Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Community Reacts to the Passing of Benny Parsons

Greg Biffle

Benny Parsons is not only the person I owe my NASCAR career to but he was a true friend to me from the day we met. I will always appreciate his friendship and what he did for me. Knowing he’s not going to be there to come up and ask me how things are going when I walk into the garage at Daytona is probably the hardest thing to accept. Every time I think about how lucky I am to have the job and the life I have, I think of BP because he’s the reason I ever got this opportunity. I will miss him a lot, as we all will. BP and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.”

Jack Roush

“Everyone at Roush Racing is saddened by the passing of Benny Parsons. Benny was a great friend and supporter of Roush Racing and he will be greatly missed. He was an outstanding ambassador for NASCAR and the sport of racing who was a champion both on and off the track. On behalf of everyone at Roush Racing I want to extend my deepest sympathy to the entire Parsons family.”

Mark Martin

“Benny has been a friend to me for over 30 years. He was a friend to me behind the scenes, as well as a neighbor. He gave advice to me 30 years ago about a NASCAR career and he was a great friend to me ever since then. It’s a big loss to NASCAR. I can remember last fall him calling me, and the excitement in his voice, telling me he was cancer free. I think that makes it so much more disappointing to all of us, because we thought he was in the clear.

“He wasn’t just a great driver and a great champion and a great TV personality, but he was a great person and a really fun person to be around, and he will be missed.”

Jeff Gordon

“I am extremely saddened after hearing the news this morning. Benny was a special person and anyone who came in contact with him knew it. He was one of the most genuine and generous individuals I’ve ever met. He was a great racecar driver, broadcaster and friend. I will miss him very much.”

Darrell Waltrip

“Benny Parsons was the kindest, sweetest, most considerate person I have ever known. He was almost too nice to be a racecar driver and I say that as a compliment. In my 30-odd years of racing Benny Parsons, I never knew of anyone being mad at Benny. Some of my fondest memories in racing were racing Benny. In the Coca-Cola 600, we had a whale of a battle and it was one of the best races ever held at Charlotte.

“One of the funniest was in the 1981, Bud Shootout. I passed Benny on the apron at the start/finish line to win the race. Benny said ‘you can’t do that!’ I said, ‘I didn’t see any out-of-bounds markers!’ You sure couldn’t do that today. Benny Parsons was a great champion, a great ambassador for our sport but more than that, he was a great person. He exemplified that good guys can be winners too. Stevie, the girls and I pray for Terri, Phil and the entire Parsons family to find the strength to get through this.”

ARCA President Ron Drager

“First and foremost, Benny Parsons was a nice guy. He never forgot where he came from, and took every opportunity to remember and help people after he had achieved so much success and was in a position to do so. When he was the Guest of Honor at the ARCA 50th anniversary awards banquet in 2003, he asked if he could have a table for some VIPs and invited his ARCA pit crew from the 1960s to sit with him.

“Having known him since he was racing figure-8s locally in Detroit, his demeanor never changed… enthusiastic, positive, friendly. Championship racecar driver, Daytona 500 winner, internationally known TV broadcaster, he was all of those things, but always a nice guy.”

Michigan International Speedway President Roger Curtis

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a great champion and a larger-than-life person. Benny Parsons personified everything that was good about racing. He was a true ambassador for our sport with his words and his actions. From his days as a taxi driver in Detroit to his time as a racing champion and popular TV analyst, he exuded an infectious passion for racing that we will all miss.”

Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger

“Kansas Speedway was saddened to learn of the passing of 1973 NASCAR champion and broadcaster Benny Parsons. We’ve enjoyed hosting Benny at Kansas Speedway over the last few years. He greeted you with a smile and was always willing to tell a tale or two from his own racing days. Benny will be missed in the garage and by millions of fans. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Parsons family and friends during this time.”

Bob Kaulig, Vice President, Marketing, Affinia Under Vehicle Group

“We were very saddened today to learn of the passing of Benny Parsons. For many years we proudly sponsored Benny’s radio show on Performance Racing Network and enjoyed the partnership tremendously. More than that, Benny was a true friend. He was a great ambassador for our company and NASCAR. Our thoughts and prayers are with Benny’s family in this very difficult time and we offer to them our most sincere condolences.”

About the author

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The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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