NOTE: this is MY drivers tribute, not looking to post other's people ideas for their past drivers or NON-NASCAR drivers..why no separate pages for Kulwicki or Allison? like with Petty, Earnhardt etc? Easy, they passed before I started the site [August 1996], the pages I have are mostly links and stories from when the driver passed away with some pics thrown in, more of an archive of their death then a tribute.
Teams to honor Buddy Baker with decal: NASCAR will honor the Buddy Baker in a special way this weekend in events for all three national series. Vehicles will be affixed with a B-post decal honoring the former NASCAR driver. Baker, 74, passed away Monday after battling lung cancer. The NASCAR racing legend's career spanned more than three decades. His father, Buck Baker, was a two-time premier series champ.(NASCAR)(8-14-2015)
Honoring Wendell Scott at Las Vegas: The recognition of newly inducted NASCAR Hall of Fame member Wendell Scott continues this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where all teams in Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series will be given decals commemorating Scott's first start in NASCAR's top series. On Mar. 4, 1961 at Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartanburg, S.C., Scott made his first start in what was then the NASCAR Grand National Series. He finished 17th, retiring because of an oil pressure problem after 52 of 200 laps. Honoring Scott with decals commemorating his first start during race weekends in early March is a tradition that has continued since its inception in 2010. The first African-American driver to win a race in NASCAR's top series (Dec. 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla.), Scott was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January.(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-7-2015)
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)
Memorial Day racing raises money for Dick Trickle memorial: On this Memorial Day, racers gathered to remember a central Wisconsin racing legend. Dick Trickle passed away a year ago. Money from Monday's races went to a memorial for Trickle in Rudolph, WI. Many of his racing buddies from his days on the track were there and they say it was hard not to think of their friend. "We've had a traditional Memorial Day event here for the last eight to 10 years, but this one's special because it's for Dick Trickle," said Craig Bassuener, the race promoter. A giant in the sport of racing, Trickle's name brings a lot of happy memories. "Dick was a people person," said Tom Reffner, a friend of Trickle's. "All those people that were fans of his, he was a fan of theirs too." "He was great in the racing community, not just in Wisconsin but throughout the nation," said Kyle Quella, a driver from Appleton. Reffner says his relationship with Trickle was a friendly rivalry. He's a big part of putting the memorial together. "A little larger-than-life statue of him in the center, pictures of his cars," Reffner said. "He drove over 200 cars but we think we'll put up like 70." They may not be racing anymore, but the impact of drivers like Trickle and Reffner is still being felt. "I didn't really get to see them race in their heyday, but they're the building blocks of why I'm here," Quella said. Drivers and fans say they continue to be inspired by Trickle, and they won't soon forget him. "It doesn't surprise me one bit to see 1500 people here," Reffner said. Organizers call the racing community a family. They say it means a lot to raise money for a memorial to one of their own. They say Monday's race brought in more than $2000.(WAOW)(5-28-2014)
Dick Trickle Memorial Ground Breaking: It's been one year since the shocking death of racing legend Dick Trickle. The Wisconsin native raced on the NASCAR circuit but is known all over the country as the king of short track racing, having won more than 1,200 feature races. Trickle grew up in the small community of Rudolph and much of his racing career took place on tracks throughout the state. On Sunday, hundreds gathered at an event in Rudolph, WI to kick off the process of raising money to construct a memorial in Trickle's honor. Friends and family broke ground for the memorial at the Rudolph Community Park. The memorial will feature an 8-foot bronze statue of Trickle waving to his fans, as he was always known for doing. Granite walls with laser-etched displays of Trickle's cars and accomplishments will surround the statue. The entire memorial is estimated to span about 34 feet wide at the park. Organizers say it will take a couple years for the monument to be constructed. The kick-off event also had an auction of Trickle memorabilia and commemorative shovels that were used during the ground breaking ceremony, all in effort to raise funds for the project. On Memorial Day, The Dick Trickle Memorial Fund Race will be held at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, WI. The speedway will be donating $1 of every race ticket sold to the memorial project. For more information on donating funds, visit The Dick Trickle Memorial Project group on Facebook.(waow.com)(5-20-2014)
