DUANE C "PANCHO" CARTER - 6/11/1950 - nicknamed "Pancho", is a retired American race car driver. He is most famous for his participation in Indy Car races. He won the pole position for the 1985 Indianapolis 500, and won the 1981 Michigan 500. He is the son of Indycar racer Duane Carter. He was born while his parents were on the way to a race at the Milwaukee Mile. His father's nickname was "Pappy". Pappy referred to his wife's pregnancy as "little paunch," so they nicknamed the child Pancho. Carter is the half-brother of Johnny Parsons. His full brother, Dana Carter, also raced in USAC midgets, sprints and Silver Crown. He
won the 1974 and 1976 national USAC sprint car championships. He was the first driver to win the two USAC championships – midgets and sprint cars. He has wins in three USAC divisions – midgets, sprints and Silver Crown (formerly known as Dirt Cars). He drove his first Indianapolis 500 in 1974. He finished seventh, and was awarded the Rookie of the Year. On May 30, 1977, Carter won two USAC Midget features, one USAC sprint feature and finished second in the second USAC sprint feature at Salem Speedway on a day the temperatures were near 100 degrees. This was one day after he finished 15th in the Indianapolis 500. Pancho was seriously injured during a testing crash at Phoenix International Speedway in November 1977. The injuries left him with a permanent disability in one of his legs that hampered his ability to perform well on road courses. He still ran very well on ovals. He made his return to
racing at the end of March in 1978, winning a USAC Sprint race at the paved five-eighths mile Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday night and at the high-banked half-mile Winchester, Ind., Speedway the next day – his first races back in the cockpit of a racecar. He drove his first Indianapolis 500 in 1974. He finished seventh, and was awarded the Rookie of the Year. In 1981 he finished third in the CART championship and captured his only Indy Car win at Michigan International Speedway. He finished third in the 1982 Indianapolis 500 behind the now-famous duel between Gordon Johncock and Rick Mears. In 1985, Carter drove the brand new Buick V6 engine to the pole position of the 1985 Indianapolis 500. He retired with mechanical problems after completing just six laps, becoming the first pole-sitter since Cliff Woodbury to finish dead-last. His last year as a full-time Indy Car driver was 1990 and his
last appearance in an Indy Car was failing to qualify for the 1994 Indianapolis 500. From 1985–1995 Pancho ran 14 NASCAR Cup Series races for multiple owners. His first start was at Darlington Raceway in 1985, which was the Southern 500. The race was best known for Bill Elliott locking up the Winston Million, Carter finished in 22nd. Carter began the 1986 season driving for Elmo Langley; at the 1986 Daytona 500, he and Kyle Petty were involved in a turn one accident, thus winding up in 34th place. After three races with Langley's team, he moved to driving for Roger Hamby, driving the KCareThunderbird, competing in six more races that year; he posted his best career NASCAR finish with Hamby, a seventeenth-place finish at the Michigan International Speedway. In 1990, he competed at Atlanta Motor Speedway, driving for Paul Romine; he drove for Donlavey Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1992,
drove for Donlavey Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1992, and his final two races in Cup competition came for Triad Motorsports at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1994, where he tied his career-best finish, and Pocono Raceway in 1995. For his career he made 14 NASCAR Cup starts. He also made two Truck Series starts, with a best finish of 16th at Portland.
LANDON CASSILL - 7/7/1989 - - Cassill was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and began racing on a quad when he was 3 years old. Cassill moved to go-karts. He finished second in the Pro Kart Tour at Atlanta Motor Speedway at age 10. The following year, he earned his first of two Kart Series national championships. In 2000, Cassill competed in three different classes: two karting and a midget class. He won all three state championships on the same night. At age 16, he became the youngest winner in ASA Late Model Series history when he won at Lake Erie Speedway on June 9, 2006; holding the record until Erik Jones surpassed him at age 14 in 2010. In 2006, Cassill was introduced to NASCAR through the GM Racing Development competition. He was one of 16 drivers that participated in the three-stage evaluation process that took place at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, North Carolina, North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth, Georgia, and Nashville Superspeedway. Cassill was signed by Hendrick Motorsports in December 2006. In 2007, Cassill
tested the team's Car of Tomorrow car at Lakeland Speedway and Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Along with his driving duties, Cassill has worked in the team's research and development program and drove during practices for the Hendrick pit crews. Cassill made his Xfinity Series debut at Gateway International Speedway in July 2007 after turning 18, as NASCAR requires national series drivers to be at least 18 years of age (regional series drivers can be 16). Cassill finished 32nd in his debut. In 2008, Cassill drove the No. 5 National Guard Chevrolet in 16
Xfinity series races for JR Motorsports and the No. 4 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet in the 3 road course races. In 2008; he drove the #81 Go Daddy Chevy owned by NFL Player Randy Moss. In 2010, he drove the No. 98 truck for Thorsport Racing in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona, but was caught in an accident on the first lap of the race. He made 6 starts in the Xfinity series: 3 in the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports and 3 in the No. 09 Ford for RAB Racing. Cassill made his Cup Series debut at Michigan; driving for veteran team owner James Finch.
He finished 38th in his Cup debut. He ran 15 other races that year for Finch, TRG Motorsports, and Larry Gunselman. Cassill started out the 2011 season with a 3rd-place finish in the opening Xfinity series race: the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona. It would be his lone Xfinity start of the year. He drove in 3 Cup races for Germain Racing before moving over to Phoenix Racing to wheel the #51 Thank A Teach sponsored car. Cassill competed in 32 of the 36 races that year, with his best effort in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan, where he started and finished 12th. After the end of the season, he was replaced for 2012 in the Phoenix Racing No. 51 by Kurt Busch. Cassill would drive the No. 83 in 2012, driving for a new team,
BK Racing, that purchased the assets and owners' points of the former Red Bull Racing Team. Cassill would go on to finish 31st in season points. On January 17, 2013, it was announced that Cassill would leave BK Racing due to contract disagreements. In late February, he joined Circle Sport, driving the team's No. 33 in the Sprint Cup Series for the remainder of the season. In December, it was announced that Cassill would return full time to the No. 4 Chevrolet in the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series
for JD Motorsports, replacing Mike Wallace as the team's lead driver, in addition to returning to the No. 40 Chevrolet for Circle Sport full time in the Cup Series. In the 2014 Cup season, Cassill tied his career-best finish of 12th at the Daytona 500, and recorded his best career finish of 4th at the Geico 500. He would finish 12th in the points in the Xfinity series that season. For 2016 Cassill went to Front Row Motorsports and drove the #38 Ford. He started the season at Daytona and ended it at Homestead with sponsorship from Florida Lottery. In other races he had various sponsors including SnapFitness. As in all the previous years; this was a small under-funded team and it was difficult to produce very good results. His best finish for the year was 11th at Talladega. In 2017 Cassill will remain at Front Row Motorsports; but will switch to the car #34. He will be joined at FRM by David Ragan who will drive the #38.
