GREG SACKS - 11/3/1952 - is an American stock car driver who spent most of his career as a Research & Development driver for many NASCAR teams. He won the 1985 Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway acting as an R&D driver for DiGard Motorsports. Early in his racing career. Sacks was a successful driver in what is now the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series. Competing from 1980 to 1983. In 1983, he made his NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona in the #5 car owned sponsored by his father Arnie. He only completed nineteen laps until experiencing engine failure, finishing 38th out of 40 cars. In 1984, Sacks made a full attempt at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, once again in a car owned by his father, only now it ran as #51. Sacks made 29 out of the 30 races, finished 19th in points and runner-up to Rusty Wallace for the NASCAR Rookie of the Year award. After only four races in 1985 his father's team folded. Before the Firecracker 400, DiGard Motorsports asked Sacks to drive their R & D car. Sacks qualified ninth and defeated pole-sitter Bill Elliott to earn what so far has been his only NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory. The win was considered to be one of NASCAR's biggest upsets, as Sacks' car was only scheduled to run a certain set of laps before going behind the wall to make changes, but his car kept competing for the win, therefore DiGard decided to let Sacks race as normal. After DiGard's regular driver Bobby Allison quit the team days after the race, the team let Sacks finish the season in their regular car. The next year, Sacks found himself running a limited schedule as DiGard slowly went bankrupt. In 1990 Sacks was able to get a one-race deal with Hendrick once again at Darlington. This start is notable, as he was driving the #46 City Chevy Lumina. Footage from this race would appear in the movie Days of Thunder starring Tom Cruise. Four races later, Sacks was rewarded with a part-time ride at Hendrick, driving the #18 Slim Fast Chevrolet. After Darrell Waltrip was injured in a practice crash at Daytona, Sacks drove the #17 Tide car, earning a 2nd place finish at Michigan. In 1998, it looked like Sacks would finally find a steady ride, driving the #98 Thorn Apple Valley Ford for Cale Yarborough. However, on lap 136 of the Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Sacks lost control of his car and wrecked, suffering near-fatal injuries. He missed the rest of the season. He has only raced sproadically in the Nationwide and CUP series since. Sacks and his family, who own Grand Touring Vodka, sponsored JR Motorsports for the 2011 Nationwide Series season. For his career, Sacks ran in 263 CUP events with the one win mentioned above. He posted 3 top 5 finishes, and 20 top 10's. He raced for 18 years, but only competed full time three seasons.
ELLIOTT SADLER - 4/30/1975 - is an American stock car racing driver. Sadler began racing in go-karts at the age of seven, and moved up to the Late Model stock car division at the local race track. When he turned 18, he moved to the Winston Racing Series and ran full-time beginning in 1993. That same year, he achieved his first victory. In 1995, he was crowned track champion at South Boston Speedway, winning 13 races including a 6-race winning streak. Sadler moved up to the Cup Series full-time in 1999, driving the #21 Citgo Ford Taurus for Wood Brothers Racing. He finished 24th in points, and was runner-up to Tony Stewart for Rookie of the Year honors. In 2001, Motorcraft became Sadler's new sponsor and he won his first career Cup race at Bristol. In 2002, Sadler left for Robert Yates Racing to drive the #38 M&M's Ford. In his first season of competition with Yates, Sadler won the pole at Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway, and finished 22nd in points. In 2003, Sadler had a vicious crash at Talladega after near-contact with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and touched the right-front fender of Kurt Busch. Sadler's car flew into the air, flipped twice, landed on his roof, spun towards the banking, and flipped six times. Sadler emerged uninjured. Sadler started 2004 with a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500,and six races later won at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd career win,and also won at California Speedway, beating Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin. After failing to win in 2005 and 2006, Sadler left RYR midway through 2006 for Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Sadler had many ups and downs throughout the 2007 season. He struggled in 2008, garnering only 2 top fives, 8 top tens, and 16 top twenties. He had 4 DNFs and 12 finishes of 30th or worse. On December 27, 2008, it was reported that A.J. Allmendinger would replace Sadler in the #19 Best Buy Dodge for Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2009. Elliott threatened a lawsuit for breach of contract; however, the lawsuit was dropped after the GEM – Petty Enterprises merger and he returned to the ride for 2009. In 2010 Sadler returned to RPM and run the #19 Ford with Stanley Tools sponsorship. During the year however, Sadler announced that he will be leaving the #19 Ford after the 2010 season. Sadler also drove part-time for Kevin Harvick in the Camping World Truck series. Sadler won his first NASCAR race in 6 years at Pocono in the Pocono Mountains 125 in July. The next day Sadler was involved in a wreck where he hit the inside fence. The wreck was so horrific it threw the engine away from the car and caused the race to be red flagged for 25 minutes to clean up the wreck. He was taken to the medical facility where he later emerged and gave an interview to on hand media personnel. He said he was fine & was a little sore, but had the breath knocked out of him and had taken "the hardest hit of his career" at Pocono. On August 3, Elliott Sadler announced on NASCAR Now that NASCAR told him it was the hardest head-on crash ever recorded in NASCAR history. At the end of the 2010 season, Sadler lost his full time CUP ride. He was hired by Kevin Harvick Inc to drive full time in the Nationwide series. He finished second in the Nationwide series points in 2001 to Ricky Stenhouse. Again in 2012 he finished second to Stenhouse in the Nationwide series points chase. Starting in 2013, Sadler moved over to the Joe Gibbs race team for take another run at the Nationwide Championship.
HERMIE SADLER - 4/24/1969 - is an American race car driver/announcer and professional wrestling promoter from Emporia, Virginia. He is also an advocate for autism research, as his daughter Hailie Dru, was diagnosed with the disorder in 2001. Sadler has spent the majority of his race career competiting in the NASCAR Nationwide series. Sadler began racing in go-karts alongside younger brother Elliott in their hometown of Emporia. He then began running late models in Virginia. In 1992, Sadler made his debut in the NASCAR Busch Series at Orange County Speedway. Sadler made his CUP series debut in 1996 in the Miller 500 at Dover DE. He did not race in the CUP series again until 2001. He has ran 64 CUP events but has never driven for a well funded race team. Many times he has owned the car himself, and has always raced in selected events. He has a career best finish in his home state of Virgina at Richmond VA. It was in 2002 in the Pontiac Excitement 400. Sadler wheeled his Virginia Lottery Chevy to the 18th place finish, coming home one lap down. He has also ran in a hand full of Camping World Truck series races; posting a best finish of fifth at Martinsville VA. Sadler began running the Nationwide Series full-time in 1993. Sadler picked a win at Orange County Speedway, finished tenth in points, and was named Rookie of the Year. In 1994 Sadler once again won at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC. That season he also had six top 5 finishes, and finished fifth in points. From that point it has been a struggle for Sadler. Over the next ten race seasons; he raced full time just five of those years. Sadler has just posted eight top five finishes over the ten year span. Hermie is a frequent guest on the John Boy and Billy Big Show, a syndicated morning radio show in Charlotte, NC. On Tuesdays, he plays a prominent role in the NASCAR discussions. Currently Sadler is best know for being a full time race reporter on the SPEED Channel. He is a regular on the pre-race shows, and also is a pit road reporter.
TERRY SCHOONOVER - 12/26/1951 - 11/11/1984 - It had always been Schoonover's dream to run in the premier NASCAR circuit. Terry made his Winston Cup debut at Rockingham Speedway in 1984, driving his own #42 Chevrolet home to a 21st place finish after starting 39th. The next race, at Atlanta Motor Speedway; only the second of his career; Schoonover started 36th and was working his way through the field nicely. Schoonover was driving when on lap 129, he spun and struck a dirt bank on the inside of the back straightaway of the track. Schoonover did not survive the accident. He was 32 years old. His death marked the first fatality at the Atlanta track's existence, which opened in July of 1960. Info from Wikipedia Video from YouTube
KEN SCHRADER - 5/29/1955 - is a second-generation race car driver. He currently races on local dirt and asphalt tracks around the country while driving part-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He occasionally appeared as a television analyst on This Week in NASCAR on the Speed Channel. Schrader is also a reporter for ESPN's NASCAR Now. He is a first cousin once removed of fellow NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. Despite having a full-time NASCAR ride for over twenty years, Schrader frequently races at local tracks between NASCAR races. He races in many racing divisions, and has been successful in any division he has stepped into. He owns a dirt late model and dirt open wheel modified car. Both of these cars, along with his Camping World Truck Series and ARCA series cars, are sponsored by Federated Auto Parts. He owns I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri, and is co-owner of Macon Speedway, near Macon, Illinois, along with Kenny Wallace, Tony Stewart, and local Promoter Bob Sargent. Schrader generally races 100 or more races among many types of racing, including NASCAR's national and regional touring series, ARCA, short track, and dirt track. Ken Schrader began his racing career in Missouri. Schrader was the Sportsmens champ in 1971 at Lake Hill Speedway in Valley Park Mo. He then moved up to sprint cars in 1971, racing in various locations across the Midwest. In 1980 he started racing in USAC's stock car division, and was the series Rookie of the Year. Schrader made his NASCAR debut in 1984 in the Cup series, leasing out the #64 Ford normally owned/driven by Elmo Langley. He ran his first race at Nashville, qualifying 27th and finishing nineteenth in a 30-car field. In 1985, he signed to drive the #90 Ultra Seal Ford for Junie Donlavey full-time. He had three tenth-place finishes and finished 16th in points, winning Rookie of the Year honors. In 1988, Schrader moved over to the #25 Folgers Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. In his first race, he won the pole for the Daytona 500, beginning a three-year streak in which he won the pole for that race. After failing to qualify for the following race and purchasing a race car from Buddy Arrington, Schrader won his first career race at the Talladega DieHard 500, and finished fifth in the final standings. He won his second career Cup race the following season at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and finished fifth in the standings again. In 1991, he got his third win at the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500, and his final win to date at Dover International Speedway. In 1997, Schrader was hired to drive the #33 Skoal Bandit Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Andy Petree Racing. He had eight top-tens and won two poles, finishing tenth in the standings. During the 2001 Daytona 500, he was collected in a final-lap crash where Dale Earnhardt lost his life, the image of Schrader peering into Earnhardt's car, only to jump back and frantically signal for assistance, is etched into the minds of many racing fans; his interview with Jeanne Zelasko during Fox Sports' post race show was the first sign to many that something was terribly wrong with the seven-time Winston Cup Champion, as he appeared visibly shaken and, upon being asked if Earnhardt was okay, stated "I don't know, I'm not a doctor." In 2006, Schrader drove the #21 Little Debbie/Motorcraft/United States Air Force Ford for Wood Brothers Racing. In 2007, he ran a part-time schedule with the Wood Brothers, sharing the ride with rookie Jon Wood. After the team fell out of the top-35 in owner's points, Bill Elliott became their new driver until the team returned to the top 35. For his career Schrader has competed in 754 CUP events; claiming the four wins, and 64 top five finishes. He has finished in the top five in points on three occasions. He has ran in 116 Nationwide series events garnering two wins and 18 top five finishes. he has numerous wins in the USAC stock car and sprint car series, and also many wins in the midget series and championships.
