Charlotte, NC (April 16) -- Elzie Wylie "Buck" Baker passed away at the Carolinas Medical Center Sunday night. Baker had just turned 83 in March. According to the family, Baker was at the medical center for an additional procedure to his ...
Charlotte, NC (April 16) -- Elzie Wylie "Buck" Baker passed away at the Carolinas Medical Center Sunday night. Baker had just turned 83 in March. According to the family, Baker was at the medical center for an additional procedure to his pacemaker.
Baker started his career in stock car racing in 1939 and eventually stepped away from his job as a city bus driver. The legendary Baker set records during his career including being the first driver to win consecutive Winston Cup championships (1956 and 1957).
His accomplishments include inductions into NMPA Hall of Fame in 1982 and the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. His career included winning 46 Cup races (13th on the NASCAR best all-time list) and is on the NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers list.
Baker's two driver titles were won in two different makes and two separate teams. In 1956 with Carl Kiekhaefer in the No. 14 Chrysler. The No. 10 Buck Baker/Bud Moore Chevrolet was the 1957 winning car. This is no surprise since Baker drove anything and everything.
Baker is listed as being one of the stock car drivers who raced in the backwoods during the peak of moonshine running days.
He tamed "the lady in black" by winning the famed Darlington race three times. In 1976, Baker retired from auto racing but kept active in racing by opening up one of the first stock car racing driving schools - Buck Baker Racing School at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. The family now operates two others in Bristol, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia.
Baker's son Buddy followed in his dad's first-steps as a star in the Winston Cup series. Buddy went on to become a commentator for NASCAR races.
"Throughout the entire racing world, I don't know of anybody who would said he didn't give 110 percent from the time they dropped the green flag until the time the race was over," said his son Buddy Baker, himself a winner of 19 NASCAR Winston Cup races. "He was that same way in life, too."
"There was a time in the modified division that nobody could beat him," Buddy Baker said. "He won 27 in a row once at old Charlotte fairgrounds track, and the bad part was that we were the promoters at that track. They'd boo him coming in and boo him going out, but the next day everybody would be hanging around at his shop." [AP Newswire]
"Buck" Baker is survived by his wife, Susan Painter Baker; daughter, Susie Baker; two sons, Buddy and Randy; two grandsons, two great granddaughters and a sister.
Wednesday, April 17 - 7 to 9 p.m.
Harry and Bryant Funeral Home
500 Providence Road
Thursday, April 18 - 2 p.m.
Calvary Church Chapel
Crisis Assistance Ministry
500 Spratt Street, Building A
Charlotte, NC 28231.
Our condolences are extended to the family and friend of Buck Baker; to the
NASCAR auto racing community, to their fans and to those in racing who have
fond memories of a legendary driver.