Via the Richmond Times, the Virginia native has died due to complications of cancer at VCU Medical Center. He was 75.
Lennie Pond started 234 Sprint Cup races in his career, which spanned over two decades from 1969 to 1989.
It's a popular belief that if Pond had gotten a shot in top tier equipment, he could have been one of the best. He even beat out NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip for Rookie of the Year honors in 1973.
His NASCAR career hit a high point in 1976 when he ended the season fifth in the championship standings. The four drivers ahead of him? ... All Sprint Cup champions.
But it wasn't until 1978 at Talladega Superspeedway in his 130th start when he finally reached Victory Lane. Driving the No. 54 Oldsmobile for Harry Ranier, he led 22 laps and defeated Donnie Allison by two car lengths.
After being released from the team at season's end, he drifted from ride to ride, ending his career at his home track of Richmond International Raceway in 1989. Driving for the legendary car owner Junie Donlavey, he finished a respectable 11th at the age of 48.
Pond also has a race win on the famed high banks of Daytona in a 1976 ARCA race.
“NASCAR extends its condolences to the friends and family of Lennie Pond, a true racer and for decades a fixture at Virginia short tracks – where he was a five-time Late Model champion. Throughout his career, Lennie boasted accolades including the 1973 premier series rookie of the year title and a Talladega win, but it was his passion for speed, competition and racing that made him a favorite among fans and fellow competitors alike. ”