H. B. Bailey

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H. B. Bailey
Born (1936-11-15)November 15, 1936
Houston, Texas
Died April 17, 2003(2003-04-17) (aged 66)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
85 races run over 27 years
Best finish 5th - 1965 (Grand National)
First race 1962 Dixie 400 (Atlanta)
Last race 1993 Mountain Dew Southern 500 (Darlington)
Wins Top tens Poles
5

Herring Burl "H. B." Bailey (November 15, 1936 – April 17, 2003) was a NASCAR driver. He raced his #36 Pontiac part-time as an independent driver in the Grand National/Winston Cup series from 1962 to 1993 making 85 races over his career.

Although he never ran a full schedule, he still had he share of fans. He became the first driver to take a qualifying lap for the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994.

Darlington Raceway was one of the goateed driver's favorite venues and he was a three-time member of the UNOCAL/Darlington Record Club at the famed South Carolina oval. Bailey made his final start in the 1993 Southern 500 at Darlington.

In the 1972 NASCAR Grand American division, Bailey won the pole for the opener at Daytona International Speedway, won at Nashville and finished second in the national championship standings to Wayne Andrews.

Bailey said he began racing at Playland Park, near Houston, in 1954. He won the track championship there in 1959. Coincidentally A.J. Foyt started his career in 1953 at Playland Park.

He died of heart failure on April 17, 2003. When he died, Richard Petty said "Our sport was built by people like H.B. Bailey", who raced alongside Bailey for virtually his entire career. "We all did things the same way in those days -- we drove ourselves to the race track, we worked hard when we got there, we raced hard and then we drove home. "H.B. was a racer through and through, and the sport is better off because he was a part of it. We will miss him."

His son, Joe Dan, who has had his own successful career in NASCAR over the last twenty years, participating on Daytona 500 winning and Winston Cup championship teams and becoming a crew chief in the Busch Series.