RICHARD CHILDRESS - 9/21/1945 - is a former NASCAR driver and the current team owner of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the NASCAR Cup series. As a business entrepreneur, Childress became one of the wealthiest men in North Carolina. A 2003/2004 business venture was the opening of a vineyard in the Yadkin Valley AVA, an American Viticultural Area located in North Carolina. Childress was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is on the Board of Directors to the National Rifle Association. His grandsons Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon are NASCAR competitors. Childress' career in NASCAR's top levels started auspiciously as a drivers' strike at Talladega Superspeedway left NASCAR President William France Sr. l
ooking for replacement drivers. Childress was such a driver, and started his first race as a replacement. By 1971, Childress began racing on the top level as an independent driver, using the number 3 as a tribute to Junior Johnson's past as a driver. Although he never won as a driver, he proved to be excellent behind the wheel registering six top-5, seventy-six top-10 finishes, with a career-best of third in 1978. He retired from driving in 1981 after Rod Osterlund sold his NASCAR team to J.D. Stacy, and Osterlund's driver, Dale Earnhardt, did not want to drive for Stacy. Childress, with recommendations from R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, chose to retire and put Earnhardt behind the
wheel of his #3 car, complete with Wrangler Jeans sponsorship. That first alliance lasted for the season. Ricky Rudd was hired in 1982 and drove for two years, giving Childress his first career victory in June 1983 at Riverside. Earnhardt returned for the 1984 season, and together with Childress formed one of the most potent combinations in NASCAR history. They won championships in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, and 1994. In the mid-1990s, Childress began expanding his racing empire, fielding entries in the Xfinity Series and Truck Series. The team won the 1995 Truck Series championship with driver Mike Skinner in the series' first
season. He also expanded to a two-car operation in what is now known as the Monster Cup, with driver Skinner driving the #31. Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Childress then promoted Xfinity driver Kevin Harvick to drive the re-numbered #29. Harvick would win in only his third start, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. With Harvick having won the Xfinity Series championship in 2001 and 2006, RCR became the first team in NASCAR history to win all three of NASCAR's national championship series. RCR also won the Xfinity Series owners championships in 2003 with Kevin Harvick and Johnny Sauter and in 2007 with Scott Wimmer and Jeff Burton. RCR won the 2011 NASCAR Truck Series and the 2013 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship, both with Childress' grandson Austin Dillon driving the No. 3. Currently Childress fields three cars in the Cup series with a driver line up of Austion Dillon,
Ryan Newman and Paul Menard. Childress also fields vehicles in NASCAR's Xfinity series, and the Truck series. His Grandson (Austin Dillon) moved up to the CUP series in 2014, to drive for Childress. In 2017 Childress's other grandson (Ty Dillon) is moving up to the Cup series to drive for Germain Racing; a team that gets a lot of support and engines from RCR. Childress has purchased the #3 from NASCAR ever since Dale Earnhardt was killed driving that car at Daytona in 2001. Dillon brought the #3 out of mothballs, and it hit the track for the first time in 2014 at Daytona. Austin promptly put it on the pole for the Daytona event. For a lot more information on Richard Childress and his race team (RCR) look up Childress under 'Car Owners Bio's". Info from WikiPedia.
SARA CHRISTIAN - 8/25/1918 - 3/7/1980 - was the first woman driver in NASCAR history. She competed in NASCAR's first race on June 19, 1949 at Charlotte Speedway. She qualified 13th in the #71 Ford owned by her husband Frank Christian. During the race, Bob Flock took over her car after his engine expired on the 38th lap. He drove the car until it overheated, and finished 14th. She competed in the second race at the Daytona Beach Road Course on July 10, 1949, and finished 18th. The 28 car field also included Flock's sister Ethel Mobley and Louise Smith which made it the first race to include three woman drivers. Frank also competed in the race and finished sixth in his only career
start. They became the only married couple to compete in a NASCAR race until 1986 when Patty Moise and Elton Sawyer competed for the first time together in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Patty and Elton got married in 1990 and continued to compete against one another for years. She finished sixth at the fourth race at Langhorne Speedway, and became the first woman to earn a Top 10 finish. Race winner Curtis Turner invited Christian to join him in victory lane. Mobley and
Smith again competed against Christian in the race, and it was the last NASCAR race to have three women drivers until July 4, 1977 when Janet Guthrie, Christine Beckers and Lella Lombardi all competed in the Firecracker 400. She finished fifth at the ninth race at Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The finish was the best-ever and only Top 5 finish by a woman in NASCAR series history, and remains the highest (finish as of 2017) in the Cup series. She competed in one event in 1950. She finished 14th at the 12th race at the Hamburg (NY) Speedway before she retired. In 1949 she received the United States Drivers Association Woman Driver of the Year Award. She was inducted into the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame in 2004. Info From WikiPedia
DERRICK COPE - 11/3/1958 - an American race-car driver in NASCAR, best known for his win at the 1990 Daytona 500. Cope was born in San Diego, California, and was raised in Spanaway, Washington. In high school, he enjoyed auto racing and baseball. He was a catcher on the Bethel High School baseball team, and later attended Whitman College to continue his baseball dreams. While being scouted by major league baseball teams, Cope suffered a knee injury that ended his hopes of a big-league career. He then devoted himself to racing full-time. Cope progressed through the short-track ranks in the Northwest, and later made his NASCAR Cup debut at Riverside International Raceway in 1982. Cope's No. 95 car finished 36th there after developing an oil leak. He raced in three or four races per season over the next four years and got his first top 10 finish in 1986 in the Sovran Bank 500 at Martinsville. He started 17th would would finish 9th. In 1989, he signed with Bob Whitcomb to drive the No. 10 Purolator Chevy. He pulled a major upset in the season opening Daytona 500 of that year. Cope had started 12th and ran with the leaders all day. He and Dale Earnhardt battled through out the late stages of the race and a yellow flag flew with seven laps to go when Geoff Bodine spun. On the restart with five to go Cope, took the green first; but Earnhardt quickly assumed the
points and the next lap Earnhardt was in the lead. It looked like Earnhardt was going to win the race; but going into turn 3 on the final lap; Earnhardt ran over a piece of debris and cut down a tire. After narrowly avoiding most of the resulting debris, Cope assumed the lead and earned his first win, as well as his first top 5 (his best finish prior to the 1990 Daytona 500 was 6th) in NASCAR competition. At Dover later in the 1990 season, Cope rallied for another win after running out of fuel and falling off the lead lap. At year's end, he wound up 18th in points. Following the 1992 season, the Whitcomb team closed down, and drove an originally
unsponsored No. 66 Ford for Cale Yarborough. The car was later sponsored by Bojangles, and the number changed to No. 98, reflecting the restaurant's 98 cent value menu. Midway through the 1994 season, Cope was replaced by Jeremy Mayfield and began driving for Bobby Allison's No. 12 Straight Arrow Ford, after a brief stint with car owner T.W. Taylor. During this season, Cope won his first career Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway, driving the No. 82 Ford Thunderbird for Ron Zock. The 1995 season was Cope's most consistent. He had eight top-10 finishes, and garnered a 15th-place finish in points. When Allison's team shut down after the 1996 season, Cope signed on with the fledging MB2 Motorsports operation, driving the No. 36 Skittles Pontiac to a 27th-place finish in points. After one year, he was
released and signed on with the Bahari Racing operation. Despite missing some races due to an injury, Cope won his first career pole position at Lowe's Motor Speedway, although he failed to post a top-10 finish in the No. 30 Gumout car. Cope returned to Bahari in 1999 with Sara Lee sponsorship. After failing to qualify for 10 races, Cope was released from the team. He made sporadic appearances for LJ Racing and Larry Hedrick Motorsports, and later signed on to drive the No. 15 Ford Taurus owned by Fenley-Moore Motorsports. Cope became unhappy when the team only ran a part-time schedule, and quit after a few races. He spent the rest of the year on the
sidelines, before taking over the No. 86 R.C. Cola Dodge Ram at Impact Motorsports at the end of the season in the NASCAR Truck Series. 1999 would be Cope's final season to attempt to race full time in the Cup series. In 2006, Cope intended to run a full schedule for McGlynn with No. 74 car, but soon cut back to part-time. His best finish was at Michigan International Speedway, where he finished 34th. In the Xfinity Series, his best finish in the 49 car was 33rd at Dover International Speedway, and his best start was 33rd at Bristol Motor Speedway. He intended to run more races with McGlynn in 2007, but the team suspended operations after only attempting one race. He spent the season driving part-time schedules for Robinson and Xpress Motorsports. In 2008, he signed to drive for Means Racing in the Xfinity Series, but switched midseason to drive for James Finch and Jay Robinson Racing. Later in the season, Cope began entering his own trucks and cars in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series. In the truck series he fielded the
No. 73 and No. 74 trucks with Nick Turner and Jennifer Jo Cobb being the primary drivers, while in the Xfinity Series he fielded the No. 73 and No. 78 cars with Kevin Lepage driving the No. 73 and others racing the No. 78. In 2009, Cope attempted six races with his self-owned team; he failed to qualify for any of them. At the October Martinsville race, Cope successfully attempted his first Sprint Cup race since 2006 while driving for Larry Gunselman. In 2010, Cope teamed up with Dale Clemons as co-owners of new racing venture Stratus Racing Group. The team ran a full schedule with Cope as driver in both the Xfinity Series and Truck Series. Cope also ran a limited schedule Xfinity and Truck series, fielding cars for Cope's twin nieces Amber Cope and Angela Cope, who split the ride (pictured here). In 2014-2016 Cope only raced in Xfinity Series races. As 2017 approaches; there has been rumors Cope could be hired to race again in the Cup series at least part time.
