Born: August 26, 1946 Died: September 29,
Home: Modesto, CA
Baldwin was a NASCAR driver who competed in six
Winston Cup Series events in his career.
Baldwin's debut came in 1971, when he
competed at Riverside. Starting 28th in the field of forty,
Baldwin lost an engine on the second lap and finished a
disappointing 39th. He luckily managed to improve in two
other starts that year, showing 26th at Ontario and then
overcoming issues at Riverside in the June event at
Riverside to finish a career-best 16th.
Baldwin stepped it down to just a one-off
appearance in 1972, competing in the season opener at
Riverside. It was a respectable race for the driver,
starting 36th in the field of forty but completing most of
the laps to turn it into a 20th place effort.
Baldwin's final two races didn't actually
happen until 1975, both occurring yet again at Riverside.
This time, though, the results were miserable for Baldwin.
He finished last (35th) in both races, falling victim to
engine issues in the early laps of the event.
The West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame
is a Hall of Fame for people associated with
late model stock car racing on the West
Coast of the United States. Many NASCAR
Grand National Division, West Series
champions are inducted in the Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame is located in St. George,
The hall of fame was created in 2001. Nominees are either
retired, deceased or have moved from one area of
participation to another, or have been active in their
primary field for at least 25 years. The first class was
inducted in 2002
Ivan Baldwin was inducted in 2006.
long time friend Gary Nelson presented this well-deserved
Award to Ivan’s daughter Tammy.
Ivan Baldwin started his racing career in 1966 with little
fanfare, other than being suspended for the ’67 season after a dispute
with an official.
In ’68 he was
back, winning for the first time on September 29th at Orange Show
Speedway. By the early 70’s he’d won many Southern California races, and
points championships five times at three tracks in ‘73 and ‘74, driving
cars that he had built. You see, not only could Ivan Baldwin drive a
race car, he was a master mechanic as well.
Ivan Baldwin (3rd from the right) and
Gary Nelson (2nd from the left)
By the end of
’74 Ivan and his friend and confidant, Gary Nelson, had caught
the eye of Winston West regular Jack McCoy and soon joined the
growing McCoy Racing Products team, operating the West car and others.
In 1976 Ivan won 28 of 44 races entered, including two Riverside races
and the International Driver’s Championship in the Pacific Northwest.
Ivan Baldwin (L) & Gary Nelson (in
engine compartment as Crew Chief) - A hard combination to beat
with Carrera shock maker Dick Anderson, pioneered the coil-over
suspension design and, with Gary Nelson’s vital role in development,
produced what would become the standard for late model cars of the
In late‘76 ,
after receiving offers to join the new DiGard team for whom Darrell
Waltrip was driving, Nelson decided to head South. Gary won with
Ivan for the last time at Riverside in January of ‘77, and left for
became a turning point for Ivan as well. He left the successful McCoy
operation and opened his own shop with his friend Arley Cook.
with Kenny Boyd in 1980, and they won 22 feature events together.
Then in ‘82 and ‘83 he worked with Tim Gillett, and in ‘84 they
won the Stockton Speedway Championship.
Ivan won a
Winston West championship as crew chief with the legendary Hershel
McGriff in 1986, and then built a Thunderbird for Tony Oddo,
and it ran well, winning a Winston West race at Stockton the first time
that, when Bill Elliott needed a car for Riverside, a deal was
struck, and Bill drove that T-Bird. Bill hot-lapped the car and was so
impressed that a car, built by this obscure car builder that he had
never heard of before, could run so well.
year, Baldwin sold his shop and moved east, joining Elliott. The story
goes that he taught Elliott how to win on short tracks.
“Ivan the Terrible” as he was known to
friends and adversaries alike, grew up on the short tracks of Southern
California, but he is renowned throughout the stock car racing world as
one of the best chassis men of all time.
Young Gun, Kevin Conway,
Set To Tackle The NASCAR Busch Series
by Marty Tyler-Staff Writer
when Davey Allison was still there, my uncle, Brett
Conway, went to work for Robert Yates Racing," Kevin
recalls. "He was the head engineer for several years...all
through Ernie Irvan's tenure with the 28 car. It was
during that time that I was able to meet Ernie. Also, I was
able to work on Darrell Waltrip's Western Auto Busch
team. I was the floor sweeper in the shop and the little kid
that went around buggin' everybody.
Ivan Baldwin managed Darrell's team and Ivan
was one of Ernie's mentors. He was responsible for getting
Ernie involved with racing out in California, took Ernie
under his wing and brought him along as a driver. So between
my uncle and Ivan Baldwin,
they kept Ernie abreast of what I was doing in the Legend
Series and Late Models."
"At the end of 2001 my uncle ran into Ernie and Ernie asked
what I was doing. I was actually driving for a truck team
that went out of business before we ever got to the first
race of the season. Ernie was trying to get a truck team
started and asked that I call him. That deal didn't really
work out. The sponsorship fell through, but Ernie and I just
really clicked. Ernie understood where I was coming from,
not having a name to fall back on or money behind me. Much
in the same way Dale Earnhardt and
Ivan Baldwin mentored him
and gave him a chance to make a name for himself, Ernie said
that's what he wants to do for me. Ernie has introduced me
to everybody he knows and we have made a pact that whatever
we do, we will do it together."
- In May of 1980, Ivan Baldwin drove a Mercury to victory in a 200-lap
NASCAR Winston West Series race at Stockton 99 Speedway.
Baldwin & Phillips - Looks don't count
Larry Phillips did love to race in
California. Oh yeah, he loved going against those tanned,
blonde-headed drivers with their trophy wives and their
pretty cars, so pretty you wanted to carry pictures of them
in your wallet (the cars, not the wives). Those California
cars all had sweet stripes and fresh paint jobs and every
doo-hickey you could imagine. The chrome was so polished you
could shave in front of it.
So, one year, had to be in the early
1970s, Larry brought his junkyard-looking Chevelle, which
was still caked in dirt from a race in Muskogee, Okla., a
race Larry, naturally, won. "Way I remember it," Michael
Wallace says, "the mirrors were taped to the side of the
This was in Stockton, Calif., home track
of Ivan Baldwin, who
was alternately nicknamed Ivan the Terrible and Ivan the
Great depending on who was doing the nicknaming. Ivan
Baldwin was the fastest driver in Stockton.
Ivan walked up to that Chevelle and
grimaced. Larry, at the time, was underneath, trying to fix
something with a blowtorch and a wire hanger.
"Don't they ever chip the dirt off these
cars where you come from?" Ivan asked.
Larry Phillips looked up. He did not say
a word. He never did. But over the next few days, he and his
dirt-covered Chevelle took $5,500 of Ivan Baldwin's
"Those folks in California had never seen a real fast
car," Larry says. "They never did understand: Who cares what
a car LOOKS like?"
Ivan Baldwin Winston Cup DRIVER Statistics
Nascar Nextel Cup Series Tickets
Copyright © 2003
by Roland Via. All rights reserved. Revised:
06/08/12 08:11:26 -0400.
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