Benny Parsons

Last updated
Benny Parsons
Bennyparsons.JPG
BornBenjamin Stewart Parsons
(1941-07-12)July 12, 1941
Wilkes County, North Carolina
DiedJanuary 16, 2007(2007-01-16) (aged 65)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cause of deathComplications resulting from lung cancer
Achievements 1973 Winston Cup Series Champion
1968 ARCA Racing Series Champion
1969 ARCA Racing Series Champion
1975 Daytona 500 Winner
1980 World 600 Winner
1969 Daytona ARCA 300 Winner
1982 Daytona 500 Pole Sitter
Awards1965 ARCA Racing Series Rookie of the Year
Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)
International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1994)
Court of Legends at Charlotte Motor Speedway (1994)
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (2005)
ESPN Emmy (1996)
ACE Award (1989)
NASCAR Hall of Fame (2017)
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
526 races run over 21 years
Best finish1st (1973)
First race 1963 (Weaverville)
Last race 1988 Atlanta Journal 500 (Atlanta)
First win 1971 Halifax County 100 (South Boston)
Last win 1984 Coca-Cola 500 (Atlanta)
WinsTop tens Poles
2128320
NASCAR Grand National East Series career
2 races run over 2 years
Best finish33rd (1973)
First race1972 Buddy Shuman 300 (Hickory)
Last race1973 Sunoco 260 (Hickory)
WinsTop tens Poles
020
Statistics current as of October 31, 2013.

Benjamin Stewart Parsons (July 12, 1941 – January 16, 2007) was an American NASCAR driver, and later an announcer/analyst/pit reporter on SETN, TBS, ABC, ESPN, NBC, and TNT. He became famous as the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup) champion, and was a 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. He was the older brother of former NASCAR driver car owner and broadcaster Phil Parsons of Phil Parsons Racing.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of more than 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock-car racing. Its three largest or National series are the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Regional series include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty's Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 48 US states as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Europe. NASCAR has presented races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, and the Calder Park Thunderdome in Australia. NASCAR also ventures into eSports via the PEAK Antifreeze NASCAR iRacing Series and a sanctioned ladder system on that title.

Special Events Television Network (SETN) is the name of a defunct syndicated television package that broadcast tape delayed NASCAR races from 1984 to 1988. SETN aired races that didn't have live television deals at the time. The broadcasts were aired on tape delay because certain promoters still feared that live telecasts would hurt their gate. SETN also sold VHS videos of some races it carried, with additional footage not seen on TV.

Contents

He was nicknamed "BP" and The Professor, the latter in part because of his popular remarks and relaxed demeanor.

He was the founder of Rendezvous Ridge, a winery in North Carolina, which opened shortly after his death.

Early life

Parsons was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He spent his childhood years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and played football at Millers Creek High School (now known as West Wilkes High School). Following high school, he moved to Detroit, Michigan where his father operated a taxicab company. Parsons worked at a gas station and drove cabs in Detroit before beginning his racing career. While working at the gas station one day, a couple of customers towing a race car invited him to a local race track. The driver of the car never showed up for that evening's race, and Parsons drove the car in a race for the first time later that night. [1]

Wilkes County, North Carolina County in the United States

Wilkes County is a county located in the US state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 69,340. In May 2016, the population is almost 69,000. Its county seat is Wilkesboro, and its largest town is North Wilkesboro. Wilkes County comprises the North Wilkesboro, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Blue Ridge Mountains mountain range

The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, and extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. To the west of the Blue Ridge, between it and the bulk of the Appalachians, lies the Great Appalachian Valley, bordered on the west by the Ridge and Valley province of the Appalachian range.

North Carolina State of the United States of America

North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. North Carolina is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 2,569,213 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in North Carolina and the 23rd-most populous in the United States and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. North Carolina's second largest metropolitan area is the Research Triangle, with an estimated population of 2,238,312 in 2018, is home to the largest research park in the United States.

Driving career

1960s

Parsons began his NASCAR career by running a single race in 1964 for Holman-Moody with a young Cale Yarborough.