WENDELL SCOTT - 8/29/1921 - 12/23/1990 - was an American stock car racing driver from Danville, Virginia. He is the only black driver to win a race in what is now the Sprint Cup Series. According to a 2008 biography of Scott, he broke the color barrier in Southern stock car racing on May 23, 1952, at the Danville Fairgrounds Speedway. Scott's career was repeatedly affected by racial prejudice and problems with top-level NASCAR officials. However, his determined struggle as an underdog won him thousands of white fans and many friends and admirers among his fellow racers. Scott was around thirty years old when he was sitting in the bleachers of local speedways, watching white men race. Up to then, he had lived his whole life under the rigid rules of segregation. The Danville races were run by the Dixie Circuit, one of several regional racing organizations that competed with NASCAR during that era. Danville's events always made less money than the Dixie Circuit's races at other tracks. "We were a tobacco and textile town -- people didn't have the money to spend," said Aubrey Ferrell, one of the organizers. The officials decided they would try an unusual, and unprecedented, promotional gimmick: They would recruit a Negro driver to compete against the "good ol' boys." To their credit, they wanted a fast black driver, not just a fall guy to look foolish. They asked the Danville police who the best Negro driver in town was. The police recommended the moonshine runner whom they had chased many times and caught only once. Scott brought one of his whiskey-running cars to the next race, and Southern stock car racing gained its first black driver. (Scott's debut often has been reported as taking place in the 1940s, but articles in two Danville newspapers, the Register and the Commercial Appeal, confirm the date as May 23, 1952.) Some spectators booed him, and his car broke down during the race. But Scott realized immediately that he wanted a career as a driver. "Right from the first, I loved driving that car in that race.". The next day, however, brought the first of many episodes of discrimination that would plague his racing career. Scott repaired his car and towed it to a NASCAR-sanctioned race in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. But the NASCAR officials refused to let him compete. Black drivers were not allowed, they said. This occurred many time with NASCAR sanctioned events. He ran as many as five events a week, mostly at Virginia tracks. Some spectators would shout racial slurs, but many others began rooting for him. Some prejudiced drivers would wreck him deliberately. Many other drivers, however, came to respect Scott. They saw his skills as a mechanic and driver, and they liked his quiet, uncomplaining manner. They saw him as someone similar to themselves, another hard-working blue-collar guy swept up in the adrenalin rush of racing, not somebody trying to make a racial point. Scott understood, though, that to rise in the sport, he somehow had to gain admission to the all-white ranks of NASCAR. He did not know NASCAR's celebrated founder and president, Bill France, who ran the organization like a czar. Instead, Scott found a way, essentially, to slip into NASCAR through a side door, without the knowledge or consent of anyone at NASCAR's Daytona Beach headquarters. He towed his race car to a local NASCAR event at the old Richmond Speedway, a quarter-mile dirt oval, and asked the steward, Mike Poston, to grant him a NASCAR license. Poston approved Scott's license. He asked Scott if he knew what he was getting into. "I told him we've never had any black drivers, and you're going to be knocked around," Poston said. "He said, 'I can take it.' Later he confided to Scott that officials at NASCAR headquarters had not been pleased with his decision. "He told me that when they found out at Daytona Beach that he had signed me up, they raised hell with him," Scott said. Scott met Bill France for the first time in April 1954. The night before, Scott said, the promoter at a NASCAR event in Raleigh, North Carolina, had given gas money to all of the white drivers who came to the track but refused to pay Scott anything. Scott said he approached France in the pits at the Lynchburg Speedway and told him what had happened. Even though France and the Raleigh promoter were friends, Scott said France immediately pulled some money out of his pocket and assured Scott that NASCAR would never treat him with prejudice. "He let me know my color didn't have anything to do with anything," Scott said. "He said, 'You're a NASCAR member, and as of now you will always be treated as a NASCAR member.' And instead of giving me fifteen dollars, he reached in his pocket and gave me thirty dollars." Scott won dozens of races during his nine years in regional-level competition. His driving talent, his skill as a mechanic and his hard work earned him the admiration of thousands of white fans and many of his fellow racers, despite the racial prejudice that was widespread during the 1950s. In 1959 he won two championships. NASCAR awarded him the championship title for drivers of sportsman-class stock cars in the state of Virginia, and he also won the track championship in the sportsman class at Richmond's Southside Speedway. In 1961, he moved up to Sprint Cup series. In the 1963 season, he finished 15th in points, and on December 1 of that year, driving a Chevrolet Bel Air purchased from Ned Jarrett, he won a race on the one-mile dirt track at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida -- the first (and, to date, only) Sprint CUP event won by an African-American. Scott passed Richard Petty, who was driving an ailing car, with 25 laps remaining for the win. Scott was not announced as the winner of the race at the time, presumably due to the racist culture of the time. Buck Baker, the second-place driver, was initially declared the winner, but race officials discovered two hours later that Scott had not only won, but was two laps in front of the rest of the field. NASCAR awarded Scott the win two years later, but his family never actually received the trophy he had earned till 2010--37 years after the race, and 20 years after Scott had died. He continued to be a competitive driver despite his low-budget operation through the rest of the 1960s. In 1964, Scott finished 12th in points despite missing several races. Over the next five years, Scott consistently finished in the top ten in the point standings. He finished 11th in points in 1965, was a career-high 6th in 1966. Scott was forced to retire due to injuries from a racing accident at Talladega, Alabama in 1973. He achieved one win and 147 top ten finishes in 495 career Grand National starts. Scott died on December 23, 1990 in Danville, Virginia, having suffered from spinal cancer. The film Greased Lightning, starring Richard Pryor as Scott, was loosely based on Scott's biography. In April 2012, Scott was nominated for inclusion in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
CARROLL SHELBY - 1/11/1923 - 5/10/2012 - was an American automotive designer, racing driver and entrepreneur. He was best known for his involvement with the AC Cobra and later the Mustang-based performance cars for Ford Motor Company known as Mustang Cobras which he had done since 1965. His company, Shelby American Inc., founded in 1962, currently sells modified Ford vehicles, as well as performance parts. Shelby suffered heart valve leakage problems by age 7 and spent most of his childhood in bed. By age 14, Shelby's health improved and he was subsequently declared to have "outgrown" his health problems. Shelby dealt with health issues throughout his life. He took nitroglycerine pills when he was racing because of his heart. He had a heart transplant in 1990 and a kidney transplant in 1996. Shelby died on May 10, 2012 at the age of 89. He had been suffering from a serious heart ailment for decades. Shelby honed his driving skills with his Willy's automobile while attending Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas, Texas). He graduated from Wilson in 1940. He was enrolled at The Georgia School of Technology in the Aeronautical Engineering program. However, because of the war Shelby did not go to school and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor and test pilot. He graduated with the rank of staff sergeant pilot. Starting out as an amateur, he initially raced a friend's MG TC. He soon became a driver for the Cad-Allard, Aston Martin, and Maserati teams during the 1950s. He set 16 U.S. and international speed records. Teamed with Roy Salvadori, and driving for Aston Martin, he won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. He competed in Formula One from 1958 to 1959, participating in a total of eight World Championship races and several non-championship races. After retiring from driving in October 1959 for health reasons, he opened a high-performance driving school and the Shelby-American company. He obtained a license to import the AC Cobra (often known in the USA as the Shelby Cobra,) a successful British Sports racing car manufactured by AC Motors of England, which AC had designed at Shelby's request by fitting a Ford V8 to their popular AC Ace sports car. Ford provided financial support for AC's Cobras from 1962 through 1965 and provided financial support for the Ford GTs, first with John Wyer's Ford Advanced Vehicles in 1963 and then with Shelby American from 1964 through 1967. In the intervening years, Shelby had a series of ventures start and stop relating to production of "completion" Cobras — cars that were allegedly built using "left over" parts and frames. In the 1960s, the FIA required entrants to produce at least 100 cars for homologated classes of racing. Shelby simply ordered an insufficient number of cars and skipped a large block of Vehicle Identification Numbers, to create the illusion the company had imported large numbers of cars. Decades later in the 1990s, Carroll alleged that he had found the "left over" frames, and began selling cars which were supposedly finally "completed". After it was discovered the cars were built from scratch in collaboration with McCluskey, Ltd., they were re-termed "continuation" Cobras. The cars are still built to this day, known as the current CSX4000 series of Cobras. A new contract between Ford Motor Company and Carroll Shelby signaled hope for Shelby products built under Ford. In 2004, a new Ford Shelby Cobra Concept was shown off at U.S. car shows. Built with a retro body mimicking the 1960s Cobras mixed with modern touches, it was based on the Ford GT chassis (reworked for front engine/rear wheel drive) powered with a 6.4 L V10 engine that produced 605 hp. A coupe version of the Shelby Cobra roadster was introduced the following year. The Ford Shelby GR-1 concept car of 2005. While sporting a completely modern design, it showed a nod to the 1960s Shelby Daytona. The GR-1, like the Cobra, is based on the GT's chassis. Press reviews for the GR-1 have been very positive; it gained cover spots in magazines such as the U.S.' Motor Trend and the UK's Car Magazine. In 2005, the Shelby GT500 was revealed at the New York International Auto Show, and became available in the summer of 2006 as part of the model year 2007 lineup. It is powered by a 5.4 Liter Modular V8, with four-valves-per-cylinder heads borrowed from the $150K Ford GT supercar, an Eaton M122 Roots-type supercharger and is rated by Ford at 500 hp and 480 ft·lbf (650 N·m) of torque. Shelby also worked with Dodge at the request of Chrysler Corporation chairman, Lee Iacocca. Iacocca had previously been responsible for bringing Shelby to the Ford Mustang. After almost a decade of tuning work, Shelby was brought on board as the "Performance Consultant" on the Dodge Viper Technical Policy Committee. Shelby was used for his wealth of experience to make the Viper as light and powerful as possible. The following cars were modified by Shelby, and bore his name, but still sold under the Dodge nameplate by Dodge: Dodge Shelby Charger; Dodge Daytona Turbo Z; Dodge Daytona Shelby Z; Dodge Spirtit; Shelby GLHS; Shelby Lancer; Shelby CSX, and many others. Shelby's Series 1 roadster used Oldsmobile's 4.0 L L47 Aurora V8, but was poorly supported by the ailing GM division. The Series 1 is the only car ever produced by Carroll Shelby from a clean sheet of paper, and built from the ground up. Carroll Shelby's name is associated with a popular chili fixings kit. The kit is mostly spices in several packets, all contained in a miniature brown paper bag. On the side of the bag is a story related by Shelby about his cooking chili during his racing days. On the front of the bag is a depiction of a big western black hat, a trademark piece of clothing for Shelby. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992. He will be inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame on March 2, 2013.
