Automotive sports fans were left mourning this week after legendary race car driver Ron Hutcherson passed away at the age of 79.
The driver went from dirt tracks to NASCAR Cup Series
According to the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA), Hutcherson died on Thursday at his Florida home after having entered into hospice care.
Originally from a small Iowa town called Keokuk, the ARCA article noted that Hutcherson’s racing career began six decades ago when he began racing stock cars on dirt tracks before finding success with the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA).
Hutcherson’s early triumphs included finishing among the top five contenders at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and Wausau Fairgrounds.
From there, he went on to compete in the United States Auto Club (USAC) Stock Car Series, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Grand National East, and finally the NASCAR Cup Series.
Yet as the article noted, Hutcherson’s biggest achievements came during the 1970s while racing in the ARCA National Championship Stocks, which is now known as the ARCA Menards Series.
That period of time saw Hutcherson rack up an impressive 12 wins, including his final ARCA race at the Talladega Superspeedway in 1977.
A small town in Iowa produced three other race car legends
The ARCA also pointed out that Hutcherson was one of four high-profile drivers to hail from Keokuk, with the others being Ernie Derr, Ramo Stott, and Hutcherson’s brother Dick.
Derr won 11 races in the 1950s and 1960s while Stott achieved ARCA 27 victories along with a pair of back-to-back ARCA Menards Series championship wins in 1970 and 1971. For his part, Dick Hutcherson managed to win a total of 14 NASCAR Cup Series races in the 1960s.
Following his retirement from racing, Ron worked alongside Dick and fellow racer Eddie Pagan at their stock car chassis building and repair businesses Hutcherson-Pagan.
After news of Hutcherson’s passing was made public, fans of the late stock car driver took to social media and posted tributes to his legacy.
— Jean Lebrun (@004nino) August 26, 2022