Joe Weatherly | Class of 2015
January 27, 2015, NASCAR.com
Joe Weatherly won two championships (1962-63) and 25 races in NASCAR’s premier series.
But that’s only part of his story, which is long on versatility.
(b. 5/29/1922 -- d. 1/19/1964)
Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia
Championships: Premier -- 1962, '63
Modified -- 1953
A decade earlier in 1952-53, he won 101 races in the NASCAR Modified division, capturing that championship in 1953. He even tried his hand in NASCAR’s short-lived Convertible Division, winning 12 times from 1956-59.
Weatherly was one of the first drivers who attracted fans to NASCAR as much for his personality as his racing ability, thus his nickname the "Clown Prince of Stock Car Racing."
When he won his first NASCAR premier series championship, in 1962, he drove for NASCAR Hall of Famer Bud Moore. When he repeated as champion a year later, he drove for nine different teams. Those were the only two years Weatherly competed in the premier series full-time.
Weatherly lost his life after a crash at Riverside (California) International Raceway in the fifth race of the 1964 season.
Named one of the NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, he was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 in his sixth year on the ballot.