KIRK SHELMERDINE - 3/8/1958 - was a NASCAR driver and former championship-winning crew chief for the late Dale Earnhardt. He started running in the ARCA series in 1993 where he has three career wins. He has since run in all the top levels in NASCAR. Shelmerdine has run a total of two Craftsman Truck Series races with a best finish of 17th at Bristol in 1995. He has also run 12 Busch Series races with a best finish of 17th in 1994. Shelmerdine's Nextel Cup career actually started in 1981 in a race at College Station (Texas World Speedway, where owner/driver James Hylton brought out a 2nd car (#8) for Shelmerdine to drive. After two laps, he quit and finished 33rd of the 34 cars. He started his own Cup team in 2002 and ran races at Talladega, Loudon and Pocono, but he was primarily a "field filler" driver (a driver filling up otherwise empty spots in the field). 2004 was a breakout year for Shelmerdine, as he attempted all 36 races as an owner, 32 as a driver. As team owner he had other drivers fill in for him at selected tracks. 2005 was a step back. The team qualified for only three races. He started out 2006 on a better note. He was rolling his car on to his hauler after failing to qualify high enough in his qualifying race for the Daytona 500. A NASCAR official stopped him, and informed him that he qualified for his first Daytona 500 by gaining the final spot with his qualifying speed. He finished in 20th place on the lead lap, the best finish of his Cup career. His performance gained media attention as he said if he did not qualify, he'd sell his race team because he was extremely low on money. He was using a motor from Richard Childress. His tires had been donated by a family of Dale Earnhardt fans. He had no full-time pit crew. It was announced on August 26, 2010, that on September 14, 2010, the assets of Kirk Shelmerdine Racing were be sold at Public Auction at the team's basis in Welcome, North Carolina. Shelmerdine stated the reason for the closure is lack of sponsorship and technology provided for independent teams. Shelmerdine is best know for his abilities as a top notch crew chief. He was the crew chief for car owner Richard Childress, with Dale Earnhardt Sr as driver for 10 seasons, winning 44 times. His major wins included the 1986 and 1992 Coke 600's; 1987, 1989 and 1990 Southern 500's. He was the crew chief for Earnhardt when he won the CUP championships in 1985, 1986, 1990, and 1991.
MORGAN SHEPHERD - 10/12/1941 - is an American stock car racing driver. He currently competes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the No. 89 Shepherd Racing Ventures Chevrolet. He is a born again Christian who serves as a lay minister to the racing community. He has been competing in NASCAR for over 40 years and at age 71, has decided that (next year) 2013 will be his final year in the NASCAR series. He has competed in the CUP series for 27 years (stopping in 2006) and still currently races in the NASCAR Nationwide and ARCA race series. Shepherd became the second-oldest race winner (after Harry Gant) in 1993, when he won the spring race at Atlanta at the age of 51 years, 4 months, and 27 days. Shepherd's racing career began when he used his souped-up moonshine car to earn extra money on the weekends. He won 21 of 29 races to win the North Carolina title. In 1973, Shepherd finished second in the championship to Jack Ingram in NASCAR's Late Model Sportsman division, driving in 17 different cars. In 1980, he won the series title. He is also a well known roller skater, dancer, and car collector. Most races he drives a car with "Jesus" emblazened on the hood. Shepherd made his Sprint Cup debut in 1970 at Hickory Motor Speedway. He started tenth but finished nineteenth out of twenty-two cars due to rear end failure. He made two more starts that year, his best finish a fourteenth at Hickory. He did not race in Cup again until 1977. After running two races in 1978, Shepherd moved to the Cup Series full-time in 1981, driving the #5 Performance Connection Pontiac for Cliff Stewart. He won the pole in his first race at Richmond International Raceway, and also picked up his first career win at Martinsville Speedway. Shepherd was runner-up to Ron Bouchard for Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors. The following season, he moved over to the #98 Levi Garrett Buick. Shepherd began 1983 without a full-time ride, running the Richmond 400 with Wayne Beahr and the Virginia National Bank 500 with Emanuel Zervakis, before driving the #2 ACM Equipment Sales Buick for the rest of the season for Jim Stacy, his best finish being a second-place run at the Firecracker 400. For 1985, he drove for multiple Cup teams, the most of which for the #00 Helen Rae Special. After failing to finish all but two Nationwide races in 1985, Shepherd drove for Whitaker and himself the following season, winning a career high four Busch races during the season. In the Cup Series, he won his second career race driving the #47 Buick for Jack Beebe. The following season, he drove to the #26 Quaker State Buick for King Racing, winning the pole at Martinsville and finishing seventeenth in the standings. It was also the first time in his Cup career that he competed in every scheduled event. He won another three races in the Busch Series, including his only career road course win at Road Atlanta. In 1990, he scored a career high season-end ranking of fifth for Bud Moore Engineering in the #15 Motorcraft Ford Thunderbird. In addition, he picked up his third career win at the season-closing Atlanta Journal 500 driving for Bud Moore. After failing to win and dropping to twelfth the following season, Shepherd moved to the Wood Brothers Racing #21 Ford. He finished second in the 1992 Daytona 500 to Davey Allison with a margin of victory of 2 car lengths. In 1993 he won his final race at Atlanta in March 1993 while wheeling the Citgo Ford owned by the Wood Brothers. For the rest of the 1990's shepherd drove for many under-funded teams often failing to make the race field. Shepherd began 2000 in the Craftsman Truck Series driving the #7, finishing seventeenth at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but a lack of sponorship caused the deal to fall through. In 2001, Shepherd formed his own Truck team, Victory in Jesus Racing, and began campaigning the #21 Ford F-150 on a part-time basis. During this time, he served as his own one man pit crew during a truck race as he often climbed out of his truck to change his own tires and fill his own gas tank during pit stops. he was out of the CUP series for 2000 and 2001. he returned to the CUP series in 2002 in his #89 Red Line Oil Ford. from 2002 through 2006 he only attempted a hand full of race except for 2004 when he raced in 19 events. His best finish was 32nd in Martinsville. Since 2006 he has ran in the Nationwide series every season full time. Shepherd also operates his own charity, "The Morgan Shepherd Charitable Fund,", is an organization set up to assist the needy and handicapped in the Virginia Mountains. The Charity raises funds to support the PARC Workshop, an organization that provides handicapped adults job and daily living skills. Each year the group makes an annual trip in December to various places in the northeast. For his efforts, he was awarded the "Spirit Award" by the NMPA and Pocono Raceway in December 2005. Since 1976, Morgan Shepherd has been devoting to raising funds and gather donations to help those less fortunate, and using his racing to help his group get attention. Over 26 years, Morgan's efforts has materialized into a federally licensed 501C(3) charitable organization and an outstanding fun-filled event every December in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. For his race career Shepherd raced in 514 CUP events claimed the four wins mentioned above. He claimed 63 top five finishes. He ran 343 Nationwide races, and accumulated 15 wins.
MIKE SKINNER - 6/28/1957 - is an American stock car racing driver, who competes part time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series. Skinner began racing at Susanville Speedway in the 1970s in a Plymouth Road Runner at various California dirt tracks, winning three championships. He soon moved to North Carolina and worked as a crew member for Rusty Wallace and at Petty Enterprises. Skinner was selected by Richard Childress Racing to drive the #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet S-10 for the first Camping World Truck Series season. He won the first race in the series, and collected 7 more victories en route to winning the first championship in series history. In the 1997 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Skinner was promoted to full-time, driving the #31 with Lowe's sponsorship. He won poles at both of the season's races at Daytona International Speedway, and had 3 top-ten finishes. Despite failing to qualify for 1 race and a 30th place points finish, he won the Rookie of the Year award. In 1999 he won his only career race Nationwide series at Atlanta after being disqualified for a rules infraction, before NASCAR overturned its decision. Skinner signed on to drive the #4 Kodak Chevy for Morgan-McClure Motorsports in the 2002 NASCAR season. He only had one top-ten finish and finished 31st in points at season's end. He continued to struggle when the team switched to Pontiac in the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and after failing to qualify for the Sirius 400, he was released. He spent the majority of the rest of season running part-time in the Camping World Truck Series. He has saw most of his success since 2002 in the Camping World truck series. From 2003 through 2010 he campaigned full time, and claimed 12 checkered flags. He finished second in the points in 2007, and third in 2009. He is still making infrequent starts in the Cup series as of 2012.
