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.