Statement Regarding the Passing of NASCAR Executive Jim Hunter
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 30, 2010) -- NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter passed away Friday, Oct. 29 at the age of 71. Hunter's career in motorsports spanned portions of six decades as both a journalist and public relations professional. He was a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame nominating committee and voting panel and was instrumental in the development of the attraction.
Statement from Winston Kelley, NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director:
"Everyone at the NASCAR Hall of Fame is deeply saddened by the loss of Jim Hunter. His impact on the sport is truly immeasurable. Jim had as deep a knowledge, understanding and appreciation for the history of NASCAR as that of anyone I know. He is clearly one who cannot be replaced.
"As we developed the NASCAR Hall of Fame, he was our 'go-to guy' to assess and validate many areas to guarantee we were telling the story accurately from all perspectives. He helped us ensure key people were recognized, and he enjoyed helping us properly tell the moonshine story, a critical part of NASCAR's roots. Jim truly 'got it' about EVERY aspect of the sport - from the competitors, track operators, sanctioning body, media and most importantly the fan. He was a staunch advocate for each constituency, and he had the respect of each, including the top leadership in NASCAR.
"Jim Hunter has touched, guided and mentored so many people, including me and others on the NASCAR Hall of Fame staff, but especially many of drivers as they entered the sport needing help navigating the challenges of stardom while remaining true to NASCAR's tradition of being fan and media accessible."
Statement from Buz McKim, NASCAR Hall of Fame historian:
"Jim Hunter was a legend in the sport and a bridge to the earlier days of NASCAR. Having entered the sport in the early 60s, Hunter knew the history and inner workings of the sport better than anyone. He worked every position imaginable within the sport and added immediate credibility to anything he was involved in. He was thrilled that NASCAR finally was getting its own hall of fame, and he gladly added his expertise to the project. He was a great sounding board during the development of the Hall. He was definitely a one-of-a-kind guy but also a great friend and mentor. There is a huge Jim Hunter-shaped hole in NASCAR today."