NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Bud Moore
May 23, 2011
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
MIKE JOY: Good evening, everyone. Welcome to an historic night for a sport very rich in history.
As was the case last year when we inducted the NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class, we are again privileged to be in the presence of greatness.
Let's begin this memorable evening by welcoming our two living members of the Hall's inaugural class of inductees.
A round of applause for a man whose legend ran wide and deep as a car owner and driver, Junior Johnson.
The winner of 200 races and a seven-time champion of what's now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, stock car racing's one and only king, Richard Petty.
Now let's acknowledge tonight's 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees.
A hero on the battle fields of World War II, one of NASCAR's pioneering car owners, Bud Moore.
Let's recognize NASCAR's first three-time Sprint Cup champion, the late Lee Petty, represented tonight by members of the Petty family.
A champion as a driver, a trailblazer as a broadcaster, Ned Jarrett.
The leader of the famed and feared Alabama Gang, and Sprint Cup Series champion, Bobby Allison.
And the winner of 105 Sprint Cup races, three-time champion, the Silver Fox, David Pearson.
Congratulations to you all on this great evening.
These impressive five spires behind me on stage will forever honor our 2011 inductees, serving as focal points in the prestigious hall of honor. Let's go there now.
MIKE JOY: Two generations of France family leadership are members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class, Bill France, Sr. and Bill France, Jr. Tonight we're please to be joined by the family's third generation NASCAR leader. Please welcome the chairman and CEO of NASCAR, Brian France.
BRIAN FRANCE: Good evening and welcome. This is fast becoming a night we all look forward to on the calendar. The second class here at the Hall of Fame, a great one. So on behalf of the France family, everyone at NASCAR, and most importantly, the millions of fans who love this sport, thank you, the second class, for the memories and moments that you gave this great sport.
I couldn't be more pleased to see all five and your families collected tonight and deserving honor that is bestowed. For that, looking forward to the rest of the evening. Enjoy the evening.
MIKE JOY: The life story of tonight's first inductee, Bud Moore, reads like the script for a Hollywood movie. It's full of courage and charisma and accomplishment.
MIKE JOY: Considering the legacy of Bud Moore, this is a most appropriate time for us to salute the men and women of our American armed forces with us in the hall this evening, those watching on SPEED, and those serving around the world.
Thank you all for your service past and present and your patriotism.
Tonight's first presenter is a long-time card-playing and golfing pal of tonight's first inductee. You've known him for more than four decades as the most trusted voice of NASCAR racing.
Here to induct Bud Moore, MRN radio anchor Barney Hall.
BARNEY HALL: Thank you and good evening.
I'm going to ask you to bear with me a little bit. I've been a little under the weather, but I wouldn't miss this for the world.
Bud Moore's career in NASCAR is something he should be proud of. He's been called a pioneer in NASCAR racing and rightly so. Bud was there from the very beginning. When he came home from the war, Bud started to dabble in some local racing. He always liked fast cars and there wasn't much Bud didn't know about making them go quicker. He was especially good looking for motors.
After the war ended, people over the south were looking for entertainment and racing filled that up. Whether it was racing on a short track on Saturday night or a dirt track on Sunday afternoon or whatever, Bud saw that need and wanted to be a part of it.
Bill France, Sr. was just getting NASCAR started at that time. France was trying to create a new class of racecar. He called it strictly stock cars and it was catching on. Bill knew if a race fan or maybe an ordinary working man could buy the same car that NASCAR was racing, it had to catch on and it had to be successful. Bill France was right.
Bud Moore liked what he saw in Bill France's plans for NASCAR, just natural for Bud Moore and Bill France to become friends. Bill had a vision of what NASCAR could become and where it would go and Bud Moore knew what it would take to get him there, that was a lot of fast cars and good drivers. Bud had access to that because at one time, Spartanburg, South Carolina, was the capital of NASCAR racing. There were more teams there than there was anywhere in the country.
Bud had access to a race shop. Most of the guys that ever worked for him said one thing: If you were successful, you did it Bud's way. It was that simple. Didn't make any difference if you wanted to change a spring in the car, Bud didn't want it changed, you didn't change it. More times than not, Bud was right.
Bill France, Sr., when they were making changes even in the early years, if they were making rule changes or doing something different, Bill France had three people he would call. He would always call Bud Moore, he'd call Junior Johnson, he'd touch base with the Wood Brothers to let them know what was going on.
I'll be quite frank with you. The first time I met Bud Moore and kind of hung around the pits with he and his boys, I thought he worked for Colonel Sanders. The reason was all they talked about was breasts, legs and thighs. They still do today (laughter).
