PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – NASCAR inducts five legends into the Hall-of-Fame plus the racing community reacts to the death of John Andretti in Friday’s Racing Notebook:
NASCAR HALL OF FAME HAS FIVE NEW MEMBERS
Five of NASCAR’s legendary competitors: Buddy Baker, Joe Gibbs, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Waddell Wilson were enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, Friday night during the Induction Ceremony held in the Crown Ball Room at the Charlotte Convention Center.
- Buddy Baker won 19 NASCAR Cup Series races, including consecutive World 600’s at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1972-73 and the 1970 Southern 500 at Darlington. Baker became the first NASCAR driver to break the 200 MPH on a closed course during a test at Talladega in 1970. Baker also won the 1980 DAYTONA 500 with an average race speed of 177.602 MPH – a track record that still stands. Baker, known as “The Gentle Giant” because he was 6-foot-6, went on to have distinguished career in broadcasting following his retirement from driving.
- Joe Gibbs boasts five NASCAR Cup Series owner championships. His 176 Cup Series owner wins – including three DAYTONA 500 victories – rank third all-time. Three drivers have earned Cup Series titles for Gibbs: Labonte (200), Stewart (2002, 2005) and Kyle Busch (2015, 2019). Gibbs is also enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after winning three Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins.
- Bobby Labonte was the first of four drivers to win a NASCAR Xfinity Series (1991) and NASCAR Cup Series (200) championship. In 729 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Labonte recorded 21-wins, 115-top fives and 203-top 10s. During his 2000 Cup championship season, Labonte earned two of his four wins in the Brickyard 400 and the Southern 500.
- Tony Stewart earned three NASCAR Cup Series championships. Two of his titles came for Joe Gibbs Racing (2002, 2005). A third title, in 2011, came as a driver-owner with his co-owned Stewart-Haas Racing team. Stewart racked up 49 Cup wins – visiting Victory Lane on every style of track.
- A dual-threat as an engine builder and crew chief, Waddell Wilson provided the power to some of the greatest drivers, including NASCAR Hall of Famers Baker, David Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. As an engine builder he won three Cup championships (David Pearson, 1968 and 1969; Benny Parson, 1993), 109 races and 123 poles. As a crew chief, Wilson guided his drivers to 22 wins, including three DATONA 500 victories (Buddy Baker, 1980; Cale Yarborough, 1983 and 1984).
RACING WORLD REMEMBERS JOHN ANDRETTI
The racing community is remembering John Andretti, one day after he passed away after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. Several in the racing community took to social media to share their thoughts and stories including his Godfather A.J. Foyt as well as Richard Petty. John Andretti’s son Jarett thanked everyone for their support and asked for fans to share their stories about his father so he could share them with the family.
This one is hard. We are heartbroken to learn of John Andretti's passing.
He was more than a teammate and friend. John was family. We will miss him dearly. Our hearts are with the Andretti family and the entire @FollowAndretti organization.#RIPJohnAndretti | #CheckIt4Andretti pic.twitter.com/9EUMRTG3qB
— AJ Foyt Racing (@AJFoytRacing) January 31, 2020
— Richard Petty Motorsports (@RPMotorsports) January 30, 2020
John gave 100% to everything he did.He fought this terrible disease the same way. He was a GREAT husband,father,and friend. I will remember him for his integrity,honesty,loyalty, compassion,passion for motorsports & ability behind the wheel.We lost a good man #checkitforandretti https://t.co/iEq05fHPL1
— Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) January 30, 2020
The outpouring of support we have received has been unbelievable. Dad touched so many people over his career and I am thankful for every message. I have been telling stories to my sisters and Mom from the last 10 years from us going up and down the road racing together.
— Jarett Andretti (@JarettAndretti) January 31, 2020
If you have a story about Dad please drop it below. I want to make sure all are preserved.
— Jarett Andretti (@JarettAndretti) January 31, 2020
FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR JOHN ANDRETTI
The Andretti family has released funeral service information for John Andretti, one of the most popular and versatile American race drivers of his generation. Andretti died Thursday, Jan. 30, after a long, courageous battle with colon cancer.
The family will receive friends on Monday, February 3, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by Eulogy and Prayer Service beginning at 7 p.m. at St. Mark Catholic Church in Huntersville, NC.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, February 6, at 1 p.m., at Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral Catholic Church in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the Mass at the church. Private burial will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to:
Window World Cares
118 Shaver Street
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Riley’s Children’s Foundation
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 200
Indianapolis, IN 46024