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Buddy Baker

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Buddy Baker
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Wikipedia: Buddy Baker

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Born: 25 January 1941
Died: 10 August 2015
Full Name: Elzie Wylie Baker Jr.
Hometown: Florence, South Carolina, USA

Former NASCAR driver, son of Buck Baker.
Accomplishments include:
Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends (1995)
International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1997)
National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame (1997)
Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)

Biography

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Automotive Industries page on 2 October 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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.


Photographs

Buddy Baker Dodge Daytona Replica Replica Car
Photo Courtesy

Photo by Anthony Mojica
June 20, 2009
View photo of Buddy Baker replica car - 1,876KB
Buddy Baker at Pocono in 1984 1984
Photo by Mike Traverse
View photo of Buddy Baker at Pocono in 1984 - 259KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License (CC BY-SA 2.0).
1985 Buddy Baker Car at the 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 106KB
1985 Buddy Baker Car at the 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 1,322KB
1985 Buddy Baker Car at the 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 1,538KB
1985 Buddy Baker Car at the 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1985 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 1,520KB
1986 Buddy Baker Car at the 1986 Champion Spark Plug 400 1986 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1986 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 1,488KB
1986 Buddy Baker Car at the 1986 Champion Spark Plug 400 1986 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1986 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 1,214KB
1987 Buddy Baker Car at the 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 210KB
1987 Buddy Baker Car at the 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 171KB
1987 Buddy Baker Car at the 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 1,260KB
1987 Buddy Baker Car at the 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
View photo of Buddy Baker at the 1987 Champion Spark Plug 400 - 1,389KB


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
15 March 2004Check out the best all-Mopar event around NASCAR star, new concepts at Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals, July 9-11Carlisle Events
8 February 2013NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Buck Baker (Part 4/5)Buddy Baker
Susan Baker
Jeff Gordon
8 February 2013NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Buck BakerBuddy Baker
Susan Baker


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Collector Card - 1992 Maxx 20Buddy BakerUnited States Marines
Model Kit - AMT 8042Buddy Baker Thunderbird Stock Car1:25 scale, #21 Valvoline


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