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Benny Parsons

Benny Parsons, a Wilkes County, N.C., native who called Detroit home, won the 1973 NASCAR premier series championship in one of the most dramatic fashions in series history.

  • Inducted: 2017
  • Position:Driver

Vitals

Hometown

Ellerbe, NC

Born

07/12/1941

Died

01/16/2007

PREMIER SERIES STATS

Championships

1 Premier Series
(1973)

Competed

1964-1988

Starts / Wins / Poles

526 / 21 / 20

An Everyman Champion

He won 21 times in 526 career starts but finished among the top 10 283 times—a 54 percent ratio.

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. One of Parsons’ biggest victories came in the 1975 Daytona 500. He was the first driver to qualify a stock car at more than 200 mph (200.176 mph) 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 ESPN, NBC and TNT until his passing in 2007 at the age of 65.