Charles "Buddy" Morrison Leaves NASCAR Legacy

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ARLINGTON, Texas (Dec. 17, 1998) Charles "Buddy" Morrison, co-founder of Reher-Morrison Racing Engines and owner of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team that joined the series in 1998, died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was...

ARLINGTON, Texas (Dec. 17, 1998) Charles "Buddy" Morrison, co-founder of Reher-Morrison Racing Engines and owner of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team that joined the series in 1998, died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 54. Morrison had been involved in racing nearly his entire life, first with the National Hot Rod Association and most recently fielding No. 9 Chevrolet trucks for young Texan David Starr in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Starr has indicated the team is planning on making a run for Cintas Rookie of the Year in the truck series if appropriate sponsorship can be signed. Morrison was a hard-core racer who developed a respected drag racing engine company. More recently he had diversified into oval track racing. "All I have ever done is race," Morrison once said. "I didn't have a TV when I was a kid so I read books and learned how to do things. In seventh grade I remember going to the grocery store with my mom and while she shopped I read the car magazines on the rack." This interest led to his co-founding of Reher-Morrison Racing Engines with partner David Reher. The two met at the University of Texas, and both shared a vision of building fast engines. They began their venture in the back of an auto parts store; a humble beginning for the business now housed in a modern 15,000 square-foot facility here. The Reher-Morrison name became synonymous with winning due to the tremendous success of their NHRA Pro Stock car driven by the late Lee Shepherd. In 26 seasons of competition, Reher-Morrison engines have propelled drivers to more than 100 victories, including 39 for their own "house car." The team still competes in NHRA Pro Stock events with Bruce Allen behind the wheel of The Outlaw Pontiac Firebird. During the past few years Morrison had begun to frequent circle track races and developed a passion for the sport. "I have always had an interest in circle track racing but never had time to do it," he said, "but the more I pursued it the more interested I became in it." This fascination resulted in the addition of a stock car team in 1997 when the Reher-Morrison operation expanded into circle track racing. Driven by Starr, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo ran eight races in the Texas International Drivers Association (TIDA) Late Model Series and resulted in an impressive three victories and two second-place finishes. This quick success led the team to move into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1998, again with Starr behind the wheel of a Chevrolet. Without a full-time sponsor, dedication and the hard work of the crew allowed Starr to compete in five events, which preserved his rookie status for a potential rookie run this season. "Buddy was one of the best friends I had," Starr said. "He loved racing trucks, and never seemed to have a bad day even if things were not going well. He made a dream come true for me, and took a chance on me when nobody else would. Buddy changed my life by teaching me the things he knew. He helped by making me look at things in life differently. This is a big loss for everyone who knew him."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK , NHRA