Banjo Matthews

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Banjo Matthews
Born (1932-02-14)February 14, 1932
Akron, Ohio
Died October 2, 1996(1996-10-02) (aged 64)
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Cause of death heart and respiratory disease
Awards Inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1998
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
51 races run over 10 years
Best finish 10th (1960)
First race 1952 Southern 500 (Darlington)
Last race 1963 World 600 (Charlotte)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 13 3

Edwin Keith "Banjo" Matthews (February 14, 1932 – October 2, 1996) was a NASCAR driver, car owner and builder.



He was also a successful Modified driver. He made 51 starts in the NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) Series, with a best finish of second.[1][2] He won three poles, one each at the Daytona Beach Road Course, Daytona International Speedway, and Atlanta International Raceway.

His best finishes were on super speedways where he would finish in 15th place on average while his worst finishes would be on road courses where he would finish in 39th place on average. Matthews' primary vehicle for professional stock car racing was the #94 (in which he drove 26 races under that particular number).[3]

Car owner/builder[edit]

He served as car owner for several of the biggest names in NASCAR in the 1960s and 1970s; guiding the careers of legendary drivers like Fireball Roberts, A. J. Foyt, Junior Johnson, Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough. Matthews' career as a NASCAR team owner began at the 1957 Southern 500 and ended at the 1974 Southeastern 500.[4] Matthews also served as co-crew chief for Jack Ingram in 1975, with Junior Johnson.[5]

He is best known, however, for having constructed (with the assistance of Holman Moody in his first carbuilding years) many cars in the 1970s and 1980s, including 72% of the winning cars in the top NASCAR division from 1974 to 1985.[1]



  1. ^ a b Circle Track magazine, Retrieved April 1, 2007
  2. ^ Driver's statistics at, Retrieved April 2, 2007
  3. ^ NASCAR statistics for Banjo Matthews at Driver Averages
  4. ^ Owner's statistics at, Retrieved April 1, 2007
  5. ^ "Six Pack of Pop: Hall of Famer Jack Ingram". NASCAR. October 9, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.