NASCAR Hall of Famer Red Farmer Contemplating Comprehensive Speech: ‘Hey, I’ve Got 75 Years of Bulls*** I’ve Got to Tell’

How and where does Red Farmer begin his NASCAR Hall of Fame induction speech? The 89-year-old force of nature has been racing for three-quarters of a century. He has claimed over 750 checkered flags at a plethora of venues for a variety of series. 

His first race occurred three years after the conclusion of World War II. 

Between then and now, the original member of the Alabama Gang and ultimate survivor has compiled about as many stories as he has miles raced. 

Red Farmer has competed against the best drivers in NASCAR history 

During an interview with NASCAR.com, Farmer wondered how long he would be permitted to remain at the podium for his speech on Jan. 21.

However long it is, it will not be nearly enough.

“They’re going to have to give me about half an hour,” Farmer said. “I told them, ‘Hey, I’ve got 75 years of bulls*** I’ve got to tell.’

“I can’t get up there and do it in five or six minutes. I’ve got too many people to thank. I’ve got too many great stories to tell.”

That begins with the industry’s luminaries Farmer has faced. In 1998, NASCAR’s marketing department released its list of the top 50 pilots as part of the premier series’ 50th anniversary. As Farmer perused the list, a common thread quickly emerged. Alphabetically, he started checking off names.

  • Bobby Allison. Check.
  • Davey Allison. Check.

He came to the Bs.

  • Buddy Baker. Check.
  • Buck Baker. Check.

He continued to the Es.

  • Dale Earnhardt Sr. Check.
  • Ralph Earnhardt. Check.

When he got the Fs, one name stood out.

  • Red Farmer.

Check.

Farmer did business the old-fashioned way, with a handshake and no lawyers 

2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Red Farmer poses in front of the Ford Torino he drove during the 1973 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.| ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images

When he got to the end of the list, he peered at the last two names:

  • Cale Yarborough.
  • LeeRoy Yarbrough.

Check and check.

Of the top 50 drivers of NASCAR’s first 50 seasons, Farmer raced against 49.

Red Byron was the only name unmarked.

Throughout his long career, Farmer ran his business with a handshake. His long-time sponsor, Alabama-based auto dealer Long-Lewis Ford, formed a relationship on partnership and trust, not lawyer jargon.

“That’s the way you should be able to do business,” Farmer said.

Vaughn Burrell, the dealership’s former owner, is scheduled to present Farmer with his Hall of Fame ring during the ceremony, according to NASCAR.com. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mike Stefanik also will be inducted on Jan. 21.

Hopefully, Earnhardt will be patient when Farmer gives his speech.

He has a lot of ground to cover.

Farmer’s stories about the Alabama Gang should highlight his NASCAR Hall of Fame speech 

At some point in his Hall speech, Farmer will begin talking about the Alabama Gang. Few conversations with him go very long without the subject coming up.

Along with Bobby and Donnie Allison, the original members formed a racing fraternity in Hueytown, Alabama, in the late 1950s. Before the Allison brothers made it big on the former Winston Cup series, the trio raced anywhere they could. According to NASCAR.com, the Alabama Gang competed in 106 races in 1962 and combined for 96 victories.

Over the years, a select few others joined the club, but membership remains exclusive.

Will Farmer’s speech include the story of the traumatic time he survived the 1993 helicopter crash that claimed the life of Davey Allison?

Will he talk about his 36 career premier series starts and his three top-10 finishes?

Will he explain why he chose the regional racing route over pursuing a Cup career?

Will he talk about his late wife of 65 years, Joan, their kids, and their numerous grandchildren?

Will he talk about his experiences as a Korean War veteran?

Let’s hope he’ll have the time to talk about it all.

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