JACK SMITH - 5/24/1924 - 10/17/2001 - was a pioneer NASCAR driver. He raced in the very first NASCAR race ever in 1949, and is a member of the NMPA Hall of Fame in Darlington, South Carolina. Jack Smith moved to Georgia when he was two years old. He worked at a service station in the 1940s near Roswell. He began racing against local bootleggers on rough dirt tracks and asphalt superspeedways, and across fields. He made his debut in NASCAR's first race in 1949 at the Charlotte Speedway and finished 13th. He is remembered for flipping his car five time and rolling into the parking lot at a 1958 race at Darlington. He won the NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award in 1959. He went to win 21 races over the next 14 years. He won the very first CUP race ever ran at Bristol (1961). His first win came at Martinsville in the 1956 Old Dominion 400. For the time, they had a huge field of 40 cars. smith would start 23rd, and drive a Dodge owned by Carl Kiekhaefer. It would be the only win Smith would claim not driving a car he owned. He died from congestive heart failure in 2001.
LARRY SMITH - 6/2/1942 - 8/12/1973 - was a NASCAR driver. He made his debut in the 1971 World 600 in the #92 Ford, finishing 22nd. He would go on to run three more races that year, acquiring one top-ten finish. In 1972, he was named the first NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, running 23 races and posting seven top-ten finishes. The next year, he finally acquired major sponsorship, from Carling Black Label. Unfortunately, he was struggling severely that year and was trying to turn things around. Later that year, while running the Talladega 500, Smith spun his 1971 Mercury on lap 14 and slapped the Turn 1 retaining wall. His car suffered minor damage, which the crew was preparing to repair. However during the ensuing caution flag, members of Smith's pit crew surprisingly discovered that the driver did not survive the impact of the crash. It is rumored, but not confirmed, that the head injuries that killed Smith came because he tore the inner-lining out of his helmet, which had been bothering him for some time. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Talladega Superspeedway infield hospital. No other drivers were involved in the crash. Smith raced in 38 CUP races in his career, with 9 top ten finishes.
LOUISE SMITH - 7/31/1916 - 3/4/2006 - was tied for the second woman to race in NASCAR at the top level. She was known as "the first lady of racing." She went as a spectator to her first NASCAR race at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1949. She could not stand watching the races, so she entered her family's shiny new Ford coupe in the race and rolled it. Her hometown Greenville, South Carolina paper featured photos of the wreck, and the town knew about it before she got home. The race was the first race to feature three female drivers. She raced from 1949 to 1952 running 11 events. Smith started 38th in the 45 car field, and had a career best finish of 16th at Langhorne speedway in PA. She won 38 races in her career in numerous formats: late models, modifieds (28 wins), midgets, and sportsman. She returned in 1971 as a car owner for numerous drivers. She sponsored Ronnie Thomas' Rookie of the Year attempt in 1978. She became the first woman inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1999. Smith died in 2006 from cancer.
REGAN SMITH - 9/23/1983 - is an American stock car racing driver. He currently drives the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports and a limited schedule in the Sprint Cup Series for Phoenix Racing in the No. 51 Chevrolet SS. Smith grew up in Cato, New York and began his racing career at the age of four, when he began racing go-karts and microds. Over the next several years, he won numerous regional and state championships. In 1995, he and his family moved to Mooresville, North Carolina to allow Smith to advance his career. Smith began his NASCAR career racing in the Camping World Truck Series in 2002. He made his debut at the age of 18 driving the No. 63 Ford F-150 for MB Motorsports at South Boston Speedway. He also made his Nationwide Series debut at Memphis Motorsports Park for Ed Whitaker, starting 16th but finishing 39th after a wreck. For 2003 - 2004 smith bounced around from team to team; all of them under-funded so he had problems producing good results. Smith began the 2005 season with Xpress Motorsports's No. 19 team, but lost the ride after sponsorship failed to materialize. At the end of the 2005 season, Smith signed on with Team Rensi Motorsports to run a full Busch season for 2006, with his best finish of 10th coming at Charlotte Speedway. Smith ended the season with one top 10 as well as a number of other strong finishes, and ended the season 20th overall in points. Towards the end of the season Smith tested for Ginn Racing at Kentucky, and signed a deal with them to run the full Busch season, and also 16 cup races which, would come in a car shared with Mark Martin for the 2007 season. Regan Smith made his Nextel Cup debut at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, finishing 25th in NASCAR's first Car of Tomorrow race. Regan made 6 starts in the No. 01 sharing ride with Mark Martin. Regan attempted to make the Daytona 500 but did not make the race. He was removed from the No. 01 on July 17, 2007 and moved to the No. 14 after the release of Sterling Marlin, but before the team could run a race Ginn Racing merged with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.. As a result the No. 14 team's owner points were transferred to DEI's No. 15 team and Smith was out of a ride for rest of the 2007 season. Smith returned to the No. 01 for 2008 as its sole driver, with Martin moving over to the #8. The team operated with little to no sponsorship but managed to stay in business the entire season. Smith lost out his first win at Talladega Superspeedway because on the final lap, in the tri-oval, he passed Tony Stewart and gotten first place, but however it was announced that Smith went below the yellow line when he made the pass. The victory was given to Stewart. Smith said that he was pushed down by Stewart, which was true, but NASCAR rule is you can not pass below the yellow line even if you are forced and his pleas were ignored. Smith won the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year award, beating out Sam Hornish, Jr.. He became the first rookie driver in Sprint Cup history to finish every race entered in his rookie season. On January 14, 2009 he signed with Furniture Row Racing to drive the No. 78 for its part-time 2009 slate of races. He made eighteen of twenty attempts with the team, and was hired to drive for the team full time in 2010, with the team being offered Richard Childress Racing chassis and Hendrick Motorsports engines. In 2010, he did not score any top tens, but still finished 28th in the point standings, his best of his career. At the 2011 Daytona 500, Smith returned to the 78 car. Smith finished seventh after crashing in the final laps while battling for the lead. Although disappointing, he was able to come back and finish 7th in the first top 10 finish of his Cup series career and for Furniture Row Racing. On May 7, 2011 at the Showtime 500 at Darlington Speedway, Smith won his first Sprint Cup race, holding off Carl Edwards at the end. On a late caution, Smith stayed out on older tires while Edwards and most of the lead lap cars pitted for fresh right side tires. Smith fended off Edwards for two restarts to claim the first cup win of his career at Darlington Raceway. At the 2011 Brickyard 400, Smith had enough fuel to end with a solid 3rd place finish by passing Jamie McMurray on the last lap, for his second Top 5 of 2011. His former teammate Paul Menard ended up winning the race. It was announced on September 24, 2012 that Smith will not be returning to Furniture Row Racing for the 2013 season. He is to be replaced by Kurt Busch. In his last start for FRR, in the fall race at Talladega, Smith had a fifth place finish. For 2013, Smith will return full time to the Nationwide Series, driving the No. 7 for JR Motorsports; he will also run selected CUP events.
TOM SNEVA - 6/1/1948 - is a former Indy Car driver and occasional NASCAR racer, who was named to the prestigious Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2005. Sneva is best remembered for winning the 1983 Indianapolis 500. Nicknamed "The Gas Man". Sneva's unique abilities to get the most out of his car also led to him winning two consecutive USAC National Championships for Indycars in 1977 and 1978. Sneva was born in Spokane, Washington, and worked as a school principal before becoming an auto racer. His brother, driver Jerry Sneva, also competed at Indy. Sneva had a brief NASCAR career running in eight CUP events. His best finish was in the Daytona 500 where he finished seventh. Other than one race at Richmond, all of his races were run on the super speedways of Daytona, Altanta, Charlotte, and Michigan. He is most known for his success in the USAC/CART Indy series. On May 14, 1977, Sneva drove his famed Norton Spirit McLaren M24/Cosworth racer for car owner Roger Penske, becoming the first driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 at a speed more than 200 mph. On May 12, 1984, Sneva became the first driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 over 210 mph. Sneva's career at the Indianapolis 500 was known for fast qualifying, second place finishes, near misses and several crashes. Three times (1977, 1978, 1980) Sneva ended up the bridesmaid by finishing second. Finally, Sneva broke through in dramatic fashion in 1983 after a thrilling late race duel with Al Unser, Sr. and the lapped car of Unser's rookie son, Al Jr. It was Sneva's 1983 win in his Texaco Star March 83C/Cosworth for Bignotti-Cotter Racing that led to his nickname of "The Gas Man." That win was also famous for it being the last of George Bignotti's record seven Indianapolis 500 wins as a chief mechanic. Sneva's second-place finish in 1980 is notable as it is one of only two occasions of such a finish by a driver starting last. It is also the only time the driver who started last (33rd) led laps during the race. It was this series of near misses combined with second place finishes and hard charging qualifying and racing style that made Sneva a fan favorite at Indianapolis. He suffered one of the most famous crashes at Indianapolis during the 1975 race. After touching wheels with Eldon Rasmussen, Sneva flipped up into the catch fence and tore his car in half. Sneva would walk away with only minor burns. After Sneva's Indy victory in 1983, he has a dubious distinction of never finishing the race again. He dropped out of the race in 1984-1990, failed to qualify in 1991, and dropped out of the 1992 race as well. Some observers have attributed his decline in success to the switch to radial tires (the series transitioned to radials over a period from 1985–1987). His driving style was more apropos to bias ply tires. Sneva retired after the 1992 race with 13 career Indy car wins and 14 pole positions. After Sneva retired from driving, he was a color commentator for ABC television network's Wide World of Sports program and called several Indy 500s.
