Brief Yet Prolific Career Lands ‘Clown Prince of Racing’ In Hall
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 23, 2015) – Joe Weatherly’s time in NASCAR’s premier series was short, just two fulltime seasons.
But what an impact the Norfolk, Virginia, native had on NASCAR racing in those brief, 24 months.
Weatherly, previously a winner of American Motorcyclist Association and NASCAR modified titles, claimed back-to-back premier series championships in 1962-63. He posted 25 victories in 229 starts before his untimely death in January 1964 at Riverside (California) International Raceway.
“He would have been as good as any that’s been along,” said one of Weatherly’s early car owners, the late, fellow Virginian Junie Donlavey. “He had quick reflexes and good equipment. He was just a natural born driver.