Holman-Moody is an American racecar manufacturer, marine engine manufacturer and former auto racing team. The company currently operates out of Charlotte, North Carolina, but is no longer a race team. Holman-Moody continues to manufacture racing vehicles using vintage parts and methods, along with special editions of modern Ford sports cars. The race team built virtually all of the factory Ford racing vehicles of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. It owned race-cars that competed in NASCAR, drag racing, ocean boat racing, rallies, and sports car racing. The team won NASCAR championships in 1968 and 1969 with driver David Pearson and also the 1967 Daytona 500 with Mario Andretti. Their most recognized trademark is "Competition Proven."

Cale Yarborough American racecar driver

William Caleb "Cale" Yarborough, is an American farmer, businessman and former NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver and owner. He is one of only two drivers in NASCAR history to win three consecutive championships. He was the second NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Parsons won the 1968 and 1969 ARCA championships, and then moved to Ellerbe, North Carolina. [2]

Ellerbe, North Carolina Town in North Carolina, United States

Ellerbe is a town in Richmond County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,054 at the 2010 census. It is perhaps best known as the one-time home of professional wrestler André the Giant, who owned a nearby ranch/farm. His ashes were scattered on his ranch after his death.

Parsons had three top-10 finishes in four NASCAR races in 1969.

1970s

Benny joined the NASCAR circuit full-time in 1970 with crew chief, John Hill. He had 23 top-10 finishes in 45 races, a pole at Langley Field Speedway, and finished eighth in the final point standings. He raced in the No. 72 L.G. DeWitt/DeWitt Racing car.

Parsons had 18 top-10 finishes in 35 starts in 1971, including his first win at South Boston Speedway. He finished eleventh in the points.

South Boston Speedway

South Boston Speedway or "SoBo" is a short track located just outside South Boston, Virginia, U.S.A.. SoBo is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) east of another area familiar to most NASCAR fans, Martinsville. It is owned by Mattco, Inc, the Mattioli family trust that owns Pocono Raceway, with longtime general manager Cathy Rice operating the track. NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series has not raced at the track since 1971; however, NASCAR's Busch Series raced here into the new millennium. After the NASCAR Busch Series left the schedule, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competed at SoBo for a couple years. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Whelen Southern Modified Tour now hold events here, and SoBo continues to play a part in the NASCAR family hosting Whelen All-American Series late model and CARS X1-R ProCup events. Some of the better known graduates of South Boston's Saturday night weekly events include Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Elliott Sadler, Stacy Compton, and the Bodine brothers. Danville, Virginia driver Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver to compete at NASCAR's highest level, also raced in Modified Division events here.

In 1972 he had 19 top-10 finishes in 31 races. He finished fifth in the final points standings.

In 1973 he won the NASCAR Championship with only one win, even though David Pearson won eleven races (but Pearson only entered eighteen events). Parsons' consistency likely won him the championship: he had 21 top-10 and 15 top-5 finishes in the 28 events. His improbable return to the track after an early crash cemented his championship at Rockingham, North Carolina. He saw his championship hopes start to fade as he was involved in a lap 13 crash and his car was heavily damaged. He took to the pits to muster whatever he could out of the car and hope for a top five finish in the final standings. The rest of the garage was hoping to see the underdog unseat the mighty Richard Petty and joined in to help Parsons' crew put the car back together. Parsons miraculously got back on the track 136 laps later and completed enough laps to finish 25th and take the 1973 championship. Richard Petty, with the championship in his sights after winning the pole and seeing Parsons' accident, had engine trouble and was relegated to a 35th-place finish. The poor performance dropped Petty all the way to fifth in the final standings, as Cale Yarborough took the runner up spot on the season with his third-place effort. He finished 67 points behind the champion.

Parsons also became the only person to win both ARCA and NASCAR championships.

Parsons finished between third and fifth in the final points standings from 1974 to 1980 and won the 1975 Daytona 500. He switched to the No. 27 car for M.C. Anderson starting in 1979.

In 1979 at North Wilkesboro Speedway Bobby Allison led most of the race but in the final 150 laps, Darrell Waltrip caught Allison. The two hit together hard and Darrell nailed the front stretch wall. Waltrip began crowding off Allison under the caution and got black flagged for the crowding. Benny Parsons would win the race, but it would be his only win at the North Wilkesboro Speedway, a track which his wife Terri (married from 1992 until his death in 2007) would become an investor two years after his death. [3]

1980s

He won the 1980 World 600 at Charlotte and finished 3rd in points.

