Famed NASCAR Championship team owner and drag racer Raymond Beadle passed away at the age of 70 on Monday. While today's younger NASCAR Sprint Cups Series race fans may not know who Raymond Beadle was many older fans remember the No. 27 Kodiak Pontiac and driver Rusty Wallace holding off Dale Earnhart Sr. for the Championship in 1989.
Wallace was quick to mourn the passing of his former team owner. The driver took to twitter to let everyone know how much he appreciated his time with Beadle. Wallace moved from Beadle's Blue Max organization to Penske racing for the 1991 race season.
"Really saddened by news about Raymond Beadle," Wallace stated in a tweet. "Without him, I would have never gotten to where I am today. He will be greatly missed."
Statement from NASCAR
Beadle was a noted drag racer who fell in love with the idea of running stock cars that turned into a near decade run of eight years (1983 - 1990) in NASCAR's top level of racing. According to reports Beadle had suffered a heart attack earlier in the summer during the month of July. He then underwent surgery to relieve blockages in his arteries.
On Monday after news of his passing many people took to social media to heap praise on the former Cup Series owner. The sanctioning body was not far behind. NASCAR released a brief statement on the passing of Beadle via the NASCAR.com website and their social media channels.
"Raymond Beadle had a brief, but prolific, career in NASCAR. A true competitor whose love of auto racing led him to ownership in a variety of motorsport disciplines, his 1989 NASCAR premier series championship with Rusty Wallace remains one of the more popular titles in the sport's history. NASCAR offers its deepest condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time."
Beadle by the Numbers
Beadle was more than a Championship team owner in the top series of staock car racing. He was also an force to be reckoned with for many race seasons. During his eight year stint in NASCAR He ended up 20 victories and 73 top-five finishes. He had 234 starts as a Cup level team owner with drivers including Wallace and Tim Richmond.
In his drag racing life Beadle was just as successful as a driver and an owner. He was a three-time champion in the NHRA's Funny Car class and was a common fixture at NHRA events until recent years. His teams we're under the banner of Blue Max racing. He even fielded a team in the World of Outlaws racing series.