Former NASCAR Modified champ Marriott passes CLEARWATER, Fla. (Oct.19, 1998) 1957 NASCAR national Modified division champion Ken Marriott, a native of Baltimore, Md., who was living in Florida, passed away here Oct. 15. He was 78. ...
Former NASCAR Modified champ Marriott passes
CLEARWATER, Fla. (Oct.19, 1998) 1957 NASCAR national Modified division champion Ken Marriott, a native of Baltimore, Md., who was living in Florida, passed away here Oct. 15. He was 78.
Marriott was born on the first "Armistice Day" for World War I, Nov. 11, 1919; and was given the interesting middle name of "Armistice." During his NASCAR Modified racing career he was based in Baltimore and competed on tracks along the Eastern seaboard from Virginia to New Jersey, including such notable Modified venues as Langhorne (N.J.) Speedway, Trenton (N.J.) Speedway and Concord (N.C.) Speedway -- now a NASCAR Winston Racing Series venue operating as Concord Motorsport Park.
Marriott was a regular competitor in the NASCAR Modified-Sportsman races on the Beach/Road Course in Daytona Beach, Fla., with a best finish of 28th in 1953 in the six starts he made between 1950 and 1958.
Marriott had stopped driving competitively but was convinced by his Modified car owners to come out of retirement for the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. He finished 59th and last in the first "Great American Race" when the engine failed in his No. 75 1958 Ford convertible. He suffered the same fate in his 100-mile qualifying race, finishing 21st after completing one lap. He competed in four other NASCAR Grand National (forerunner of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series) races in his career.
Marriott went back into retirement following his Daytona 500 start, but remained a popular member of the close-knit racing fraternity of the time. He was particularly close to popular drivers Glenn "Fireball" Roberts and "Little Joe" Weatherly, who family members said visited with Marriott only a couple weeks before his death in a racing accident in 1964.
Marriott is survived by his wife, Jane Frances of Clearwater; son John Mathew; and grandchildren Mary Agnes and Kenneth Armistice III. Ken Marriott's son, Kenneth Armistice Jr., a U.S. Navy pilot, was killed in a plane crash in 1978, John Marriott said.
Viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home at 2860 Sunset Point Rd. in Clearwater. The funeral will be Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Sylvan Abbey. For information call (727) 796-1992. Source: NASCAR Online