MATT CRAFTON - 6/11/1976 - Crafton was born in Tulare, California. Before turning to NASCAR racing in 2000, he raced go-karts, midgets, and mini sprints. Crafton began his go-kart career at the age of seven after receiving a kart as a present for graduating from kindergarten. He won multiple national and regional championships before moving to midgets at the age of 15, winning twenty main events. He joined the Featherlite Southwest Series as a substitute for his injured father, Danny Crafton, in 1996, filling in as driver of the No. 46 entry for the final three races of the season. Crafton took over the No. 46 full-time in 1997. His career went national when he became involved in the 1998 Winter Heat Series shown on ESPN at Tucson Raceway Park, during which he raced against other current NASCAR drivers Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Ron Hornaday. After four full-time seasons in the Featherlite Southwest Series, Crafton won the championship in 2000
on the strength of four wins that year. His success in the Featherlite Southwest Series that season led to the invitation to make his NASCAR Truck Series debut for ThorSport Racing. Crafton made his Truck Series debut in 2000 at the season finale at California Speedway. Driving the PickupTruck.com Chevy for ThorSport Racing, he qualified 17th and finished ninth. In 2001, he piloted the No. 88 for ThorSport full-time with sponsorship from Fast Track Delivery Sealer and XE Sighting System. He had eleven top-tens and finished twelfth in the championship standings, third behind Ricky Hendrick and Travis Kvapil for Rookie of the Year. Menard's first joined as an associate sponsor in 2002 and that season he earned six top-tens and finished fifteenth in points. Crafton earned 11 top 10s
before finishing 11th in points in 2003. In 2004, Crafton signed on to drive the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado owned by Kevin Harvick Incorporated. He posted a best finish of third place in two races, and with six top fives and 17 top 10s, he ended the season fifth in the final standings. Despite strong statistics in 2004, he was released from KHI and returned to ThorSport for the 2005 season, where he won his first career pole at New Hampshire International Speedway, earning two top fives and 10 top 10s and finishing ninth in the standings. In 2006, he had four top-five finishes, 10 top-10 finishes and finished fourteenth in points. In 2007, he improved to eighth in points
and posted ten top-ten finishes for the third consecutive season. Crafton's first NASCAR win came at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2008, in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. It was his 178th start, the record for most starts a driver has had before getting his first win in the Truck Series. The win moved him into the top five in points for 2008. Later that season, Crafton filled in for Robby Gordon in practice and qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series event at Homestead because Gordon was at the final off-road race of the season. In 2009, although he did not win a race that season, Crafton scored two poles (Chicagoland Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway), 11 top-five and 21 top-10
finishes, ultimately finishing second in the point standings behind champion Ron Hornaday. Crafton had another strong season in 2010, earning one pole at Texas Motor Speedway, 10 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes, resulting in a season-ending rank of fourth. 2011 saw the second win of Crafton's career at Iowa Speedway, in addition to poles at Michigan International Speedway and Martinsville Speedway, where he broke the track qualifying record. However, four DNFs (Did Not Finish) due to engine failures, mechanical issues and accidents caused by other competitors led to only five top fives and 13 top 10s, ultimately relegating Crafton to eighth in the final standings. In 2012, he had a decent season, finishing 6th in points. 2013 was Crafton's best season in his career to date. He won his
third career race at Kansas in April. After this win, Crafton picked up the points lead and held it for the rest of the season. He finished in the top ten in the first sixteen races of the season, and 19 overall, with a worst finish of 21st in the season finale at Homestead. He clinched his first Truck Series championship with his start in that race, and was able to stay on the lead lap despite late crash damage to become the first driver to complete every lap of the season in the Truck Series. On March 30, 2014, Crafton scored his fourth career Truck win at Martinsville. On June 6, he won on fuel strategy at Texas Motor Speedway to win two races in a season for the first time in his career. It was also the first time he led more than 100 laps in a race. Despite crashing out at Dover and Gateway, his first DNFs in over two years, Crafton
would ultimately go on to become the first back-to-back champion in the Truck Series. On February 28, 2015, Crafton scored his sixth career Truck victory in the revived Atlanta race. On May 8, he used fuel strategy to win at Kansas after multiple other top five Trucks ran out in the closing laps, winning a second race at one track for the first time in his career. He is also the first driver to win two Truck races at Kansas. On June 5, he won at Texas, successfully defending his win from the year before, another career first. His fourth win of the season came at Kentucky after the race was cut short due to damage to the catchfence from Ben Kennedy's crash. Crafton scored his fifth victory of the season at Martinsville on October 31, marking his second win at Martinsville, and the deepest into the season he had ever won a race to that point. He would add one more win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami, marking his first career victory from the pole; his season total of six wins are more than in his entire career prior to 2015. However, Crafton struggled more noticeably with consistency than in the previous two season. He crashed out at Gateway for the second year in a row after tangling with John Hunter Nemechek, and a few weeks later crashed out at Pocono after getting hit by Brad Keselowski. He would get swept up in a third wreck at Talladega with Stanton Barrett after being penalized for speeding on pit road, and while racing eventual series champion Erik Jones for the win at Phoenix would wreck out one final time, all of which eventually consigned him to third in points behind Jones and Tyler Reddick. On May 13, 2016, Crafton scored his twelfth career Truck victory at Dover. Eight days later, he scored his second career victory at Charlotte, marking the first back-to-back victories in his career. Also in 2016 Crafton would make his first Cup start. He was called in as a last minute replacement to run the Daytona 500 after Kyle Busch crashed in the waning laps of the Xfinity race and suffered compound fractures of his left leg and a broken right foot. He started 43rd and drove to an 18th place finish. As of the start of 2017 Crafton is signed to return to ThorSports Racing with Menards again serving as the sponsor. Currently Crafton holds several records: Most consecutive Truck series start by an active driver (383); In 2013, Crafton has passed Terry Cook's record of consecutive starts in the series. Cook's record had stood at 296; In 2011 Crafton and team mate started ThorSport Racings 354 Camping world Truck series with at least one entry in the field. Roush Fenway racing had held the previous record at 353 starts. ThorSports current holds the record at 475 starts.