REED SORENSON - 2/5/1986 - is an American NASCAR driver on the Nationwide series. Sorenson's career started at age six when he began racing quarter-midgets. He won the national championship in 1997. He moved up to Legends cars the following year, winning 13 out of 25 races, southeastern championships and breaking track records in the process. In 2004, he won his first ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway, in the #77 Sherwin Williams Dodge. He finished in the top-five in all three of his ARCA starts Sorenson also ran in 5 NASCAR Busch Series events for Chip Ganassi Racing, and had 3 top ten finishes, and a top 5, which was a 4th place finish at Homestead. Sorenson was named the full-time driver of the #41 Discount Tire Company Dodge Intrepid for Ganassi for 2005 NASCAR Busch Series, competing for Rookie of the Year. He won his first Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, winning by more than 14 seconds after starting on the pole and leading 197 out of 225 laps. Towards the end of the season, he was signed to move up to Sprint Cup to drive the #41 Target car full-time. He made his Sprint Cup debut in the 2005 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. 2006 brought on Sorenson's first season as a Sprint Cup regular, along with running a full-time driver in the Nationwide Series. His best finish in the 2006 Sprint Cup season was a 5th place effort at Michigan International Speedway, and he ended the season with five top-ten finishes. He finished 24th in the 2006 points Sprint Cup standings and was fourth in the 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year contest with 198 points finishing behind Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., and Clint Bowyer. Sorenson started the 2008 season off with a 5th place finish in the Daytona 500. On August 26, 2008, it was announced that the 2008 season was to be Sorenson's last season with Ganassi, after signing a multi-year contract with Gillett Evernham Motorsports to start the 2009 season. On January 8, 2009 Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Holdings announced in principle to form a new NASCAR Sprint Cup team that would be co-owned by Richard Petty. The new car number was the #43 and driven by Sorenson. Through Sorenson's 2009 season, he has struggled at many of the intermediate and road courses, and has excelled at flat tracks like Phoenix International Raceway and Martinsville. On September 10, 2009, Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing announced that they planned to merge in 2010, and Sorenson was not to be retained as part of the merger. From 2010 to 2012 Sorensono has been pretty much relegated to racing in the Nationwide series, but does have an occasionaly CUP start. Sorenson pilots the #32 Toyota Camry Braun Racing in a part-time schedule consisting of 23 Nationwide races for 2010, and in mid-January, Braun Racing announced that Reed will drive a part-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. At the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Sorenson drove the #83 car to an eighth place finish. It was the first top 10 for the team since Vickers was sidelined. Prior to the 2011 season, Braun Racing was acquired by Turner Motorsports and the team switched manufacturers from Toyota to Chevrolet. Sorenson remained with the team to run full-time for the Nationwide Series championship. He won his first road course race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in his first attempt at the track. This was his first win of any level in the sport since 2007. On October 4, Turner Motorsports announced that Sorenson would no longer be driving the #32 Dollar General Chevy, and Brian Vickers would be assuming the driving duties immediately. Turner Motorsports gave no reason for the switch; and Sorenson was third in points at the time. Turner did acknowledge that Dollar General would not sponsor their car after 2011. Sorenson managed to pick up a last-minute ride with MacDonald Motorsports to drive their #82 car for the remainder of the year. He ended up up finishing fifth in the points. In 2012, Sorenson drove the No. 52 Chevrolet for Jimmy Means in the season-opening Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway, finishing 34th. He only participated in six Nationwide events in 2012, but he did run 19 CUP events mostly for start-n-park teams. In February 2013, it was announced that Sorenson would drive full-time in the Nationwide Series in the No. 40 Chevrolet for The Motorsports Group.
GOBER SOSEBEE - 10/15/1915 - 11/11/1996 - was an American race car driver. He won on the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1949, 1950 and 1951. He was born in Dawson County, Georgia, and began his career in 1940 at Atlanta's Lakewood Speedway. He raced all over the US and drove any type of car that would put on a show for the fans. In the early days he drove modified Fords, but as the modified era began to fade, he drove everything from Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Studebaker, Plymouths and Chevrolets. If it would run, he would drive it into the ground or blow it sky high, usually running sideways through the turns. He traveled anyplace where he could race. Sosebee also liked to tell how he made NASCAR re-write their rule book, one year, after a sports car beach race. Seems back then the gas tank was kept inside the cock pit where it was safe from rear end damage. Well, a lot of the races run back then were short enough to not need refueling during the race. But Gober, the "Wild Indian" had a plan if he should come in need of re-fueling. His first opportunity for his brilliant idea for a pit stop came during a sports car race at Daytona Beach. As he pulled to a quick stop in his pit a crew member jumped into the car with a 5 gallon can of gas. After a brief 2 or 3 second stop he was off, with crew member aboard. The crew member fueled the car on the go and remained in the car until the finish. The 3 second stop was enough to give Gober the win but within seconds NASCAR was talking "disqualification". They claimed that having the crew member aboard was a violation and they were taking his win away. But Old Gober was ready for them and immediately stated that there was no rule against a second man on board. NASCAR read, searched and reread their rules before finally deciding that there was no rule against a 2nd man in the car. The "disqualification" talk quickly ended and Sosebee took home the trophy. The following year there was an addition to the rule book: "No car shall carry more than one person at any time during a race, practice, or warm-up." Sosebee also won two Sprint Cup Series races, one in 1952 and another in 1954. He also had 4 pole positions (including his first NASCAR race at Daytona Beach) and 33 top 10 finishes during his Cup career, and also ran five races in the NASCAR Convertible Division with one top five finish. In all he competed in 71 CUP events, over nine years. He was know as the "Wild Injun" mostly because of his hard charging driving style, and often carried a logo of a indian head dress on his race car. His son, David Sosebee, was also a NASCAR driver.
LAKE SPEED - 1/17/1948 - Lake was named after the best friend of his father, Bob Lake. Lake's father Leland L. Speed took office as the Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi in 1948, the same year that he was born. He started his racing career at the age of thirteen racing karts, much to the displeasure of his family. Over the years, Speed won the International Karting Federation (IKF) National Championship six times and in 1978 he won the prestigious Karting World Championship over among others, future Formula One legend and icon Ayrton Senna. As of 2012, Speed is the only American to win the championship. In 1980 after considering racing in other series such as Formula One, CART, and IMSA, and getting advice from current Lowe's Motor Speedway promoter, Humpy Wheeler, Speed chose to go NASCAR racing. According to Speed, "It was the highest mountain to climb." Speed's relative unfamiliarity with the NASCAR scene led him to buy his first car from someone in Chicago. Speed started nineteen races in his rookie year scoring an eighth at Darlington Speedway in his third career start. Speed finished twenty-second in overall points and second to Jody Ridley in the rookie of the year standings. In 1981, Speed again ran his own operation starting twenty-seven of the thirty-one races on the schedule. 1982 was Speed's first full year of competition on the Sprint Cup circuit. The season was a struggle with Speed not obtaining a top ten finish until the eleventh race, and finishing twentieth in points. 1983 was a year of major change for Lake Speed. He was now driving for an established owner in Hoss Ellington, however on a limited schedule. The team showed promise early in the season scoring a fourth at Rockingham and a sixth at Darlington. It was at Talladega where Speed's life took a major change. Towards the race's end, Speed was leading the field with a chance to win his first Cup race. He was beaten at the end by Richard Petty and Benny Parsons. After the race, Speed decided to change his life and become a devout Christian on August 28. 1985 was Lake Speed's breakout season in NASCAR. Running a full schedule under the RahMoc Racing banner, Speed started off the season with a second-place finish to Bill Elliott in the Daytona 500. CBS' pit reporter Mike Joy conducted an interview with Speed after the race, during which the emotional driver repeatedly thanked God for the successful showing. After an engine problem at Atlanta, Speed scored a string of strong runs: seventh at Bristol, ninth at Darlington, ninth at North Wilkesboro, eighth at Martinsville and tenth at Talladega. Speed then finished sixth in the World 600. The stretch run of the season took its toll on the team and Speed's position in the points, notching a tenth-place finish. Speed started off the 1986 season with a tenth in the Daytona 500 and a tenth at Rockingham but after the fourth race of the season, he was ousted from the ride. 1987 was a building year in many ways. With sponsorship from Wynn's Car Care Products, Kmart and Delco Battery, Speed built an entirely new race team with himself as the owner and veteran crew chief Darrell Bryant helping him build the operation. The purple and white Oldsmobile donned the number 83, in honor of the year Lake became a born-again Christian. Backed that up with a third-place finish in the World 600. Speed's other two top ten finishes were at the same tracks, seventh places at both Talladega and Charlotte. The team's strong 1987 performances proved to not be a fluke in 1988. With strong support from the Hoosier tire company, Speed ran strong in the Daytona 500 before dropping out due to an engine failure. The next race at Richmond, Speed ran up front leading sixty-seven laps but finishing sixth. The following race at Rockingham, Speed again showed power leading fifty-one laps finishing second to Neil Bonnett. Speed's day in the sun would come March 27 at Darlington in the TranSouth 500. After starting the race eighth, Speed methodically moved his way to the front before eventually taking the lead and running away with the show. Leading 178 of the 367 laps, Speed beat Alan Kulwicki by half a straightaway to secure his first and only NASCAR Winston Cup win. In 1990, Speed started only six races with Prestone sponsorship, finishing two of them. The best finish of Lake's abbreviated 1990 season came at Talladega's Die Hard 500 with an eleventh place effort. After driving his own car during a handful of races in the 1993 season's first half, Speed was called to drive for Robert Yates Racing, filling in following Davey Allison's death. Speed qualified fourth at Watkins Glen International. He followed that up with a second place start at Michigan and a seventh place finish. After Bristol, Speed was replaced by Ernie Irvan. It was two races later at Dover where Speed found another ride, this time replacing Geoff Bodine who had departed from Bud Moore's Ford to drive his own team which he purchased following Alan Kulwicki's death. Speed moved over to Harry Melling's team for the 1995 season and resurrected the organization. The normally red and white Melling car now was embazoned with Spam sponsorship and blue and yellow colors. Lake had two top ten runs, at Charlotte in the Coca Cola 600 and at Darlington in the Southern 500. After the University of Nebraska backed out on their sponsorship, Speed and Melling ran a limited 1997 season. 1998 would be Lake Speed's final Winston Cup season. Speed secured sponsorship from the Cartoon Network. Speed's best finish of the season was at Daytona in the Daytona 500 where he tangled with John Andretti with two laps to go bringing out the yellow flag that effectively won the race for Dale Earnhardt. At Sears Point Raceway, he was strong during the first practice session with the second fastest speed behind Jeff Gordon. In the second practice session, Speed ran over debris thrown on the track by a car who had got off course, cut a tire and slammed into one of the tire barriers breaking his sternum. Speed missed the event and was replaced by Butch Gilliland, but he returned to the next race at New Hampshire. Unfortunately, Speed was caught up in a wreck not of his own making and aggravated his injury. After the race, Speed felt it best for the team to find another driver. Speed stepped aside and was replaced by Jerry Nadeau. so Speed effectively retired from NASCAR racing at this time. For his career Speed made 402 CUP starts. He had 75 top ten finishes and had a best finish of tenth in the CUP points in 1985. He also ran in six Nationwide races with best finishes of second and third.
