The amazing final touch to Benny Parsons’ 1973 championship-winning car
Year in and year out, the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony consistently is the best event in the sport, because the appreciation of the inductees is genuine, the stories remarkable and the emotions very real.
Terri Parsons, the widow of NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Benny Parsons, said that when her husband knew he was dying, he asked her to make sure people didn’t forget him. But she was surprised to learn he had said the same thing to others.
“I thought he had only said that to me, was ‘Terri, don't let them forget me,’” said Terri. “I've found out since then from different crew chiefs that he had from years ago that he said the same thing to them while he was battling cancer.”
There was never any danger of Parsons being forgotten. He was too well respected by his peers and too beloved by his fans. But now, it’s officially a moot point.
“They can't (forget him) now, he's in the Hall of Fame,” Terri said Friday night.
As emotions go, they don’t get more real than that.
Which brings us to an amazing story.
Like all the inductees, Parsons will have a car in the Hall of Honor at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the next year.
Parsons won the NASCAR Premier Series title in 1973 and his friend Tex Powell, a veteran racer, tracked down the car Parsons won the championship with and restored it.
“They put that car together there was only one piece missing, and it was the gas cap, and back then it was blue and the car was orange,” said Terri Parsons.
“One of the crew guys that helped put the car back together, made the comment, ‘Too bad we don't have the original gas cap,’ and Tex Powell said, ‘Wait a minute,’ and he went out to his brand new Cadillac Escalade, got the gas cap off … and brought it back inside and said, ‘I've had this on every car I've ever owned since 1973.’”
Real life, real stories, real emotion, real friendships.
That’s what the NASCAR Hall of Fame is all about and that’s what the induction ceremony reminds us of each year.