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Ron Bouchard
Born: November 23, 1948  -  Died: December 10, 2015   -  Home: Fitchburg, Mass

NASCAR loses Ron Bouchard at age 67

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ron Bouchard was the 1981 Cup Series Rookie of the Year

  • In 160 Cup starts, he posted 19 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes

  • Winner of 1981 Talladega 500 in a photo finish (see video below)

BY TOM HIGGINS - Correspondent


Ron Bouchard, winner of NASCAR’s 1981 Talladega 500 in a furious three-abreast finish, died Thursday of cancer in his native Fitchburg, Mass. He was 67.

Rookie Bouchard overtook and edged runner-up Darrell Waltrip and third-place Terry Labonte by 2 feet at what is now the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

The triumph led to Bouchard becoming that season’s Cup Series rookie of the year.

After the wild win Bouchard seemed a bit stunned, even during the victor’s press box interview.

“I was lucky in a lot of ways,” he said. “The biggest one being that my race car was parked next to Buddy Baker’s in the garage area. Buddy gave me advice on the aerodynamic draft, which is so important at this track. I believe Buddy could find good air off a paper bag.”

Bouchard, who someone nicknamed “A Yankee in King Richard’s Court,” referring to NASCAR legend Richard Petty, was asked, “Is there anything you don’t like about the South?”

He elicited laughter with this reply: “I don’t like Brits, that stuff you have for breakfast.”

He meant grits.

[GUEST BOOK: Post memories, condolences]

Ron Bouchard began racing in 1963 in Massachusetts, subbing in his dad’s car for the regular driver, who was ill. He became a major star in New England, winning championships in late model and modified divisions.

Team owner Jack Beebe and crew chief Bob Johnson brought him to the NASCAR big time in ’81 as driver for a Kings Mountain-based team.

Bouchard started 160 times through 1987 at stock-car racing’s major level, posting 19 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes. He was eighth in the 1982 points standings.

After leaving NASCAR, Bouchard returned to New England, owning and operating auto dealerships.

He is the third former Cup Series driver with Charlotte-area connections to pass away this year, following Baker of the Denver area of Lake Norman and Jim Vandiver of Huntersville.


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nascar-auto-racing/thatsracin/article49128425.html#storylink=cpy

1981 Talladega Photo Finish - Incredible! 

Ron Bouchard, 1981 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, dies at 67

·        Bob Pockrass, NASCAR

Ron Bouchard, the 1981 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year and winner of the August 1981 race at Talladega Superspeedway, has died. Later in his life Bouchard had cancer and succumbed to it at age He 67.

"Ron Bouchard's passion for racing was evident from his very early years in NASCAR," NASCAR said in a statement. "Competition fueled Ron, whether racing modifieds at short tracks across the Northeast or winning rookie of the year honors in NASCAR's premier series. He loved this sport, and made an indelible mark on it, one that won't soon be forgotten.

"NASCAR extends its condolences to the friends and family of Ron Bouchard, a true racer."

Ron Bouchard Auto Stores posted on its Facebook page Thursday: "Ron Bouchard passed away early this morning. The Bouchard family appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers from the local community and beyond."

Bouchard won a total of 37 races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, Connecticut, and was the Modified track champion in 1978.

"He was not only a wonderful personal friend, but was a marvelous driver and a great golfing companion," said Thompson Speedway owner Donald Hoenig.

Bouchard made 160 starts in NASCAR's top stock-car division from 1981-87, with that Talladega victory in his 11th career start his sole win on the circuit. He also swept the 1984 Xfinity Series races at Darlington.

Bouchard's roots were in modified racing, where his frequent success earned him a spot in the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame.

Bouchard had recently opened a museum of his racing memorabilia at the car dealership his family operates in his hometown of Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

NASCAR DRIVER CUP Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1981 32 22 of 31 1 5 12 1 6155 12 152,855 21 14.5 14.6
1982 33 30 of 30 0 3 15 1 8048 1 375,758 8 15.4 15.7
1983 34 28 of 30 0 1 7 1 7187 22 159,172 16 12.9 17.9
1984 35 30 of 30 0 5 11 0 9200 111 246,510 11 12.6 15.4
1985 36 28 of 28 0 5 12 0 7723 77 240,304 13 13.9 16.6
1986 37 17 of 29 0 0 2 0 3654 1 106,835 31 23.1 24.1
1987 38 5 of 29 0 0 1 0 917 0 24,105 48 23.6 25.2
7 years 160 1 19 60 3 42884 224 1,305,539   15.1 17.2
 

NASCAR Xfinity (Busch) Series Statistics

Click on the Year to see the standings for that year. 
Click on the number of Races to see individual races for that year.


 
Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1983 34 2 of 35 0 2 2 0 381 1 12,350 61 13.0 4.0
1984 35 8 of 29 2 5 5 3 1268 266 35,360 31 6.1 10.6
1985 36 7 of 27 0 0 0 1 640 54 13,368 42 13.4 25.7
1986 37 1 of 31 0 1 1 0 120 2 11,175 98 16.0 4.0
1987 38 2 of 27 0 0 0 0 26 0 2,878 67 37.5 41.0
5 years 20 2 8 8 4 2435 323 75,131   13.0 18.0

NASCAR North Tour Statistics

 
Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1981 32 1 of 27 0 0 1   99 0 0 45 27.0 6.0
1983 34 1 of 27 0 0 0   37 0 0 62 23.0 24.0
2 years 2 0 0 1   136 0 0   25.0 15.0

 



 

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