Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fast Facts: 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Fred Lorenzen

credit: ISC Archives via Getty Images
2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Fred Lorenzen went by numerous nicknames during his career – The Golden Boy and Fast Freddie to name but two. Lorenzen and fellow 2015 inductees Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly, Rex White and Bill Elliott will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Jan. 30, 2015. Here are the Fast Facts on the 1965 winner of the Daytona 500.
  • Frederick Lorenzen Jr. was born Dec. 30, 1934 in Elmhurst, Ill. After graduation from high school, Lorenzen raced Modifieds and Late Models before making his NASCAR debut at Langhorne Speedway in 1956. Lorenzen raced USAC stock cars after that, winning championships in 1958 and 1959.
  • In 1961, Lorenzen joined the Holman-Moody racing team, winning three races in his first season at Martinsville, Darlington and Atlanta. After two wins in 1962, Lorenzen became the first driver to earn more than $100,000 in a season, winning six races and a total of $122,000.
  • Lorenzen made just 16 starts in 1964, and made them count, winning eight of them, including races at Bristol, Martinsville, Darlington, and Charlotte. From 1965 to 1967, he won seven times, including the Daytona 500 in 1965, before retiring following the 1967 season. Lorenzen did make a brief NASCAR comeback from 1970 to 1972.
  • Lorenzen ended his NASCAR career with 26 wins, 84 top 10s and 32 poles in 158 starts. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998 and was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2001.
  • One of Lorenzen’s best-remembered rides with the Junior Johnson-owned No. 26 Ford he drove in 1966 at Atlanta.  Ford was boycotting NASCAR for much of the season, and Johnson and Lorenzen came to the track with a “modified” car, with front end sloped downward, a lowered roofline, narrow side windows, a lowered windshield and a high tail. The car became known as “The Yellow Banana,” and was only allowed to race by NASCAR in hopes of boosting attendance. Lorenzen crashed the car on Lap 139 while leading.
  • Lorenzen, now 80, lives in suburb of Chicago.
  • Read more stories about Lorenzen at www.fredlorenzen.com


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