Wendell Scott Recognized For Making History 50 Years Ago: This month marks 50 years since Wendell Scott made NASCAR history. In December 1963, Scott became the first African-American driver to win at a Grand National race, now known as the Sprint Cup. Wendell Scott was recognized this past weekend for his accomplishments 50 years ago. Not only was he the first African American to hold that title, he is still the only African American to win a Sprint Cup race. Frank Scott often thinks back to his father, Wendell Scott's, historic racing career. But this December, he knows a racing community will look back with him. "He did it so long ago against such incredible odds," said Scott. Fifty years ago in Jacksonville, Florida, Wendell Scott's name went down in the history books as the first African-American driver to win a Grand National race. Not only did he come in 1st, he won by two laps. Instead of applause, Scott received criticism. They claimed a mistake in scoring and gave the trophy to the second-place finisher. "It turned into a heart-breaking experience," said Scott. Hours later, Scott was acknowledged as the winner. The next month, he received a wooden, mock trophy as a reward. "He never received the real trophy but we did receive a nice replica trophy," said Scott. In 2010, The Jacksonville Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame gave Frank and the rest of the family this trophy for his win. This past weekend, Scott was presented with a plaque symbolizing his accomplishment. "I think it's important for his family. I think if he were alive, I think it would really be important for him because he would get the recognition he should have gotten back then," said Ronnie Rohn, President of Jacksonville Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame . Frank says nothing can replace the trophy that his father should have received. But he says no one can take away the legacy his father left. "Anytime you are recognized, you're not forgotten and that's significant because people often times are forgotten," said Scott. Frank says the family hopes another minority will follow in his father's footsteps and take home a Sprint Cup win soon.(WSET)(12-12-2013)
Kulwicki Team Assembles 20 Years After Title: Twenty years after losing their mentor, their leader, in a plane crash near Bristol, Tenn., nine members of Alan Kulwicki's 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup championship team reunited. It was a time to laugh, shed a few tears, renew friendships and help raise money for the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship fund at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Held Sunday, the storytelling hour, reception and dinner was the idea of Ryan Zeck, the scholarship’s first recipient. Folks can still donate directly to the scholarship fund by visiting giving.uncc.edu, then select "William States Lee College of Engineering" on the right drop down menu. Click "Submit Dropdown Field", and on the next page, you will see the "Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship" in the Designation Name drop down menu.(See full story at RacinToday)(5-21-2013)
Alan Kulwicki exhibit to open April 5th: The Milwaukee County Historical Society will open Alan Kulwicki: A Champion’s Story, on April 5, 2013. The exhibit will remain on display until December 31, 2013. Alan Kulwicki: A Champion’s Story highlights the life and racing career of Greenfield, Wisconsin’s Alan Kulwicki, the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion. Growing up in a racing family, Alan began racing go-karts in the early 1970s, before moving to stock cars and running on dirt and pavement a few years later. He won races and championships throughout Southeast Wisconsin, including Slinger Speedway and the now-defunct Hales Corners and Cedarburg Speedways. In the early 1980s, Alan began to travel with the American Speed Association (ASA) circuit, winning five races and learning to race against the best drivers in the Midwest.
In 1985, Alan sold most of his equipment, packed a truck, and moved to North Carolina to break into NASCAR. A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduate and one of the most successful owner-drivers in NASCAR history, Alan won five NASCAR Winston Cup races, numerous pole positions, and in one of the most dramatic season-ending finishes in history, defeated Bill Elliott by a scant ten points to win the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. Sadly, the celebration was short-lived as Alan and five others were killed in a plane crash near Bristol Motor Speedway on April 1, 1993.
