|Best finish 5th (1977)|
Name Buddy Baker
|Role Race car driver|
Height 1.98 m
|Born Elzie Wylie Baker, Jr.
January 25, 1941
Florence, South Carolina, U.S. (1941-01-25) |
Achievements 1980 Daytona 500 Winner 1970 Southern 500 Winner 1968, 1972, 1973 World 600 Winner 1975, 1976, 1980 Winston 500 Winner 1979 Busch Clash Winner
Awards Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998) International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee (1995) National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame inductee (1997) Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends inductee (1995)
First race 1959 untitled race (Columbia)
Last race 1992 Winston 500 (Talladega)
First win 1967 National 500 (Charlotte)
Died August 10, 2015, Lake Norman of Catawba, North Carolina, United States
Spouse Patricia Shane Prendergast Baker (m. ?–2015)
Children Brandon Baker, Bryan Baker, Susie Baker
Books Buddy Baker Tenor Trombone Method
Similar People Buck Baker, Benny Parsons, Terry Gilliam, Steve Byrnes
TNN "The Great Drivers" - Buddy Baker
Elzie Wylie "Buddy" Baker Jr. (January 25, 1941 – August 10, 2015) was an American NASCAR driver and sports commentator.
- TNN The Great Drivers Buddy Baker
- Early life
- Winston Cup Series
- International Race of Champions
Elzie Wylie Baker Jr. was born in Florence, South Carolina, the son of two-time winner of the NASCAR Championship and a Hall of Fame member Buck Baker and brother of fellow racer Randy Baker. Baker began his NASCAR career in 1959. In 1970, he became the first driver to ever exceed 200 mph (320 km/h) on a closed course. This World Record feat was accomplished in the Chrysler Engineering blue No. 88 Charger Daytona, which is being restored in Detroit.
During his career, Baker won nineteen races including the 1980 Daytona 500, NASCAR's most prestigious race. His victory remains the fastest Daytona 500 ever run, with an average speed of 177.602 mph (285.809 km/h).
Baker is one of nine drivers to have won a Career Grand Slam, by winning the sport's four majors – the Daytona 500, Aaron's 499, Coca-Cola 600, and the Southern 500.; Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick are the other eight to have accomplished the feat. He is the only one of the eight to not win the championship.
He generally raced part-time, competing in every race in only three seasons. He owned a car with Danny Schiff from 1985 to 1989, and was instrumental in the career of Jimmy Spencer. He competed in two International Race of Champions series. His final race in NASCAR was in 1992.
Baker helped run the Buck Baker Racing School with his brother for a number of years.
Baker was the first driver to exceed the 200 mph mark on March 24, 1970 on a closed course test run. His speed was clocked at 200.447 miles per hour (322.588 km/h); a record that was broken later that year by Bobby Isaac. It was recently found out that the Isaac car had two four barrel carbs on it, therefore that run was not done in a legal car.
From 1991 until 2000, he became a television commentator on The Nashville Network and later (1994–2000) races produced by their World Sports Enterprises division, including CBS races and TBS races. After the 2000 season Baker could still be heard on TNN, calling the American Speed Association races in 2001 and 2002 with Bob Dillner (their final race call was for the 2002 Winchester 400). During 2007, Baker could be heard as the part-time co-host of The Driver's Seat with John Kernan on Sirius Satellite Radio. From 2011 until 2015, he co-hosted Late Shift with Brad Gillie, and Tradin' Paint with Jim Noble on SiriusXM.
Baker resigned effective immediately on July 7, 2015 due to inoperable lung cancer, stating "Do not shed a tear. Give a smile when you say my name". He died on August 10, 2015 at his home in Catawba County, North Carolina. During the August 2015 race weekend at Michigan International Speedway, all three NASCAR series honored Baker by placing stickers on their cars side to remember the legacy that Baker had left behind.
In 1997, Baker joined his father as an inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama. He, previously, had been inducted into the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends in 1995, and into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 1997. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
Winston Cup Series
Daytona 500 results
International Race of Champions
(key) (Bold – Pole position. * – Most laps led.)