Bud Moore passes away at 92

Photo by NASCAR

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

NASCAR Hall of Famer, Walter “Bud” Moore, passed away on Monday at the age of 92. Moore is a decorated member of America’s “Greatest Generation”. He served during World War II. After the war, Moore went on to serve as a championship car owner and crew chief in NASCAR.

Moore was a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He won the NASCAR premier series title in 1957 as crew chief for Buck Baker. In 1962-63, Moore won car owner titles with Joe Weatherly. He had been the oldest living member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame; he was inducted in 2011.

Moore joined the United States military in 1943 shortly after graduating from high school. He was a machine gunner assigned to the 90th Infantry Division. Moore was involved in the D-Day Invasion on Utah Beach in France in 1944. Moore received five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, the second Bronze Star arrived with clusters.

Like many veterans returning from war, Moore turned to automobile racing. Moore would turn to make NASCAR his life’s work. He referred to himself as a “country mechanic who loved to make ‘em run fast.”

During his time with Weatherly, the duo won eight time in 1961 and 12 times during their back-to-back championship seasons. Weatherly died early in 1964 during a race at Riverside International Raceway, ending what could have been a rivalry among the top teams in that era.

Moore’s team was unable to win another title, but they came close with drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker and Ricky Rudd. in 1978, More won the Daytona 500 for the first time with Bobby Allison.  Moore’s final premier series victory came at Sonoma Raceway in May 1993.

“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,” stated NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer, Brian France. “Moore, a decorated veteran of World War II, served our country before dominating our sport as both a crew chief and, later, an owner. As a crew chief, Moore guided NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker to a championship in 1957. As an owner, he captured consecutive titles in 1962-63 with another Hall of Famer, Joe Weatherly. Those successes, along with many more, earned him his own spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011.

“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.”

Moore is survived by sons Daryl (wife Carol), Brent (wife Nancy) and Greg (fiancé Roberta), grandchildren: Melissa Moore Padgett (Tommy), Candace Moore Glover (Tommy), Benjamin Moore (Kristen), Thomas Moore, and Brittany Moore, along with seven great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

He is also survived by brothers, Ralph, William, and Richard Moore and sister, Ann Moore Elder.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Betty Clark Moore, and his brothers, Charles, Cecil and Donald Moore and sisters, Edith Moore Gregory and Helen Moore McKinney.

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