Jim Vandiver

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jim Vandiver
Born December 13, 1939
Huntersville, North Carolina
Died June 18, 2015(2015-06-18) (aged 75)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
85 races run over 14 years
Best finish 30th – 1975
First race 1968 Hickory 250 (Hickory Speedway)
Last race 1983 World 600 (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 24 0

Jim Vandiver (December 13, 1939 – June 18, 2015) was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver who raced from 1968 to 1983.[1][2] As an independent driver, he had limited financial resources but enjoyed a level of success that relatively few independent drivers had during the formative years of NASCAR.


Vandiver competed in 85 races with five finishes in the top-five, 24 top-ten finishes, 117 laps led out of 16529, and a total mileage count of 24247.8 miles.[1][2] Over his career, he had a total of $167,703 in winnings earned on the track ($412,057.42 when adjusted for inflation).[1][2]

At the 1972 Daytona 500, Vandiver finished third to winner A. J. Foyt. Vandiver is also the only undefeated ARCA driver at Talladega Superspeedway with victories in 1970 and 1975.[1][2]

Most of Vandiver's earlier racers were done in Dodge vehicles. In his later career, he drove Oldsmobile and Chevrolet racecars.

He later operated Choice Trucks, a used truck dealership in Huntersville, North Carolina.[1]

He was involved in the controversial 1969 Talladega 500, where he came in second place to Richard Brickhouse in a questionable finish. To the best of his ability, Vandiver remembered Brickhouse being lapped because he stopped to pit under the green flag. Even after three hours of arguing the decision, Brickhouse was still made the winner of the event.

Another controversial finish came at the 1973 Southern 500 in Darlington, South Carolina. Vandiver was due to be arrested for not showing up to divorce court for a child custody hearing. He had to figure out a way to avoid going to jail after the race. He got someone to hit his vehicle on the chain-linked fence to eliminate himself from the race. He then had to hitchhike a ride to Monroe, North Carolina in order to get home and have a cold glass of beer without the authorities seizing him on the track in front of the spectators.[3]

Personal life and death[edit]

Vandiver was divorced and had four children; Emory, Rhett, Nicole and Shannon. Emory is a former softball player while Nicole and Shannon are practicing lawyers in Davidson, North Carolina.[4]

On June 15, 2015, Vandiver was admitted to a Charlotte hospital for chest pains. He died three days later at the age of 75.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e "1976 Dixie 500 information". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  2. ^ a b c d "1976 Dixie 500 information (second reference)". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  3. ^ "A Sit Down With Jim Vandiver; A True Pioneer Of NASCAR". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  4. ^ "Meet the Staff of Choice Trucks". Choice Trucks. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  5. ^ Bonkowski, Jerry (June 20, 2015). "Inaugural Talladega runner-up Jim Vandiver remembered". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2015-06-20.