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NASCAR Hall of Fame 5th Class Finalist - Red Byron, Driver


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Red Byron (ISC Archives/Getty)

SEE ALSO: Complete List Of Finalists - Includes Official NASCAR Bio's and Pictures

(b. 3/12/15 – d. 11/11/60)
Hometown: Anniston, Ala.
Competed: 1949-51
Starts: 15
Wins: 2
Poles: 2
 
Robert "Red" Byron was there at the outset, to say the least.
 
Byron won the sanctioning body’s first race in 1948, on the Daytona beach-road course. He went on in ’48 to win NASCAR’s first season championship – in the NASCAR Modified Division. The following year he won NASCAR’s first Strictly Stock title – the precursor to today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – driving for car owner Raymond Parks. The Strictly Stock schedule had eight races; Byron won two of them.
 
Wounded in World War II, Byron drove with a special brace attached to the clutch pedal, to assist an injured leg – making his accomplishments even more impressive. That injury contributed to Byron’s relatively brief career, after which he continued to be involved in motorsports.
 
When he died in 1960 at the age of 45, Byron had branched out, striving to make more history, by developing an American car capable of winning the famed 24 Hours of LeMans sports car event.
 

In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, recognition of a highly significant career, the relative brevity of it notwithstanding. 

 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Year Age Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Rank AvSt AvFn RAF Miles LLF
1949 34 6 of 8 2 4 4 1 633 103 2 1.5 7.7 5 602.2 2
1950 35 4 of 19 0 3 3 1 634 85 15 2.5 7.0 3 878.9 1
1951 36 5 of 41 0 1 2 0 609 0 54 19.0 15.2 3 743.7 0
3 years   15 2 8 9 2 1876 188   7.7 10.0 11 2224.8 3