January 29, 1945 |
Hickory, North Carolina
|NASCAR Nationwide Series career|
|417 race(s) run over 15 year(s)|
|2nd - 1989|
|First race||1982 Goody's 300 (Daytona)|
|Last race||1996 AC Delco 200 (Rockingham)|
|First win||1982 Eastern 150 (Richmond)|
|Last win||1992 Mountain Dew 400 (Hickory)|
|Statistics current as of February 26, 2007.|
Tommy Houston, (born on January 29, 1945) is a retired NASCAR Busch Series' drivers. Over his career, Houston and Jack Ingram became known as the pair journeymen drivers that helped that series grow throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
Houston was born in Hickory, North Carolina, and was in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsmen division, winning nearly 150 races before the series was formed into the Busch Series.
Busch Series career
Houston made the inaugural race of the Busch Series at the 1982 Daytona race. Driving the #27 Kings Inn Chevy for Mike Day, Houston started 23rd and finished the race in 9th position. The very next week, Houston started 15th at the series first ever short track race Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. From there, Houston moved solidly through the field and held off Bubba Nissen for the win. After problems at Bristol, Houston put together a run of 5 top-10 finishes. However, inconsistency through the year cost him. He did not finish the last 3 races as well as 7 others. That cost him any shot at the title. At Hickory Speedway in August, however, Houston held off Tommy Ellis for his second career win after starting 4th. All told, he finished 4th in the 1982 Busch Series points.
In 1983, Houston began running his #6 full-time. He was able to reduce his DNF count from 10 to 6. He had four more top-10 finishes. He won two races at Orange County Speedway, and one each at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Hickory. He also finished 2nd three times. His sponsors over the years included Southern Biscuit Flour, Roses Stores, and later Red Devil Paints.
Houston snapped a 50 race winless streak at his home track on Easter Sunday in 1992 after the loss of his father the day before. Houston came from 3 laps down to overtake Bobby Labonte for the win. The USA Today headline read "Divine Intervention".
His family was very involved in his efforts. He was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 2008.
Nationwide Series Statistics
|Year||Races||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||Poles||Rank|
Houston is the uncle of Teresa Earnhardt (Dale Earnhardt's wife), then president and Co. Chief Executive Officer of Chip Ganassi Racing. His son Andy Houston raced in all of the three major NASCAR series.
- Jensen, Tom. Barrett-Jackson Wrapped, It's NASCAR Time, SpeedTV.com, January 21, 2008