Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fast Facts: 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Red Byron

2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Red Byron
credit: ISC Archives via Getty Images
2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Red Byron claimed a number of “firsts” in his short driving career. Byron and fellow 2018 inductees Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ken Squier and Robert Yates will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Here are the Fast Facts on NASCAR’s first champion.
  • Robert Byron was born March 12, 1915 in Boulder, CO, but moved to Anniston, AL at an early age. He began racing in 1932, racing sprint cars and midgets early on before earning his first stock car win in 1941. Byron then stepped away from racing for five years as he served in World War II for the U.S. Army Air Forces.
  • A war-time injury to his left leg did not deter Byron from returning to the track after his service. Byron drove with a special brace, winning his first time out in 1946 at Seminole Speedway in Florida, then joined NASCAR’s Modified Series in 1948 with Raymond Park as team owner; he won the Modified championship that year – the first NASCAR sanctioning body championship.
  • In 1949, Byron competed in NASCAR’s new Strictly Stock Series (currently the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), winning the inaugural Daytona Beach road course race and the series’ first-ever championship. Byron raced just three seasons in Strictly Stock, winning twice and earning nine top 10s in 15 starts.
  • Following the 1951 season, Byron focused on sports car racing behind the scenes, as an owner, car developer and team manager. He passed away in Nov. 1960 of a heart attack.
  • In addition to his upcoming NASCAR Hall of Fame induction, Byron was selected to the National Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1966, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2008 and was selected as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
  • Find out more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and its inductees at www.nascarhall.com.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fast Facts: 2017 Camping World Truck Series Champion Christopher Bell

2017 Truck Series championship owner Kyle Busch with
championship driver Christopher Bell
credit: NASCAR Media
In a relatively short career, Christopher Bell has already put together an impressive resume of championships, including his most recent: 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. Learn more about this dirt-track-racing-ace-turned-NASCAR-champ in this week’s championship edition of Fast Facts.
  • Christopher Bell was born Dec. 16, 1994 in Norman, OK. He started racing micro-sprint cars in 2011, winning the 66 Mike Phillips Memorial. In 2012, he finished second in the Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway before joining Keith Kunz Racing in 2013, replacing another talented young sprint car driver, Kyle Larson, as well as CH Motorsports in sprint cars; Bell won the 2013 USAC National Midget Championship.
  • In 2014, Bell moved into asphalt Super Late Models with Kyle Busch Motorsports, raced Quarter Midgets and competed in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series; he also picked up a win in the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Perris Auto Speedway in California.
  • Bell made his NASCAR debut in 2015, racing the K&N Pro Series West. In June, he made his Truck Series debut at Iowa with KBM, finishing fifth. In his third Truck Series race with the team, he picked up the checkered flag at Eldora, a track he raced sprint cars at the previous weekend.
  • In 2016, Bell raced in the Truck Series full-time with KBM, finishing third in points and earning a win at Gateway Motorsports Park. Bell began the 2017 season with a win in the famed Chili Bowl Nationals indoor midget car race in January, then added his first NASCAR championship in November, thanks to five wins on the season for KBM. Later in the month, he returned to his roots to pick up another win in the Turkey Night Grand Prix.
  • In 2018, Bell will compete full-time in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 20. Bell made his Xfinity Series debut in 2017, finishing fourth in his first race at Charlotte in May and winning at Kansas in October in his fifth career start in the series.
  • Learn more about Christopher Bell on his Facebook page.