Thursday, June 07, 2012

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dies

Per Fayetteville Observer, NASCAR pioneer "Cotton" Owens died Thursday morning. The Hall of Famer who made his mark as a driver and owner was 88.

Owens, who lived in Spartanburg, was part of the Hall's class of 2013 that was announced two weeks ago. He will be inducted in February along with Rusty Wallace, Leonard Wood and the late Buck Baker and Herb Thomas.

Owens, whose given name was Everett, won nine times on NASCAR's top circuit including the Daytona Beach, Fla., road course that marked Pontiac's first win in NASCAR. He was perhaps better known as an owner, fielding cars for Hall of Fame drivers such as Junior Johnson and David Pearson. Owens won nine times as a driver and 38 as an owner.

Owens finished second in the 1959 series championship chase to Lee Petty and was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers in 1998.