Carrier Family announces the passing of Larry Carrier
The family of Larry Carrier sadly announces the passing of Mr. Larry Carrier, of Bluff City, TN who died peacefully, with wife Shirley by his side, on Tuesday morning, June 7, 2005. Larry Carrier is the father of Andy and Mark Carrier, the owners of Carrier Boyz Racing.
Larry Carrier, age 82, of Bluff City, TN, best known for the building of Bristol International Raceway, went to be with the Lord, on Tuesday, June 7, 2005, after a long illness. His personal philosophy of "putting back" made a significant difference in the quality of life in the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Region. His keen sense of business and his deep-rooted Christian family values resulted in phenomenal success in a variety of business ventures.
Born and raised in Bristol, TN, he was the son of the late Hugh and Bessie Offield Carrier. Larry graduated from Tennessee High School and attended King College. As a successful contractor in the 1950's and 1960's he built several subdivisions and commercial properties and was chosen "Builder of the South" by the Southern Pine Bureau, but the best was yet to come.
He, along with partners Carl Moore and R. G. Pope, built Bristol International Speedway in 1960. With the first NASCAR sanctioned race held in 1961 their unparalleled vision became a reality. After selling the track and with approval from NASCAR, with whom Larry had a close relationship, he was able to repurchase the facility from businessman Warner Hodgdon in 1985, while it was mired in bankruptcy. Larry worked tirelessly to bring the race track back to prominence, and for five years in a row it was named "Track of the Year" by ESPN and was, and still is, consistently voted the fans' favorite NASCAR race track. Larry sold the race track in 1996 at the age of 74.
Among Larry's other business ventures was Larry's Lane Bowling Alley, now Belmont Lanes, and he was the founder of the World Boxing Federation. The World Boxing Federation went on to sanction events in 48 foreign countries with offices in London and Melbourne, Australia.
He was also founder of the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA). His sons, Mark and Andy, now own a Top Fuel team (Carrier Boyz Racing) which competes on the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) POWERade Drag Racing Series. Larry was also instrumental in putting racing "on the map" by introducing R.J. Reynolds to drag racing, ESPN to drag racing, and ESPN to NASCAR. He was the innovator of the promotion of night racing, giving ESPN the exclusive rights to televised Bristol's night race for nearly nothing for several years. He said if fans watched it on TV, they'd come to Bristol to see racing in person and he was right. Larry was inducted into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
He was honored and recognized as an outstanding citizen by the state of TN in 1990 for his achievements in stock car racing. Larry was the first inductee into the Citizens Hall of Fame in 1991, and would later become a member of both the East Tennessee Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
He had a love for horses which grew from a hobby to become another business venture. He had several World Champion Horses, and was deeply involved with the horse industry for many years.
He was an honored member of Who's Who Worldwide and listed in the Who's Who Registry of Global Business Leaders. He owned All American Campground in Bluff City, TN and Tri-Cities Golf Club in Blountville, TN.
In addition to his many business ventures, he had a strong commitment to the community and its young people. He organized boys boxing clubs in the region with a program "Winning in Life -- Not Just the Ring."
Larry was one of the original founders of the Bristol Rescue Mission, served his country in the United States Army and was a member of First Baptist Church of Blountville, TN. He also served on the Bristol Tennessee Electric System's Board.
He is survived by his wife Shirley Ingle Carrier. Daughter Carolyn Carrier of East Bend, NC. Sons Larry Carrier, Jr. of Atlanta, GA, Mark I. Carrier and wife Sherry of Johnson City, TN, Andy Carrier of Blountville, TN. Grandchildren David Freeman, Bret Carrier, and Mackenzie Carrier. Proceeded in death by a brother Carmack Carrier.
Thursday, June 9, 2005 at 8:00 pm
First Baptist Church of Blountville
Dr. Clay Austin officiating.
3358 Hwy 126
Blountville, TN, with
The family will receive friends prior to the service on Thursday, June 9, 2005 from 5:00 to 7:45 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Blountville.
Committal services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2005 in Glenwood Cemetery.
Pallbearers include: Wayne Stophel, Mike Belcher, Ron Scalf, Buddy Talbert, Gary Mitchell, and Ted Jones. Honorary pallbearers will include former and present employees & Friends of the Family.
Those desiring may make memorials:
Haven of Rest Rescue Mission
624 Anderson Street
Bristol, TN 37620.
Online condolences may be registered at www.Weaverfuneralhome.net.