Buck Baker picked up his driving skills bootlegging in the Carolinas in the '40s and took those skills to another level when he decided to get into racing in 1946.
Buck began his NASCAR career during his inaugural season and scored his first victory in a Hudson Hornet at Columbia, SC in 1952. The next year he won the Southern 500 and three other races to end the season in fourth place. In 1956 Buck teamed with Karl Kiekhaefer and Ray Fox to win eight of sixteen races from March 25 to June 3. His 1956 record included 14 wins and 12 poles and he picked up his first championship. In 1957 Buck won 10 races, five poles, and his second championship by beating Marvin Panch by 760 points. He finished second in the points in 1958 and won again at Darlington in 1960 while running the last two laps on a flat tire. His third Darlington win came in 1964. He competed in the Grand American Series, the Grand National East Series, and the Winston Cup Series until he retired in 1976.
Baker won the Grand National (Winston Cup now) in 1956 and 1957, the first driver to get back-to-back championships. He was second in the final points standing twice (in 1955 and 1958) and four other times he placed in the top five.
Buck Baker ranks third in NASCAR starts with 682 and is 13th on the all-time victory list with 46. He won the Southern 500 at Darlington S.C. Raceway three times (1953-1960-1964). Buck left racing in 1976 and by 1979 he opened the Buck Baker Racing School. Some of those who took driving lessons from Buck include Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Joe Nemechek, Ricky Craven and Bobby Hillin.
Buck Baker is a member of six halls of fame, including the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, National Auto Racing Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame plus he is listed as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.