Pete Orr (racing driver)
|Charles "Pete" Orr|
|Born||July 29, 1956|
Miami, Florida, United States
|Died||November 18, 2002 (aged 46)|
Montverde, Florida, USA
|Cause of death||Lymphoma|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|6 races run over 2 years|
|Best finish||65th – 1996|
|First race||1995 Gatorade 200 (Darlington)|
|Last race||1996 Goody's Headache Powder 250 (Bristol)|
Charles "Pete" Orr (July 29, 1956 – November 18, 2002) was an American stock car racing driver. Regarded as a superstar in Florida late model competition, Orr competed primarily in the lower levels of racing, but did have a brief NASCAR Busch Series career; his death from lymphoma in 2002 led to the State of Florida enacting insurance reform.
Born in Miami but a long-time resident of Montverde, Florida, Orr competed in local short track racing events throughout Florida starting in the 1970s. He ran for Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Winston All-American Challenge Series, later renamed the Slim Jim All Pro Series, in 1988; he competed in the series over the next several years, both as a driver and as crew chief for fellow Florida racer David Russell. Orr continued competing in local events as well, winning the FASCAR Triple Crown Series in 1991. In 1992 he won the prestigious Orange Blossom 100 at New Smyrna Speedway for the second consecutive year; he also won the speedway's World Series of Asphalt championship.
In 1995, having left local competition in an attempt to make it at the top levels of the sport, Orr made his debut in NASCAR national touring competition, driving for David Ridling in the Busch Grand National Series. Orr was 39; he had promised his wife he would retire if he hadn't reached the Busch Series level by age 40. Driving the No. 88 Chevrolet with sponsorship from Farmer's Choice Fertilizer, he ran two races in the 1995 season, at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, with a best finish of 29th; he failed to qualify for the two final races of the season.
Remaining with Ridling's team for the 1996 season, Orr planned full-time in the Busch Series, declaring his intention to compete for Rookie of the Year honors; in the season-opening Goody's 300 at Daytona International Speedway, Orr qualified tenth for the series' biggest race of the year, but was involved in an accident, finishing 40th of 46 cars and completing only 50 laps. Orr failed to qualify three times over the next six races, with his best finish in the three races which he qualified for being 34th, at Richmond International Raceway in the third race of the season, and Bristol International Raceway in the seventh. Bristol's Goody's Headache Powder 250 would be Orr's final race in NASCAR's higher levels; before the race the following week at Hickory Motor Speedway, Ridling released him from the team, replacing him with Kevin Lepage, who would go on to win at the season's final race.
Following his aborted Busch Series career, Orr returned to local short track competition, racing as far afield as DeSoto Speedway in Florida and Jennerstown Speedway in Pennsylvania in 2000.
Suffering from lymphoma, he retired from racing in 2001, having scored over 300 wins in racing competition Orr became a victim of insurance fraud, with over $250,000 in claims being refused by his insurance company; the racing community assisted in paying for his medical treatment. Orr died of his cancer on November 18, 2002; he was survived by his wife Terri, three sons, and a daughter.
Orr's insurance issues led to the Florida Legislature passing insurance reform following his death; the measure was referred to as the "Pete Orr Insurance Anti-Fraud Act", or more simply as the "Pete Orr Bill". from 2003 until 2015, the Orange Blossom 100 was named the Pete Orr Memorial, with the family supporting the race; Orr had won the event four times, more than any other driver.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)
|NASCAR Busch Series results|
- Marseglia, Paul (August 7, 1990). "DiCandio holds on for first feature win". The Daily Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. p. 4. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Matthews, Mark K. (November 21, 2002). "Racing legend Charles 'Pete' Orr captured trophies for 3 decades". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, FL. p. B6. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Coole, Terri (February 22, 1996). "Montverde's Orr skids out of Daytona race". Lake Sentinel. Orlando, FL. p. 11B. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Orr Captures Hobby Race". The Palm Beach Post-Times. West Palm Beach, FL. July 21, 1974. p. E6. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Pete Orr wins race on way to Challenge". The Daily Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. 1988. p. 9. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Dame, Mike (August 15, 1991). "Orlando's Russell making run for rookie points title". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, FL. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Marseglia, Paul (November 5, 1991). "Orr wins $1,000 prize in Speedworld 50 laps". The Daily Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. p. 4. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Marseglia, Paul (January 29, 1992). "Orr keeps hands on Orange Blossom title". The Daily Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. p. 5. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Marseglia, Paul (February 9, 1993). "New Smyrna gets green flag". The Daily Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. p. 6. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Orr races to DeSoto win". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, FL. April 17, 1995. p. 5C. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Zizzo, Mike (July 27, 1995). "Orr takes long road to Grand National". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, FL. p. D10. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Pete Orr – 1995 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Purvis is making splash at Daytona". The Gadsden Times. Gadsden, AL. February 17, 1996. p. B5. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Williams, Charlean (February 18, 1996). "Busch rookie Orr banged up, finishes 40th". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, FL. p. S2. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Pete Orr – 1996 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Oakes, Kalle. "Lepage gets a big break, deservedly so". Sun-Journal. Lewiston, ME. p. 1C. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Biebrich, Richard Jr. (November 4, 1996). "Lepage Wins A Safe Jiffy Lube". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, FL. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Racing back on track at Speedway". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. June 27, 1998. p. 5A. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Patience pays off for No. 6 qualifier". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, FL. February 7, 2000. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Florida driver increases level of competition in Late Models". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. April 30, 2000. p. D20. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Groeller, Greg (April 15, 2002). "Insurance Scams Dupe Floridians". The Ledger. Lakeland, FL. p. B1. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Cole, Christine (June 21, 2002). "Racing-memorabilia sales to aid driver's cancer fund". Lake Sentinel. Orlando, FL. p. G4. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Groeller, Greg (April 6, 2003). "Legislators take on unlicensed insurers". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, FL. p. H1. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Florida's Gallagher Applauds Anti-Fraud Law". Insurance Journal. San Diego, CA: Wells Media Group. June 18, 2003. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "State financial officer applauds Pete Orr bill". Orlando Business Journal. Orlando, FL. March 27, 2003. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- Shacklette, Buddy (February 1, 2003). "Pete Orr Memorial Orange Blossom 125 set". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Daytona Beach, FL. p. 2A. Retrieved 2012-06-15.