Buddy Baker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Elzie Wylie Baker, Jr.
Born (1941-01-25) January 25, 1941 (age 73)
Florence, South Carolina, United States
Achievements 1980 Daytona 500 Winner
1970 Southern 500 Winner
1968, 1972, 1973 World 600 Winner
1975, 1976, 1980 Winston 500 Winner
1979 Busch Clash Winner
Awards Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee (1995)
National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame inductee (1997)
Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends inductee (1995)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
700 race(s) run over 33 year(s)
Best finish 5th (1977)
First race 1959 untitled race (Columbia)
Last race 1992 Winston 500 (Talladega)
First win 1967 National 500 (Charlotte)
Last win 1983 Firecracker 400 (Daytona)
Wins Top tens Poles
19 311 38
NASCAR Grand National East Series career
8 race(s) run over 2 year(s)
Best finish 15th (1973)
First race 1972 Sandlapper 200 (Columbia)
Last race 1973 Buddy Shuman 100 (Hickory)
First win 1972 Sandlapper 200 (Columbia)
Last win 1973 Sunoco 260 (Hickory)
Wins Top tens Poles
4 7 2
Statistics current as of December 18, 2012.

Elzie Wylie Baker, Jr. (born January 25, 1941 in Florence, South Carolina), nicknamed "Leadfoot" or more famously Buddy, is a former American NASCAR racecar driver.

Early life[edit]

Replica of Baker's 1969 Dodge Daytona

Buddy Baker was born in Florence, South Carolina, the son of two time winner of the NASCAR Championship and a Hall of Fame member Buck Baker and brother of fellow racer Randy Baker.[1] Baker began his NASCAR career in 1959. In 1970, he became the first driver to ever exceed 200 mph (320 km/h) on a closed course. This World Record feat was accomplished in the Chrysler Engineering blue #88 Charger Daytona, which is being restored in Detroit. The same year, with a victory at the Southern 500, he became the first NASCAR driver to win the same race at the same venue as his father. (Buck did it in 1953.)

Career[edit]

During his career, Baker won nineteen races including the 1980 Daytona 500, NASCAR's most prestigious race. His victory remains the fastest Daytona 500 ever run, with an average speed of 177.602 mph (285.809 km/h).

Baker driving at Pocono Raceway in 1985

Baker is one of eight drivers to have won a Career Grand Slam, by winning the sport's four majors – the Daytona 500, Aaron's 499, Coca-Cola 600, and the Southern 500.; Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson are the other seven to have accomplished the feat. He is the only one of the eight to not win the championship.

He generally raced part-time, competing in every race in only three seasons. He owned a car with Danny Schiff from 1985 to 1989, and was instrumental in the career of Jimmy Spencer. He competed in two International Race of Champions series. His final race in NASCAR was in 1992.

Buddy currently helps run the Buck Baker Racing School with his brother. Buddy Baker was the first driver to exceed the 200 mph mark on March 24, 1970 on a closed course test run. His speed was clocked at 200.447 miles per hour (322.588 km/h); a record that stood for 13 years. That record was finally broken by the late Benny Parsons.

Commentator[edit]

From 1991 until 2000, he became a television commentator on The Nashville Network and later (1994–2000) races produced by their World Sports Enterprises division, including CBS races. After the 2000 season Baker could still be heard on TNN, calling the American Speed Association races in 2001 and 2002 with Bob Dillner (their final race call was for the 2002 Winchester 400). During 2007, Baker could be heard as the part-time co-host of The Driver's Seat with John Kernan on Sirius Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel 128. As of 2011, Baker now the co-hosts Late Shift with Brad Gillie and Tradin Paint with Jim Noble on SiriusXM's channel 90.

Awards[edit]

In 1997, Baker joined his father as an inductee in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama. He was inducted into the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends in 1995, and into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame inductee in 1997. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

Daytona 500 Results[edit]

Year Manufacturer Start Finish Team
1961 Chrysler 28 40 Buck Baker
1962 Chrysler 15 29 Buck Baker
1964 Plymouth 42 29 David Walker
1965 Dodge 18 40 Buck Baker
1966 Chevrolet 36 32 Buck Baker
1967 Dodge 9 28 Fox
1968 Dodge 13 30 Fox
1969 Dodge 1 5 Fox
1970 Dodge 2 27 Owens
1971 Dodge 6 2 Petty
1972 Dodge 31 34 Petty
1973 Dodge 1 6 Krauskopf
1975 Ford 13 20 Moore
1976 Ford 5 33 Moore
1977 Ford 8 3 Moore
1978 Oldsmobile 31 7 Anderson
1979 Oldsmobile 1 40 Ranier
1980 Oldsmobile 1 1 Ranier
1981 Oldsmobile 6 4 Ellington
1982 Buick 4 8 Ellington
1983 Ford 5 3 Wood
1984 Ford 5 38 Wood
1985 Oldsmobile 7 4 Baker/Schiff
1986 Oldsmobile 17 26 Baker/Schiff
1987 Oldsmobile 7 4 Baker/Schiff
1988 Oldsmobile 18 9 Baker/Schiff
1991 Pontiac 16 37 Osterlund
1992 Oldsmobile 24 11 Derick Close
1994 Ford DNQ Moroso

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography". buddybaker.com: CMG Worldwide. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 

External links[edit]

Actual footage of Buddy Baker setting the 200 mph world record in the #88 Chrysler Engineering Charger Daytona.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdwhM5xB-8Y

Preceded by
Richard Petty
Daytona 500 Winner
1980
Succeeded by
Richard Petty