In 1981 he starting racing in the No. 15 Bud Moore car. He had a win at Nashville Speedway USA and he won the final race at Texas World Speedway. He received his final top-ten points place finish, finishing tenth that year.

Parsons qualified for the 1982 Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway at 200.175 miles per hour (mph), which was the first NASCAR qualification run over 200 mph (322 km/h).

1983 racecar BennyParsons55racecar1983.jpg
1983 racecar

Parsons raced in about half of the races between 1983 and 1986 for owner Johnny Hayes. Parsons final career victory came in 1984 at the Coca-Cola 500 at Atlanta.

He appeared in the 1983 Burt Reynolds movie Stroker Ace .

Parsons returned to Hendrick Motorsports in 1987 as a substitute driver for Tim Richmond, who was stricken with AIDS and would succumb in 1989. During the first lap of a race at Darlington Raceway, Parsons hit the wall and badly damaged his race car. He was able to continue, but had to make several pit stops for repairs. At one point, his crew chief, Harry Hyde refused to allow Parsons to pit because he and the crew were on an ice cream break. This incident was alluded to in the film, Days of Thunder . Another scene in the film was inspired by a real-life incident at Martinsville Speedway involving Parsons and the notoriously cantankerous Hyde: Hyde sarcastically told Parsons to hit the pace car on a restart because it was the only thing on the track Parsons had not hit. [4]

Parsons raced in the No. 90 Bulls Eye Ford for Junie Donlavey in his final NASCAR season in 1988 and then moved to the broadcast booth, a position that he would hold until his death.

Parsons did decide to race a few other times, the first during the 2003 Old Dominion 500 as part of Wally's World segment and he drove a ceremonial victory lap at the last fall race at Rockingham in 2003 in a car similar to the one he won the championship with.

He is also credited for discovering former NASCAR driver Greg Biffle at a "Gong Show" held in Tucson, Arizona.

Awards and statistics

Motorsports career results

NASCAR

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Grand National Series

NASCAR Grand National Series results
YearTeamNo.Make1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253545556575859606162NGNCPtsRef
1964 Holman-Moody 06 Ford CON AUG JSP SVH RSD DAY DAY DAY RCH BRI GPS BGS ATL AWS HBO PIF CLB NWS MAR SVH DAR LGY HCY SBO CLT GPS ASH ATL CON NSV CHT BIR VAL PIF DAY ODS OBS BRR ISP GLN LIN BRI NSV MBS AWS
21
DTS ONA CLB BGS STR DAR HCY RCH ODS HBO MAR SVH NWS CLT HAR AUG JAC 120th130 [6]
1969 Russ Dawson 88 Ford MGR MGY RSD DAY
5
DAY DAY
7
CAR AUG BRI ATL CLB HCY GPS RCH NWS MAR AWS DAR BLV LGY CLT MGR SMR MCH KPT GPS NCF DAY DOV TPN TRN BLV BRI NSV SMR ATL 56th183 [7]
18 MCH
38
SBO BGS AWS DAR HCY RCH TAL CLB MAR NWS CLT SVH AUG CAR JFC MGR TWS
3
1970 Benny Parsons88 Ford RSD DAY DAY
7
DAY
14
8th2993 [8]
DeWitt Racing 72 Ford RCH
15
CAR
21
SVH
4
ATL
8
BRI
27
TAL
4
NWS
28
CLB
16
DAR
5
BLV
12
LGY
5
CLT
3
SMR MAR
38
MCH
10
RSD
18
HCY
6
KPT
13
GPS
5
DAY
31
AST
25
TPN
3
TRN
7
BRI
19
SMR
13
NSV
22
ATL
8
CLB
16
ONA
23
MCH
8
TAL
35
BGS
5
SBO
4
DAR
39
HCY
15
RCH
6
DOV
5
NCF
14
NWS
6
CLT
4
MAR
9
MGR
7
CAR
33
LGY
2
1971 RSD
3
DAY DAY
5
DAY
35
RCH
3
HCY
3
BRI
5
ATL
36
CLB
2*
GPS
5
SMR
2
NWS
4
MAR
16
SBO
1
ASH
12
KPT
23
RCH
25
NWS
5
11th2611 [9]
Mercury ONT
9
CAR
25
DAR
23
TAL
48
CLT
7
DOV
23
MCH
28
RSD
22
HOU GPS DAY BRI AST ISP TRN NSV
3
ATL
3
BGS ONA MCH
38
TAL
47
CLB HCY DAR
16
MAR
6
CLT
10
DOV
29
CAR
6
MGR
Chevy TWS
38

