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Vote for Ray Fox for the NASCAR Halll of Fame
Ray Fox first caught the “racing bug” as a boy watching the racing greats of the 1920’s at the Rockingham, N.H. board track.
Ray moved to Florida in 1946 from New Hampshire where he was involved with midget racing before World War II.
1946-1952 - Barnstormed around the south racing modifies with friends Marshall Teague and Fireball Roberts.
1955 - Built a 1955 Buick for Fireball Roberts to race in the 160 mile Daytona Beach Race. The car led every lap and won the race. Ray also worked on the ’40 modified Fireball drive for Fish Carburetor and the “Fox Special” modified for Larry Flynn.
1956 - Won NASCAR Mechanic of the Year award. Ray worked on the Kiekhaefer team, mostly on Herb Thomas’ car.
1957 - 1959 - Worked with Smokey Yunick lending his expertise to Paul Goldsmith’s Chevy’s and Pontiacs and Fireball Roberts’ Pontiacs.
1959 - Built a 1955 Ford modified for Fireball Roberts. It sat on the pole for Daytona Speedway’s first modified race.
1960 - Built the 1959 Chevy which won the 1960 Daytona 500 with Jr. Johnson driving. (Ray built the car in 7 days!)
1961 - Built the Pontiac which took David Pearson to 3 superspeedway wins in1961, the World 600 at Charlotte, Dixie 400 at Atlanta & the Firecracker 250 at Daytona. Ray became the first car owner to win 3 superspeedway races in a single year. Vicki Wood sets the closed course record for women at Atlanta in Ray’s #3 Pontiac. He was mechanic on Chevy of Jimmie Pardue
1962: Darel Dieringer drove for Ray.
1963 - Fox built cars sat on the pole 17 times and won 11 Grand National races. This was called “the year of the little Chevy that Ford spent a million dollars trying to catch”. Fox’s cars with Jr. Johnson and Jim Paschal drivingstart side by side on the front row for Daytona’s Firecracker 400. It is believed to be the first time team cars start on the first row for a superspeedway race. Buck Baker also drove for Ray
1964: Ray and “old man” Buck Baker score Baker’s third Southern 500 Win at Darlington. This was Buck Baker’s last win, son Buddy Baker notched his first win with Ray. This gave Ray at least one win on each superspeedway (Atlanta, Charlotte, Daytona & Darlington).
1965: A Fox-built ’65 Dodge, with LeRoy Yarbrough at the wheel, sets a world closed course speed record for stock cars with a blistering lap of 181.818 mph. (the first stock to run over 180 mph.)
1966: Earl Balmer wins one of Daytona’s 100 mile Daytona 500 Qualifying races driving a Ray Fox Dodge. Buddy Arrington also drove for Reay that year.
1967: Buddy Baker wins the World 600, his first Grand National (Cup) victory, driving a Ray Fox Dodge.
1968: Bunkie Blackburn earns the biggest payday of this career as he wheels Ray Fox’s Dodge to win in Daytona’s Permatex 300.
1969: Ray Fox is instrumental in developing the aerodynamic rear window design for Dodge Charger 500 model. It makes the car more competitive on the NASCAR circuit.
1970: Ray Fox builds 3 Dodge Daytona winged cars for the Grand National circuit. Tiny Lund’s #55, Fred Lorenzen’s #3 and #28 “wing things” all are competitive. Dr. Don Tarr sets records with Ray’s winged Dodge Charger.
1971: Ray Fox builds a 1971 Plymouth for Cale Yarborough to drive in the Daytona 500. Cale also drives the car in the 1972 Daytona 500 finishing 6th. The car later wins the 1973 Talladega 500 with Dick Brooks at the wheel. Charlie Glotzbach also drove for Ray.
Ray’s cars won hundreds of races in the Sportsman, Modified, and Grand National divisions. He was the first car owner to have cars win on every superspeedway. He is responsible for the careers of Junior Johnson, David Pearson and Buddy Baker.
Some of the other drivers, who have warmed Ray’s seats were: Herb Thomas, Paul Goldsmith, Jim Paschal, Earl Balmer, Jim Vandiver Darel Dieringer, Bunkie Blackburn, Tiny Lund, Fred Lorenzen, Fireball Roberts, CaleYarborough, Marvin Panch, Neil Castles, Wally Dallenbach, G.C. Spencer as well as Indy car driver Art Pollard and Grand Prix driver Innes Ireland.
He retired as an engine inspector for NASCAR in 1996. He is an original member of Daytona Speedway’s Checkered Flag Committee, as well as a member of the NMPA’s Hall of Fame, TRW/Western Auto Mechanics Hall of Fame, Jacksonville Speedway Hall of Fame, Daytona’s Oceanside Rotary Hall of Fame and most recently the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega, Alabama. Ray is President of the Living Legends of Auto Racing, Inc., an organization of over 600 members, based in Daytona Beach, FL, whose purpose is to preserve the history of auto racing both past and present.
In 2012 Ray was added to the list of 25 candidates for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Several of Ray’s drivers including Junior Johnson, David Pearson, Buck Baker & Herb Thomas have been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Sadly, Ray passed away on June 15, 2014 at the age of 98 in Daytona Beach, FL. He was active in racing through the Living Legends up until his passing.
Compiled by Buz McKim, Paulette Mandala & Eddie Roche