Cotton Owens | Class of 2013
April 10, 2013, NASCAR.com
NASCAR Hall of Fame member
There are successful drivers and there are successful owners. But, rarely are there both.
Cotton Owens, a recent inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, joins fellow Hall of Famer Junior Johnson as masters of the two crafts.
(b. 5/21/24 — d. 06/07/12)
Hometown: Union, S.C.
Competed: 1950-64 (Driver); 1950-73 (Owner)
Starts: 160 (Driver); 405 (Owner)
Wins: 9 (Driver); 38 (Owner)
Poles: 10 (Driver); 33 (Owner)
Owens was more than successful behind the wheel, winning nine times in NASCAR’s premier series competition, including the 1957 Daytona Beach road course which marked Pontiac’s first NASCAR victory. He nearly won the 1959 championship, finishing second to NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty.
But as an owner, Owens stood out as one of the greats of NASCAR’s early eras. His eye for talent was unmatched. He hired Johnson in 1962, the same season in which he began a future championship relationship with another NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson.
Johnson spent only four races with Owens but with Pearson, well, that was another story. Twenty-seven of Pearson’s 105 NASCAR premier series victories were recorded in a Cotton Owens car. The pair teamed to win the 1966 championship after Pearson, driving an Owens Dodge, finished third in points in 1964.
In 1998 Owens was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers, and in 2012 he was selected as a member of the fourth class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.