Another NASCAR legend has been taken this year entirely too soon due to cancer. The sport’s “Gentle Giant” is now with his father.
Buddy Baker, 74, died Monday morning from lung cancer. The 33-year NASCAR driver won 19 races, including the 1980 Daytona 500, and clinched 38 poles over 700 starts.
SiriusXM NASCAR Radio made the announcement that Baker had passed away just over one month since he made the announcement on the station. The four-time winner at Talladega made an impact on this generation with his voice rather than his lead foot.
— SiriusXM NASCAR (@SiriusXMNASCAR) August 10, 2015
“Many of today’s fans may know Buddy Baker as one of the greatest storytellers in the sport’s history, a unique skill that endeared him to millions,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said in a release. “But those who witnessed his racing talent recognized Buddy as a fast and fierce competitor, setting speed records and winning on NASCAR’s biggest stages. It is that dual role that made Buddy an absolute treasure who will be missed dearly.”
Baker was the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker and recently told Darrell Waltrip that he was ready to visit him again.
Darrell Waltrip says on @SiriusXMNASCAR that in last visit with Buddy Baker that Buddy said he was looking forward to seeing his dad again
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) August 10, 2015
A driver known for winning big races like the 1970 Southern 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in 1968, 1972 and 1973, Baker will always be a legend in the sport.
Baker is enshrined in the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame and International Motorsports Hall of Fame. He was eligible for the NASCAR Hall of Fame last year and will have his name entered again for consideration in 2016.
Follow Chicken Bone Alley on Twitter.