The exhibit, generously supported by the Kulwicki family, features numerous artifacts from Alan’s career including driving suits, helmets, trophies, and souvenirs, as well as extensive racing and interview footage. Of particular note are interactive kiosks that feature interviews with Alan’s racing family and an interactive racing game that allows the visitor to compete against Alan for the fastest lap. Milwaukee County Historical Society Executive Director, Scott Stroh, stated, “Alan’s story is truly inspirational. Through hard work, a commitment to education and learning, and strong family and community ties, Alan pursued and achieved his dream with passion and enthusiasm. He simply never gave up, and this exhibit, through an amazing variety of interactive displays and collection items, will showcase Alan’s life and legacy, and also provide insight into how his story is very much Milwaukee’s story.”
An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 5, 2013, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Milwaukee County Historical Society, 910 N. Old World 3rd Street, Milwaukee. The event is free and open to the public. Beginning on Saturday, April 6, 2013, admission to the exhibit will be $5.00 for adults, and free for youth under the age of twelve.
Questions about the exhibit may be directed to Jeff Kollath, Director of Museum Experience, Milwaukee County Historical Society. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 414.273.7257.
For more information on the exhibit, please visit www.kulwickiexperience.com or www.milwaukeehistory.net.
The Milwaukee County Historical Society was founded in 1935 to collect, preserve and make available materials relating to the history of the Milwaukee community. Through a broad range of activities, the Historical Society seeks to recognize and preserve our local history. In promoting a greater appreciation of Milwaukee County’s heritage, the Historical Society hopes to develop a better understanding of the issues and challenges facing Milwaukee County today.(Milwaukee County Historical Society)(4-1-2013)
Friday is "Buck Baker Day" in Charlotte: In anticipation of his induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday night, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx has proclaimed Friday "Buck Baker Day." In the proclamation, Foxx said Baker, a longtime Charlotte resident who died in 2002, had "established himself as one of NASCAR's early greats, becoming the first to win consecutive NASCAR premier series championships in 1956 and 1957."(Charlotte Observer)(2-7-2012)
Wendell Scott to be honored with historical marker in VA: The first African American to win a NASCAR Grand National Race will received a state historical marker in Danvile, VA. The Department of Historic Resources approved six new markers recently. They include three for Danville. One will honor NASCAR driver Wendell O. Scott Sr. He became the first African-American to win a NASCAR Grand National race, which took place in 1963. The marker will read: “Preserving over prejudice and discrimination, Scott broke racial barriers in NASCAR, with a 13-year career that included 20 top five and 147 top ten finishes.” The state plans to dedicate the Scott marker in April, to go with the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.(wsls.com)(1-16-2013)
Alan Kulwicki: A Champion's Story: leads you on a journey of hardship, triumph, tragedy, and renewal. Learn about the life and legacy of one of Milwaukee's native sons: Alan Kulwicki. From his humble beginnings in Milwaukee to becoming a champion in Atlanta, Alan's life & legacy represent themes that embody Milwaukee, as well as the people and business that are proud to call her home. Through these core themes the Milwaukee County Historical Society, in partnership with Balance Studios, Inc., present an experience centered on Alan Kulwicki's life that will inspire, inform, and educate. Utilizing traditional and cutting-edge technology, the experience will include the following signature program themes that embodied Alan Kulwicki. More information at kulwickiexperience.com.(6-13-2012)
Kulwicki Named to SE Wisconsin Short Track HOF: Former two time Slinger Speedway Champion and 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, the late Alan Kulwicki, is among the 10 newest selections for induction into the Southeastern Wisconsin Short Track Hall of Fame. The sixth annual ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 3 at the Schauer Arts and Activities Center, at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford. Find information about the event and about previous inductees at www.sewishorttrackhof.com.(4-18-2012)