Winston Cup Series

NASCAR Winston Cup Series results
YearTeamNo.Make12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031NWCCPtsRef
1972 DeWitt Racing 72 Ford RSD
40
RCH
8
CAR
7
5th6844.15 [10]
Mercury DAY
4
ONT
14
ATL
7
BRI
21
DAR
4
NWS
5
MAR
20
TAL
10
CLT
4
DOV
6
MCH
25
RSD
2
TWS
4
DAY
36
BRI
4
TRN
8
ATL
4
TAL
25
MCH
7
NSV
4
DAR
35
RCH
23
DOV
34
MAR
6
NWS
4
CLT
38
CAR
35
TWS
6
1973 Chevy RSD
14
DAY
30
RCH
10
CAR
31
ATL
3
NWS
2
DAR
2
MAR
6
TAL
3
NSV
2
CLT
5
DOV
6
TWS
7
RSD
3
MCH
9
DAY
5
BRI
1*
ATL
25
TAL
38
NSV
19
DAR
5
RCH
4
DOV
4
NWS
5
MAR
6
CLT
4
CAR
28
1st7173.8 [11]
Mercury BRI
5
1974 Chevy RSD
4
DAY
22
RCH
13
CAR
23
BRI
3
ATL
29
DAR
32
NWS
4
MAR
4
TAL
2
NSV
16
DOV
4
CLT
31
RSD
3
MCH
25
DAY
27
BRI
17
NSV
7
ATL
8
POC
5
TAL
5
MCH
22
DAR
26
RCH
2
DOV
4
NWS
13
MAR
15
CLT
27
CAR
9
5th1591.5 [12]
Ford ONT
35
1975 Chevy RSD
24
DAY
1
RCH
3
CAR
22
BRI
2
ATL
28
NWS
6
DAR
6
MAR
6
TAL
43
NSV
2
DOV
23
CLT
39
RSD
3
MCH
34
DAY
8
NSV
4
POC
4
TAL
6
MCH
34
DAR
20
DOV
3
NWS
6
MAR
2
CLT
4
RCH
18
CAR
24
BRI
5
ATL
19
ONT
34
4th3820 [13]
1976 RSD
5
DAY
3
CAR
5
RCH
9
BRI
3
ATL
2
NWS
4
DAR
3
MAR
20
TAL
26
NSV
3
DOV
1
CLT
5
RSD
3
MCH
19
DAY
7
NSV
1
POC
3
TAL
39
MCH
9
BRI
4
DAR
7
RCH
29
DOV
26
MAR
5
NWS
2
CLT
5
CAR
31
ATL
6
ONT
3
3rd4304 [14]
1977 RSD
21
DAY
2
RCH
3
CAR
12
ATL
26
NWS
3
DAR
5
BRI
5
MAR
2
TAL
3
NSV
1
DOV
6
CLT
3
RSD
27
MCH
3
DAY
3
NSV
18
POC
1*
TAL
24
MCH
3
BRI
3
DAR
25
RCH
3
DOV
1*
MAR
2
NWS
5
CLT
1*
CAR
7
ATL
3
ONT
12
3rd4570 [15]
1978 RSD
2
RCH
1
CAR
3
ATL
13
BRI
2*
DAR
1
NWS
3
MAR
15
DOV
4
NSV
20
RSD
1
NSV
6
POC
29
DAR
10
RCH
6
DOV
26
MAR
3
NWS
6
CAR
4
ONT
8
4th4350 [16]
Olds DAY
3
TAL
31
CLT
6
MCH
3
DAY
26
TAL
3
MCH
13
BRI
2
CLT
28
ATL
5
1979 M.C. Anderson Racing 27 Chevy RSD
26
CAR
10
RCH
4
ATL
5
NWS
3
DAR
4
MAR
19
NSV
7
DOV
7
CLT
5
TWS
25
RSD
5
MCH
31
NSV
4
POC
4
MCH
3
BRI
4*
DAR
5
RCH
8
DOV
22
MAR
27
CLT
6
NWS
1
CAR
2*
ATL
31
ONT
1*
5th4256 [17]
Olds DAY
18
BRI
5
TAL
35
DAY
2
TAL
21
1980 Chevy RSD
33
RCH
28
CAR
21
ATL
30
BRI
4
DAR
2
NWS
5
MAR
2
NSV
2
DOV
22
CLT
1
TWS
23
RSD
3
MCH
1*
NSV
3*
POC
20
MCH
8
BRI
5
DAR
4
RCH
10
DOV
5
NWS
6
MAR
4
CLT
33
CAR
23
ATL
32
ONT
1
3rd4278 [18]
Olds DAY
5
TAL
8
DAY
6
TAL
4
1981 Bud Moore Engineering 15 Ford RSD
16
DAY
31
RCH
5
CAR
24
ATL
5
BRI
5
NWS
21
DAR
5
MAR
23
TAL
36
NSV
1
DOV
32
CLT
37
TWS
1
RSD
20
MCH
3
DAY
39
NSV
3
POC
3
TAL
13