RICHARD ALLEN "RICKY" CRAVEN - 5/24/1966 - was a NASCAR driver who won in four different series—the K&N Pro Series, and the three national series. Craven began racing at the age of 15 at Unity Raceway, winning twice as well as the Rookie of the Year award. The next year, he won 12 feature events and the track championship. In 1984 Craven raced at Wiscasset Raceway in the Late Model Division; in this year he won the track championship along with the Rookie of the Year title. After that, he began running in the American Canadian Tour, where he had rampant success. In 1986, he made his NASCAR debut at Oxford Plains Speedway in his own No. 12, finishing 25th after suffering engine failure. Four years later, he began running the Busch North Series, winning the Rookie of the Year award. In 1991, he was named the champion in that series, winning ten times in the No. 25 Chevrolet, with two of those ten wins in "combination" races with the Busch (now Xfinity) Grand National Series, including the prestigious Oxford 250. In addition, he made his NASCAR Cup debut at Rockingham, starting and finishing 34th for Dick Moroso. He moved to the Xfinity Series full-time in 1992 in the No. 99 Chevy for Bill Papke, and once again was named Rookie of the
Year. In 1993 and 1994, he finished runner-up to Steve Grissom and David Green, respectively, in the championship standings. In 1995, Craven teamed up with Larry Hedrick Motorsports and Kodiak to run for Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. Craven qualified for all 31 races, finished in the top-ten four times, and was able to defeat Robert Pressley for the top rookie award. For his efforts, he was rewarded with a partial ownership share in the team. He began 1996 with three consecutive top-ten finishes and his first career pole. He was fourth in points before the Winston Select 500, during which he was involved in a multi-car wreck. On lap 130, his car was launched into the air and impacted with the catch fence above the wall before being thrown back onto the track and hit by another car. This crash was
similar to Jimmy Horton's barrel roll in 1993 where he cleared the track. Craven's flip completely sheared the catchfence off the turn and NASCAR threw a lengthy red flag to make repairs. He walked away, but fell to twentieth in points and only had one top-five finish and one pole for the rest of the season. At the end of the year, Craven left Hedrick to drive the No. 25 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. Craven finished in the top-five in the first two races of the season. He finished 3rd in the 1997 Daytona 500 behind his teammates Terry Labonte in 2nd and Jeff Gordon in 1st giving Hendrick Motorsports a 1-2-3 sweep of
the Daytona 500. While practicing for the inaugural Interstate Batteries 500, Craven crashed hard into the wall. He missed two races due to a concussion suffered from the wreck. Upon his return, he won the Winston Open and finished a then-career-best 19th in points and a total of $1,139,860 in winnings for 1997. After the 1998 season started, the side effects of the concussion began to appear, and Craven was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, and was forced to miss several races until he recovered. He returned at his home track at New Hampshire International Speedway later that year won the pole. After four races, he was released permanently from
Hendrick, and did not return until the final three races of the season, filling in for Ernie Irvan at MB2 Motorsports. For 1999, Craven signed to drive the No. 58 Hollywood Video Ford Taurus for Scott Barbour's SBIII Motorsports, a brand new team in NASCAR. He did not finish any better than 19th while driving the car and after he failed to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600, he was replaced by Loy Allen, Jr.. Several weeks later, he signed up with another new team Midwest Transit Racing, replacing rookie Dan Pardus in the No. 50 and finished the season with them. Craven returned
to the team in 2000 but after failing to qualify for four of the first nine races of the season, the team switched to a part-time schedule. In January the next year, it was announced that Craven would replace Scott Pruett in PPI Motorsports's No. 32 Tide Ford. He won the pole in the summer race at Michigan International Speedway and in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway, he held off Dale Jarrett in the closing laps for his first career Cup win. In 2002, he won two poles, scored nine Top 10 finishes, and finished a career-best 15th in points. In 2003, his team switched from Ford to Pontiac, providing the No. 32 car with a factory-backed
engine program. In the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway, he battled Kurt Busch for the win, defeating him by .002 seconds in what was voted in December 2009 as the "Finish of the 2000s" in the NASCAR Cup Series. In that race, he became the last-ever person to win in a Pontiac. Craven failed to win races again that season and dropped 12 spots in the points standings. After he did not post a single Top 10 finish three-quarters of the way through 2004, he was replaced by Bobby Hamilton, Jr., and only returned to run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, his home track. His last Cup start was the 2004 EA Sports 500 at Talladega, where he drove in a development car for Joe Gibbs Racing, the No. 11
Chevrolet. In 2005, Craven moved to the Craftsman Truck Series to drive the No. 99 Ford for Roush Racing. Craven was second in points after 9 races, and there was talk about him being promoted to Mark Martin's #6 Cup ride for 2006. However, a brutal stretch of finishes led to a free fall in the point standings, and it was announced that he would be gone from Roush at the end of the year. Craven did win at Martinsville Speedway late in the year, and finished fourteenth in points. His final start in NASCAR came at the Goody's 250 in the Xfinity Series for FitzBradshaw Racing. He finished 39th after the brakes on his No. 14 Dodge failed. Craven spent the next few years looking for a part-time ride, but none came through. He eventually retired and worked for ESPN and Yahoo! Sports as a NASCAR analyst.
CURTIS "CRAWFISH" CRIDER - 10/7/1930 - 12/21/2012 - was a pioneer in NASCAR's early years. Born in Abbeville, South Carolina, he was one of the hardest working and underfinanced racers to ever drive the stock car circuit. Landing in a lake eventually earned him the nickname "Crawfish". Like most early NASCAR racers, Crider was a bootlegger and delivered moonshine to his customers. From 1959 to 1965, this driver has competed in 232 races in his seven-year career. He began racing in NASCAR in 1959 and his first race was at Columbia SC. He started 17th driving a 1957 Chevy and finish 14th after having motor problems. He only ran 4 races in 1959 and ran a part season again in 1960 (24 of 44 races). From 1961-
1964 he ran almost all the events on the NASCAR Cup circuit; getting his first top five finish at Greenville SC. He started 16th and would work his way up to finish fifth wheeling his 1961 Mercury #62. He would finish 21st in the points that year. He posted three top five finishes in 1962 with a best being a third at Moyock NC at Dog Track Speedway. He finished a career high 12th in points. He landed in 17th in points in 1963 running 49 of the 53 events; and he again had a best finish of third. 1964 would be his last full time
season in the Cup series running 59 of a whopping 62 races ran that year. He would finish in the top five on seven occasions that year with a third place finish at Harris Speedway in Harris NC. His final top five came at Richmond VA in 1965 when he finished fourth after starting 12th. He saw his final Cup start come at Martinsville this same season in the Virginia 500. He would start 15; but finish 17th after breaking a crank shaft. Following his retirement from NASCAR competition, Crider competed in late model stock car racing in Florida, competing primarily at Volusia County Speedway and winning the Florida State Championship in 1972, 1973 and 1974. He operated an automobile restoration shop near his home in Ormond Beach, Florida before dying on December 21, 2012
COLE CUSTER - 1/23/1998 - Custer began racing quarter midgets at age four. In 2011, Custer won the USAC National Focus Young Guns Championship. The following year, Custer began racing late models, winning ten races and earning Rookie of the Year honors. In 2013 Custer joined the K&N Pro Series East, making his debut at Bristol Motor Speedway for Ken Schrader Racing. During the season at Iowa Speedway, Custer won the pole position, led every lap, a record for a combination race, and won, becoming the youngest race winner in K&N Pro Series history at age 15, beating Dylan Kwasniewski's record by six months. Custer would win again at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, also from the pole. He finished eighth in the series standings. Custer later ran in the K&N Pro Series West's season-ending race. Custer led every single lap, but was spun out by Gray Gaulding on the final lap, and finished sixth. In 2014, Custer joined Haas Racing Developments to run nine races in the NASCAR Truck Series, making his debut in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Custer started the race 9th, and finished 12th. In qualifying for the Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park, Custer set the track record with a
136.426 miles per hour lap speed, becoming the youngest pole winner in NASCAR history. At New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2014, Custer won the Truck Series' UNOH 175 from the pole, becoming the youngest winner in the history of NASCAR's national touring series at 16 years, 7 months and 28 days. Custer only ran in nine races in 2014; and outside of a crash at Martinsville where he finished
29th; he finished all the other races inside the top 14. Six times in the top 10. On January 12, 2015, JR Motorsports announced that Custer would drive a truck for them in ten races in 2015. On June 13, Custer won the Truck race at Gateway Motorsports Park, holding off the No. 23 truck of Spencer Gallagher, after the dominating trucks of Erik Jones
and Matt Crafton were involved in two wrecks at laps 142 and 152. Along with the win he also managed to finish inside the top 16 on seven occasions. When he turned 18 years old in 2016, JR Motorsports began fielding the No. 00 truck for Custer full-time, competing for the Rookie of the Year title. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park during the Chevrolet Silverado 250, John Hunter Nemechek and Custer were battling for the lead when Nemechek bumped Custer before running both Custer and himself off-road, pinning Custer to the wall. Before the winner was declared, Nemechek was tackled by Custer; Nemechek would be named the winner. The win would have put Custer into the Chase for the Truck series Championship. In the 23 races of 2016 Custer posted five top 5's and 14 top 10 finishes and finished 10th in the points. Custer also started five races in the Xfinity series in 2016. He drove the #5 Chevy Hisense 4K TV to a fourth place finish. He also finish sixth at one other event. In September it was announced that Custer would move to the Xfinity series full time driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in the #00 Ford Mustang with Haas Automation as the sponsor.