SCOTT SPEED - 6/24/1983 - is an American race car driver who has competed in most of the major forms of auto racing; (NASCAR; Indy car; F1; etc). Speed's career started at the age of 10 in karting, his stint there lasting from 1993 until 2001. He moved up to Formula series in 2001, competing in US Formula Russell and becoming champion. He drove in both the US Barber Formula Dodge and US Star Mazda Series followed in 2002, although he failed to win either title, and in 2003 the American drove for the ADR team in British Formula Three after winning the Red Bull Driver Search program. 2004 saw two championship titles for Speed, though, with him first winning in Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup and later German Formula Renault. In 2005 at the Canadian Grand Prix, Speed took part as a test driver for Red Bull Racing; becoming the first American driver to participate in a Formula One event since Michael Andretti's 1993 stint. He was also the test driver at the United States Grand Prix. In his debut race at the Bahrain Grand Prix, he finished 13th. A week later at the Malaysian Grand Prix he retired after 41 laps due to a clutch failure. From this point through 2007 Speed had mixed results in his F1 career due mostly to accidents or equipment failure. On 31 July 2007 Speed was released from his contract at Scuderia Toro Rosso and replaced by BMW Sauber test driver Sebastian Vettel, who was under contract to Red Bull's driver development program. Nevertheless, Speed's relationship with Red Bull as a whole remained good, and he secured a Red Bull-backed drive in the U.S. for 2008. Speed made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 7, 2008 driving for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports #46 Chevy with Red Bull sponsorship. He recorded his first career Top 10 finish in NASCAR in just his second race. On April 25, 2008 he won his first ARCA race at Kansas Speedway in just his fourth start. On April 26, 2008; Speed recorded a back-to-back top ten finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and won his first career race the following week at Dover. On Sunday October 19, 2008, Scott Speed started his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway finishing in 30th place. He finished the season in the #84 Red Bull Toyota Camry for the Red Bull Racing Team. Red Bull Racing's #82 finished 36th in the 2009 owner's points standings. On November 26, 2010, Speed was released from his contract at Red Bull Racing to make room for the returning Brian Vickers who underwent heart surgery in June 2010. Speed's best finish with Red Bull Racing was fifth at Talladega on April 26, 2009. Speed was without a ride for most of the 2011 season; he drove for Whitney Motorsports for a number of races at the end of the year. In 2012, he ran a limited schedule for Leavine Family Racing; it was announced in August that he would return to the team for 2013 to run the majority of the season.
GC SPENCER - 7/9/1925 - 9/20/2007 - was a NASCAR driver from Owensboro, KY; who competed in 415 Sprint Cup Series races from 1958 to 1977. Despite never winning a race, he had 55 top-5 finishes and 138 top tens, including 7 second place finishes. he was a dominant short-track racer in the 1940s and 1950s. He served in World War II with the U.S. Navy. Spencer drove for his own independent team for most of his career, and was one of the most successful independents of the day. His best season came in 1965, when he finished fourth in points with 14 top-5 finishes and 25 top-10s and his only career pole. He also ran in eight NASCAR Convertible series races, with a best finish of fourth. Although he drove GM and Chrysler cars for most of his career, he drove Fords in 1965, where he found most of his success. He sold his team and equipment in 1983, and his #49 became the #4 of Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Spencer acted as the team manager to the team for its first three years. He died in 2007 at the age of 82.
JIMMY SPENCER - 2/15/1957 - is a former NASCAR driver. During his days racing Modifieds, he was nicknamed "Mr. Excitement", for his aggressive racing style. Spencer is one of the few drivers to have won a race in all three of NASCAR's top series: Sprint Cup, the Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Jimmy Spencer followed his father, Ed Spencer Sr. (Fast Eddie), in racing. Spencer started in Late Models in Pennsylvania. He captured his first racing win in the Late Model division at Port Royal Speedway in 1976. He moved to NASCAR Modifieds at Shangri-La Speedway (Owego, New York), then branched out to bigger events throughout the Northeast. In 1984, Spencer was one of the top contenders for NASCAR's National Modified Championship, at a time when all sanctioned races counted toward that title; after running over sixty races, he was second to Richie Evans in the final standings. When NASCAR changed the National Modified Championship into the smaller-schedule Winston Modified Tour (now Whelen Modified Tour) in 1985, Spencer continued to run, and won the title in 1986 and 1987. Spencer debuted in the Busch Series in 1985, finishing 19th at North Carolina Motor Speedway in the #67 Pontiac for Frank Cicci Racing, which was also his Modified team. In 1989, he moved to the Winston Cup Series, driving the #88 Crisco Pontiac for Buddy Baker's team in 17 of the 29 races. He posted three top-tens and finished 34th in points. He then ran full-time in 1990, finishing in the top-ten twice for Rod Osterlund Racing. During the season, he posted two top-tens in the #57 Heinz Pontiac and finished 24th in points. In 1991, Spencer moved to the #98 Banquet Frozen Foods Chevrolet for Travis Carter Motorsports. He began 1992 with Carter, but moved down to the Busch Series to drive the #20 Daily's 1st Ade Oldsmobile for Dick Moroso after Carter's team folded early in the season. He responded with wins at Myrtle Beach Speedway and Orange County Speedway. Late in the 1992 season, Spencer joined Bobby Allison Motorsports' Cup team and posted three top-fives in the last four races of the season. He signed to drive Allison's #12 Meineke Ford Thunderbird full-time in 1993, and finished in the top-five five times, resulting in a career-best fifteenth-place in the final standings. In 1994, he drove the #27 McDonald's Ford for Junior Johnson and claimed his only two career Cup race wins, at Daytona and Talladega. In the 1994 Pepsi 400, Spencer won his first career Cup race despite leading only one lap. In 1995, Spencer left to reunite with Travis Carter, who was now fielding the #23 Smokin' Joe's Ford. In 1998, Winston/No Bull became his team's new primary sponsor and he was eleventh in points when he suffered injuries at the Brickyard 400, forcing him to sit out the next two races to recover and fall to fourteenth in points. For the 2002 season, Spencer would join Chip Ganassi Racing and drive the #41 Target Dodge Intrepid. He began the season by failing to qualify for the Daytona 500, then had a streak of four top-five qualifying efforts, including at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he started fourth and was leading the race when he was bumped by Kurt Busch to win, starting a long rivalry between the two. Spencer joined Ultra Motorsports in 2003, piloting the #7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge. After some on-track incidents with Kurt Busch, Spencer confronted Busch after the GFS Marketplace 400 while Busch was still in his car. He was suspended for the next week's race, the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway while Busch was placed on probation. He began 2004 with Ultra's Cup team at the Daytona 500, but when the team closed down due to a lack of sponsorship, he replaced Kevin Lepage at Morgan-McClure Motorsports, which had also been running unsponsored. Spencer's best finish that season had been 13th, when on October 25, he was arrested after trying to interfere with the police, who had a warrant to arrest his son for vandalism. The incident cost Spencer his job at Morgan-McClure, and he sat out the rest of 2004. Spencer returned to the #2 Ultra truck in 2005. While he failed to win a race, he had nine top-ten finishes and finished twelfth in points. He did come close to a victory, however, in the season opener at Daytona. He held the lead late in the race and held off 2004 series champion Bobby Hamilton until just before the caution came out on the last lap. Assuming he was in the lead when NASCAR froze the field, he completed the caution lap then pulled into victory lane, only to be told by an official that, in fact, he had finished second. Spencer began working full-time on SPEED. He had run both Cup races at Pocono Raceway for Furniture Row Racing in 2006, finishing 32nd and 36th, respectively. Spencer then worked full-time as an analyst for SPEED TV and was the host of his own show What's The Deal?, along with Ray Dunlap in 2010. The show was cancelled the same year. His segments on the Tuesday & Thursday editions of NASCAR Race Hub are done from the studio of that show. From 2010, to present, Spencer talks about the NASCAR highlights while he often sobs with his sag called ``The Crying Towel`` for which driver gets the crying towel and the fake cigar if they complain about something that cannot be punishable.
JACK SPRAGUE - 8/8/1964 - was a NASCAR driver. Sprague has finished in the top-ten in the points standings almost every year he has raced in the truck series, and won three championships in 1997, 1999, and 2001 while driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Sprague made his Busch Series debut in 1989 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driving the #78 Griffin Racing Chevrolet, he qualified 28th but finished 41st after suffering engine failure early in the race. After a 40th-place finish at the Goody's 300 for Pucci & Associaties, Sprague moved up to drive the #34 Keystone Beer car for Frank Cicci Racing in 1990. He competed in nineteen races and had a best finish of sixth at Orange County Speedway. In 1993, Sprague signed to drive the #74 BACE Motorsports car. Despite four top-ten finishes, he was released with just a handful of races left in the year. He finished nineteenth in points. Sprague began racing in the Trucks' first year of competition in 1995. He began the season in the #31 Chevrolet Silverado for Griffin Racing, winning the pole at Lousiville Speedway. After the Action Packed Racing Cards 150, Sprague switched to the #25 Budweiser Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. He ended the season with a pole at Phoenix International Raceway, and had three fourth-place finishes. In 1996, he slid over to the #24 Quaker State truck owned by Hendrick, winning his first race at Phoenix, followed up by back-to-back victories at Nazareth Speedway and The Milwaukee Mile. With five wins total and two poles, Sprague lost the championship by 53 points. That season, he made his Sprint Cup debut, running a pair of races in the #52 Pedigree Petfoods Pontiac Grand Prix for Ken Schrader. The following season, Sprague won at Phoenix, Nazareth, and Nashville Speedway USA, and won the championship. In addition, he returned to the Cup series, subbing for Ricky Craven at Bristol Motor Speedway, but finished 40th after a wreck. Despite winning the Truck Series championship, Quaker State did not return as Sprague's primary sponsor, forcing him to start the 1998 unsponsored. After a one-race deal with Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce at Portland Speedway, Sprague won The No Fear Challenge in his debut for sponsor GMAC, allowing them to join full-time as sponsor. He won five races total that season and finished second in points. In 1999, Sprague won three races as well as the Craftsman Truck Series championship by eight points. He also drove at Watkins Glen in a Terry Labonte-owned car, finishing twelfth, and attempted the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 for Tyler Jet Motorsports, but failed to qualify. He won three more times in 2000, but crashes caused him to drop to fifth in the standings. In 2001, NetZero became his primary sponsor, and he won seven poles and four races, and took home his third championship trophy. After 2001, Sprague and teammate Ricky Hendrick moved back to the Busch Series, with Sprague driving the #24 NetZero Chevy. He won his first career Busch race at Nashville Superspeedway as well as leading the points during the season, before finishing fifth in the final standings. Sprague took over the 16 Xpress truck full-time in 2004, winning six poles and the UAW/GM Ohio 250. He finished seventh in points. The following season, he won at Texas Motor Speedway, but late in the season, was released in favor of Mike Bliss and took over at newly formed Wyler Racing for Chad Chaffin. Despite switching teams mid-season, he finished eighth in points. Sprague finished the 2006 season fifth in points with two wins and two poles. He returned to the Con-Way Freight Tundra for the 2007 season. Sprague started the 2007 season in the Craftsman Truck Series with a win in the Chevy Silverado HD 250 at the Daytona International Speedway. However, Sprague began to struggle throughout the year, even dropping out of the top 10 in points. Sprague has not raced in any type of major NASCAR event since the end of 2008. For his career Sprague ran in 24 CUP events with a best career finish of 14 (that came in the 2003 Daytona 500). He posted one Nationwide Series win, and in the Truck series he posted 32 poles, and 28 wins along with his three Championships.
