Fred Lorenzen was one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers of his day, earning nicknames and victories in his career. He won at some of the sport’s toughest venues. Here are five reasons he could be a NASCAR Hall of Famer.
Lorenzen made an impact on the growing sport as a fan favorite. He earned several nicknames during his driving tenure, including Golden Boy, Fearless Freddie and the Elmhurst Express. He retired in 1967 at age 33, but returned to drive from 1970 to '72.
Lorenzen never ran a complete schedule and, therefore, never won a title, but he still came close. In 1963, he ran 29 of the 55 races — and finished third in the overall standings. That year he earned 23 top-10 finishes, 21 of them top fives, and visited Victory Lane six times.
Lorenzen was tough to beat on the short track at Martinsville Speedway. He won five of seven races at the Virginia track between the 1963 and 1966 seasons.
The 1965 season was a good one for Lorenzen. He won the Daytona 500 and then followed that with a victory in the World 600, a race he won from the pole position.
Lorenzen ranks 29th on the all-time Sprint Cup winners list with 26 victories. Running a limited — and sporadic — schedule, he netted only $496,572 in purses during his career.