NASCAR Hall of Fame profile: Buck Baker

Over the next week, StockCarSpin will publish profiles of the five men recently chosen for 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction. Profiles will be added to the site almost daily. Profiles will be published in alphabetical order by inductee last name, with a new profile being published almost daily over the next week. First on the list of 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees is Buck Baker.

Elzie Wylie “Buck” Baker became the first driver in NASCAR’s young history to repeat as champion at NASCAR’s top-level, claiming titles in 1956 and 1957. He sandwiched those championshp years with a couple of runner-up seasons in 1955 and 1958 to produce a four-year span of dominance in NASCAR’s premier division, now known as the Sprint Cup Series.

Baker posted double digits in the win column two-consecutive seasons in 1956 and 1957 for a total of 24 wins in a two-year span, visiting victory lane 14 times in 1956 and another 10 times the following season.

After a career as a bus driver, Baker raced somewhat sparingly at NASCAR’s top level for a few years, running a couple of races in 1949 and a few more each year until competing in most of the races on the schedule, beginning in 1953.

Baker was a mainstay on the top NASCAR circuit throughout the 1950s and 1960s, gradually scaling back his schedule, beginning in the late 1960s. He ran a race here and there, running only a handful of events a year until 1976, his last year of competition.

During his 26 years on the circuit, Baker compiled 46 race wins in 636 starts. He finished in the top-10 in more than half of those 636 races, bosting 372 total career top-10 finishes.

Baker was also successful in other NASCAR series, winning races in the Modified, Speedway and Grand American Series. Accolades followed Baker into his retirement. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 2008.

Baker passed away in 2002.

The class of 2013 is scheduled to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame during a special ceremony at the Hall in Charlotte on Feb. 8. The induction ceremony will air live on SPEED.

Follow me on Twitter @NASCARexaminer

Topics: 2013 Inductees, Buck Baker, NASCAR, NASCAR Hall Of Fame

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