Fire destroys Smokey Yunick's former garage UPDATE: The last remaining portion of legendary race car builder Smokey Yunick's former garage complex was destroyed Monday night as smoke and flames poured from the building onto North Beach Street [Daytona Beach FL]. "It's a shame to see it go," said Carrol Smith, who lives nearby. "That corner will be really empty." The relic of the innovative mechanic burst into flames about 7 pm, according to fire officials, and by 8:30 pm little of the building remained with the exception of portions of the block walls. Smoke was so thick at times the fire trucks battling the blaze couldn't be seen through the plumes. "I think this is it," Smith said to a friend sitting with her on the back of a pickup at the Riverside Trailer Park. "There was Smokey's, the Streamline Motel where NASCAR was really born, and their was a garage in Ormond Beach that's just marked with a sign that it used to be there." The age of the building and its former use as a garage made the blaze hazardous for firefighters. "We're not sending any of our guys in there," said Daytona Beach Fire Department spokesman Lt. Larry Stoney. "We're fighting this from outside. It's going to be difficult to figure out the cause of the fire." Yunick, who died in 2001 at age 77, wasn't shy about his mechanical skills, calling his business the "Best Damn Garage in Town." There were two sides to the shop. He worked on trucks on one side and race cars on the other. Inside the gray walls of his sprawling facility, Yunick made several significant gains for the automotive industry. Some of his inventions included variable-ratio power steering and the extended tip spark plug, a design utilized in most automobiles today. When Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, Yunick's machines made an immediate impact. He built the cars that carried Marvin Panch and Fireball Roberts to Daytona 500 victories in 1961 and '63, respectively.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal, some interesting info there)(4-26-2011)
UPDATE: The inferno that swept through the former garage of famed NASCAR mechanic Smokey Yunick was intentionally set, the State Fire Marshal's office said Friday, and a reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest. Nina Ashley, a spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal's office in Tallahassee, said the fire was "incendiary," which means it was set intentionally. It has not been classified an arson, however, because the intent is not clear. A sign was posted Friday afternoon outside the property -- which Yunick once called the "Best Damn Garage in Town" -- offering a $5,000 reward for information.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-30-2011)
NASCAR honoring Wendell Scott at Vegas: In honor of the 50th anniversary of African-American racing pioneer Wendell Scott's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, all Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup cars competing this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will display a commemorative decal bearing Scott's image. Scott made his first start in NASCAR's premier series 50 years ago - March 4, 1961 - in Spartanburg, S.C. On Dec. 1, 1963 in Jacksonville, Fla., Scott became the first African-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup event. Drive for Diversity drivers Michael Cherry, who last season became the first African-American to win at Tri-County Speedway, and Ryan Gifford, who in 2010 became the first African-American driver in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history to win a pole, will join Scott's daughter Deborah Scott at LVMS to further recognize this special occasion.(NASCAR)(3-4-2011)
Tim Richmond Featured in Tuesday Night ESPN ’30 for 30’ Film: Former NASCAR driver Tim Richmond, a star of the sport before his death from AIDS in 1989, will be the subject of a documentary airing on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 8:00 pm/et on ESPN as part of ESPN Films’ critically acclaimed film series 30 for 30 Presented by Cadillac.
Tim Richmond: To the Limit, produced for ESPN by the NASCAR Media Group and directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Rory Karpf, tells the story of Richmond with the words of many who knew him well and some who competed against him on the track. Former NASCAR drivers Darrell Waltrip and Richard and Kyle Petty, champion team owner Rick Hendrick, movie director Hal Needham, famed racing promoter H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, ESPN reporters Dr. Jerry Punch and Ed Hinton, Richmond’s sister Sandy Welsh and friends from his hometown of Ashland, Ohio, are among those appearing in the film.
In the 1980s, Richmond lived his life the way he raced cars – wide open. Born into a wealthy family, Richmond was the antithesis of the Southern, blue-collar racers who dominated NASCAR. He also was a flamboyant showman who basked in the attention of the media and fans – especially the attention of female admirers. Nevertheless, it was Richmond’s on-track performances that ended up drawing comparisons to racing legends. And in 1986, when he won seven NASCAR races and finished third in the Winston Cup series points race, some believed he was on the verge of stardom. But soon his freewheeling lifestyle caught up to him. He unexpectedly withdrew from the NASCAR racing circuit, reportedly suffering from double pneumonia. In reality, the diagnosis was much more dire: he had AIDS. Richmond returned to the track in 1987, winning at Pocono in his comeback race, but he was gone from the sport by the next year as his health deteriorated. He spent his final days as a recluse, dying on August 13, 1989, at the age of 34.
