H. B. Bailey : biography
Herring Burl "H. B." Bailey (November 15, 1936 – April 17, 2003) was a NASCAR driver. He raced his #36 Pontiac part-time as an independent driver in the Grand National/Winston Cup series from 1962 to 1993 making 85 races over his career.
Although he never ran a full schedule, he still had he share of fans. He became the first driver to take a qualifying lap for the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994.
Darlington Raceway was one of the goateed driver's favorite venues and he was a three-time member of the UNOCAL/Darlington Record Club at the famed South Carolina oval. Bailey made his final start in the 1993 Southern 500 at Darlington.
In the 1972 NASCAR Grand American division, Bailey won the pole for the opener at Daytona International Speedway, won at Nashville and finished second in the national championship standings to Wayne Andrews.
Bailey said he began racing at Playland Park, near Houston, in 1954. He won the track championship there in 1959. Coincidentally A.J. Foyt started his career in 1953 at Playland Park.
He died of heart failure on April 17, 2003. When he died, Richard Petty said "Our sport was built by people like H.B. Bailey", who raced alongside Bailey for virtually his entire career. "We all did things the same way in those days -- we drove ourselves to the race track, we worked hard when we got there, we raced hard and then we drove home. "H.B. was a racer through and through, and the sport is better off because he was a part of it. We will miss him."
H.B. Bailey is survived by his loving wife Michelle of 21 years,and their 2 children John Travis, and Saralynn.He is also survived by 5 children from previous marriages. Kittie, who is a CPA in Texas, Dennis, who is disabled, and Joe Dan, who has had his own successful career in NASCAR over the last twenty years, participating on Daytona 500 winning and Winston Cup championship teams and becoming a crew chief in the Busch Series. Joe Dan currently is a Senior Track Engineer for Toyota Racing Development. Kirk, who is a boat captain. He was predeceased by his daughter Darlene.
Category:1936 births Category:2003 deaths Category:American racing drivers Category:Deaths from myocardial infarction Category:NASCAR drivers Category:NASCAR team owners Category:Sportspeople from Houston, Texas Category:Racing drivers from Texas
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