Bristol, Va. native and former NASCAR Nationwide Series car owner Ed Whitaker passed away this morning at the age of 76.
Despite never fielding a team for a full-season schedule, Whitaker-built cars won 28 times in 246 career Nationwide Series races, a ratio of more than one in every 10 races they entered.
The list of distinguished drivers who drove for Whitaker is long and includes: Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Harry Gant, Jimmy Hensley, Alan Kulwicki, Butch Lindley, Mark Martin, Tim Richmond, Hermie Sadler, Morgan Shepherd, Mike Wallace and two drivers in tonight’s Food City 300, Brendan Gaughan and Regan Smith.
“Ed Whitaker proved you can have big success with a small operation,” said Jerry Caldwell, Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager. “The term ‘throwback’ gets used a lot but Ed was a true definition of it. We are proud of the achievements he had in a sport we all love. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Whitaker’s greatest success came with Gant behind the wheel for 20 of the team’s 28 wins. Shepherd collected the remaining eight.
Three of those victories, Shepherd in 1983 and 1986 and Gant in 1992 came at Bristol Motor Speedway.
From Bristol Motor Speedway