MCH
26
BRI
6
DAR
39
RCH
1
DOV
34
MAR
24
NWS
29
CLT
38
CAR
6
ATL
36
RSD
27
10th3449 [19]
1982 Ranier-Lundy Racing 28 Pontiac DAY
26
RCH
3*
BRI
9
ATL
4
CAR
3
DAR
4
NWS
4
MAR
29
TAL
3*
NSV
22
DOV
20
CLT
39
POC
3
RSD
23
18th2892 [20]
Ellington Racing 1 Buick MCH
32
CAR
34
Gray Racing 19 Buick DAY
28
NSV POC TAL
Johnny Hayes Racing 55 Buick MCH
5
BRI DAR
8
RCH DOV
5
NWS CLT
5
MAR ATL
20
RSD
7
1983 DAY
42
RCH CAR ATL
14
DAR
34
NWS MAR TAL
2
NSV DOV
29
BRI CLT
34
RSD POC
5
MCH
13
29th1657 [21]
Chevy DAY
26
NSV POC
31
TAL
22
MCH
13
BRI DAR
8
RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT
3
CAR ATL
25
RSD
2
1984 DAY
29
RCH CAR ATL
1*
BRI NWS DAR
27
MAR TAL
5*
NSV DOV CLT
42
RSD POC
9
MCH
28
DAY
5
NSV POC
5
TAL MCH
6
BRI DAR
9
RCH DOV MAR CLT
2*
NWS CAR ATL
4
RSD
5
27th1865 [22]
1985 Jackson Bros. Motorsports DAY
31
RCH CAR ATL
8
BRI DAR
32
NWS MAR TAL
29
DOV CLT
42
RSD POC
6
MCH
10
DAY
11
POC
6
TAL
36
MCH
5
BRI DAR
8
RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT
41
CAR ATL
33
RSD 29th1427 [23]
1986 Olds DAY
5
RCH CAR ATL
6
BRI DAR
28
NWS MAR TAL
20
DOV CLT
34
RSD POC
33
MCH
41
DAY
36
POC
29
TAL
5
GLN
8
MCH
26
BRI DAR
31
RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT
30
CAR ATL
11
RSD
27
30th1555 [24]
1987 Hendrick Motorsports 35 Chevy DAY
2
CAR
34
RCH
10
ATL
2
DAR
21
NWS
15
BRI
28
MAR
26
TAL
12
CLT
26
DOV
5
POC
33
RSD
34
MCH
9
DAY
35
POC
4
TAL
30
GLN
5
MCH
18
BRI
26
DAR
31
RCH
16
DOV
16
MAR
23
NWS
19
CLT
38
CAR
15
RSD
2
ATL
7
16th3215 [25]
1988 Donlavey Racing 90 Ford DAY
31
RCH
14
CAR
33
ATL
13
DAR
34
BRI
13
NWS
17
MAR
14
TAL
24
CLT
25
DOV
22
RSD
13
POC
31
MCH
38
DAY
35
POC
35
TAL
27
GLN
39
MCH
15
BRI DAR
13
RCH
20
DOV
27
MAR
20
CLT
12
NWS
QL
CAR
13
PHO
8
ATL
34
24th2559 [26]
- Qualified but replaced by Jimmy Means
Daytona 500
YearTeamManufacturerStartFinish
1969 Russ Dawson Ford 117
1970 Benny Parsons Ford 1414
1971 DeWitt Racing Ford 1235
1972 Mercury 334
1973 Chevrolet 1330
1974 1022
1975 321
1976 323
1977 62
1978 Oldsmobile 83
1979 M.C. Anderson Racing Oldsmobile 518
1980 145
1981 Bud Moore Engineering Ford 431
1982 Ranier-Lundy Racing Pontiac 126
1983 Johnny Hayes Racing Buick 1442
1984 Chevrolet 829
1985 Jackson Bros. Motorsports Chevrolet 531
1986 Oldsmobile 315
1987 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 42
1988 Donlavey Racing Ford 4231

International Race of Champions

(key) (Bold – Pole position. * – Most laps led.)

International Race of Champions results
YearMakeQ1Q2Q31234Pos.PtsRef
1975–76 Chevy MCH
4
RSD
5
RSD
9
DAY
1
3rdNA [27]
1977–78 Chevy MCH
9
RSD
9
RSD
8
DAY
5
7thNA [28]
1978–79 MCH
6
MCH RSD RSD ATL NA0 [29]
1979–80 MCH
6
MCH RSD RSD ATL NA0 [30]
1984 Chevy MCH
2
CLE
4
TAL
5
MCH
7
4th47 [31]

NASCAR announcer

He began announcing as a pit reporter in the 1980s on ESPN and TBS while he was still racing part-time. After permanently retiring from racing in 1988, Parsons became a broadcaster first on ESPN, and then with NBC and TNT in 2001. He received an ESPN Emmy in 1996, and the ACE Award in 1989. He appears in the videogame NASCAR '99 , NASCAR 2000 & NASCAR 2001 as a commentator as well as an unlockable legend (He was only featured in NASCAR 2001 as an announcer). He later appeared in NASCAR Rumble as a legend in the game as well as NASCAR Thunder 2002 , NASCAR Thunder 2003 & NASCAR Thunder 2004 as an unlockable driver and featured the game in NBC and TNT telecasts where Parsons did EA Sports Thunder Motion where he took viewers on a virtual ride of each track.

Parsons co-hosted coverage of Winston Cup Qualifying on North Carolina radio station WFMX with Mark Garrow in the early '90s. He continued to co-host a radio program called "Fast Talk" on Performance Racing Network (PRN) with Doug Rice until his death (he was replaced by an alternating host). He also had a podcast available on iTunes, in conjunction with CNN called "The CNN Radio Racing Report with Benny Parsons," who talks about NASCAR with CNNRadio's Michael Jones.

In 2005, Parsons made a cameo appearance as himself in the movie Herbie: Fully Loaded . In 2006, he again appeared as himself in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby .

Illness and death

Parsons began having trouble breathing in the summer of 2006. He was diagnosed with lung cancer. He announced later that the treatment had been successful, and that he had a clean bill of health. Parsons had stopped smoking in 1978.

His health prevented him from attending a ceremony in November 2006 where he was to be presented with the Myers Brothers Award, honoring his contributions to racing.

On December 26, 2006, Parsons was readmitted to the hospital and placed in intensive care because of complications relating to lung cancer. [32]

On January 16, 2007, Parsons died of complications from lung cancer treatment in the intensive care unit of the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. [33] He is buried near his childhood home in Purlear, North Carolina, which is now the site of Benny Parsons' Rendezvous Ridge, which is also Terri's residence in addition to a racing museum and winery.

