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Albert James "Buz" McKim
Born Oct 4, 1951
Hackensack, NJ

Graduate of Mainland High School, 1969

In the days of the "long haired hippies" of the 60's,
is there any wonder where "Buz" got his name?

The real story is he was named for his grandfather and a close friend of his father and they didn't want to call him Al, Bert or Jim, so his Dad came up with the idea of 'Buz' after reading the newspaper and seeing the comic strip named . . .  of course . . . Buz Sawyer!

                                                  
                                                                         Buz Facts
                                                          (from his Mom Alma)

  • His very pregnant Mother (Alma) was in the stands at Morristown, N.J. Speedway a few days before he was born

  • Had we known he would have the love of racing & NASCAR history, would have named him "A.J." instead of Buz?

  • At the tender age of 3, his Aunt gave him his first race car- a bright yellow #3 pedal car

    Yes, Buz WAS a race car driver! Want the facts? Well here he is in a photo at age three......
    Thanks to Fleckey and his mom Alma......
     

  • While living in Pa. at the age of 8, his Dad (Bob) bought him a 1/4 midget which he raced at Phoenixville Raceway. Race? He just kinda chased the other cars.

  • Buz moved to South Florida in 1961. His dad became track announcer at Hollywood Speedway. Buz saw the Allison brothers competing against each other, being at the track every Saturday night.

  • Buz got to know Randy Tissott and  crew in South Florida.

  • Moved to south Daytona February 1965. Two days after moving in, Randy & crew arrived with a stock car and stayed with us, then ran the Daytona 500. The rest for Buz, they say, is history.

  • Buz met Bill Tuthill in 1966, who owned the Museum of Speed in South Daytona and was a founding father of NASCAR. Buz and his brother Bobby became good friends with Bill, who allowed them access to the files at any time. They spent all their time at the museum, where the huge Bluebird was on display, and the boys found respect for racing history.

  • Buz's dad Bob, worked for the partners of the New Smyrna Speedway doing public relations and track announcing. Bob also announced for the Ocala, Barberville (Volusia Speedway Park) and Deland Raceway. Buz and Bobby were at the track every weekend.

  • At age 16, Dad bought Buz a stock car, which dad and the boys worked on. At age 17, Buz raced (and we use that word loosely) at Deland Raceway.


Buz with his racecar and his mom Alma. His sponsor on the front fender was where Buz worked. 21 Gas can.... was that the car number???? Email answer here. I believe this to be the old Deland Raceway. Hmmm, is Buz's mom holding Buz's purse??

  • May 1969, the boys were invited to Marvin Panch's home for Richie's birthday. On the way to the party they had an accident. His brother Bobby died 11 days later at the hospital.

  • Deland Raceway drivers voted to have the year-end race as a Bobby McKim memorial. What a tribute to a 15 year-old boy! Buz drove in the race that was won by Holly Hill's Larry Flynn.

  • While Buz was on vacation in New Jersey, he had the honor of driving Uncle Joe Ramm's stock car at the Flemington fair grounds. Let's just say, it did not go too well.......

  • Buz decided that racing was not for him and his dad sold the racecar (Mom relaxes at last!)

  • Buz designed the paint jobs for Benny Parsons and David Pearson's racecars.

  • Buz did the artwork for the Indianapolis yearbook and designed the brochure for Talladega Speedway.

  • Buz started his racing art, selling signed prints of race drivers and cars. Mark Martin appeared on QVC promoting his own painting done by Buz. His original artwork is on display in various NASCAR locations.

  • He worked part time at NASCAR archives with his sister Patt. On January 1999, he was promoted to the ISC archives department, originally on Ballough Road before moving to Fentress. Through Buz's love of NASCAR history and his skills, he was able to organize the archives into a vital part of ISC and NASCAR.

  • September 2003, he was promoted to NASCAR as Coordinator of Statistical Services.

  • January, 2007, Buz was announced as the first Historian for the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC.

                                                   


Buz McKim and Godwin Kelly of the Daytona Beach News Journal and author of two books
at a Living Legends of Auto Racing history gathering


Buz McKim leads a history of racing discussion at the Living Legends of Auto Racing Museum
(Seated from the right in yellow shirt: Ray Fox, Vickie Woods, Marvin Panch, ........)


Buz, Patty Teague Teeters, Pal Parker at the Living Legends Museum


Mr. Bill France Sr., founder of NASCAR, is pictured with his 1935 Ford.
A replica of this car will be driven by Bill Baxter and Buz McKim in the upcoming Great Race cross-country road rally as a tribute to France.

As a tribute to Bill France Sr. and in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the France family arrival in Daytona Beach, Bill Baxter of Deland, Fla. has entered the prestigious Great Race with his 1935 Ford, an exact replica of Bill France’s 1936 Daytona race entry.

The car was sent to Jack Roush’s shop in Livonia, Mi. for a complete overhaul in preparation for the June 19th, 2004 kickoff of the cross-country trek. The race will end on July 3rd in Monterey, Ca.

Dubbed “Team Daytona USA,” the team that hopes to do “Bill” proud is composed of navigator Baxter along with driver and NASCAR historian Buz McKim. The support crew is made up of their wives Jean and Gwen, respectively.

