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Elzie Wylie "Buck" Baker, Sr.
Born: March 4, 1919   Died: April 14, 2002 (Age 83)
Born: Richburg, SC   Died: Charlotte, NC

Elzie Wylie Baker Sr.  better known as Buck Baker, was born in Richburg, South Carolina, Baker began his NASCAR career in 1949 and won his first race three years later at Columbia Speedway. Twenty-seven years later, Baker retired after the 1976 National 500.

During his NASCAR Strictly Stock (now Sprint Cup Series) career, Baker won two championships, 46 races and 45 pole positions, as well as recorded 372 top-tens. In 1957, he became the first driver to win two consecutive championships in the series. From 1972 to 1973, he competed in the Grand National East Series, where he recorded five top-tens in twelve races. On May 23, 2012, it was announced that he would be inducted into the 2013 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame on February 8, 2013.

Racing Career

Model kit of Baker's flathead-powered Modified
Baker's 1949 NASCAR Oldsmobile

Baker entered his first race in 1939 in Greenville, South Carolina, He entered his first NASCAR race in 1949 at Charlotte Speedway., Baker went on to become one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR's history. He was the first back-to-back winner of the Grand National (now Sprint Cup) Championship in 1956 and 1957. He was second twice (1955 and 1958) and finished in the top five on four other occasions.

Baker's 682 NASCAR starts (44 from the pole) ranks him third all-time and his 46 victories rank him 13th. In 1953, 1960 and 1964, Baker won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. In 1963, Baker was given credit for winning a race that he clearly did not win. Wendell Scott won the race. NASCAR later reversed its ruling for the race. Scott did not receive the trophy. In 1967, Baker switched to NASCAR's Grand American division, where he was also very successful.

After his retirement in 1976, Baker opened up the Buck Baker Racing School, where Jeff Gordon drove his first stock car. His son, Buddy, was a 34-year Winston Cup veteran and taught at the school along with Buck's daughter, Susie Baker; his other son, Randy, also competed in Winston Cup and operates SpeedTech Auto Racing Schools.
 

 

Awards

Baker was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame in 1982, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1998. Also in 1998, he was named one of the NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. On May 23, 2012, it was announced that he would be one of five nominees to be inducted into the 2013 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame on February 8, 2013.

Last years and death

Baker died on the night of April 14, 2002 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina of natural causes.

His wife, Susan, is the president of the Buck Baker Racing School. His son, Buddy Baker also grew to be a renowned NASCAR driver, winning the 1980 Daytona 500 in what is still the record speed for the 500 at 177.602 mph (285.809 km/h). Buddy would eventually become a TV broadcaster following his retirement from racing, then passed away August 10, 2015.


Buck Baker Hall of Fame Induction - 2013

 

 

Elzie Wylie "Buck" Baker Sr.
FACTS
Achievements 1952 NASCAR Speedway Division Champion
1956 Grand National Series Champion
1957 Grand National Series Champion
1953, 1960, 1964 Southern 500 Winner
Led Grand National Series in wins in 1956 and 1957
Led Grand National Series in poles in 1956 and 1957
Awards Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (1998)
NASCAR Hall of Fame (2013)
NASCAR Cup Series career
635 races run over 26 years
Best finish 1st (1956, 1957)
First race 1949 Race No. 1 (Charlotte)
Last race 1976 National 500 (Charlotte)
First win 1952 (Columbia)
Last win 1964 Southern 500 (Darlington)
Wins Top Tens Poles
46 372 45
NASCAR Grand National East Series career
12 races run over 2 years
Best finish 11th (1972)
First race 1972 Bold City 200 (Jacksonville)
Last race 1973 Sunoco 260 (Hickory)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 5 0
Statistics current as of April 10, 2013.

 

PICTURES

 

 

.
NASCAR Hall of Fame member - 2013


Elzie Wylie "Buck" Baker established himself as one of NASCARís early greats, becoming the first driver to win consecutive NASCAR premier series championships. That repeat performance in 1956-57 was the meat of an incredible four-year span; in 1955 and í58 Baker finished as the series championship runner-up.

(b. 3/4/19 Ė d. 4/14/02)

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.

Competed: 1949-76

Starts: 636

Wins: 46

Poles: 45

 

The first series championship for Baker came while driving for owner Carl Kiekhaefer, who had assembled the first multi-car team in NASCAR while also blazing a trail in using his cars as promotional tools for his other business, powerboat motors. Bakerís second championship came in his own cars.

Baker drove a bus before becoming an auto racer -- perhaps a partial explanation for his versatility behind the wheel, as he also won races in NASCARís Modified, Speedway and Grand American series. But his legend was made in NASCARís premier series; his career victory total of 46 ranks 14th all-time.

Baker was named one of NASCARís 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Prior to his passing in 2002, Baker blazed another trail, founding a series of high-performance driving schools at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway and North Carolina Speedway.

His son Buddy followed his fatherís footsteps as well, winning the Daytona 500 and also making the 50 Greatest Drivers list.

 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Year Age Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led AvSt AvFn
1949 30 2 of 8 0 0 0 0   0   17.0
1950 31 9 of 19 0 2 5 1 587 10 10.4 16.4
1951 32 11 of 41 0 4 5 0 338 0 2.3 16.5
1952 33 14 of 34 1 3 6 2 1550 139 7.4 15.7
1953 34 33 of 37 4 16 25 5 1619 564 2.7 7.8
1954 35 34 of 37 4 23 28 7 5730 651 0.9 6.7
1955 36 42 of 45 3 24 34 2 6904 689 7.8 6.7
1956 37 48 of 56 14 31 39 12 8495 1395 6.7 6.8
1957 38 40 of 53 10 30 38 6 8058 858 5.6 4.7
1958 39 44 of 51 3 23 35 3 7846 364 8.0 7.8
1959 40 35 of 44 1 14 19 4 6056 183 10.9 11.8
1960 41 37 of 44 2 15 24 2 7271 213 11.2 10.4
1961 42 42 of 52 1 11 15 1 7195 114 11.1 14.2
1962 43 37 of 53 0 6 14 0 6707 18 14.0 14.4
1963 44 47 of 55 1 17 30 0 9509 63 9.6 11.4
1964 45 36 of 62 2 15 18 0 7270 159 10.4 11.3
1965 46 31 of 55 0 2 12 0 5266 0 15.8 17.3
1966 47 35 of 49 0 7 14 0 6589 0 16.5 15.7
1967 48 20 of 49 0 0 5 0 4303 0 17.0 15.3
1968 49 17 of 49 0 1 3 0 2675 0 19.1 17.6
1969 50 1 of 54 0 0 0 0 108 0 28.0 18.0
1970 51 1 of 48 0 0 0 0 267 0 31.0 17.0
1971 52 6 of 48 0 1 2 0 1775 0 14.0 12.3
1972 53 5 of 31 0 0 0 0 660 0 15.2 30.6
1973 54 1 of 28 0 0 0 0 357 0 39.0 27.0
1976 57 8 of 30 0 0 1 0 1977 0 27.3 22.1
26 years   636 46 245 372 45 109112 5420 11.0 11.4





 

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