DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR recently celebrated the 2013 class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person class, consisting of Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood, were officially inducted in a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
We would like to extend our sincerest Thank You to all of our friends and extended family for all the prayers, kind wishes and for remembering this fine lady who graced all of our lives with her special love and kindness. Dot Owens was perhaps the last of the original Southern Ladies of Racing who contributed so much to the sport while more importantly leaving a remarkable legacy of enduring warmth and affection to her family and all those who knew her. We will forever keep her in our thoughts and hearts.
Cotton Owens Inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame
COLUMBIA, SC, - The South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2009, including Everett "Cotton" Owens and fellow inductees Skip Harlicka, Jack Thompson, Ty Cline, Robert Porcher, Bobby Giles, Sylvia Hatchell, and Herman Helms. This annual ceremony celebrates the lives of men and women whose remarkable talent and drive to succeed will earn them a place in athletic history. The annual banquet and induction ceremony will be held Monday, May 18th at the Metropolitan Columbia Convention Center.
In addition to the inductees donning of the symbolic blue jackets, the Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award recipient and the pro and amateur athletes of the year will also be honored.
The affair, which includes a host of returning past inductees, may well be the greatest annual collection of Palmetto State sports stars under one roof.
Cotton Owens Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega Superspeedway
TALLADEGA, ALA. - The International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega Superspeedway has announced the Class of 2008, including Everett "Cotton" Owens and fellow inductees Art Arfons, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, Frank Kurtis and Ralph Seagraves. They will be enshrined on April 24, 2008 before the Cup event.
"This induction class is a perfect example of what makes the International Motorsports Hall of Fame so unique," said Talladega Superspeedway President and IMHOF Executive Director Rick Humphrey.
"With this class we are honoring drivers, an owner, a fabricator, an engine builder and a promoter. These men comprise the building blocks of all motorsports."
GOT HEMI? Pictured below is Cotton Owens' restoration of a 1964 Dodge Polara to NASCAR racing specifications of that era, complete with a vintage 426 Hemi NASCAR-spec racing engine exceeding 650+ horsepower. This is the ORIGINAL RACE MOTOR that won the last 5 races it competed in on the way to bringing Cotton Owens and David Pearson the NASCAR Championship in 1966. David Pearson won 15 races that year and took home $58,205 for his efforts. (click to view larger images or click here to view the full gallery, including the building of this car.)
How Did Cotton Get His Nickname?
It was no accident that Owens became a top race mechanic and driver. As a boy he climbed trees outside the Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds track in Spartanburg to watch races. Little did Promoter Joe Littlejohn know when he chased him out, that the skinny, white-headed youngster would some day be one of his star attractions.
Born Everett Owens, Cotton got the name that has become his trademark while perched on a limb watching the races. It was Littlejohn, who has remained a close friend and chief booster of Owens over the years, who tabbed him.
"As I looked out beyond the fence into the trees all I could see was his head, a little white ball that looked like cotton in bloom," Littlejohn recalls. "I'd tell one of my guards to go get that cotton ball and chase him inside."
Thankfully nothing was ever discarded over the course of Cotton's career, and we've recently opened the treasure chest and are proud to share this historic collection of priceless nostalgia with you. These vintage artifacts will take you back in time and help to convey those moments as they unfolded so many decades ago. You'll feel like time is standing still as you browse through an assortment of original receipts, postcards, pit passes, telegrams, personal notes, entry stubs, and items from Cotton's personal collection. Click here to view the treasure trove of ephemera.
Take a trip down memory lane with a peek inside the Cotton Owens Garage. We've assembled a variety of photos that capture the way Cotton's garages appeared at the end of his life, stocked with decades of history and original artifacts preserved from a career in motorsports. You'll see antique car parts, high performance go-fast goodies, his workbenches and tools, the engine room, and pretty much anything and everything that Cotton collected throughout the course of his lifetime.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have old racing photos of Cotton or some of his racing cars or drivers in action, we would be very grateful for any items you would like to share with us, and with your permission, with the world at large through our website. Old racing stories or memories are also welcomed and appreciated. Email us at
. We would be glad to hear from you!
190 mph Fireball! Buddy Baker and the 1970 Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway
Excerpted from the original article Three Experts Pick an Ex-Rookie Race Report by Bob Carey appearing in the August, 1970 issue of Stock Car Racing
Cotton Owens Interview - Part I The Early Years - Cotton discusses growing up during the Depression in Spartanburg, South Carolina; his service in the Navy during WWII; and meeting Ms. Dollie Moore (Dot), who would become his wife of 66 years.
March 17, 2010 ~ 34:04 time
Cotton Owens Interview - Part II King of the Modifieds - Cotton and Dot talk about how they got started in racing, going on to dominate the Modifieds division throughout the Southeast, and winning the Gulf Coast Modified Championship in Mobile, Alabama.
March 31, 2010 ~ 16:46 time
Cotton Owens Interview - Part III Racing for a Living - Cotton discusses racing at the old Spartanburg Fairgrounds, his wreck in 1951 that sidelined his driving career, racing on the beach course at Daytona, and the founding of NASCAR.
April 2, 2010 ~ 30:44 time
Cotton Owens Interview - Part IV The Legend of the Hemi - Cotton talks about how he helped Chrylser develop the legendary Hemi powerplant and used it to dominate NASCAR racing for decades.
April 19, 2010 ~ 11:58 time
Cotton Remembered on All Wheel Live Grandson Ryan Owens talks with All Wheel Live radio hosts Eric and Patrick about the legend of Cotton Owens and the CottonOwens.com website tribute to his legacy. This 2012 Interview features Mario Andretti and Ryan Owens ~ 40:20 interview with Ryan begins.
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