Tommy Houston Honored

Hickory Motor Speedway honored one of its greatest former drivers, local competitor Tommy Houston, when it opened for the 1998 season last Saturday afternoon. John Huffman, new owner of the .363-mile speedway, engineered a ceremony...

Hickory Motor Speedway honored one of its greatest former drivers, local competitor Tommy Houston, when it opened for the 1998 season last Saturday afternoon. John Huffman, new owner of the .363-mile speedway, engineered a ceremony that dedicated a section of the fourth turn grandstand to Houston in pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Late Model Stock Car special event.

Houston, a Hickory native whose sons, Scott, Andy and Marty, are still extremely active in a variety of NASCAR racing divisions, was the 1975 and 1976 Hickory Motor Speedway track champion as well as one of the "pioneers" of the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. Houston owns eight career NASCAR Busch Series wins at his home track, a mark that ties Jack Ingram for the most series wins at the speedway.

Among Tommy Houston's NASCAR Busch Series career records are most starts (417), most consecutive races started (360), most top-five (123) and top-10 (198) finishes, most consecutive years with at least one Bud Pole Award (7) and most wins at one track (8, Hickory). Houston was the first driver to win a NASCAR Busch Series race in a Buick and a Chevrolet.

Houston also won the first NASCAR Busch Series short-track race, the Richmond 200 at the Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway on Feb. 20, 1982. Houston holds the record for the fastest qualifying lap in series history, 194.389 mph at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 10, 1987.

Houston ranks second in money won with more than $1.8 million. His 18 Bud Poles and 24 wins each rank third.

"We are proud to honor one of the greatest competitors ever to race at Hickory Motor Speedway," Huffman said. "His records are well known, and Tommy Houston and the Houston family are a big part of the racing history at Hickory Motor Speedway."

Houston will be the fourth former driver with a grandstand named in his honor at Hickory. Ned Jarrett, Bobby Isaac and Harry Gant share the honor with Houston. Plans are for a fifth section of grandstand to be dedicated during the annual NASCAR Busch Series race -- the Galaxy Foods 300 -- at Hickory on Saturday, April 11.

Hickory opened its 47th full season of NASCAR Winston Racing Series Late Model Stock Car action with the first of three special Saturday afternoon events. Additional Saturday afternoon shows will follow on March 28 and April 4.

In addition, tickets are available for the NASCAR Busch Series Pepsi Pole Day for the Bud Pole Award on April 10 and the Galaxy Foods 300 on April 11 at the track ticket office or by phone at (704) 464-3655.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ned Jarrett , Harry Gant