NASCAR and Trans-Am Racing Legend Bud Moore Dies at 92

Walter ‘Bud’ Moore is a NASCAR Hall of Famer who won championships as a car owner and crew chief.

byCaleb Jacobs|
NASCAR and Trans-Am Racing Legend Bud Moore Dies at 92

Few men stuck around from the beginning of what developed into America's most popular spectator sport: NASCAR. Alongside series innovator Bill France, Walter "Bud" Moore turned stock car racing into his life's work from 1948 on, taking part in championship-winning teams throughout his career. With innumerable accomplishments hung up on his shelf and under his cap, Moore continued working with the series until Nov. 28, 2017. 

After his time in the military during World War II, in which he was awarded five Purple Hearts as well as two Bronze Stars, Moore dedicated himself solely to motor racing. As a self-described "shade tree mechanic," he climbed the rungs of car ownership and team-leading roles to achieve overall victory in multiple seasons. His first title as a crew chief came in 1957 managing Bud Baker's team and then again as an owner from 1961 to 1963. During his years with NASCAR, he won a total of 63 races, a strong amount for any era of the sport. 

“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,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in a statement following news of Moore’s passing. “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."

“Moore, a decorated veteran of World War II, served our country before dominating our sport as both a crew chief and, later, an owner," France said. "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 to 1963 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."

Moore was also one of Dale Earnhardt's first bosses in NASCAR., Getty Images

Additionally, Moore contributed to the Trans-Am efforts of Ford and all-around racing great Parnelli Jones. Serving as the only true competitors to the Penske-backed Chevrolet Camaro entries in the early 1970s, his name was solidified in what became one of America's most recognizable motorsport series. 

During his 2011 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Moore explained how he wished to be remembered by the racing community.

“The answer is simple: One who made many contributions to building the sport, one whose handshake was as good as any contract, who always gave a straight answer and would never sugar-coat it, either,” Moore said. “Most of all, to be remembered as a man who loves his family, his country and the sport of racing.”

Moore was 92 years old.