November 3, 1952 |
Mattituck, New York, United States
|Achievements||Martinsville Track record holder in Modified division|
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|263 races run over 18 years|
|Best finish||19th (1984)|
|First race||1983 Firecracker 400 (Daytona)|
|Last race||2005 Pennsylvania 500 (Pocono)|
|First win||1985 Firecracker 400 (Daytona)|
|Last win||1985 Firecracker 400 (Daytona)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|33 races run over 8 years|
|Best finish||34th (1997)|
|First race||1989 Goodwrench 200 (Rockingham)|
|Last race||2010 Subway Jalapeño 250 (Daytona)|
|First win||1996 Humminbird Fishfinder 500K (Talladega)|
|Last win||1996 Humminbird Fishfinder 500K (Talladega)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|1 race run over 1 year|
|Best finish||106th (2004)|
|First race||2004 O'Reilly 400K (Texas)|
|Last race||2004 O'Reilly 400K (Texas)|
|Statistics current as of December 8, 2012.|
Greg Sacks (born November 3, 1952, in Mattituck, Long Island, New York) is a former NASCAR driver. He is married to his wife Vicky and lives in Ormond Beach, Florida. Together they had three children: Paul, Brian, and Rachel. He and his sons are partners in Grand Touring Vodka.
Sacks has 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, he won 17 races at Stafford Motor Speedway. 1982 was an especially good year to him, as he won the track championship that year, as well as the [Spring Sizzler, The Ferrera 100 and the Fall Final]. Greg also won The "Dogwood Classic [Martinsville Speedway], the Bud Classic [Oswego Speedway], The Thompson 300 [ Thompson In't Speedway], The World Series of Asphalt (Thompson Speedway) and the Race of Champions at Pocono Raceway.
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. Sacks competed in four more events that season, posting a best finish of 17th in the Champion Spark Plugs 400 at Michigan, the only race he finished that year.
Success in the 1980s
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. 1985 got off to a rough start for Sacks. After the first four races, his father's team folded.
Seven races later, Sacks was able to hook on to the #49 Cleaner Hands Formula car owned by 1966 NASCAR Rookie of the Year James Hylton. 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 1987, he signed to drive the #50 Valvoline Oil Pontiac for the Dingman Brothers, where he struggled with qualifying for each race. Three-quarters of the way through 1988, Sacks left the team to drive for Buddy Baker's team, the #88 Red Baron Frozen Pizza Oldsmobile. Despite posting two top ten finishes in the first ten races of the 1989 season, Sacks was replaced by rookie Jimmy Spencer. Sacks was unemployed for a brief period then joined on with Tom Winkle's #75 Dinner Bell Foods Pontiac for most of the season, joining with Rick Hendrick at Phoenix.
Sacks started off 1990 in a familiar place; no ride. 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. 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. But the most memorable part of his season was winning the pole position at what has turned out to be a landmark race for him, the Pepsi Firecracker 400. Following the practice crash by teammate Waltrip, NASCAR officials noted that several teams had made modifications, and NASCAR made the teams spot-weld the blocks back into place, causing a loss of power. Trying to make up for lost speed, Sacks raced so hard he caused a massive 23-car pileup at the end of the first lap, taking out eight cars, including Sacks. No one was seriously hurt in that race. But it gave Sacks a reputation of being an excellent qualifier, as shown in 1989, when he won the pole for just his second Busch Series race.
Sacks started off 1991 at the Daytona 500 driving his own #18 with a special paint scheme from the U.S. Navy, but crashed early in the race. He ran ten more races that year in the #47 Oldsmobile for Derick Close, posting two top-twenty finishes. He started 1992 with Larry Hedrick Motorsports, but suffered injuries in a lap five crash at the Champion Spark Plug 400, and only drove one race for the rest of the season. He moved on to Tri-Star Motorsports in 1993, and finished sixth at the DieHard 500. In 1994, Sacks set the track record at Atlanta when he won the pole. 1994 also marked just the second time in his Cup career he completed the full schedule, piloting the #77 USAir Ford owned by D.K. Ulrich. Sacks raced part-time in Cup and Busch over the next couple of years, winning a Busch Series race in a one-off deal for Diamond Ridge Motorsports at Talladega Superspeedway in 1996. The next year, he started out driving the #20 Hardee's Ford for championship owner Harry Ranier, but was soon released as sponsorship money dried up; following his release, he sued the team, claiming breach of contract. Later in the season, he filled in for rookie driver Robby Gordon, who had suffered burns in the Indianapolis 500. After Gordon was released later in the year, Sacks finished the season for the team.
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.
Sacks made his return in 1999 in the Busch Series, but only qualified for one of the several races he attempted. Sacks tried his hand at Winston Cup again in 2000, attempting that year's Daytona 500 in the #96 Island Oasis Chevrolet. He did not make the field. After making sporadic races in modifieds, Sacks announced his return to the Winston Cup Series and Busch Series in the summer of 2002, driving the #05 Chevy sponsored by the board game FRANCHI$IT. Sacks, who described FRANCHI$IT as "The Board Game of the 21st Century.," teamed with Loren Fossie to form "Team FRANCHI$IT/Sacks Racing." Originally set to debut at the Brickyard 400, the date was pushed to the fall race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Nothing has been heard from the team since, and it is not clear if the team was originally planned as a marketing tool for FRANCHI$IT.
In 2004, Sacks formed Daytona Speed Inc., with Ed Raabe and James Wilsberg. Making its first attempt at Chicagoland Speedway, the team did not make a race until the Pennsylvania 500 the next month. In February 2005, Raabe departed to form his own race team (Chevrolet), leaving all of the (Dodge) Daytona Speed equipment in care if Sacks. Sacks ran both Pocono races in 2005, and finished 43rd in both of them.
The team attempted a part-time schedule in 2006 with Who's Your Daddy? being the team's primary sponsor, but failed to make the field for any race. In early 2007, an arbitrator forced Who's Your Daddy? to pay over a million dollars to Sacks after an alleged contract violation.
Sacks has no immediate plans for a full race time schedule, but will run a partial schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and ARCA/ReMAX series in 2008. He tried to qualify for the ARCA race at Daytona but missed the field after posting the 48th best qualifying time.
Sacks and his family, who own Grand Touring Vodka, sponsored JR Motorsports for the 2011 Nationwide Series season.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)
Nextel Cup Series
Craftsman Truck Series
|NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series results|
|2004||Ron Rhodes Racing||48||Dodge||DAY
- Byrd, Alan (September 29, 1997). "Driver wins cash, loses contract, sues NASCAR team". Orlando Business Journal. Orlando, FL. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- [dead link]
- http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100518/BREAKINGNEWS/100518009/1086/Greg+Sacks+returns+to+NASCAR+under+Dale+Jr.+s+wing. Retrieved 2013-12-29. Missing or empty
- Unofficial website
- Greg Sacks driver statistics at Racing-Reference
- Greg Sacks at the Internet Movie Database