ATLANTA, Ga. — Raymond Parks, the godfather of stock car racing, passed away Saturday night at his home near Atlanta, Ga.
Parks teamed with driver Red Byron to win the inaugural modified championship in 1948 followed by the first “strictly stock” — the forerunner to today’s Cup Series — a year later.
In addition he helped finance many races as well as the fledgling NASCAR organization in its early years.
“The NASCAR community is saddened by the passing of Raymond Parks,” NASCAR Chairman Brian France said in a statement. “Raymond was instrumental in the creation of NASCAR as a participant in the historic meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach. He was also our first championship owner. Raymond is a giant in the history of NASCAR and will always be remembered for his dedication to NASCAR.”
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.