The Mopar community lost a legend with the passing of longtime independent racecar driver, Buddy Arrington. Arrington, who passed at the age of 84 competed in the NASCAR Cup Series throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
Making his Cup debut at the 1963 Jacksonville 200, the South Virginian was one of the sport’s last true team owners who drove his own cars. Extremely loyal to Mopar throughout his career in stock car racing, he was known for running Chryslers and Dodges until 1985 (mind you Chrysler Corporation stopped factory support of NASCAR in 1978).
Arrington’s two Chrysler Imperials were the last Chrysler products to run in the NASCAR Cup series, until Dodge’s return in 2001. He ran the car at first in two races in the 1981 season, and in more races (alternating with Dodge Miradas) until April 1985, when at that point the parts supply, which was even used, for Chrysler products dried up.
He then would drive a limited schedule running Fords and Chevys until 1988, making his last appearance at the Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
He made a total of 560 Cup series starts without a victory, (the second most behind J.D. McDuffie who had 653 starts). Arrington came close to winning the 1979 Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, where he led two laps early in the race. Late in the race, he was battling for the lead, when an error on pit road during his final stop cost him the win. He ended up finishing third, tying his best career finish at Nashville in 1965.
Over his career, he made a total of fifteen top-5 finishes and had the highest points finish of 7th in 1982. He was inducted into the Mopar Hall of Fame in 2015.
There is no doubt, that Arrington will be missed by the Mopar community. He was laid to rest at the Arrington Family Cemetery in Franklin County, Virginia.