Sunday, June 16, 2013

NASCAR Father’s Day

Father's Day is a day honoring fathers and celebrated on the third Sunday of June. This special day celebrates both fatherhood and the importance of male parenting. Of course my favorite NASCAR Father / Son Duo would have to be my very own husband and son.

Moses Smith and his father Paul
"My earliest memories are of my dad working on his street/drag car or building his sand rail in the garage," Moses said. "He was always involved in motorsports as a hobby and I thought it would be cool if I could do it for a living," Smith said.

Paul has always been an all-encompassing family man and constant source of support for his two sons. Moses started working with his father, in a race team garage by the age of three.

However, for second place, the Earnhardts and Pettys tie as favorite NASCAR Fathers and Son.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. & Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

(photo credit =
Dale Sr. won a record-tying seven NASCAR championships during his career; his 76 wins place him fourth of all time. His career was highlighted by his memorable first victory at the Daytona 500 in 1998. (Sadly, the driver of the No. 3 car died after a crash on the final lap at Daytona in 2001.)

Dale Jr. has carried on his father's driving legacy, making his debut on the Winston Cup circuit in 2000. In 2003, he finished third in the championship standings, and in 2004, Dale Jr. won the Daytona 500 six years to the day after his father's victory there.

Cool fact: When Dale Sr. and sons Dale Jr. and Kerry all competed in the 2000 Pepsi 400, it marked just the second time a father had raced against two sons.

Lee & Richard Petty

Lee, Richard, Kyle, and Adam Petty
(photo credit =

Lee Petty was NASCAR's first real superstar, winning three drivers' championships between 1954 and 1959. He also won the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990.

Richard Petty shares the record for most drivers' championships, having won seven between 1967 and 1979. He retired in 1992 with 200 career wins (the most ever) and joined his dad in the Hall of Fame in 1997. (Sadly, the Pettys suffered the loss of Adam Petty, NASCAR’s first fourth-generation driver on May 12, 2000. The young driver was practicing for the Nationwide Series at the New Hampshire International Speedway when his throttle stuck wide open, causing the car to hit the outside wall.)

Cool fact: Both Pettys were named among the Top 50 NASCAR drivers of all time in 1998.

Honorable Mention

Butch Gilliland, the 1997 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion and winner of 13 victories in the division. His then-crew chief, son David Gilliland, currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. David Gilliland still runs an occasional K&N Pro Series race. Butch must have raised him right, because David is one of the most polite and approachable drivers I have had the pleasure of meeting.

NASCAR Race Mom with a very nice David Gilliland at Sonoma Raceway (6/24/2011)
Cool fact:  David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series, had a career-best second-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in April 2013, pushing his teammate David Ragan to a surprising win.

Child, you outgrew my lap,
but never my heart.
Happy Father’s Day!

No comments: