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Longtime NASCAR Driver Buddy Arrington’s Death Confirmed


Long-time driver and team owner in the NASCAR Cup Series Buddy Arrington’s death was announced on August 3, 2022. His passing was first shared by Brock Beard of LASTCAR.

Brock Beard wrote on Twitter: “I’m saddened to learn of the passing of Buddy Arrington, another of NASCAR’s most famous independents – both for his unique style and his commitment to running Mopar products well into the 1980s. My condolences to Joey and the rest of the Arrington family.”

Buddy Arrington was born on July 26, 1938, in Martinsville, Virginia. He had the second-most starts without a win and finished in the top 10 of NASCAR points twice; in 1978 and 1982.

Longtime NASCAR Driver Buddy Arrington's Death Confirmed

He was loyal to his Mopar cars and engines, as he ran Chryslers and Dodges till 1985 when the company stopped supporting them. Arrington’s best career race and finish was at Talladega in 1979, where the talented racer had a powerful car to lead a few laps towards the end, and finished third.

Buddy almost always ran his own car, and his operation was a money-conscious effort. Arrington’s pit crew were always unpaid volunteers, and he relied heavily on used equipment with Richard Petty‘s old Magnums being his primary cars.

Since he could not afford new cars, his team would have to reconfigure the Richard Petty cars and re-skin them into Chrysler Imperials or Dodge Miradas for a 1981 rule change.

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What Led to Buddy Arrington’s Death at 84?

Former NASCAR Driver Buddy Arrington’s death was shared on Twitter. He died just one week after his 84th birthday, on Tuesday, August 2. His cause of death is not currently known.

Arrington was a noted figure in NASCAR and Mopar history. In December 1963, Buddy began professional NASCAR racing behind the wheel of his Dodge hardtop, and for the next 25 years, he never missed a season.

He finally retired from the sport in 1988. His absolute dedication and loyalty to Chrysler made Arrington unique in the history of the sport. Being the team owner and driver, Buddy drove Dodges from 1964 all the way through mid-season 1985.

Former NASCAR Driver Buddy Arrington's death was shared on Twitter.

Buddy’s Chrysler Imperial became the last Chrysler product in NASCAR in 1984 and 1985 until Dodge reentered the sport in 2001. In his 560 career starts, Arrington mustered 15 top-five finishes, and his highest points finish was 7th, achieved in 1982.

He never abandoned the Mopar banner until Mopar completely abandoned him, and pulled all parts sponsorships in 1985. Buddy’s son Joey Arrington served on his pit crew and built up his engines at the age of 17.

Joey now runs Arrington Manufacturing in Martinsville, Virginia. Their company builds racing engines for the Craftsman Truck Series, in addition to test engines for Nextel Cup Nationwide series cars.

After the sad news of Buddy Arrington’s passing was revealed, his friends and fans flooded social media with thousands of tribute messages. Many fans also took to Twitter to pay tributes to him.

Bob Laird tweeted: “Buddy Arrington gave me so many wonderful memories in NASCAR I could never repay him. I volunteered on his pit crew from 1978-1986. I also started and ran his fan club and handled PR duties along the way. I was blessed to be a part of his career. RIP Buddy 1938-2022.”

Steve Waid wrote on Twitter: “Farewell, Buddy Arrington. He was the first driver I ever met and interviewed. We remained friends for over four decades. Godspeed, No. 67. #nascar.”

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