The film takes viewers back to the time of Richmond’s illness and death, an era when AIDS created near-hysteria around the world, and those who had the disease were shunned. Former Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, speaks in the film about the time and Punch, a physician, relates that in the medical world, there was still much to be learned about AIDS. Select films from the series are available for purchase on iTunes the day following air. Additional films are available for purchase at www.amazon.com/30for30.(10-18-2010)
Kulwicki family's gifts gain recognition: Alan Kulwicki's family has been recognized through the NMPA's Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award for recent gifts to two universities. The family has committed nearly $1.9 million to support engineering education at UNC Charlotte through a trust fund established by the late driver's stepmother, Thelma H. Kulwicki. The money will support student scholarships and a new motorsports engineering facility on campus. The family of NASCAR’s 1992 Cup champion also contributed nearly $630,000 to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The gift will be used for scholarships and to help establish the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Student Center.
Also receiving fourth-quarter votes from members of the National Motorsports Press Association were Jeff Gordon, Sam Hornish Jr., and 11-year-old R.J. Fink of Ross County, Ohio, who donated his go-kart winnings to Denny Hamlin’s foundation. Charlotte Observer writer David Poole was recognized posthumously through the group's first-quarter vote. Jeff Kerr, a jackman at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, was honored in the second quarter. Tony Stewart was the third-quarter recipient.(Charlotte Observer)(12-16-2009)
Tim Richmond being honored UPDATE: On June 20th Mansfield Motorsports Park will host the inaugural running of the Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA-RE/MAX 200 celebrating the incredible on-track accomplishments of the late Tim Richmond, an Ashland, Ohio native who would have turned 54 June 7th. Like many aspiring stock car racers, Richmond’s racing resume included a stint in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, when, in only his career first Series start, he won the February, 1981 ARCA 200 at Daytona International Speedway. Richmond’s racing career began in 1976 when he turned some laps in a Sprint Car at Lakeville Speedway in Lakeville, Ohio. He went on to earn Rookie of the Year honors in the 1980 INDY 500 and later became one of the first drivers to successfully make the switch from open wheel racing to stock car competition. He posted 13 wins, 42 top-5s, 78 top-10s and 14 pole awards in just 185 career starts in NASCAR’s premier division, the Sprint Cup Series. There will also be a Team Transporter Parade Tribute to Richmond on June 19th.(6-19-2009)
RACE: From his high school graduation ceremony Friday night, to the winner's circle at Mansfield Motorsports Park Saturday night, 18-year-old Parker Kligerman padded his point lead with another convincing ARCA RE/MAX Series victory. With an exceptional and ultra-enthusiastic crowd on their feet, the Penske Racing development driver, in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, held off Joey Coulter during a green-white-checker finish to win the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA 200 presented by National Speed Sport News at the Mansfield, Ohio short track.(ARCARacing)(6-21-2009) Comment here
Daugherty Plans Tribute To Wendell Scott: Many NASCAR fans will realize a dream at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend when a cast of legendary drivers returns for the Saturday Night Special. For Brad Daugherty, the 15-lap celebrity event before the legends race will have special meaning. Daugherty will pay tribute to the first African-American driver to compete full-time in NASCAR’s premier series. Daugherty’s Late Model car will feature the #34, the former number of Wendell Scott. “Wendell is one of my heroes, and I wanted to honor him,” Daugherty said. A life-long race fan who grew up in rural North Carolina, Daugherty said he wishes more fans had a deeper appreciation for the contributions of Scott. “I don’t think people appreciate the tenacity that the guy had,’’ Daugherty said. “Wendell was treated almost sub-human at times, but he persevered and did what he wanted to do no matter the obstacle.”(Bristol Herald Courier)(3-20-2009)
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These are just a few images I came accross early in my Jayski.com career of fallen Racing Heros, drivers who have passed on to the race track in the sky. Most of these images have been sent or emailed to me.
