Benny Parsons, a Wilkes County, N.C.-native who called Detroit home after
driving a taxi for a living during his years in the northern city, won the
1973 NASCAR premier series championship in one of the most dramatic
fashions in series history.
Parsons could be called an everyman champion: winning enough to be called
one of the sport’s stars but nearly always finishing well when he
wasn’t able to reach Victory Lane. He won 21 times in 526 career
starts but finished among the top 10 283 times – a 54 percent
One of Parsons’ biggest victories came in the 1975 Daytona 500. He
also was the first driver to qualify a stock car at more than 200 mph
(200.176) in 1982 at Talladega Superspeedway. He was named one of
NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
Parsons also was known as a voice of the sport making a seamless transition
to television following his NASCAR career. He was a commentator for NBC and
TNT until his passing in 2007, at the age of 65.