The NASCAR star of the 1950s won three Southern 500s (1953, 1960, 1964) among his 46 Grand National victories, and two Grand National point championships (1956, 1957) while recording 46 wins and 45 poles. The Richburg native also won hundreds of short-track races. He was included among NASCAR’s “50 Greatest Drivers,” is a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and two motor sports shrines.
ELZIE WYLIE "BUDDY" BAKER, JR.
Also nicknamed “Leadfoot” for his pedal-to-the-metal style, Baker starred as a NASCAR driver from 1967-92. The Florence native (and son of driver Buck Baker), became the first driver to run 200-plus miles per hour in a stock car on an enclosed course when he topped at 200.447 at Talladega in 1970. He won the 1980 Daytona 500 and noted 19 career victories with 311 top 10 finishes. He is a member of the International Motorsports and the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame as well as the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends.
WALTER MAYNARD "BUD" MOORE, JR.*
The Spartanburg native pioneered car safety measures as a NASCAR owner-manager, describing himself as “an old country mechanic who loved to make ‘em run fast,” while winning three championships and 63 races over 37 years. Prior to Moore’s racing career, the U.S. Army soldier was decorated with five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, and participated in the D-Day invasion of France during World War II.
EVERETT "COTTON" OWENS
The native of Union gained fame as the “King of the Modifieds” as a driver. As a crew chief, he won a Grant National championship with David Pearson and teamed with Buddy Baker to win the 1970 Southern 500. The Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame at Darlington inducted Owens in 1970. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s “50 Greatest Drivers,” and has been honored with Lifetime Achievement in Auto Racing, Pioneer Racing awards and has been enshrined in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
WILLIAM CALEB "CALE" YARBOROUGH
The Timmonsville native became NASCAR’s only three-in-a-row champion driver (1976-78), and won 83 races (fifth all-time), including the Daytona 500 four times during his illustrious career that also included 319 top-10 finishes and 69 poles. In 1993, Yarborough was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and a year later was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame.