You could exactly fill out a 43-car NASCAR field just by using the drivers who raced for car owner Bud Moore over the years. And for the most part, it would be an all-star caliber field.
During a career that encompassed the entire second half of the 20th century, Moore worked with some of the greatest racers in the history of the sport. They included Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker, Geoff Bodine, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Isaac, Gordon Johncock, Parnelli Jones, Tiny Lund, Cotton Owens, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Ricky Rudd, Johnny Rutherford, Morgan Shepherd, Dick Trickle, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly and Cale Yarborough.
All told, Moore’s cars won 63 NASCAR races and 43 pole positions. He won consecutive Grand National championships with Weatherly in 1962-63, and was the crew chief for Buck Baker when he won the title in 1957.
Moore’s ability to field NASCAR winners has earned him a spot in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction class of 2009. Joining Moore in this year’s class are Indy Car owner and race promoter J.C. Agajanian, NASCAR Cup driver Donnie Allison, seven-time NASCAR Modifieds champion Jerry Cook and NASCAR pioneer and car owner Raymond Parks.
The induction ceremony will be held Thursday April 23 at the SPEED Dome adjacent to Talladega Superspeedway.
“I’m in a lot of Hall of Fames, but this is one of the greatest,” Moore, 83, said of his IMHoF induction. “It’s one of the best, and I’m really thrilled. It’s a great honor.
“I never would have dreamed back when I first started that I would be in this kind of Hall of Fame. There are a lot of great people in there, and I’m really proud to be in there with them.”
A native of Spartanburg, S.C., Moore and his friend Joe Eubanks began racing as a hobby in the late 1940s, with Eubanks as the driver. As the 1950s progressed and the fledgling NASCAR circuit gained in popularity, Moore began spending an increasing amount of time at the race track, until he finally turned it into his fulltime profession.
Bud Moore Engineering made its NASCAR debut in 1961 by winning a qualifying race for the Daytona 500 with Joe Weatherly as the driver. Weatherly went on to win eight races that season, setting the foundation for his back-to-back title runs the next two years.
That was the beginning of three decades of near-continuous success for BME. Among the highlights were Billy Wade’s four consecutive victories in 1964, Tiny Lund’s Grand American title in 1968, Parnelli Jones’ Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am championship in 1970, Buddy Baker’s three consecutive victories at Talladega Superspeedway in 1975 and 1976, and Bobby Allison’s Daytona 500 triumph in 1978.
Moore said it is difficult for him to pick a favorite moment in his career, or a favorite driver.
“I can’t come out and say who was the best,” Moore said. “For the long race tracks, Buddy Baker was real good. Bobby Allison was great. And you can’t leave out Dale Earnhardt.
“But we won a lot of races with just about every driver who drove for me. I didn’t have any problems with any of them. We got along real well. We tried to treat everybody the same and put a good race car under him so he could go out and win races.”
Moore’s final NASCAR victory came in 1993 with Geoff Bodine as the driver. Moore continued to field cars sporadically throughout the rest of the decade before finally shutting down his organization in 2001.
“All in all, I was real fortunate to come along when I did,” Moore said. “I enjoyed every minute of the 50 years I was in NASCAR. If I had the money and the sponsorship and stuff, I’d still been in it right now.”
About the International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum
Opened in April of 1983, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of motorsports. Each year, the annual International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is held on the grounds of the museum to honor those men and women chosen for induction from among the greatest names in all of motorsports.
The 2009 ceremony will be held April 23rd, at the SPEED Channel Dome, adjacent to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Individual tickets for the evening are $125 and a table of eight may be reserved for $1,000. Tickets and tables are available by calling 1-256-362-5002 or logging on to www.racetickets.com.