Rodney Orr

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Rodney Orr
Rodney Orr 1993
Born Rodney Bryan Orr
(1962-11-06)November 6, 1962
Robbinsville, North Carolina, U.S.
Died February 14, 1994(1994-02-14) (aged 31)
Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
Cause of death Autoracing accident
Achievements 1993 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
0 races run over 1 year
First race Killed during practice for the 1994 Daytona 500
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

Rodney Bryan Orr (November 6, 1962 - February 14, 1994) was an American stock car racing driver. The 1993 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion, he was killed in an accident during practice for the 1994 Daytona 500.


Orr was born in Robbinsville, North Carolina.[1] A graduate of Robbinsville High School, Orr was a resident of Palm Coast, Florida and started his racing career at Volusia County Speedway in the late 1980s.[2] He was the rookie of the year in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series in 1992, and won the series' 1993 championship.[2]


Originally, Orr and his father Beacher had planned to advance to the Busch Series, Grand National Division (now Xfinity Series). But when NASCAR announced plans to change the second-tier engine formula from the six-cylinder engines used in the class to a limited-compression (9.5:1) eight-cylinder engine, they purchased a Ford Thunderbird during the 1993-1994 off-season,[1] he acquired an engine from Ernie Elliott and the chassis from Robert Yates Racing in hopes of competing in the 1994 Winston Cup Series.[3] Orr's No. 37 was one of seven cars to exceed 190 miles per hour at one test session that winter. However, before he could run a single race, Orr was killed in practice before the 1994 Daytona 500.

During practice for second round Daytona 500 qualifying on February 14, 1994, Orr was making what was a mock qualifying run when he spun entering turn two. His car lifted up and slammed heavily into the outside retaining wall and catch fence with the roof at over 175 mph. The caution light was found pierced into the roof of the car. Although there were efforts to save him, Orr had instantly died of massive chest and head injuries.[4] The 31-year-old driver was survived by his wife, Crystal, and daughter Ashton. It was later found that a mounting stud, a part that holds the shock absorber to the car, had broken, rendering the car uncontrollable.[5] Orr's death came four days after that of Neil Bonnett on the same track.[6]

Photo scandal[edit]

In 2001, Orr gained attention again after the death of Dale Earnhardt when his autopsy photos as well as those of Bonnett and pop star Lisa Lopes were displayed on the internet. Earnhardt's widow Teresa testified before Congress to ensure Earnhardt's autopsy photos would not be published in a similar fashion.[7] Orr's father sued the owner of the website which had published the photos of his son, stating a claim for outrageous publication of a public record.[8]

Motorsports career results[edit]


(key) (Bold - pole position awarded by qualifying time Italics - pole position earned by points standings or practice time * – most laps led.)

Winston Cup Series[edit]


  1. ^ a b Williams, Charean (February 15, 1994). "Neil Bonnett, now Rodney Orr - Daytona loses 2nd racer". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Owens, Jeff (February 15, 1994). "Tragedy shocks NASCAR scene. Rookie racer Orr killed in crash". Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, South Carolina. 
  3. ^ Williams, Charean (January 9, 1994). "Orr making jump to Winston Cup". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ Glick, Shav (February 15, 1994). "Death hits Daytona once again. Rodney Orr becomes second driver in four days to die in crash at speedway.". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ Berry, Steve; Williams, Charean (July 3, 1994). "Broken part caused Orr to crash". Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, South Carolina. 
  6. ^ Zier, Patrick (February 12, 1994). "Daytona crash kills Bonnett". The Ledger. Lakeland, Florida. 
  7. ^ Rodman, Dave (March 30, 2001). "Earnhardt victory marred by Web exposure". Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ Lyons, Andrew (May 24, 2001). "Father of NASCAR crash victim Rodney Orr sues Web site over autopsy photos". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. 

External links[edit]

  • Rodney Orr driver statistics at Racing-Reference
Preceded by
Neil Bonnett
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fatal accidents
Succeeded by
Kenny Irwin, Jr.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mickey York
NASCAR Goody's Dash Series Champion
Succeeded by
Will Hobgood