Buddy Baker had a legendary career in NASCAR and is honored and respected by all who know the sport. His career which spanned thirty six years, starting in 1959 and ending in nineteen ninety four made of Buddy a legend of motorsports. Buddy can be proud of his career statistics. In NASCAR he had 19 first places and 43 second-place finishes in a total of 699 starts . If you want to know more, check out Nascar. His good friend Richard Petty was very sure that with any luck Buddy would have won 50 races. His life time winnings were $ three,635,000 and this at a time when the purses were just a fraction of what they are today. Baker ended his career at age fifty two and then said "there comes a point when you simply got to say 'Hey it's been fun'". Buddy Baker started his career at the side of his legendary dad , Buck Baker. He wasn't an overnight success. In fact, his first win came in his ninth season. His first win came at Charlotte in 1967 in a Ray Fox Dodge. He first won in a Ray Fox Dodge in 1967 at Charlotte. After eight seasons Baker had begun wondering if he would ever win. It finally came after more than 200 races. To some nineteen wins seems rather modest yet when you note where they occurred you may reconsider; four wins at Charlotte, four wins at Talladega, add two more each at Daytona, Darlington and Atlanta and finally first places at Michigan, Texas and Ontario. He was known to think that his best season was 1980. It was in that year that he won the Daytona 500 in a car prepared by Waddell Wilson. Fans called that Oldsmomile the "Grey Ghost" because Baker drove it so fast it would seem to blend into the asphalt. He won the 500 that year at an average speed of 177 mph, a record that still holds today. That year, with the help of Waddell Wilson and the owner Harry Rainer he finished in the top ten ten times in only nineteen races. The 1980 Winston 500 was Baker's most memorable race. He managed two defeats a young Dale Earnhardt that year even though he had a 19 second shortfall to make up. He took the lead with only two laps to go. Buddy made a great charge that day drafting every car ahead of him, gaining the great respect of his fellow drivers. Modest to a fault, Baker says that he only succeeded this feat because Dale was still a rookie with little experience. In Baker's book Earnhardt is probable the best ever in oval track racing. Buddy Baker was seriously wounded in 1989 in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. He suffered a blow to the head which caused a big clot which he was lucky to have removed. Some say he was never the same driver after that accident. He did recover and make seventeen more races but then retired for good after crashing in a qualifying lap in Atlanta. He had realized that he no longer had the stuff of champions. For more info, visit this website.