LLOYD DANE - 8/19/1925 - 12/11/2015 - is a former NASCAR Cup Series driver from Eldon, Missouri. Dane would make his first start in the NASCAR series at the age of 25; It would come at Carrell Speedway in April 8. He would start 11th driving the #22 Ford and finish 10th. At a second race in 1951 at Carrell Speedway he would post his first top 5 finish finishing third. After running just four races that season; he wouldn't race in NASCAR again until 1954. In 1954 he finished second at the same track; and posted three top five finishes in only four starts. He started five races in 1955 with a best finish of third. He claimed his first win in 1956 at California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento. He would start 15th driving a 1956 Mercury and beat out Chuck Meekins for the win. He would win a second event this season beating out Eddie Pagan by over a lap. 1956 and 1957 he would race ten events; the most for any season in his career. 1957 saw him claim a win at Eureka CA on a 3/8 mile dirt track. He'd drive his 1957 Ford to the win by over six laps beating George Seeger to get the checkers. His fourth and final win would come in 1961 at Riverside International Raceway. Eddie Gray won the pole with Dane along side. Gray led the first 13 laps, but Dane would take over the point and wheel his #44 1961 Chevy to the win. Dane would run three additional races before
he retired from racing. His last start also came at Riverside. He started 20th, but his motor gave out on lap 154 and he would finish 19th. This race is infamous for being the event in which reigning NASCAR Cup champion Joe Weatherly was killed. The race was won by Dan Gurney. On 12/11/2015 Dane passed away. For his career he started 52 races and posted 23 top five finishes. Info from WikiPedia
MATTHEW GUIDO "MATT" DIBENEDETTO - 7/27/1991 - is an Italian-American professional stock car racer. DiBenedetto first showed an interest in auto racing after receiving his little league trophy around age eight. His father, Tony, who raced an Opel Manta in SCCA and IMSA in the late 1970s and early 1980s, noticed he preferred watching automobile racing on television over baseball. DiBenedetto's father knew that another player on his son's little league team was competing in mini kart racing so he bought him a used kart which a young DiBenedetto drove to his first victory. His first race of 2010 came at the night race for the Xfinity Series from Tennessee driving the Joe Gibbs owned Toyota, sponsored by Pizza Ranch. He was solid the whole night and had a top 10 performance in 10th. His next race came at Road America
buthe had mechanical issues and finished many laps down. DiBenedetto ran six races for Joe Gibbs in 2010, with two top ten finishes. In 2011, he drove for Laerte Zatta in the K&N Pro Series East. After sponsorship ended, he joined The Motorsports Group midway through 2012 and ran as a start and park driver. During the 2014 season's Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona, DiBenedetto replaced Jeffrey Earnhardt in the No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevy during the first caution due to Earnhardt suffering a fractured collarbone in a motorcycle accident during the week. For the second race he joined the Motorsports
Group, where he start-and-parked the No. 46 Chevrolet for 12 races and raced the rest with the No. 46. He had an 11th-place finish at Road America and a 13th at Mid-Ohio, both road courses. DiBenedetto moved up to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2015. He was originally intended to drive the No. 83 Dustless Blasting and No. 93 Toyotas for BK Racing on a part-time basis; he split the No. 83 during the year with Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter. After Sauter drove the No. 83 in the Daytona 500, DiBenedetto failed to qualify in his first two attempts at Atlanta and Las Vegas before finally qualifying for his Cup debut at Phoenix. Sauter eventually decided not to race in any other
Cup races after the Daytona 500, DiBenedetto took over the No. 83 full-time and declared for Rookiw of the Year contention. At Martinsville Speedway during a practice session, DiBenedetto was involved in an incident with three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The incident occurred when DiBenedetto tried to merge on the track behind Carl Edwards and the gap closed ahead of him. With Stewart fast
approaching down the backstretch, DiBenedetto moved up the track in turn three to let Stewart pass. "When I got to (turn) three I didn't want to hold him up, so I just pulled up high and let him go by," DiBenedetto told Foxsports.com. "I got completely out of his way, but that wasn't enough. He tried to wreck me a few times, brake-checking me and flipping me off around the whole track." After the incident, DiBenedetto called Stewart "an arrogant prick". DiBenedetto returned full-time with BK Racing in 2016, though he ran the No. 93 for the Daytona 500 since Michael Waltrip was in the No. 83 for the race. At Daytona, DiBenedetto crashed with Chris Buescher on lap 92 in what Buescher called the "hardest hit of his career", though the two were not injured. In the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, DiBenedetto finished a career-best sixth place, his first career top ten and the first for BK Racing since Travis Kvapil's eighth-place finish at the 2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. He returned to the No. 93 for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond while Dylan Lupton drove the No. 83, while also driving the No. 93 at Talladega's Hellmann's 500, as Jeffrey Earnhardt was in the No. 83. DiBenedetto missed the AAA Texas 500 after suffering a concussion during the previous day's Xfinity Series race and was replaced by Earnhardt. He was cleared to return at the following race in Phoenix. For the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead, he drove the No. 49 to promote the video game NASCAR Heat Evolution's price change to $49.99. On December 8, 2016, DiBenedetto announced he had parted ways with BK Racing. Two days later he announced that he would drive a single-car effort for Go Fas Racing in 2017.