Here's the Big Bill France Story:

The year 2004 is the 70th anniversary of Bill France Sr., his wife Anne and infant son, Bill Jr. arriving in Daytona Beach, Florida. What seemed to be just another family coming to town was to become one of the most important events in American auto racing history.

The Frances were traveling from Washington, D.C. to Miami in 1934 when they stopped off in the Daytona Beach area to visit some friends. France had $25 in his pocket, $75 in the bank and an old set of tools.

According to France, “I figured that was all I needed to get a new start. If I was going to work on automobiles, I might just as well do it someplace where I wouldn’t have to fight snow and cold weather.”

“Big Bill” as Mr. France was known, stated that he drove out to the beach with his little house trailer in tow. The water was so blue-green and the beach was so peaceful and beautiful, he and his family took a swim and felt they needed to go no further.

The France family settled into a small bungalow off Beach St. just north of downtown Daytona Beach and around the corner from Sax Lloyd’s General Motors dealership. France was a skilled mechanic and soon found work as a brake specialist in Lloyd’s shop.

A few years later he opened a gas station on Main St. in Daytona Beach. France also was involved in auto racing back in his native D.C. and soon was among the locals competing on central Florida’s dirt tracks in open-wheeled, home built contraptions. He quickly made an impact on the racing scene and his station became a mecca for local racers.

In 1935 Bill France was on the beach the day Sir Malcolm Campbell set the ultimate Daytona speed record of over 276 m.p.h. That event brought an end to Daytona Beach’s Land Speed Record era, dating back to 1903. A new era was on the horizon.

The City of Daytona Beach wanted to keep its racing heritage alive and a new form of auto racing was developed. Sig Haugdahl, a local racer and one-time land speed record holder, came up with the plan to hold a stock car race on Daytona Beach. In early 1936, Haugdahl, along with local attorney Millard Conklin and consultant Bill France, laid out a course of 3.2 miles consisting of 1.5 miles of State Road A1A and 1.5 miles of beach with short turns on the north and south end of the oval-shaped course.

A 250 mile, AAA-sanctioned stock car race was slated for the beach course on March 8, 1936. The event drew and interesting array of competitors such as Indianapolis 500 winner Wild Bill Cummings, midget racing legend Bill Schindler, sports car racing pioneer Miles Collier, millionaire sportsman Jack Rutherford, English speed king Goldie Gardner and Daytona’s own Bill France.

France entered a 1935 Ford V-8 coupe owned by a fellow mechanic named Glen Brooks. The local Gulf Oil dealer sponsored France with fuel and tires. Along with his driving chores, France did mechanical work on the 1936 Ford convertible of Milt Marion, a northeastern dirt track ace. Marion went on to win the inaugural Daytona Beach stock car race while France came home fifth.

“Big Bill” France would continue a successful driving career, winning the “unofficial” 1940 national stock car championship. He would later promote races, establish NASCAR in 1947, develop the ultra-modern Daytona International Speedway in 1959 and build its sister track, Talladega, in 1969. It’s been said Bill France Sr. is the single most influential figure in American auto racing.

Stick-and-ball fan's guide to NASCAR: Do Nextel Cup drivers have superstitions? 
Sporting News, The,  Jan 12, 2004  by Matt Crossman

Yes, lots of them. The strangest one is that no NASCAR driver will eat peanuts at the track.

Buz McKim, coordinator of NASCAR's history database, traces the superstition to a race in 1937 race in Nashville. One of the drivers had a beef with the race promoter. He was so upset that he hatched a devious scheme to get the first five qualifiers to drop out of the race. His ingenious plan was to sprinkle peanut shells on their cars. Why peanut shells would cause a driver to withdraw from a race has been lost.

Upon further review ...

Bill Elliott's No. 9 Dodge was identified incorrectly in a diagram in the December 29-January 5 issue. to history. Or maybe there was a pre-existing curse involving shells. Anyhoo, those five drivers all wrecked, and one of them, Howdy Cox, died. Thus was born sports' strangest and most widely held superstition.

Walnuts, pecans, cashews? Fine, fine and fine--so far at least--as is everything else in the nut family. And please don't write to say a peanut is a legume.

Chris Economaki on Buz:

Enjoyed historian Buz McKim’s recap of NASCAR’s 30th season in the club’s neat “Cannonball” newsletter. I’d forgotten that late road racer Al Holbert made nine starts that year and 1978 saw nary a single Chrysler product on track. After years of hard work and fundraising by club members, President Ray Fox, along with museum director John Peoples, led the celebratory ribbon cutting at LLOAR’s new South Daytona museum in late May. Already in place is the LLOAR “Walk of Fame” on Daytona’s main drag, South Atlantic Ave. The Walk currently has 202 memorial bricks, with space for hundreds more. Big doings are slated for Speed Weeks. Details from LLOAR, Box 290854, Port Orange, Fla. 32129.

                                                 

We all lost a great friend in the Daytona Beach racing community with the passing of Chuck Warren. His long time friend Buz McKim wrote the following moving tribute which can be found here:

Chuck Warren Memorial: http://www.legendsofnascar.com/Chuck_Warren.htm


 

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