A New England native, Ray Fox saw his first automobile race at the 2-mile board track at Rockingham Park near Salem, N.H. Following service in the U.S. Army in World War II, Fox moved to Daytona Beach, Fla., to work as an auto mechanic.
Fox built the engine in the Buick driven by Fireball Roberts that led the 1955 Daytona Road & Beach Course wire-to-wire. Roberts, however, was disqualified after it was determined the car’s mechanic, Red Vogt, had modified the pushrods. In 1956 Fox went to work for Carl Kiekhaefer whose Chrysler 300 cars won 22 of the season’s first 26 races and was named mechanic of the year.
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
In 1960, Fox built the Chevrolet in which NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson won the Daytona 500. Rookie of the year and NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson won three times in 1960 driving Fox-built Pontiacs.
In 1962, Fox became a car owner. He won nine times with Johnson and twice -- including the 1964 Southern 500 -- with Buck Baker. Others who competed in Fox’s cars included NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough, Fred Lorenzen, Buddy Baker and Charlie Glotzbach.
Fox retired in the early 1970s but in 1990 accepted the role of NASCAR’s engine inspector, a position he held until his second retirement at the age of 80 in 1996. He continues to live in Daytona Beach.