AUSTIN DILLON - 4/27/1990 - an American professional stock car racing driver. He is the son of former driver and RCR general manager Mike Dillon, brother of Ty Dillon and grandson of Richard Childress. He made his first NASCAR Truck Series start at Iowa Speedway, driving the No. 3 Bad Boys Buggies truck. This was the first time that the No. 3 had appeared in any of the three major series since Dale Earnhardt Jr. used it in the Xfinity Series back in 2002. Dillon was supposed to start the Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway during the 2009 NASCAR Truck Series season, but the truck failed post-qualifying inspection, thus his time was removed and he missed the field. Dillon would drive the No. 3 truck full-time in 2010 for Rookie of the Year, with sponsorship from
Bass Pro Shops. Despite crashing out early at Daytona, Dillon got his first career pole at Texas Motor Speedway in June and finished third, leading 20 laps. On July 11, Dillon scored his first career NASCAR victory in the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway, winning a Truck Series race in the Tracker Chevy truck; wearing the #3 for the first time since Bryan Reffner won for Team Menard in 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway. He ended the season with two wins and seven poles, earning him Rookie of the Year honors. In 2011, Dillon scored his first win of the year at Nashville Superspeedway. Dillon scored his second win of 2011 at Chicagoland Speedway, beating Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. After rain shortened the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dillon was crowned the
2011 NASCAR Truck Series Champion. He also won the 2011 Truck Series Most Popular Driver Award. Dillon made his first career start in the NASCAR Cup Series on October 9, 2011, in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. He finished 26th in his No. 98 Camping World Curb/Agajanian Racing Chevrolet Impala. Dillon started his first Xfinity series race on Spetember 7, 2008 wheeling the #21 Childress Institute Chevy, and finished 26th. On November 4, 2011, Richard Childress Racing announced that Dillon would be moving up to the Xfinity Series in 2012, driving the No. 3 that Dale Earnhardt made famous, with sponsorship from AdvoCare, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops. On June 29, 2012, Dillon recorded his first Xfinity Series win at Kentucky Speedway; he dominated the race by leading all but 8 laps and won by over 9.8
seconds over Kyle Busch. However, NASCAR officials announced the car had failed post-race inspection because the rear ride heights were too low. Dillon got to keep the win; but was assessed a monetary fine and loss of points. In September Dillon again won at Kentucky and this time he passed post race tech. It was his second win of the year along with 16 top five finishes. Dillon finished third in the 2012 points chase. He also started his second
career Cup race this season. He ran at Michigan and finished 22nd two laps behind. Dillon announced in August 2012 that he would continue to drive full-time in the Xfinity Series for 2013, with Advocare as the primary sponsor for the full season, along with running seven Cup Series races that year, including the 2013 Daytona 500, where he qualified 8th, but crashed late in the race, relegating him to a 31st place finish. In January 2013 it was announced that some of Dillon's Cup races that season would be in Phoenix Racing's No. 51 Chevrolet. Dillon returned to the Truck Series for the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, leading a race-high 63 laps, and won after a green-white-checker finish. The truck, the trophy and the famed piece of dirt track are on display at NASCAR Hall of Fame. Later in the year Dillon
substituted for the ailing Brennan Newberry in the Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. In early August 2013, it was announced that Dillon would substitute for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet at Michigan due to Stewart's leg injury; he would also drive the car at Talladega Superspeedway in October. In Dillon's run at Talladega, he performed well during the event, and was running in the top five for most of the day; at the white flag, Dillon was third behind Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and was about to give Earnhardt Jr. a push for an attempt to make a winning pass when he was turned by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., slammed the backstretch wall, then was sent airborne when struck head-on
by Casey Mears. On November 16, 2013, Dillon won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship with a 12th-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Dillon's series championship was unusual because he did not win any races during the season; this marked the first time in any of NASCAR's three national series that a season champion went win-less. On December 11, 2013, it was announced by RCR that Dillon will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Cup Series with Cheerios and The Dow Chemical Company as the primary sponsors. It would be the No. 3 car's first Cup Series appearance in 13 years since Dale Earnhardt Sr had been killed driving the RCR owned #3 on the last lap of the 2001
Daytona 500. Many people voiced their displeasure over the return of the #3 to the track and many said the #3 should be permanently retired in homage to Earnhardt. Things quieted down somewhat when Dale Earnhardt Jr stated he was glad to see the car back on the track and in his opinions thought Dillon would do a respectable job racing the car. During 2014 Daytona 500 qualifying, Dillon clinched the pole position with a speed of 196.019 miles per hour. After a long streak of bad finishes, Dillon rebounded in the 2014 Pocono 400. He ended the 2014 Cup season as one of only two drivers to have been running at the finish of every race during the season, the other being Jeff Gordon. He finished second in the
rookie of the year standings to Kyle Larson. In the Xfinity race at Daytona in 2015, he won after the dominant car of Brian Scott crashed out of the race late in the going. In the Coke Zero 400 on July 5, coming to the checkered flag, Dillon was hit in the left front tire by the spinning car of Denny Hamlin, causing him to flip into the catch-fence over two rows of cars. Dillon climbed out of the car unharmed, save for a bruised tailbone and a bruise on his forearm, but five fans were injured by flying debris. Dillon was credited with a seventh-place finish. He ran 20 races in the Xfinity series in 2015 posting four wins and 13 top ten finishes. In the Cup car he managed one top five finish; (a fourth at Michigan). Dillon competed part-time in the Xfinity Series in 2016, splitting the No. 2 of RCR with six other drivers. On the final lap of the Xfinity
race in Fontana, Dillon battled with Kyle Busch, whose car had cut a left front tire, the two making contact as they approached the finish. Dillon's car hit the turn four wall but was able to hang on for the win. He posted a second win later in the season at Bristol; along with 11 top fives in only 19 starts. In the Cup series he qualified for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup; though he advanced out of the Round of 16, he was eliminated in the following round. He ended the season 14th in points posting four top five finishes and 13 top tens. For 2017 he'll return to the #3 car along with team mates Paul Menard (#27) and Ryan Newman (#31).
TY DILLON - 2/27/1992 - an American professional stock car racing driver; he is the younger brother of NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon, son of former driver Mike Dillon and grandson of Richard Childress. Dillon began his racing career in Bandolero minicars. Moving up to the K&N Pro Series East in 2009, he competed for the series championship in 2010, finishing 13th in points despite only competing in eight races of the series' ten-race schedule. He scored one win in the series, in August 2010 at Gresham Motorsports Park. After making three starts and winning twice, at Kansas Speedway and Rockingham Speedway, in the ARCA Racing Series in 2010, Dillon ran his first full season in the series in 2011, winning seven times on his way to winning the series championship. He defeated Chris Buescher by a 340-point margin for the championship, but lost the series rookie-of-the-
year award to Buescher by two points. Dillon made his debut in the NASCAR Truck Series in 2011, driving the Real Tree / Bad Boy Buggies Chevy. He finished 18th at Kentucky Speedway, in preparation for running the full series schedule for Richard Childress Racing in 2012. In only his second Truck Series start at Texas Motor Speedway, he finished third. At Homestead, he finished 6th, right in front of his brother Austin, who was crowned champion that night after the race was called due to rain. In the 2012 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona, he finished 9th. He recorded
top ten finishes in each of the first five Truck Series races of the year. On August 31, he scored his first career Truck Series win at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In early June 2012, Dillon made his debut in the Xfinity Series in the 5-hour Energy 200 at Dover International Speedway driving the South Point Casino car. The picture here shows him racing alongside his brother Austin. In July he finished third in the first Xfinity Series race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In August 2013, it was announced that Dillon would be moving full-time to the Xfinity Series for 2014, where he would drive the No. 3 Chevrolet for RCR, replacing brother Austin. Returning to the Truck Series in 2013, Dillon went on to win at Kentucky Speedway in the Truck Series on June 27 of that year. At Texas, Dillon won the 100th race for a No. 3 car/truck in NASCAR.
