Larry Smith (NASCAR)

Larry Smith (NASCAR)

Infobox NASCAR driver
Name = Lawrence Smith
Birthplace = flagicon|USA Lenoir, North Carolina
Birthdate = birth date|1942|6|2
Died = death date and age|1973|8|12|1942|6|2
Cause of Death = Racing Accident
Best_Cup_Pos = 23rd - 1972 (Winston Cup)
Cup_Top_Tens = 9
First_Cup_Race = 1971 World 600 (Charlotte)
Last_Cup_Race = 1973 Talladega 500 (Alabama)
Years_In_Cup = 3
Total_Cup_Races = 38
Awards = 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year

Larry Smith (June 26, 1942-August 12, 1973, born in Lenoir, North Carolina) was a former NASCAR driver. He made his debut in the 1971 World 600 in the 92 Ford, finishing 22nd. He would go on to run three more races that year, acquiring one top-ten finish. In 1972, he was named the first NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, running 23 races and posting seven top-ten finishes. The next year, he finally acquired major sponsorship, from Carling Black Label. Unfortunately, he was struggling severely that year and was trying to turn things around.

Later that year, while running the Talladega 500, Smith spun on lap 14 and slapped the Turn 1 wall, with his car suffering just minor damage, which the crew was preparing to fix, when word got out that Smith did not survive the impact of that crash. It is rumored, but not confirmed, that the head injuries that killed Smith came because he tore the inner-lining out of his helmet, which had been bothering him for some time.

Smith is one of several drivers featured in the 1975 book The World's Number One, Flat-Out, All-Time Great Stock Car Racing Book by Jerry Bledsoe. Bledsoe describes the struggles Smith went through in his run for Rookie Of The Year in 1972.


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