Related Research Articles

Richard Petty American racing driver

Richard Lee Petty, nicknamed The King, is a former NASCAR driver who raced from 1958 to 1992 in the former NASCAR Grand National and Winston Cup Series. He was the first driver to win the NASCAR Cup Championship seven times, winning a record 200 races during his career, winning the Daytona 500 a record seven times, and winning a record 27 races in the 1967 season alone. Statistically, he is the most accomplished driver in the history of the sport and is one of the most respected figures in motorsports as a whole. He also collected a record number of poles (127) and over 700 Top 10 finishes in his record 1,184 starts, including 513 consecutive starts from 1971–1989. Petty was the only driver to ever win in his 500th race start, until Matt Kenseth joined him in 2013. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. Petty remains very active, as both a NASCAR team owner in the Cup Series and owner of Petty's Garage in Level Cross, North Carolina.

A. J. Foyt American racecar driver

Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr. is an American retired auto racing driver who has raced in numerous genres of motorsports. His open wheel racing includes United States Automobile Club Champ cars, sprint cars, and midget cars. He raced stock cars in NASCAR and USAC. He won several major sports car racing events. He holds the USAC career wins record with 159 victories, and the American championship racing career wins record with 67.

Bobby Labonte American racecar driver

Robert Allen Labonte is an American professional stock car racing driver. The 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion, he currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, driving the No. 18 Toyota for RDV Competition, and is an analyst on NASCAR RaceDay for FOX Sports. He and his older brother, Terry Labonte, are one of only two pairs of brothers to have both won the Cup championships. He is also the uncle of former Xfinity Series race winner Justin Labonte.

Neil Bonnett American racing driver

Lawrence Neil Bonnett was a NASCAR driver who compiled 18 victories and 20 poles over his 18-year career. The Alabama native currently ranks 45th in all-time NASCAR Cup victories. He appeared in the 1983 film Stroker Ace and the 1990 film Days of Thunder. Bonnett hosted the TV show Winners for TNN from 1991 to 1994. He was a color commentator for CBS, TBS, and TNN in the years until his death.

Rusty Wallace American racing driver

Russell William "Rusty" Wallace, Jr. is a retired American racing driver, and a former NASCAR Winston Cup Champion. Considered one of racing's most well-known and charismatic personalities, he is a member of four of stock car racing's major halls of fame: the NASCAR Hall of Fame (2013), the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2013), the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (2014) and the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame (2010). He was the 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year and the 1989 Winston Cup champion.

Ricky Rudd American racecar driver

Richard Lee Rudd, nicknamed "The Rooster," is an American former racing driver. He is the uncle of actor Skeet Ulrich and former NASCAR Busch Series driver Jason Rudd. He retired in 2007 with 23 career wins. He was named the 2006 Virginian of the Year and was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. In October 2010, he was selected to the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, which honors those who have contributed to sports in southeastern Virginia.

Johnny Rutherford American racecar driver

John Sherman "Johnny" Rutherford III, also known as "Lone Star JR", is an American former automobile racing driver. He is one of ten drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 at least three times, winning in 1974, 1976, and 1980.

Harry Gant American stock car racing driver

Harold Phil Gant, better known as "Handsome Harry", is a retired American racecar driver best known for driving the No. 33 Skoal Bandit car on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit during the 1980s and 1990s and his 4-race win streak in 1991.

Ernie Irvan American racing driver

Virgil Earnest Irvan, occasionally referred to as "Swervin' Irvan", is an American former professional stock car racing driver. A retired NASCAR competitor, he is best remembered for his comeback after a serious head injury left him with only a 10% chance of survival, August 20, 1994, at Michigan International Speedway. Irvan has been inducted into numerous halls of fame and was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers, in 1998. After a series of injuries in the late 1990s, he retired from racing in 1999.

David Pearson (racing driver) American racecar driver

David Gene Pearson was an American stock car racer from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Pearson began his NASCAR career in 1960 and ended his first season by winning the 1960 NASCAR Rookie of the Year award. He won three championships and every year he was active he ran the full schedule in NASCAR's Grand National Series. NASCAR described his 1974 season as an indication of his "consistent greatness". That season he finished third in the season points having competed in only 19 of 30 races.