Dillon finished second in the 2013 NASCAR Truck Series standings, behind Matt Crafton that season. In 2014, Dillon returned to the Truck Series for the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, racing the Tracker Boats Chevy. Dillon finished 5th in the event. Dillon later entered the final race of the season in the No. 9 for NTS Motorsports in place of Brennan Newberry, finishing 7th. On July 26, 2014 in the Xfinity Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dillon got by Kyle Busch on the final restart and held off Busch to win the race. The picture below shows brother Austin giving Ty the
#1 sign. Dillon finished second to Chase Elliott in the 2014 Xfinity Rookie of the Year standings. Dillon also drove the #3 Yuengling Chevy. In 2015, Dillon began with a third-place finish at the season opener at Daytona. On August 8, 2015 at Watkins Glen, Dillon was involved in a huge fight with Regan Smith when Dillon dumped Smith in turn one and caused Smith to finish in the top twenty. On July 15, 2014, RCR announced Dillon will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the No. 33 with Hillman-Circle Sport LLC in partnership with RCR in the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor
Speedway. After qualifying 29th, he finished 25th. In 2016 at the season opening race at Daytona, Dillon scored his fourth career Xfinity Series pole. Dillon brought home a $100,000 bonus by winning the Dash 4 Cash at Richmond, after the three other Dash 4 Cash drivers all crashed out of the race in the same wreck, late in the going. For 2016, NASCAR used the Chase format in the Xfinity Series. Dillon made the Chase on points, but unfortunately he was eliminated after a close battle with Justin Allgaier. Dillon finished 5th in points for 2016. On the Cup side of his career, In 2016, Dillon joined Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing, splitting the No. 95 with Michael McDowell with sponsorship from Cheerios and Nexteer among others. Like the 33, the 95 has an alliance with RCR. Dillon also ran the No. 14 for Stewart-Haas Racing, substituting for an
injured Tony Stewart. Dillon would finish 7th at Talladega for the running of the GEICO 500 but the credit would go to Stewart since he started the race. At Pocono, Dillon would lead his first three laps in Cup competition. Dillon took over for Regan Smith in the No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 as Smith flew back to North Carolina to await the birth of his child. On November 28, 2016, it was announced that Dillon would replace veteran Casey Mears, who has been with Germain for six years, in the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet for Germain Racing in 2017.
DAREL DIERINGER - 6/1/1926 - 10/28/1989 - was a NASCAR Cup Series driver. He made his debut in February 1957 driving for John Zink and John Whitford at Daytona, racing on the Beach and Road course. Darel Started 6th and he ran well until he had a crash after only nine laps and would finish 46th. He posted three top ten finishes in his initial season with a best of sixth at Columbia. His first top five finish would come at the Daytona Speedway in the second 125 mile qualifying race. He would only race a few races per year and would see little success until 1963, when driving for Bill Stroppe, he won his first race at the final race of the 1963 season at Riverside International Speedway wheeling a car sponsored by Mercury. He would start third but Dave MacDonald would lead 92 of the 148 laps. MacDonald would lose third gear but manage a second place finish one lap behind Dieringer. He would go on to finsih seventh in the points. Dieringers second win would come in 1964 at Augusta Speedway. He started fifth and led 201 of the 300 laps beating Bobby Isaac to claim the checkers. Unfortunately this would be the final race for Billy Wade as he would be killed during tire test before the 1965 season started. Dieringer would run the most races in one season in 1965 as he would start
35 of the 55 events. He would have a career best finish of third in the points while winning one of the Daytona 500 qualifying races. He would finish second to Fred Lorenzen in the Daytona 500. The race would be shortened to 133 laps due to rain. Dieringer would also post second place finishes at Darlington, Atlanta, and Richmond. He had ten top finishes. 1966 would be the season that Dieringer won his most races. He would capture the checkered flag for the first time at Monroe NC beating the second place finisher by over 8 laps. His next win came at Weaverville NC when he outdistanced GC Spencer; also by eight laps. He would claim his most prestigious win in the Southern 500 when he would wage a
battle with Richard Petty over the last 160 laps. The lead changed hands between the two on seven occasions and Dieringer would bypass Petty with sven laps to go and hold on to grab the win. In 1967 Dieringer would claim his final win. It would be convincing as he would start on the pole, lead all 400 laps and beat Cale Yarborough by over a lap. He won six poles, and would post three second place finishes along with three thirds. He had mechanical problems in 10 of the 19 races he ran, and in the others he finished inside the top five. Dieringer ran 18 races in 1968 with the same results as in 1967. He fell out of ten races and finished no worse than eighth in the others. He ran one race in 1969 breaking a drive shaft at Macon. He didn't race in the Cup series again unti 1975 when he returned to run his final four races. His last start would
come at Charlotte in the National 500 when he started 14th. He ran well in his final event and drove his #35 DM Construction home to a seventh place finish. For his career he ran in 181 Cup races; posted seven win and 45 top five finishes. He also ran 21 races in NASCAR's Convertible Series posting seven top five finishes.
MARK DONOHUE - 3/18/1937 - 8/19/1975 - Born in Haddon Township, New Jersey, Donohue grew up in Summit, he graduated from the Pingry School in Hillside, and entered Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. At the age of 22, while a senior at Brown, Donohue began racing his 1957 Corvette. He won the first event he entered, a hillclimb in Belknap County, New Hampshire. He graduated from Brown in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Donohue won the SCCA national championship in an Elva Courier in 1961. An experienced race driver named Walt Hansgen recognized Donohue's ability and befriended him, eventually providing an MGB for Donohue to race at the 1964 Bridgehampton 500 mile SCCA endurance event, which he won. Hansgen arranged for Donohue to become his teammate in 1965, co-driving a Ferrari 275 at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, which they finished in 11th place. That year, Donohue also won two divisional championships: in SCCA B Class in a GT350 and in SCCA Formula C in a Lotus 20B. In 1966, thanks to his friendship with Hansgen, word quickly spread to the Ford Motor Company about the young driver. Ford immediately signed Donohue to drive one of their GT-40 Mk II race cars campaigned at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by the Holman & Moody racing team. Le Mans proved frustrating for Donohue. Hansgen died while testing the GT40 in preparation for Le Mans so Donohue partnered with Australian Paul Hawkins. Donohue and Hawkins
only completed twelve laps due to differential failure and finished 47th. Earlier that year, co-driving with Hansgen, Donohue finished third at the 24 Hours of Daytona and second at the 12 Hours of Sebring. At Hansgen's funeral, Roger Penske spoke to Donohue about driving for him. In his first race for Penske, at Watkins Glen in June 1966, Donohue qualified well but crashed the car at the top of a hill, destroying the car. Donohue was invited back to Le Mans by Ford in 1967. Ford had developed a new GT, the Mark IV. Donohue co-drove in the No. 2 yellow car with sports car driver and race car builder Bruce McLaren for Shelby American Racing. The two drivers disagreed on many aspects of racing and car setup, but as a team were able to muster a fourth-place finish in the endurance
classic. The race was won by Donohue's team mate duo of AJ Foyt and Dan Gurney. The win remains the sole all-American victory at Le Mans - an American-built car, prepared by an American team, and driven by American drivers - They led all but the first 90 minutes of the race. When Gurney walked onto the podium, he was handed the traditional magnum of champagne. He looked down and saw Ford CEO Henry Ford II, team owner Carroll Shelby, their wives, and several journalists who had predicted disaster for the high-profile duo of Gurney and Foyt. Many of the
journalists had predicted the two drivers, who were heated competitors in the United States, would break their car trying to better one another. In that moment on the podium, Gurney shook the bottle and sprayed everyone nearby, thus creating the champagne-spraying tradition reenacted in victory celebrations around the world over ever since. Donohue began his Trans-Am series campaign in 1967, winning three of twelve races in a Roger Penske-owned Chevrolet Camaro. In 1967 and 1968, Trans-Am schedule included two of the most prized endurance races in the world, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Donohue finished fourth at Daytona and won the Trans-Am class at the 12 Hours of Sebring. 1968