New York Times:
Omission of a NASCAR Pioneer Stirs a Debate by Bruce Lambert (8-20-2009)
Great Scott: While the president and NASCAR celebrate stock-car racing, here's someone they might want to honor (8-23-2009)
Insider Racing News: Down Memory Lane ~ J. D. McDuffie by Patty Kay.(3-4-2004)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Honor stirs up fond memories of Kulwicki by Gary D'Amato (7-25-1999)
Fireball to be honored: Apopka [FL] will honor hometown hero and the late NASCAR star Glenn "Fireball" Roberts on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008. The fund-raising event, held at the suggestion of Roberts' daughter, Pam Roberts of Rockledge, will feature Roberts' famous #22 race car and Roberts memorabilia his daughter donated to the Museum of the Apopkans and other exhibits. Roberts, considered among the best drivers to ever race in NASCAR, was born in Tavares and moved to Apopka with his family before reaching school age. The family moved to Daytona Beach following his sophomore year at Apopka High.(Florida Today)(8-16-2008)
North Carolina to Honor Benny Parsons on Thursday, Oct. 11: Residents of North Carolina's Wilkes County will pay homage to their hometown hero, Benny Parsons, by naming a portion of U.S. Highway 421 in honor of the 1973 NASCAR champion. The "Benny Parsons Highway" will be unveiled during a dedication ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. The five-mile stretch of road runs from the Maple Springs community to the Watauga County Line. "Benny loved his hometown and moving back here meant everything to him. He would be overjoyed by this," said Terri Parsons, Benny's wife. North Carolina Governor Mike Easley is among those scheduled to participate in the dedication ceremony. The event will take place at Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge Wine Tasting Room and Racing Museum located at 4187 Highway 421 in North Wilkesboro, N.C. A reception will follow. The wine tasting room and museum is open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm. Wines may also be purchased online at www.rendezvousridge.com. Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge recently earned three bronze medals for its Chardonnay, Merlot and Cab Franc wines during the 2007 Mid Atlantic South Eastern Wine Competition.(PR)(10-9-2007)
Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge Opens: Monday, July 23, marked the grand opening of Benny Parsons Rendezvous Ridge Wine Tasting Room and Racing Museum located at 4187 Highway 421 in North Wilkesboro, N.C. The vineyard and wine tasting room were dreams of Benny Parsons and he was working diligently to bring them to fruition when he passed away in January. Parsons began working with wine maker, Mark Terry on his dream two years ago by leasing grapes from Windy Gap, Carnegie and Copeland vineyards. He enjoyed the task of picking each type of grape that he leased from neighboring North Carolina vineyards to start the production of his 2006 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and his personal favorite BP's Blush. Parsons also dreamed of moving back home and he began the construction of a new home that rests on Rendezvous Ridge surrounded by the vineyard that he created. "I can't believe this day is here, "stated Terri Parsons, the wife of Parsons. "We have all worked so hard to make sure that all of Benny's wishes for his wine and vineyard were carried out. I really wish he was here to enjoy it." Members of the Wilkesboro City Council visited on Wednesday, July 25 for a special ribbon cutting ceremony. The town of North Wilkesboro will also pay remembrance to Parsons on Thursday, October 11, by naming a five-mile portion of Highway 421, "Benny Parsons Highway". Fnas can visit the wine tasting room and museum Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. For those who can not make the trip to visit the Wilkesboro, NC, wines can be purchased on line at www.rendezvousridge.com.(7-26-2007)
'Fireball's' daughter wants to document 'Daddy's' life: Roberts Trivette wants to write a book to share her side of the story about the man whose friends knew as Glenn, his family knew as "Bubbie" and Daddy and the millions of old-time NASCAR fans knew as "Fireball."
