Known for always donning a suit and keeping his cars in pristine condition, Parks is credited for helping to transform NASCAR into a nationally recognized sport.
|Raymond Parks’ family during the NASCAR Hall|
of Fame Class of 2017 Induction Ceremony.
PATRICIA DePOTTEY (Raymond Parks’ Granddaughter): I will tell you knowing my grandfather, anybody who knew him, he could speak a whole book in two words. And the first time, to let you know how he was, I asked him how did you get into racing, and in less than 10 minutes, he told me his whole life story. His story was, well, I got some cars, and I just started winning. And I went, okay.And you could go into his store, and he had that wooden table that you saw in the picture. He had his trophies. And I'm not kidding you, if you went over to look at one of the trophies, he would stand there and he'd say, well, oh, I got that when Red Byron won the championship. That was the end of the story.But what really hit me, I think, was the first time I went to the Daytona Speedway, I was sitting in the stands, and it hit me, because everything I had heard growing up, I could see all of them in the Streamline Motel. I could see the cars racing around in the sand. I could just envision everything that he accomplished, and it was like all of the stories became real.And I think that was just a very momentous time for me.
* * * * *
|Terri Parsons (widow of 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee|
Benny Parsons and Dale Jarrett (NASCAR Hall of Fame)
Benny Parsons drove a taxi for a living in Detroit before embarking on his storied racing career. He won the 1973 NASCAR premier series title and finished fifth or better in the premier series standings in nine consecutive seasons (1972-80). Parsons won 21 races in 526 career starts, and tallied 283 top-10 finishes – a 53 percent ratio.
He took the checkered flag in the 1975 Daytona 500 and was the first driver to qualify a stock car at more than 200 mph (200.176 in 1982 at Talladega Superspeedway). Following his driving career, he made a seamless transition to the broadcast booth as a commentator for NBC and TNT until his passing in 2007, at the age of 65.
TERRI PARSONS (Wife): Most of all, the most important thing about tonight for him would be the people and especially the fans, understand how much they meant to him and how much he loved each and every one of you. You all have such great stories, and tonight is really a celebration of his life. This is not sad, this is happy. I'm the only one that's sad.(Regarding the induction ring) Well, all this is shared with all the family and the crew members and the car owners that are here. We're going to put it in the Hall of Fame, because we think about it, the people at home, the fans that are visiting the Hall of Fame, never get to see a ring because we all take them home with us, so we thought we'd like to share this with the people that come through the Hall of Fame so they can see what an actual Hall of Fame ring looks like.
|The living members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame gather as a group|
at the conclusion of the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at NASCAR
Hall of Fame on January 20, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
|Winston Kelley, Executive Director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, speaks|
prior to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Induction Ceremony.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Source: NASCAR.com Release
Source: NASCAR.com Release
ICYMI, an unforgettable night for our new #NASCARHOFers.— NASCAR (@NASCAR) January 21, 2017
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