The NASCAR community, and United States, mourned a great loss Tuesday.
Legendary race team owner Walter Maynard “Bud” Moore Jr. died Monday at age 92, Motorsport.com reports. Moore’s team, Bud Moore Engineering, won two championships during its 40 years in NASCAR.
In addition to being an icon in his sport, Moore was a decorated World War II veteran, having stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, on D-Day when he was 19. He remained in Europe until the war ended in 1945, at which point he had earned five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, including one for capturing 15 German soldiers and four officers in the Battle of the Bulge.
“We had a job to do and a lot of good men died doing it,” Moore said of his military exploits.
Although Moore chalked up his valor to just doing his job, NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley said in a statement that it spoke volumes about the Spartanburg, S.C., native.
“Merriam-Webster’s dictionary describes a hero as: ‘A person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities,’ ” Kelley said. “Many may fit one of these categories but very few fit into each. Bud left an indelible mark on NASCAR. We are humbled that he considers his crowning achievement as his induction in the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, one of our first 10 inductees. That alone speaks to the magnitude of his accomplishments and contributions to NASCAR as both a championship owner and crew chief.”
Moore became the oldest living Hall of Fame inductee when he joined in 2011, but that wasn’t what he cared about most. He reportedly said the recognition meant so much to him because he got into the hall at the same time as his former drivers such as Bobby Allison and Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Thumbnail photo via NASCAR