would be a banner year for Donohue in the Trans-Am series, as he successfully defended his 12 Hours of Sebring victory by partnering with Craig Fisher and driving his Penske Chevrolet Camaro to victory. Donohue went on to win 10 of 13 races, a Trans-Am series record which would stand until Tommy Kendall went 11 for 13 in the 1997 Trans-Am championship, winning the first 11 races that year in his All-Sport liveried Mustang. Donohue was considered a leading Trans-Am driver of the late 1960s and early 1970s. His Camaros and Javelins won three Trans-Am championships (his last in 1971) while driving Camaros and AMC Javelins, all for Roger Penske Racing. During their enormous success in Trans-Am, Roger and Mark would begin to experiment with their Camaros. They discovered that
dipping a car in an acid bath would eat away small amounts of metal, which in turn made the car incrementally lighter, and allowed it to be driven faster around the track. The 1967 Z-28 won its last race by lapping the entire field of cars, raising eyebrows throughout the paddock. During a post-race inspection, race stewards discovered that the car was 250 pounds lighter than the 2800-pound minimum weight requirement. Donohue was about to have his race victory taken away for cheating, but Roger Penske stepped in. Penske warned that any disqualification would have the potential of motivating Chevrolet to pull all support for the Trans-Am series. After considering the potential consequences, the race stewards allowed Donohue's victory to stand, but the rules for the 1968 season incorporated a change whereby all cars would be weighed during the technical inspection before the race. Penske and Donohue did not stop acid-dipping after this, however. Continuing the practice of reducing weight allowed them to place weights of certain sizes strategically in specific locations within the car, thus helping to balance the car while being driven on the limit. Acid-dipping car bodies was prevalent with competing Trans-Am teams as well. They continued to use the "lightweight" car in 1968, at the Sebring 12-hour race. They changed the grille and taillight to the 1968 model, and then painted both cars identically. They sent the legal weight car through the technical inspection with the number 15 and again with the number 16 on it. Then they put both cars
in the race, number 15 and 16, one car being 250 pounds lighter. They won the race, finished 3rd overall, and went on to win 10 out of 13 races that year. Donohue raced in just a few NASCAR Cup races from 1972 and 1973; all for car owner Roger Penske. His first start would come at Riverside International Raceway. A promising beginning did not pan out. Donohue qualified third; but fell out after only 13 laps with rear end difficulties and finished 39th. He also ran in that season's Daytona 500 and the road race ace qualified the AMC Matador in the top ten. However a broken push rod would relegate him to a 35th place finish. More disappointment would follow in his next start of 1972 when he qualified seventh at Ontario Speedway in California and he would crash out after only 45 laps. He and Bobby Isaac crashed out while battling for a top ten position. Interesting fact on this race. 113 cars showed up and attempted to qualify for the race. 51 cars started the
race. The fastest cars started; no provisionals. 20 fastest from first day; 20 fastest from second day and 11 fastest from third qualifying day. Just a couple of those missing the field were Charlie Glotzbach and Richard Childress. This would be AJ Foyts final career Cup win. Donohue's final start was at Atlanta where he started 11th and finished 15th. 1973 would be much better as he would again race at Riverside and start fourth.
This time he would lead 138 of the 191 laps and beat second place finisher Bobby Allison by over a lap. This was a 500 Mile race and took almost five hours to complete. It was Penske's first NASCAR win in a long history of NASCAR participation, and remains to this day the last non-regular (non-full schedule) driver (road course ringer) to win a NASCAR Cup road race. Donohue's final Cup start would come at Atlanta. He would start 12th; but erupted an engine in lap 202 of the 328 lap affair and finish 30th. In 1969, Penske and Donohue raced in their first Indianapolis 500, where Donohue finished seventh, winning the rookie of the year award. Donohue raced at Indianapolis each year following, finishing second in 1970 and
25th in 1971. Donohue won the 1972 Indianapolis 500, driving as always for Roger Penske. He finished the race in his McLaren-Offy with a then record speed of 162 mph, which would stand for twelve years. The victory was the first for Penske in the Indy 500. Between 1971 and 1972, Penske Racing (along with Donohue as the primary test and development driver) was commissioned by Porsche to assist with development of the 917/10. Donohue extensively tested the 917-10, offering up his substantial engineering knowledge to the Porsche engineers in order to design the best possible race car to compete in the Can-Am series. During testing of the 917-10 at Road Atlanta, Donohue had recommended larger brake ducts to the Porsche engineers, in order to provide more efficient cooling, and thus less fade and degradation as a race wears on. The Porsche engineers obliged, but in doing so, caused the new brake ducts to interfere with the bodywork closure pins, which attach the bodywork to the car. Coming out of turn seven, the rear bodywork flew off the car at approximately 150 mph, causing the car to become extremely unstable. The car lifted off the ground and tumbled multiple times down the track. The front of the car was completely torn away, leaving Donohue, still strapped to his safety seat, with his legs dangling outside the car. Amazingly, Donohue only suffered a broken leg. George Follmer, Donohue's old Trans-Am teammate, resumed testing the 917-10 while Donohue was recuperating. In classic Donohue style, Donohue said of Follmer testing his car: "It just doesn't feel right. Seeing another man driving your car, a car you know so well. I imagine it must feel like watching another man in bed with your wife." Porsche, Penske, and Donohue quickly started the development of the 917-30, complete with a reworked aerodynamic "Paris" body and a 5.4-liter turbocharged Flat-12 engine. Donohue set the world closed-course speed record driving the Porsche 917-30 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama on August 9, 1975. His average speed around the 2.66-mile high-banked oval was 221.120 mph. Donohue held the world record for eleven years, until it was broken by Rick Mears at Michigan International Speedway. The 917-30 is referred to as the "Can-Am killer" as it dominated the competition, winning every race but one of the 1973 Can-Am championship, however, the SCCA imposed fuel limitations for all Can-Am races due to the existing Arab oil embargo. Because of this, Porsche and McLaren withdrew from the series. It generally is considered one of the most powerful and most dominant racing machines ever created. Donohue earned the nickname of "Captain Nice", and was known for his ability to set up his own race car and drive it consistently on the absolute limit. Donohue raced in the inaugural IROC series in 1973/74, racing identical, specially-prepped Porsche RSR's. Of the four-race series, Donohue won the first two races at Riverside and the final race of the year at Daytona. The only person to beat Donohue was his former Penske Trans-Am teammate, George Follmer. In winning the first IROC championship, Donohue beat the best-of-the-best racing drivers of that era from all of the major championships, such as Denny Hulme, Richard Petty, A.J. Foyt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Allison, David Pearson, Peter Revson, Bobby Unser, and Gordon Johncock.
September 19, 1971 with a Penske-sponsored McLaren at the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport Park, finishing on the podium in third place. After being lured out of retirement by his former boss, Penske, Donohue would return to Formula One, entering into the final two races of the 1974 Formula One season. Donohue finished in 12th place at the Canadian Grand Prix and failed to finish at the United States Grand Prix. A full-on assault of the 1975 Formula One season was planned. The 1975
season turned out to be a difficult one for Donohue and Penske. Donohue was able to muster 5th place finishes at the Swedish Grand Prix and British Grand Prix, but the new Penske PC1 chassis proved problematic, as evidenced by three retirements in the first six races. At the Austrian Grand Prix, Donohue's career, along with Roger Penske's Formula One aspirations, would take a tragic turn. Midway through the 1975 F1 season, Penske abandoned the troublesome PC1 and started using the March 751. Donohue had recently arrived in Austria for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Österreichring race track following the successful closed-course speed record attempt at
TalladegaSuperspeedway in Alabama just a few days earlier. During a practice session for the race, Donohue lost control of his March after a tire failed, sending him careening into the catch fencing. Donohue's head was said to have struck either a catch fencing post, or the bottom of the wood frame for an advertising billboard located trackside. A track marshal was killed by debris from the accident, but Donohue did not appear to be injured significantly. However, a resulting headache worsened and after going to the hospital of Graz the next day, Donohue lapsed into a coma from a cerebral brain hemorrhage and died. As for his Cup career, Donohue only raced in six Cup races. He won one race, never started worse than 12th and finished up at the front if he didn't have mechanical problems. Mark Donahue won the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona driving his 1969 Lola / Chevy. In 2009, exactly 40 years later on the anniversary of Mark's win; David Donahue; his son, also won the 24 hours of Daytona.