Johnny Benson Jr. racecar driver

Jonathan Benson Jr. is an American retired stock car racing driver and the son of former Michigan modified driver John Benson Sr. His career highlights include the 1993 American Speed Association AC-Delco Challenge series championship, the 1995 Busch Series championship, the 1996 Winston Cup NASCAR Rookie of the Year award, and the 2008 Craftsman Truck Series championship.

Tom Sneva American racecar driver

Thomas E. "Tom" Sneva is a retired American race car driver, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1983. He primarily raced in Indy cars, and was named to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2005.

Randy LaJoie American stock car racing driver

Randall "Randy" LaJoie is a former NASCAR Busch Series race car driver. where he won the championship in 1996 and 1997. He is the father of racers Casey and Corey LaJoie.

Jack Sprague American stock car racing driver

Jack Sprague is an American former racing driver who has competed in all of NASCAR's three top divisions, most notably in the Camping World Truck Series. Sprague has finished in the Top 10 in the points standings in almost every year while in the Trucks Series, winning three championships in 1997, 1999, and 2001 while driving for Hendrick Motorsports. He last drove for Wyler Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2008 after being released by Kevin Harvick Inc.

Donald "Donnie" Allison is a former driver on the NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup circuit, who won ten times during his racing career, which spanned the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. He is part of the "Alabama Gang," and is the brother of 1983 champion Bobby Allison and uncle of Davey Allison and Clifford Allison. He was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Phil Parsons NASCAR commentator and former driver

Phillip Parsons, is an American former professional stock car racing driver, team owner, and current announcer for FOX NASCAR. He is also the younger brother of the late 1973 Winston Cup champion and former NBC/TNT commentator Benny Parsons. After years racing in NASCAR Winston Cup, he returned to the Busch Series where he enjoyed modest success.

Lance Hooper American race car driver

Lance Allen Hooper is a race car driver in NASCAR as well as several touring divisions. Hooper attended his first race when he was just two weeks old, and also came from a long line of racing champions, including his uncle, father, and brother. Hooper currently serves as the driver and crew chief of the #44 Key Motorsports Chevy in the Craftsman Truck Series.

The 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series was the 25th season of professional stock car racing in the United States and the 2nd modern-era Cup season. The season began on Sunday January 21 and ended on Sunday October 21. 31 races were scheduled in the 1973 season. 28 were held.

1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 Auto race run in Georgia in 1988

The 1988 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event held on March 20, 1988, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia.

References

  1. Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Benny Parsons Obituary | Benny Parsons Funeral | Legacy.com Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  3. Save The Speedway Race Timeline
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2007-01-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. http://www.nascar.com/2006/news/headlines/cup/07/26/bparsons.statement/index.html
  6. "Benny Parsons – 1964 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  7. "Benny Parsons – 1969 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  8. "Benny Parsons – 1970 NASCAR Grand National Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  9. "Benny Parsons – 1971 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  10. "Benny Parsons – 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  11. "Benny Parsons – 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  12. "Benny Parsons – 1974 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  13. "Benny Parsons – 1975 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  14. "Benny Parsons – 1976 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  15. "Benny Parsons – 1977 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  16. "Benny Parsons – 1978 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  17. "Benny Parsons – 1979 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  18. "Benny Parsons – 1980 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  19. "Benny Parsons – 1981 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  20. "Benny Parsons – 1982 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  21. "Benny Parsons – 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  22. "Benny Parsons – 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  23. "Benny Parsons – 1985 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  24. "Benny Parsons – 1986 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  25. "Benny Parsons – 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  26. "Benny Parsons – 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  27. "Benny Parsons – 1976 IROC Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  28. "Benny Parsons – 1978 IROC Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  29. "Benny Parsons – 1979 IROC Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  30. "Benny Parsons – 1980 IROC Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  31. "Benny Parsons – 1984 IROC Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  32. Parsons in Intensive Care Archived January 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  33. NASCAR.com "Parsons, 65, dies after battle with lung cancer"
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Richard Petty
NASCAR Winston Cup Champion
1973
Succeeded by
Richard Petty
Preceded by
Iggy Katona
ARCA Champion
1968-1969
Succeeded by
Ramo Stott
Achievements
Preceded by
Richard Petty
Daytona 500 Winner
1975
Succeeded by
David Pearson