Fred Lorenzen 1965

Career Chronology: Fred Lorenzen Fred-Lorenzen

  • 1956: Made his driving debut at Langhorne Speedway.
  • 1960: Began racing at NASCAR, with his own Ford.
  • 1965: Won the Daytona 500 and the National 500 at Charlotte.
  • 1966: Won the inaugural American 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway.
  • 1998: Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
  • 2001: Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
  • 2015: Inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame – Fred Lorenzen

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Career Highlights:

  • Defeated Curtis Turner in his first season as a factory driver, using a high bank move and inside pass that earned him the nickname “Fearless Freddie.”
  • He became a full time driver for the Holman-Moody tem with Ford in 1961.
  • His best season was in 1963 when he completed six wins, with a record of 21 top-five finishes and 23 top-ten finishes.
  • Fred Lorenzen retired in 1967, but made a brief, though mostly unfruitful, comeback to the track from 1970-1972.


Born in Elmhurst, Illinois, on December 30, 1934, Fred Lorenzen, Jr. followed racing from an early age, and went on to become “The Golden Boy” of NASCAR racing. After high school, he started his driving career and made his debut at Langhorne Speedway in 1956. He won the 1958 and 1959 U.S. Auto Club stock car championships, and gained the attention of team owner, Ralph Moody. This meeting would in turn would quicken the pace of his career, and he soon began winning races over seasoned competitors. He earned the nickname “Fearless Freddie” for his slick passing moves on the track against Curtis Turner in 1961, a name that stuck. Then, from 1961 to 1966, Lorenzen took the racing track by storm. He won the Grand National 200 at Martinsville, the Rebel 300 at Darlington, the Atlanta 500 in 1962 and again in 1963, as well as many other races. He was the top earner in 1963, leading the pack with $122,000 in winnings, and went on to dominate in many other races throughout his career.

In the span of his NASCAR career, from 1961 to 1967 , Fred Lorenzen broke more records than had ever been broken before, winning 12 races at superspeedway events until he initially retired in 1967. At the peak of his career, he was known as the driver to beat, with a record of wins that shined during NASCAR’s Golden Era. His best season was in 1963 when he completed six wins, with a record of 21 top-five finishes and 23 top-ten finishes. He won the Daytona 500 and the National 500 at Charlotte in 1965. He officially retired in 1967, though he made a short comeback in 1970 with a close race and several after, before winding down completely in 1972. He was inducted in to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2001 and in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.


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Daytona 500 Winners – Racing-ReferenceNASCAR