Elzie Wylie "Buddy" Baker, Jr. ( born January 25, 1941 in Florence, South Carolina ) is a former American NASCAR driver. In 1998 he was chosen as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. He is the son of two-time NASCAR Grand National Champion Buck Baker, who also belongs to the list of the 50 greatest drivers of NASCAR.
Already early in life was determined for Buddy Baker, that he wanted to become a racing driver, especially since he was the son of Buck Baker, one of the most successful racing driver of NASCAR. At the age of 18, he graduated at the Columbia Speedway in his first race. He was an extremely ambitious racer who with observing his idols, namely, among others, his father and Fireball Roberts, spent a lot of time. Also, he often took part in test drives. His most significant test he completed on 24 March 1970 to the Alabama International Motor Speedway, where he (322 km / h) achieved the first driver a speed of over 200 mph on a closed track.
Throughout his career, he crossed 19 races of today's Sprint Cup winner as the finish line for the first time on 15 October 1967, the Charlotte Motor Speedway. With his victory in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway which he became the first driver who won on the same route as his father the same race. In addition, Buddy Baker one of the few riders who managed to win the "Big Four" of NASCAR, what next to the Southern 500 nor the World 600, the Winston 500 and the most prestigious race of the NASCAR, the Daytona 500, had to be won. His victory at the Daytona 500, he obtained the highest ever ridden in this race average speed: 177.602 mph ( 285.809 km / h ), a record which still exists to this day.
Except Baker succeeded only Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson to win this NASCAR Grand Slam, but Baker is the only such drivers who never won the championship, which is probably also it was, that it almost never drove a full-time driver. In only three seasons, he has participated in all races, his best season was 1977, when he finished in fifth place in the driver standings. In 1992, he went at the age of 51 years at Talladega Superspeedway in his last race.
With certainty we can say that the analysis of his idols and later competitors has paid off for Baker, for a total of 699 races in the top division of NASCAR he came 311 times in the top -10 finish, he won 19 times, 38 times he started on the pole position. In 1995 he was admitted to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. In 1997, the recording was followed in the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame and in 1998 he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. In 2008 he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
After his racing career Baker was active among other things as a commentator for radio and television, most recently for the radio station Sirius Satellite Radio. He also was an important mentor in the career of Jimmy Spencer. He currently operates the Buck Baker Racing School.