior Johnson hospitalized: NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson has been hospitalized in North Carolina and two sources close to the 80-year-old legend said he is being treated for a staph infection related to a 2009 back surgery. Johnson initially was hospitalized on Tuesday near his farm in Wilkes County, N.C. He has since been moved to the Duke University hospital. Sources close to the situation said the former driver/owner known as "The Last American Hero'' also needs a pacemaker, but the procedure can't be completed until the infection clears. Johnson is expected to be released from the hospital within the week.(ESPN)(4-2-2012)
Rusty Wallace returns to the track: Retired NASCAR driver and ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace, is scheduled to compete in the June 12th Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at The Milwaukee Mile. The race honors the late Lettow, a former standout ASA crew chief who mentored many young drivers. The event will benefit the MACC Fund, dedicated to childhood cancer and blood disorder research (RWR). More info on the Drivers Appearances page.(3-23-2012)
Richard Childress, Ricky Rudd elected to NMPA Hall of Fame: Team owner Richard Childress and Ricky Rudd, the driver who gave Childress his first NASCAR win, have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame. Each received more than the required 65 percent of the votes cast by the NMPA's members. Childress made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup start in 1969. He drove for five full seasons, 1976-80, with two top-five finishes. Twenty races into the 1981 season, Childress turned the wheel over to Dale Earnhardt, and in June 1983 at Riverside, Calif., Rudd gave Childress his first victory as a team owner. In 1984, Earnhardt rejoined Childress, and they would go on to win 66 races and six championships. Overall, Childress has 100 Cup wins, as well as 56 victories and five team-owner titles in the Nationwide ranks, and 24 wins and two Camping World Truck Series crowns. Rudd competed in Cup racing for 32 years, with stints for team owners such as Childress, Rick Hendrick, Bud Moore Roberts and others. Rudd earned 23 Cup wins, including the Brickyard 400 in 1997 as an owner-driver, and he holds the NASCAR Cup record for consecutive starts with 788. Rudd was also the 1992 titlist in the International Race of Champions series. Others receiving votes for the NMPA Hall of Fame were: drivers Donnie Allison, Bill Elliott, Tiny Lund and Sara Christian; former crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham; team owner Joe Gibbs; promoter Richard Howard; and photographer Ladon George.(Fayetteville Observer)(2-17-2012)
New Darrell Waltrip Book released: NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip knew that big changes were in the wind on the morning of February 18, 2001. For the first time in his long and storied career, Darrell would be watching the race from the broadcast booth high above the track, explaining its complexities to a television audience of millions. His younger brother Michael Waltrip would be among the starting drivers. Sundays Will Never Be the Same opens with a heart-stopping account of that dramatic race. See more info and how to order the book on my NASCAR Book News page.(2-12-2012)
Racing great A.J. Foyt in hospital: A.J. Foyt has been hospitalized in Houston for complications from knee surgery and will skip the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The 77-year-old Foyt had knee surgery two weeks ago, and an infection sent him to the hospital Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Friday that Foyt may stay in the hospital through the weekend. She said he had been up and walking since the surgery but developed an infection this week. Foyt is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Foyt was scheduled to be the grand marshal Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(1-27-2012)
Ward & Jeb Burton to race in Truck Series: After a five-year absence from competing in a NASCAR race, Ward Burton will drive at Daytona in February in the NextEra Energy 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. Burton and his 19-year-old son, Jeb, have teamed with Hillman Racing in the Truck Series to run the #27 Chevy this season. Burton, the 2002 Daytona 500 winner and brother of current Richard Childress Racing team member Jeff Burton, stepped away from the sport in 2007 to help Jeb's racing career as well as work with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation. Burton had five career wins in in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series and four in the Nationwide Series. Jeb moves up from the NASCAR Whelen All-American series to the Truck Series. Ward will race at Daytona because Jeb is not yet qualified to run at Daytona. Burton also will make select starts throughout the truck series schedule. The younger Burton will make his debut behind the wheel in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville on March 31. Atop the pit box for the #27 will be Richmond native Trip Bruce, who worked with Burton in his Sprint Cup days at Bill Davis Racing.(Richmond Times Dispatch / hillmanracing.com)(1-27-2012)
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, April 29, 2016, 4:30pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 4:30pm/et
For some drivers who have passed away on the track see links are on my Driver Tribute Links page
Born in APRIL
30 Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, Andy Hillenburg, Joe Millikan, Amelia Joy Smith, Chris Browning, Ashton Glover, Frank Kimmel
Born in MAY
1 Randy Dorton, Johnny Sauter, Jimmy Parrott
2 Ed "Uncle Bud" Adamczyk, Kyle Busch
3 Greg Ely
4 Randy Tolsma, Bobby Burrell, Jennifer Eolin, Amanda Ebersole, Mike Thomas
5 Larry Pollard, Bob Welborn
6 Mike Borkowski, Tammy Jo Kirk, Jeff Hancock, Dean Mozingo, Gina Henson
7 Dave Steele, Danny O'Quinn Jr.
8 Bobby Labonte, Nathan Buttke, Don Hume, Jay Stewart, Judy Childress
9 Tim Fedewa, Scott Page
10 Sherry Pollex, Amelia Andretti, Andy Rueger
11 Tim Flock, Glenn Bobo, Will Kimmel, NASCAR Hall of Fame
12 Deb Adamczyk, Jabe Thomas
13 Rich Bickle, Scott Eggleston, Bob Kennedy, Jim Spencer, Linda McReynolds, Kirk Almquist, Maggie Feeney Rossi
14 Steve Letarte, Bill Brooks, Dave Munari, Danielle Del Corio, Scott Lynch
15 Shane Hmiel, John Hubner
16 Josh Walker
17 Mike Shiplett, Craig Ferguson, Kevin Pennell
18 Brexton Busch, Mike Motil
19 Bob Germain, Jody Ridley, Dario Franchitti, Danny Culler
20 Tony Stewart, Dave Despain, Steve Portenga, Mike Stefanik, Eric Norris, AJ Heister, Les Huntley
21 Cotton Owens, Mark Muller, Jeff Meendering, Brandon McReynolds, Rodney Fetters, Nathan McGuire
22 Jay Guy, Joey Knuckles, Janice Almirola
23 Kerry Tharp, Harvey Walters, Wally Dallenbach Jr., Matthew Donley
24 Joey Logano, Ricky Craven, Chip Ganassi, Lesa France Kennedy, Amy Rice, Brent Sherman, Colt Hammond, Tommy Chong, Jack Smith
25 Bud Moore, Paul Andrews, A.J. Foyt IV, Spenny Clendenen, Ross Kenseth, Kevin Hulstein, Smokey Yunick
26 Stacy Compton, Adam Gravitt, Kenny Trout
27 April Horner, Jeremy Mayfield, Dick Berggren, Van Colley, John Bickford, Carol Einarsson
28 Ray Fox, Butch Stevens, Marvin Panch, Dan E. Donnely, Ron Lemasters Jr., David Joy, Michael Klein
29 Joe Weatherly, Ken Schrader, Bobby Hamilton, Al Unser, Jimmy Means, Todd Berrier, John F. Kennedy, Germán Quiroga, Steve Allen, Kaye Jenkins, Jessica Taylor
30 Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Reagan Page, Gale Wilson
31 Jerry 'Dad' Adamczyk, Jack Baldwin, Gayle Barnwell, Pat Calkins, Charlie Lewis, Krista Voda, Faith Anne Yeley