GWYN STALEY - 7/6/1927 - 3/23/1958 - was a NASCAR Sprint CUP driver from Burlington, NC. As a CUP driver, Staley had three wins in addition to 23 finishes in the top 5 and 41 finishes in the top 10. He ran in 69 CUP events. Out of 10218 laps, Gwyn officially led 299 laps and accumulated a grand total of $23,284 in his seven-year career. Notable appearances for Gwyn Staley have been at Hickory Motor Speedway (where he won the first race ever held there) and Langhorne Speedway (where he won a race in 1957 using a Chevrolet Bel Air. Gwyn won three races driving the Julian Petty prepared 1957 Chevy Bel Air. The first win was on August 26, 1957 at the Coastal Speedway in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was a 200-lap race and he lapped the field. The second win came a few weeks later on September the 5th. It was at the New York State Fairgrounds and once again he had lapped the field driving the Petty prepared 1957 Chevy. His third and last win came on September the 15th in the same car at the Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania. He had the field lapped twice this time. North Wilkesboro Speedway named the race after him during the early 1970s. His greatest successes came at road courses where his average finishes would be in ninth place. Staley also competed in the NASCAR series Convertible series. He ran 47 events and won twice. in three years. In 1957 Staley finished seventh in the Convertible series points standings. Staley perished in a first lap crash at the Rickmond Fairgrounds Raceway on March 23. 1958.
RICKY STENHOUSE JR - 10/2/1987 - is an American racing driver in NASCAR. He is a rookie competitor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, driving the #17 Best Buy / Zest / Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Stenhouse was the 2010 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, and won back-to-back Nationwide Series championships in 2011 and 2012. Stenhouse began his major-league stock car racing career in the ARCA Racing Series in 2008, driving for Roush Fenway Racing. On May 10, 2008, in only his sixth race in a stock car, Stenhouse, Jr. won his first ARCA RE/MAX Series event at the Kentucky 150 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. He had two wins in 21 races and finished fourth in the season ranking as a rookie. For 2009, he began competing in partial schedule in the Nationwide Series at events that conflicted with the Sprint Cup schedule. He had his first Top 10 finish at Kentucky Speedway when he finished ninth. At the following race in Milwaukee, he led 46 laps in the later stages of the race and finished fifth. 2010 was an up and down year for Stenhouse. After crashing out of four out of the first ten races of the season, Stenhouse was replaced by Brian Ickler for three races and Billy Johnson drove at Watkins Glen. After taking on veteran Mike Kelly as crew chief, Stenhouse immediately responded with a third place finish at Daytona. He proceeded to take seven top tens. Stenhouse took the ROTY award after a fourth place finish at Homestead. On May 22, 2011, Stenhouse held off charges from Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski for the final 18 laps to claim his first win in the John Deere Dealers 250 at Iowa Speedway, his 51st start in the Nationwide Series. Stenhouse made his Sprint Cup Series debut at the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 substituting for fellow Roush teammate Trevor Bayne. Ricky finished 11th in the Wood Brothers Racing entry. Stenhouse took his second Nationwide win at Iowa in August, again holding off teammate Carl Edwards, but in a more bizarre fashion as Stenhouse's engine blew coming off of turn 4. Edwards subsequently rear ended his teammate, pushing him across the line to the win. At the end of the 2011 season, having scored sixteen top-five finishes, Stenhouse won the Nationwide Series championship by 45 points over Elliot Sadler. As 2012 kicked off he finished 3rd at Phoenix, while a week after that Stenhouse won his first race of 2012 at Las Vegas, winning the Sam's Town 300, holding off Mark Martin to take the checkered flag. He would also win races at Texas Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway before suffering a run of bad luck starting at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stenhouse would score 3 more victories at Atlanta, Charlotte, and Kansas. He once again held off Sadler to take his second consecutive Nationwide Series championship. On June 26, 2012, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Stenhouse will drive the No. 17 car in the Sprint Cup Series full-time for 2013, replacing Matt Kenseth. Trevor Bayne is expected to replace Stenhouse in the Nationwide No. 6 car for 2013.
TONY STEWART - 5/20/1971 - is an American auto racing driver, businessman and team owner. Throughout his racing career, Stewart has won titles in Indy cars and stock cars as well as midget, sprint and USAC Silver Crown cars. Stewart currently owns and drives the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for his own team, Stewart-Haas Racing under crew chief Steve Addington. From 1999 until 2008, he drove the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car, under crew chief Greg Zipadelli, with The Home Depot as the primary sponsor. His ten-year tenure with the same team, sponsor, and crew chief is a NASCAR record. Stewart is also the only driver to win both the Winston Cup under the old points system and the Nextel Cup under the chase playoff format, winning those championships in 2002 and 2005 respectively. In 2011, Stewart became the first owner-driver since Alan Kulwicki to win the Cup Series championship, which ended Jimmie Johnson's streak of consecutive championships at five. He is the only driver to win the NASCAR championship under three different sponsorship titles Winston in 2002, Nextel in 2005, and Sprint in 2011 as well as being the only driver in history to win a championship in both IndyCar and NASCAR. He is also the first driver in Cup to win the championship by virtue of a tie breaker (number of wins during the season is the first level tie breaker, Stewart had 5 while eventual runner up Carl Edwards had one. Stewart was born in Columbus, Indiana, on May 20, 1971. during his youth. He grew up racing go karts and was successful very early, winning a World Karting Association championship in 1987. He moved up to the United Midget Racing Association (UMRA) where he raced TQ (three quarter) midgets until 1991, when he again moved up this time to the United States Auto Club (USAC) series with help from one of his karting sponsors and friend Mark Dismore. Stewart was the USAC Rookie of the Year in 1991, fifth in 1993 after winning the Hut Hundred, and was the National Midget series champion in 1994. In 1995, Stewart became the first driver to win USAC's version of the Triple Crown, earning championships in all three of USAC's major divisions, National Midget, Sprint, and Silver Crown. His winning the Hut Hundred and 4-Crown Nationals were the highlights of the year. When he was not racing IndyCars, he raced stock cars. In 1996, Stewart made his NASCAR Busch Series debut, driving for car owner Harry Rainer. In nine races, he had a best finish of 16th place. He had more success in a one-time ride in the Craftsman Truck Series with Mueller Brothers racing, where he finished 10th. In 1997 he struggled to finish. He failed to finish the first three races of a ten race schedule, but recovered to come in second at Phoenix. At that year's Indy 500, Stewart's car was good enough to enable him to win his first IRL race, leading 64 laps. However, he trailed off near the end of the race and settled for 5th place. He finally got his first career win at Pikes Peak, where he led all but seven laps of a 200 lap race. He became the leading contender for the series' championship after a bad slump knocked points leader Davey Hamilton out of first place. Despite an average end to his season, finishing 7th, 14th, and 11th, and five DNFs, Stewart did just enough to beat Hamilton for the IRL title. As he had done the previous year, he raced a handful of Busch Series races in 1998. This time, he was racing for Joe Gibbs, NFL Hall of Fame head coach of the Washington Redskins who was having major success with driver Bobby Labonte in Winston Cup. When Stewart was able to finish races, he finished in the top 10, and had a 3rd place finish at Charlotte. Stewart so impressed Gibbs that he was signed to drive the majority of the Busch schedule in 1998 to go along with a full-time IRL schedule. The double duty did not affect his performance in either series. In the IRL, he won twice and finished 3rd in the championship. On the Busch side, he finished in the top-five five times in 22 starts. He came close to winning his first Busch Series race at Rockingham, but was beaten on a last lap pass by Matt Kenseth. Gibbs had enough confidence in Stewart that he was moved into Cup for the 1999 season. With that move, Stewart ended his three-year career as a full-time IRL driver. Stewart started his Winston Cup career in 1999 with a bang, as he qualified his No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac in second place in the Daytona 500. He showed courage in one of the Gatorade Twin 125 races, when involved in a battle with Dale Earnhardt for the win. Earnhardt came out on top, but Stewart had nonetheless impressed quite a few people with his performance. In the 500, Stewart ran near the front until problems with the car relegated him to a 28th place finish. Stewart spent most of his rookie season wowing people, as his car was often in the top 5. He won a pair of pole positions at short tracks, and set a series record for wins by a rookie with three: Richmond, Phoenix and Homestead. (Stewart's record would hold until 2002, when Jimmie Johnson tied the feat by winning three times; Carl Edwards won four times in his first full Cup season but was not regarded as a rookie by NASCAR standards.) He finished his first year an unprecedented 4th in points, the highest points finish by a rookie in the modern era (which held until 2006 when his then-teammate Denny Hamlin finished 3rd), and only bested by James Hylton, who finished 2nd as a first-timer in 1966. Not surprisingly, he ran away with the Winston Cup Rookie of the Year award. Stewart showed no signs of a sophomore slump in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, winning six races at Martinsville, New Hampshire, Michigan, Homestead and two at Dover. He finished sixth in the points however. Stewart's 2001 season got off to a frightening start at the Daytona 500, when he was caught up in an 18 car crash on lap 173 on the back straightaway. Stewart was transported to Halifax Medical Center afterwards complaining of discomfort in his shoulder. Stewart's crash, as violent as it was, was greatly overshadowed when Dale Earnhardt was killed in a crash on the last lap of the same race. Stewart recovered to win three more races at Richmond, Infineon and Bristol, and, as he'd done before, ran near the front most of the season. Statistically, he had a worse season than 2000, but he was the runner-up to Gordon in the final points standings. For the second time he ran "The Double" on Memorial Day Weekend, in spite of a 17 minute rain delay at Indianapolis. He finished 6th in the Indianapolis 500 and 3rd in the Coca-Cola 600, running all 1,100 miles of the two races. In 2002, he went on a hot streak in the final races, finishing consistently in the top five. At the end of the year, Stewart held off a charging Mark Martin to win his first Winston Cup championship. In November 2004, Stewart became the owner of one of the most legendary short tracks in America, Eldora Speedway. Located in New Weston, Ohio, Eldora is a half-mile dirt track known to many as "Auto Racing's Showcase Since 1954." Stewart began racing there in 1991 and continues racing in special events alongside other Sprint Cup drivers and dirt track legends. 