There are only so many weekends in a calendar year, and COVID-19 has tossed an Ozark into the cesspool in 2020. The various racing sanctioning bodies are doing their damnedest to reschedule their events and sometimes those schedules are going to overlap. Still, I found it a bit disheartening that NASCAR scheduled not one but …
Seems like we’ve always had rivalries in motorsports. Even drag racing had Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney. They were big rivals, but drag racers don’t rub fenders all that often. At least not on purpose. I’m not going to go back into the history of NASCAR racing and dredge up any of those old tales. Everybody’s heard most …
Did You Notice? That during Jimmie Johnson’s marathon “Fix It” job inside the Cup garage Sunday, it was not just his own team but crew members from one of his main championship rivals helping out? Mechanics from both Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 and, yes, Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 were among Hendrick’s King’s Horses and …
This list of drivers I never saw but wish I had is about as unscientific as you’re going to get. I’ve not restricted myself at all in terms of criteria, and in a couple of cases, I quote from sources that know much more than I. Where relevant, I’ve explained my reasoning, so you know I’m just not pulling these things right out of thin air. Some choices are obvious and others may surprise you; so if you think I’m missing someone, write in and tell me why.
Curtis Turner started out driving well before he was old enough to get a driver’s license. He hailed from the area of Bent Mountain, Va., and as with many who lived in remote regions of the South during this era, Turner worked to export the local product: moonshine. He became as big of a legend running illegal liquor as he did on the track. His ability to outrun Federal agents as well as local law enforcement earned Turner respect for his skill behind the wheel and unlike his counterpart Junior Johnson, Turner was never apprehended by the police. He ran his first race in 1946 in Mt. Airy, N.C. He finished last in a field of 18. In his next start, he won, beginning a legend as the best driver ever to race on dirt.
Benny Parsons was born in Ellerbe, N.C., on July 12th, 1941 – a small town just north of Rockingham. After growing up in the South throughout his childhood, Parsons actually made his first career choice around a profession that had nothing to do with racing – but driving an automobile nonetheless. Making a move up north to Detroit in 1960, Parsons relocated to where his father ran a taxi cab garage. That’s where the youngster spent the remainder of his young adult years… learning how to drive not through the local dirt track, but by dropping passenger after passenger off at their destination as a cab driver.
For Dale Earnhardt fans, the 1986 Daytona 500 is one of the “big ones that got away.” Earnhardt had a strong week, but the bad luck at Daytona he shared with Darrell Waltrip and Buddy Baker reared its ugly head again. After the way he had dominated the ’85 Daytona 500, Bill Elliott was a heavy favorite that year. He didn’t disappoint anyone on pole day either, claiming the pole for the race at over 205 mph for the second year in a row. “Hoo-Ray” hollered the Elliott fans.
The Grand National Circuit, in the process of becoming Winston Cup, was very different than it had been when the drivers and teams had been there in 1970. The Factory Wars were over: Ford had announced it would not run any factory teams in 1971, and Chrysler was supporting only two cars, Richard Petty in a Plymouth and Buddy Baker in a Petty Enterprises Dodge.
The date was October 21st, 1973, and the Winston Cup teams were in Rockingham, N.C. for the final event of the season, the American 500. Going into the race Benny Parsons had what most people thought was a comfortable lead in the Winston Cup title chase, but because of a bizarre points system, one of several fumbled attempts by NASCAR in the ’70s, no one was quite sure what he needed to do to take the title.
The NASCAR community suffered a second heartbreaking loss with the death of 65-year-old former champion and award-winning broadcaster Benny Parsons after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Parsons’ death early Tuesday comes just a little over a week of the news that veteran NASCAR driver and former Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton Sr. had succumbed to head and neck cancer.