This week, U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) honored a long-time Alabama auto racing legend on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Farmer is an original member of the Alabama Gang, which also includes fellow Hueytown natives Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison and Neil Bonnett, Huntsville's Jimmy Means, Calera's Hut Strickland and Gadsden's Steve Grissom.
He regularly competes at the Talladega Short Track, a dirt track across the street from the Talladega Superspeedway.
Remarks as follows:
Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the life of Charles "Red" Farmer. Mr. Farmer was born on October 15, 1932, in Nashville, Tennessee. He began racing cars in the 1940s and is still competing today at the age of 90, having recently raced on the dirt track at Talladega Short Track in Alabama.
Following military service in Korea, and having obtained his NASCAR license, Red competed in his first Daytona Beach race in 1953 and went on to compete in the Daytona 500 a total of eight times. In 1962, he moved to Hueytown, Alabama, and became a core member of the famous "Alabama Gang."
Red won a total of four NASCAR championships, winning the modified division championship in 1956 and proceeding to collect three consecutive championships in NASCAR's Late Model Sportsman division from 1969 to 1971, including the 1971 Permatex 300 at Daytona. He has won so many times on various tracks and across different divisions that the exact number of wins is unknown, but it is in excess of 750.
In addition to driving, Red served as crew chief for NASCAR Hall of Famer Davey Allison. Red is recognized as one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers. He is in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Red married his late wife, Joan, in 1950 and has three children: Bonnie, Cindy, and Mike.
Red's passion for racing and his determination to never retire, but to continue doing what he loves – even at the age of 90 – is an inspiration to all of us.
Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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