2005 was one of Stewart's most successful years in the Cup. He won five races, at Infineon, Daytona, New Hampshire, Watkins Glen and the Allstate 400 at his hometown track, a race that Stewart said he would give up his championship to win, and took with it the No. 1 seed heading into NASCAR's Chase for the Cup 10-race playoff. Following his second win of the season, Stewart began climbing the fence separating the fans from the race track after each victory, borrowing IndyCar Series driver Hélio Castroneves' trademark move. After winning the 2009 All-Star race Stewart was quoted as saying "I'm too damn fat to be climbing fences," and recently purchased $17,000 worth of exercise equipment to remedy the problem. It also led to sponsor Home Depot cashing in on Stewart's success with some promotions reminiscent of Stewart's Eldora Speedway drivers. After his second full climb of the fence in Loudon, N.H., they ran a discount on ladders and fencing at the stores with a campaign named, "Hey Tony, we've got ladders", where anyone who presented the advertisement in national newspapers in their stores earned the discount. After his victory in Indianapolis, Home Depot presented fans who presented the advertisement of his Allstate 400 win with a discount on purchasing bricks. He mentioned in a press release from his sponsor, "I plan to keep winning races and helping to drive down the cost of home improvement for The Home Depot customers." On November 20, Stewart won his second NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship, joining Jeff Gordon as the only active, full-time drivers at the time to have won multiple championships. Jimmie Johnson afterward did so from 2006–2010. His 2007 racing season started out with Stewart winning his second Chili Bowl Nationals midget car feature. In his first Car of Tomorrow race with the Impala SS, Stewart was dominant at Bristol, leading 257 of 504 laps (green-white-checker finish), before he experienced a fuel pump problem. At the third Car of Tomorrow race at Phoenix, Stewart lead a race high 154 laps, but a late race caution moved Stewart to second, where he finished behind Jeff Gordon. In the following week, Stewart implied the cautions were "bogus" and that NASCAR is rigged like professional wrestling. On July 8, 2008, it was reported that Stewart was released from the last year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, primarily because JGR had switched from Chevrolet to Toyota. Stewart was vocal about his loyalty to Chevrolet (which sponsors his USAC Midget, Sprint Car, and Silver Crown teams), and would move to Haas CNC Racing to drive a Haas Chevrolet, with sponsorship from Office Depot (relocating from the No. 99 Roush Fenway team) and Old Spice. Stewart took half ownership of the team which was renamed Stewart-Haas Racing, and Stewart became the highest paid NASCAR driver. Stewart's car at Haas has the number 14 as homage to his hero A.J. Foyt. To date, he is the most successful driver for Joe Gibbs Racing with 33 wins and two championships (2002 and 2005). In 2009, Stewart won his first race as a driver/owner in the non-championship NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race XXV, winning more than $1,000,000, his first win in the event in 10 attempts. He followed that victory with his first points race win as a driver/owner at Pocono in the Pocono 500 on June 7, 2009, the first owner-driver in the Cup series to win a race since Ricky Rudd in 1998. Stewart won two races in 2010, the Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 5 and the Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club Speedway on October 10. In 2011, Stewart returned in the No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet. Stewart and his teammate, Ryan Newman, started the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 first and second, and they finished it where they started as Newman won that race. By the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400, Stewart said in a post-race interview that his team was running so poorly that he was "wasting one of those top 12 spots." Entering the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup portion of the schedule winless, Stewart won the opening race of the Chase at the Chicagoland Speedway and jumped up seven spots in the points, securing second place and extending his streak of consecutive years with a win to 13. Stewart made it two for two in the Chase after Clint Bowyer ran out of fuel in the closing laps of the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Stewart took the win and the points lead after New Hampshire. At Talladega, Stewart struggled to lead a lap, and eventually did so; with assistance from Ryan Newman, Paul Menard, and Joey Logano, he led an additional 29 laps and captured the two-point bonus for leading the most laps. On October 30, at Martinsville Speedway, Stewart won the Tums Fast Relief 500, leading three times for 14 laps and moving into championship contention in second place in the points standings. The next week, Stewart led 173 laps en route to winning the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, bringing him to within three points of championship points leader Carl Edwards with two races to go in the 2011 season. On November 20, 2011, Stewart won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship by winning the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway while Edwards finished second. Stewart and Edwards were tied on total points, but Stewart claimed the tiebreaker by having five race wins to Edwards's one. In the process, Stewart became the first driver/owner to win the championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. Before the season Stewart welcomed new drivers retired Indycar driver Danica Patrick and driver David Reutimann to drive partly for Stewart-Haas Racing as part of a partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing who provided parts of the cars. Stewart would finish ninth in points, with two top fives and four top tens in the Chase, for a final season total of three wins, 12 top five and 16 top ten finishes overall. In early 2013, reports said that Stewart was offered a chance by Roger Penske to race in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 in a Penske car. Stewart declined and said he was not ready to try the big race yet, due to his focus in stock cars. Stewart frequently makes appearances on dirt tracks, appearing regularly at an ARCA race on dirt and at many prominent midget car events, USAC's Turkey Night Grand Prix, and the indoor Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Stewart also races on rare occasions in the World of Outlaws Series and on July 27, 2011, Stewart won his first ever World of Outlaws race at Ohsweken Speedway. Stewart told NASCAR.com of his nickname: "I wasn't very good about not slipping the right-rear tire, initially. So it started as 'Smoker,' then it got shortened to 'Smoke.' Then when I got in the Indy Racing League it was 'Smoke' because one of the guys on the crew who was my roommate, and knew the nickname, carried it over to the IndyCar team. But then when I started blowing engines, 'Smoke' really stuck. I've had it ever since." During his NASCAR career, Stewart once was told by No. 20 team owner Joe Gibbs that he could no longer compete in races outside of his Sprint Cup obligations. Stewart worked around this by entering a USAC National Midget race under the pseudonym "Smoke Johnson" with the crowd at the track none the wiser. After winning the feature, "Smoke Johnson" got out of his car and revealed himself to the crowd under his real name. He also once entered himself in a race, driving the infamous "Munchkin" midget chassis, as "Mikey Fedorcak Jr." after buying the Munchkin from Mike Fedorcak during a card game. Stewart owns a dirt late model Chevrolet Impala that carries No. 14 which he races frequently. Stewart has also won a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Championship as an owner with Donny Schatz in 2008. The team is now a 2 car operation with Schatz and Steve Kinser. Stewart is also the driving force behind the Sprint Sponsored "Prelude to the Dream" which features drivers from various sports driving late model dirt cars at Eldora Speedway. Since 2005 the "Dream" has showcased a who's who in NASCAR and NHRA, featuring such drivers as Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Pedregon and others. The inaugural race was won by Kenny Wallace, followed by Carl Edwards in 2006. As of late the race has been nicknamed "The Smoke Show" due to Stewart winning back to back to back since 2007. The events have raised over 4 million dollars for various NASCAR and driver charities including The Victory Junction Gang Camp. Stewart purchased Eldora Speedway located near Rossburg, Ohio in late 2004 from Earl Baltes. Stewart is currently a co-owner of Paducah International Raceway near Paducah, Kentucky. He also co-owns Macon Speedway in Macon, Illinois along with Kenny Schrader, Kenny Wallace and Bob Sargent. Stewart ran in the Indy 500 five times with a best finish of fifth. In the IRL series he raced 26 times, and won three times. As of the end of 2012 Stewart had competed in 500 CUP events, won 47 times, had three CUP championships, and almost 110 million dollars in earnings. In addition he has ran 94 Nationwide races with 11 wins, and raced in 6 Camping World Truck series events claiming two victories
RAMO STOTT - April 6, 1934 - is a retired American stock car driver from Keokuk, Iowa. He competed in NASCAR Winston Cup, USAC stock car, and ARCA. He was the ARCA champion in 1970 and 1971. He competed in USAC's Stock Car division, finishing second in 1973, 1976, 1977, first in 1975, and third in 1974. His greatest NASCAR accomplishment was starting from the pole for the 1976 Daytona 500. He was awarded the pole after the front-row starters, Darrell Waltrip and A.J. Foyt were disqualified for illegal engines. He raced part-time in 35 starts between 1967 to 1977. His highest career finish was second at Talladega. Stott never ran many CUP races, but he was always competitive. In 35 starts he had 17 top 10 finishes, and five top fives.