"The title is 'Fireball Roberts, his Daughter's Story of his Career,' " Roberts Trivette said. "This is letting everyone know this is coming from me who lived it, who is living to tell it. Mother (Doris) told it in any interview she was ever asked to do, whether it be newspaper or television, and she did an awesome job with it because my mother dedicated her life to preserve his memory." Roberts, born in Tavares and raised in Apopka, earned his nickname not from racing but from his prowess as a pitcher on a local American Legion baseball team. He went on to become one of the sport's premier drivers, winning 33 races -- including the 1962 Daytona 500 -- before being fatally injured in a fiery wreck at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1964 when Pam was 13 years old.(Florida Today)(2-7-2007)
Sad News: Benny Parsons: Benny Parsons, 65, passed away today [Jan 16] at the Intensive Care Unit of the Carolinas Medial Center in Charlotte, NC. Parsons, who became a popular television and radio personality after retiring from driving in 1988, entered the hospital Dec. 26 as the result of complications stemming from his battle with lung cancer. The cancer was diagnosed earlier this year and was recently reported to be in full remission.
Survivors include his mother Hazel Parsons; wife Terri Parsons; sons Keith and Kevin Parsons; brothers Steve and Phil Parsons; sister Patty Severt; and granddaughters Emily and Libbie Parsons.(PRN/LMS PR)
See info about Benny's career and bios at BennyParsons.com, goPRN.com or rendezvousridge.com.(1-16-2007)
Benny Honored Friday: Benny Parsons was remembered by the NASCAR community Friday for everything from his gift of gab, voracious appetite, love of golf and skill on the race track. But more than anything, "Ol' BP" was remembered for being a friend to everyone in the racing community. "I've lost a buddy and it's hard to take," two-time NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett said in one of six eulogies given for Parsons. "But I know I'm not alone: Benny was everybody's buddy." Parsons, the 1973 Cup champion and an award-winning NASCAR broadcaster, died Tuesday from complications stemming from his brief battle with lung cancer. He was 65. NASCAR's past and present turned out to celebrate his life at the Grace Covenant Church, which hosted the ceremony dubbed "A Service of Victory." The eulogies - given by five of Parsons' broadcasting partners and childhood friend Tom Thornton - all touched on Parsons' love of food. His popularity as an announcer started during the popular "Buffet Benny" ESPN segment that he did about food available at race tracks. Parsons will be buried following a private family service Saturday in Millers Creek.(Associated Press)(1-20-2007)
Fans Honor Tim Richmond at Watkins Glen: Fans with an eye to the sky Sunday morning prior to the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen likely are going to see an unusual banner being towed by plane. The banner's message in the air above the road course in the mountains of New York state's Southern Tier won't be an advertisement for some company or product. Instead, it will read, "Tim Richmond We Miss You--Your Fans." The banner is the idea of Mark Weaver, who lives near the Glen, along with Walt and Brenda Wombough of Neptune, N.J., and other friends, all of whom remain fans of the driver who died of AIDS on Aug. 13, 1989. It's a play off the banner that Richmond had towed over Daytona International Speedway in February of 1988 after NASCAR officials barred him from competing in the Daytona 500, ostensibly because of a failed drug test. That banner read: "Fans I Miss You--Tim Richmond."
