Car Culture & Entertainment

NASCAR Legend & WWII Hero Bud Moore, 92, Passes Away

Bud Moore and Darrell Waltrip

Darrell Waltrip drove for Bud Moore for five races in 1973. Moore, a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and decorated WWII veteran died this week at age 92.
(Image/Getty)

Motorsports legend Walter “Bud” Moore Jr.—a champion car owner and crew chief inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011—died this week. He was 92.

Better known as Bud Moore, Moore was the oldest living Hall of Fame member. He was the crew chief for Buck Baker when they won the NASCAR premier series title in 1957, and owned the car that Joe Weatherly drove to back-to-back championships in 1962 and 1963.

Bud Moore WWII

Bud Moore was a machine gunner during WWII at the age of 18. (Image/Getty)

More notably, as a teenager, Moore was a machine gunner that was part of the 90th Infantry Division that landed on Utah Beach in France on D-Day, June 6, 1944 during World War II.

According to a NASCAR news release, Moore’s unit was attached to General George S. Patton’s “Third Army,” and Moore himself was decorated with five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars—the second with Oak Leaf clusters.

A native of Spartanburg, SC, Moore spent more than four decades in NASCAR beginning in 1961. As a car and team owner, Moore won 63 times.

Weatherly died during a 1964 race at old Riverside (California) International Raceway, tragically and prematurely ending one of the great runs in NASCAR history. The duo won eight races in 1961, and 12 races during their back-to-back championship seasons.

Motorsports historians say the Moore-Weatherly team could have been a dynasty rivaling Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough.

“Many choose the word ‘hero’ when describing athletes who accomplish otherworldly sporting feats. Oftentimes, it’s an exaggeration. But when detailing the life of the great Bud Moore, it’s a description that fits perfectly,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “On behalf of all of NASCAR, I offer my condolences to Bud’s family, friends and fans. We will miss Bud, a giant in our sport, and a true American hero.”

And there it is.

Thank you, Bud.

Bud Moore and John Holman

NASCAR Cup car owners Bud Moore, left, and John Holman of the Ford factory Holman-Moody team talk in the garage area during a 1968 NASCAR event. (Image/NASCAR)

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