Tell you about a few drivers. We have seen a lot of the videos and whatever that Bud won races with drivers like Fireball Roberts, Donnie Allison, Joe Weatherly, Dale Earnhardt. The list is so long. I think there were nearly 35 different drivers that Bud Moore had in his cars over the years.
Had some very headstrong personalities, too. Bobby Allison was one of those. A lot of times Bud and Bob didn't see eye-to-eye, but they still had great success for about three or four years.
It was Bud Moore's task to groom Dale Earnhardt for the superstar and champion he would become in later years. Buddy Baker and Bud Moore had all kinds of success, and there was nitro and dynamite between those two, that's what it was.
Dale Earnhardt told me several times that Bud Moore helped him learn more about what racing was all about than anyone he ever talked to.
Bud raced just about every make of car there was. Pontiacs, Chevrolets, Mercury, he was the famous Hudson Hornet. A lot of Bud's success was racing the Ford cars. Bud was very loyal to Ford cars over the years. They were together till Bud Moore retired. Edsel Ford said when Bud Moore was involved in their Trans-Am program, that that was some of the most exciting years Ford ever had in racing.
It would take hours to touch on everything that Bud Moore did in NASCAR and all the other different divisions, the Winston Cup Grand National, SECA, Trans American Series, Bud Moore played a big part in all of that.
I can say I never heard anyone ever say a bad word about Bud Moore. Of course, I'm hard of hearing, so, Bud, you take that for what you will.
Several drivers had some comments to make about Bud when they drove for him.
Ricky Rudd said it's a shame that Bud isn't involved in NASCAR today. He has so much knowledge and talent that could help the sport.
Donnie Allison said Bud Moore was as instrumental in the progress of NASCAR as anybody. He ran all types of racecars, and he won races in everything he run. Bud was a real innovator in this sport.
Wouldn't be Barney Hall if you didn't tell a couple stories on Bud Moore, I guess. One of the stories on Bud. When he got his draft notice, went down to the draft board, he asked the recruiters if he could get in the Navy instead of going into the Army because Cotton Owens and some of his buddies from Spartanburg were in the Navy and Bud wanted to get in the Navy, too. The recruiters told him they have a quota, they're full, we can't put you in. We'll go ahead and do the examination on you, so you'll be ready, we'll see what happens.
They're doing different tests on Bud. Finally the guy came over and told Bud, he said, Look, there's nothing available right now in the Navy, so it's going to be a while maybe before you get in there. We're going to give you an eye test. If you pass that, we'll put you in the Marine Corps. Bud didn't want to go in the Marines. He didn't have anything against them, but he really wanted to go in the Navy.
So his mind starts working 90 miles an hour. How can I mess with this recruiter's mind and maybe mess this eye test up and have a shot maybe later in the week to do it?
The guy said, OK, Mr. Moore, we're going to give you the eye test now. He said, There's a chart on the wall. There's five lines on it. Can you read the bottom line?
Bud looked at it and he said, No, I can't.
He said, How about the second line?
Bud hesitated a minute and said, No, I can't read that either.
So the recruiter said, Well, what about the top line? All the numbers are big, surely you can read that.
Bud says, No, sir, I can't read that either.
This guy said, You can't read any line on this chart, you must be totally blind.
Bud said, No, I can see good, I just can't read (laughter).
Bud was so competitive in all the years that he was in this business, especially with all his racecars and everything else he did. But he was also competitive when it come to telling tall tales in the pits and different things like that. I'll give you one example of it.
Some of his buddies were talking about how hot and dry it was down in Spartanburg. Cotton Owens said it was so hot he saw a dog chasing a rabbit and they was both walking.
David Pearson said he had fish in his pond that were six weeks old and couldn't even swim.
Bud said, I can top that. That ain't nothing. The creek, it was so dry on my farm, we've been catching catfish with ticks on them (laughter).
But if I can be a little serious about Bud Moore. He's been a friend for a long, long time. I've never met a man that's any more competitive, but I've also never met very few people that have a heart of gold like Bud Moore did.
There were several teams over the years, probably a lot of guys in this room tonight, if they came up short at the racetrack, they needed an engine, tires, help, whatever, Bud was there to do it and help them. He's still that way today.
It's been a pleasure knowing all the guys that are in this class, this Hall of Fame tonight. Old sorry David Pearson down there. Known him from a long time back, had a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll have some more.
A lot of drivers and mechanics, car owners and crew personnel owe so much of their success to Bud Moore, you've given us some great memories.
So would you come to the stage at this time, Bud Moore.
Bud, on this 23rd day of May, it's my honor to induct Bud Moore into the Hall of Fame and present him with this inductee ring.
Don't get too carried away with that because there's three payments due on it Friday (Laughter).
Let's have a nice round of applause for Bud Moore.