"We're doing this to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Tim's win at Watkins Glen on Aug. 10, 1986 when NASCAR brought its big-time series and drivers back to the track after an absence since 1965," Walt Wombough advised in an e-mail. "It's also 17 years to the day of Tim's passing.(ThatsRacin)(8-9/13-2006)
Underbird in Vegas: Alan’s UNDERBIRD has been moved from the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall Of Fame to The new Hooters Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.(2-15-2006)
Kulwicki Honored: Ten years after fate took away our reigning Winston Cup champion, Alan Kulwicki, the fans still remember with a passion that is addictive! A full house at the Greenfield Wisconsin Hooter’s Restaurant sure reminds us that as the time goes by the pain of loss might weaken, but thankfully the memories of his greatness grow! Even the folks that just stumbled across the festivities during their regular Hooter’s run got in the spirit! The evening started with one of Dennis Mielcarek’s AK videos, the interview Benny Parson did with Alan after his Championship. The second of Dennis Mielcarek’s memorable videotapes was a tribute to AK done by the local media in Milwaukee. Such great scenes of Alan doing things “His Way.” When Garth Brooks “The Dance” played along with the scenes of AK and his family it was a moving moment. A caravan of cars and trucks left for the cemetery for the candle light vigil. Many of the vehicles had “AK 7” all over them.(Full story at Frontstretch)(4-3-2003)
Kulwicki Elected to Hall of Fame: Lou Creekmur and Mike Ditka, both members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, were among three former athletes elected to the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in Orchard Lake. Also elected was the late stock-car driver Alan Kulwicki, the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion. Ditka was the top vote getter, receiving 290 on the 326 ballots cast. Creekmur was second with 191. Kulwicki was selected by the veterans committee. They will be honored at three events June 7-8. A testimonial dinner will be held at 6 p.m. June 7 at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy, with formal inductions ceremonies at noon the next day at Dombrowski Field House at St. Mary's College in Orchard Lake. The night of June 8, the inductees will be recognized at Polish-American Night before the Tigers-Brewers game at Comerica Park.(Detroit Free Press), note: this occured May 1st(5-27-2001)
Tim Richmond Wreath: Tim Richmond, voted one of NASCAR’s Fifty Greatest Drivers of all time, passed away at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla. on August 13, 1989. On Friday, August 13, 1999 a wreath will be placed in his honor at Providencia Park located just South of Good Samaritan on Flagler Drive. A small group of Internet race fans formulated the idea when they realized it would be too costly for all of them to gather for a formal Commemoration. So they decided to place a wreath and attach a booklet to it, resembling an Internet Message Board as it were. Much to their delight it has grown to well over 200 pages and encompasses writers from Canada, California and many of the States in-between. The wreath will be flanked by a sign which was hand painted by a Minor O. Rodeffer, from Mt. Crawford, VA. The book, which has spread into books, is begun with a prayer by Daniel J. Auppl of Minnesota and ended with a prayer by Hap Lewis of West Palm Beach. In between are poems, such as the one written by Rebecca Borelli for Filmar Racing and touching personal stories from fans who met Tim Richmond and from those who were touched by him. Don Spincken, of Amherst, NH, who spent many hours working on the project said, “after reading it, I have a tear in my eye and a smile on my face.” Herb Ballengee, who spent many hours at his computer said, “I never expected so many responses.” Amy Snodgrass of Ashland, Ohio, Tim’s hometown, hopes that West Palm Beach will be the inspiration to erect a permanent memorial in Ashland. Jayedda S. Marsh of Boynton Beach, FL will physically place the wreath. “I know that without the readership of the Internet sites, in particular, jayski.com; speedworld.net; racecomm.com and netpitpass.com the response would never have been so swift in such a short period of time. I think the re-run of Tim Richmond stories written by the well known novelist and motorsports writer Matt McLaughlin assisted in bringing such heartwarming stories to West Palm.”(8-12-1999)
JD McDuffie Honored: With the resignation of Dan Ford Jr. as a driver of his ARCA car, owner John Bailey faced the agonizing possibility of parking the car that he had built as a tribute to a late friend. But Bailey announced Thursday that the #70 Bailey Excavating/R.W. Mercer Co. machine that carries the same colors that it did when the company sponsored the late J.D. McDuffie, will run the remainder of the ARCA season in the hands of Jeff Finley. "We, more than anything, just want to win one for JD (McDuffie) and keep his memory alive," Bailey said. "He was a good friend of mine, a great man, full of guts and gusto, and someone I really admired."(SpeedVision - now Speed Channel) McDuffie started 653 Winston Cup races, as an independent owner driver, such as Dave Marcis is doing now. McDuffie was killed in 1991 in an accident at Watkins Glen.(8-4-2000)
Please DO NOT use any of these images without giving credit to the folks who sent them and to the Jayski site, Thanks
NOTE: this is MY drivers tribute, not looking to post other's people ideas for their past drivers or NON-NASCAR drivers..why no separate pages for Kulwicki or Allison? like with Petty, Earnhardt etc? Easy, they passed before I started the site [8/26/1996], the pages I have are mostly links and stories from when the driver passed away with some pics thrown in, more of an archive of their death then a tribute.
Born on Date: March 17, 1997