MOORE READY TO JOIN THREE FORMER DRIVERS IN HALL OF FAME
Dale Wilkerson May 2011
Bud Moore has been a very, very busy man in recent weeks.
He has travelled to luncheon events, attended several NASCAR races, enjoyed black tie dinners, graciously granted interview requests for both radio and television outlets, all leading up to his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 23, 2011. During our interview with Moore for the May 21st edition of Droppin’ the Hammer, this NASCAR Legend had a comment that reminded us of just how deep the roots of NASCAR are aligned with Bud Moore and his former Spartanburg based race team, Bud Moore Engineering.
“It is a great honor to be going in the Hall of Fame with David (Pearson) and Bobby (Allison) two gentlemen that drove for me over the years. To be the first owner going in and having three of my drivers as fellow members of the Hall of Fame is truly a great honor,” said Bud Moore.
The first of Bud Moore’s former drivers to be inducted was the late Dale Earnhardt, who wheeled the Bud Moore Ford during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. Earnhardt won his first of his 12 Daytona 500 qualifying races while driving for Moore along with picking up his first win at Talladega.
Dale Earnhardt in Bud Moore's #15 Ford Thunderbird Getty Images
Bobby Allison picked up his first of three Daytona 500 wins while he drove for Moore and David Pearson is the only NASCAR driver to step over and score a Trans Am Series victory, and he did so at the controls of a Bud Moore prepared car.
Years from now, as commentators and writers will speak of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Bud Moore Engineering Racing Family Tree may stand the tallest.
Here is a short list of former Bud Moore drivers that will surely be voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame over the next few years: Joe Weatherly, Buck Baker, Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Benny Parsons, and Ricky Rudd.
Joe Weatherly won back-to-back championships while driving for Moore. Buck Baker won a championship with Bud Moore serving as his crew chief. Buck’s son Buddy ruled the Talladega Super Speedway when he piloted Moore’s Ford Gran Torino and found out that a great handling car would make his legendary lead foot even happier.
Darrell Waltrip ran some of his first top level NASCAR races in a few cars from Bud Moore Engineering. The lessons that Waltrip learned while driving for Moore helped him to capture three championships on down the road.
Benny Parsons picked up wins for Moore at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and the final Sprint Cup race held at the 2-mile Texas World Speedway. As a television race announcer, Parsons became known as Buffet Benny for his knack to find some of the best meals near a racetrack. I wonder how many times Parsons and Moore dined at the Peach Blossom or the Beacon Drive Inn?
Ricky Rudd scored at least one win a season over a 16-year period, and his time at the wheel of the Bud Moore Engineering Ford Thunderbird laid the foundation for that impressive streak of success.
Other drivers and mechanics once called Bud Moore Engineering home, like Donnie Wingo who used the skills he learned from Bud Moore to guide Trevor Bayne and the Woods Brother’s Ford to victory in this year’s Daytona 500.
The innovations that Bud Moore made to improve driver safety have made racing a better sport. His creativity as a mechanic made others work harder to keep up, or for many they had to play catch up over the years.
Some folks have called this class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame the Ford Motorsports Class with four of the five inductee’s having close ties to the blue oval during their careers, but with the deep roots of Bud Moore Engineering, this class and particularly the induction of Walter Bud Moore, may be called the year the cornerstone was set in place.