Weatherly was one of the first drivers who attracted fans to NASCAR as much for his personality as his racing ability.
- Inducted: 2015
The Clown Prince of Stock Car Racing
Joe Weatherly won two championships and 25 races in NASCAR's premier series. But that's only part of his story, which is long on versatility.
A decade earlier in 1952-1953, he won 101 races in the NASCAR Modified division, capturing that championship in 1953. He even tried his hand in NASCAR’s short-lived Convertible Division from 1956-1959 winning 12 times.
Weatherly was one of the first drivers who attracted fans to NASCAR as much for his personality as his racing ability, thus his nickname "The Clown Prince of Stock Car Racing.”
When he won his first NASCAR premier series championship, in 1962, he drove for legendary owner Bud Moore. When he repeated as champion a year later, he drove for nine different teams. Those were the only two years Weatherly competed in the premier series full time. Weatherly was named one of the NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
Weatherly poses with a car he raced in the NASCAR Modified race in Daytona Beach. Courtesy of ISC Archives via Getty Images.
Weatherly (No. 9) starts his time trial run for the race at the Daytona Beach-Road Course. Courtesy of ISC Archives via Getty Images.
Joe Weatherly drove for nine different car owners in landing the national title in 1963. Courtesy of Jonathan Ferry - Getty Images Sport.