Raymond Parks is one of stock car racing’s earliest and most successful team owners.
- Inducted: 2017
NASCAR's First Championship Owner
Parks began his career as a stock car owner in 1938 with drivers Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall.
His pairing with mechanic Red Vogt produced equipment good enough to dominate the sport in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Red Byron won the first NASCAR title (modified, 1948) and first premier series title (1949) in a Parks-owned car. Though Parks’ team competed for only four seasons—1949, 1950, 1954 and 1955—his place in NASCAR history is secure.
Parks’ team produced two premier series wins, two poles, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 18 events. Drivers Red Byron, Bob Flock and Roy Hall drove Parks' cars during the 1949 season. Byron drove for him in 1950 and finished third in the inaugural Southern 500—Parks served as one of the tire changers. Fonty Flock drove for Parks in 1954, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner (2016) drove for him in 1955. Parks retired from racing in the mid-1950s.
Raymond Parks (R) poses with Roy Hall (L) in 1940. Hall and Lloyd Seay are two of Parks’ most successful drivers in the years before the formation of NASCAR. Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images.
Raymond Parks’ team cars and trophies flank the outside of Parks’ Novelty Machine & Supply Co. Parks has numerous successful business endeavors throughout his life, allowing him to invest in top race equipment, drivers and multiple cars. His team posts 16 victories in the NASCAR Modified Division (now Whelen Modified Tour) in 1948. Photo Courtesy of Vi Parks.
Red Byron speeds around the south turn of the Daytona Beach-Road Course in 1949 during the second NASCAR premier series race. Byron drives Raymond Parks’ 1949 Oldsmobile in six of eight races, capturing two victories—one at Daytona and one at Martinsville Speedway. Photo Courtesy of Vi Parks.