BUD MOORE: Thank you, Barney Hall, all the kind introduction, all your friendship through the years. We have known each other. All the other honors tonight, congratulations.
It's an honor to be on of the first ten to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It means a lot to see my contribution as a car owner recognized like this. I also thank those that stood by my side throughout the 50 years in racing. My son Daryl, who headed up the engine department, Greg, who was for many years the team manager, and Brent, who provided the team with technical advice.
Most of all, I would like to share this with one person from my childhood, sweetheart, and now wife of 64 years, Betty, always my number one fan, she has always supported me in so many ways. She understood that the sport took time from the family and she had to be both mother and father to the boys. She always gave her advice during the good times and difficult times. She continued to love me through it all.
Her spirit continues to be with me. Our sons, grandchildren, great grandchildren, each and every day as we try to live our life through the example she sets.
When building NASCAR, France surrounded himself who could assist him in laying the foundations. I happened to be one of the fortunate few involved in that project. I've been proud of my relationship with Big Bill, Bill, Jr., and Jim France. I wouldn't say that they always agreed with my opinion, but I always agreed with them. Throughout the years, we respected each other and our individual views.
Many times Big Bill would fly into Spartanburg to discuss face-to-face issues. I recall once when Ford was going to a race, Chrysler hemi engine hadn't been approved while denying Ford to run the double O head cam motors. Bill flew to Spartanburg to ask us about running our Mercurys. Knowing that he needed us to race, gave us the approval to run.
Big Bill gave us some appearance money first time in my racing career. First time this happened. Even after big chair retired, he came over every day in his car to visit with me as long as he was able to come.
With Bill, Jr., my relationship was always an open one. I was one that could walk into NASCAR trailer usually without an invitation and discuss changes that needed to be made, not only changes that needed to be made with the car, but to assist other competitors.
Other car owners intimidated by Bill, Jr., would take their issue to me. One thing I could say that Bill, Jr., was all about was best for NASCAR and made the sport what it is today. I thank all of each of these men that have supported me in my career during racing. Lesa, Brian, and Jim France, and president Mike Helton, much success in the coming years on their leadership.
In the time during my years of racing, I built cars for 43 of our sport's most talented drivers. Many times these drivers have gone unnoticed, needed time to grow into a man or just wanted to drive our cars, and with the induction of Dale Earnhardt last year and Bobby Allison, David Pearson being inducted tonight, makes three drivers who I can say won races in our cars. I'm very proud of that.
We are also blessed with dedicated employees during my time as a car owner. Without these individuals, Bud Moore engines would not have had a 50-year history. We started in 1947, three of us in Spartanburg, Joe Eubanks, Cotton Owens and I, decided racing was the way for us to earn a living with this sport.
With Joe Eubanks, Speedy Thompson, Jack Smith, and Buck Baker, we won numerous records and set many records. Once with Joe Eubanks running a modified car, we won 20 races in a row with 13 of those coming in one track in Columbia, South Carolina.
As crew chief with Buck Baker, we won the 1957 Grand National Championship. Once I became the crew chief, we won the Grand National Championship, '62 and '63, with Joe Weatherly; the Grand American Championship, '68 with Tiny Lund; the Trans American Championship with the Ford Motor Company in 1970 with Parnelli Jones and George Follmer. We were also the first team in NASCAR to win four consecutive races in what was called the Northern Tour with Billy Wade driving.
I was very fortunate to have major companies sponsor me throughout the years. Ford Motor Company for 37 years stood beside me. With their assistance we developed fast and durable racecars capable of winning many races. Along with the relationship with Ford, came a lasting relationship with Edsel Ford, who I thank for his help for so many years.
Looking back, I feel like I had a hand in a lot of contribution to our sport, whether it was running the first small block motor, the first two-way radio, tire testing in Atlanta, or just trying to build a safe racecar. Tonight, being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, those contributions are being honored.
My daughter-in-law Carol Lee asked me how I remembered to be remembered. The answer is simple: one who made many contributions to building the sport, whose handshake was as good as any contract who always gave a straight answer.
Most of all, to be a remembered as a man who loved his family, country and the sport of racing. God bless all of you and God bless America and thank you.
KRISTA VODA: Bud, I heard when you found out you were being inducted into this class, you couldn't think or talk. Can you think of anything to describe what happened on that stage?
BUD MOORE: When I was inducted, when Brian France was on the stage and called out the first four members that was going in the Hall of Fame, he hesitated for about 10 or 12 seconds, then finally he said, It's going to be Bud Moore. I'd like to faint. I did cry. I didn't know what to say for anybody. Being here tonight, I think it's one of the biggest honors that Bud Moore has ever had and ever will have.
I appreciate the Frances and anybody involved in this here making the Hall of Fame what it is. I think everybody will appreciate it from here on.
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