NASCAR Hall of Fame team owner Bud Moore, 88, recovering from mild heart attack

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NASCAR Hall of Fame member Walter “Bud” Moore is recovering after suffering a mild heart attack over the weekend.

According to The Charlotte Observer, Moore, 88, is recovering in a hospital near his lifelong home in Spartanburg, S.C.

“He had a procedure done and is doing fine,” Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, told the Observer. “He will be in the hospital a few days and is expected to be released later this week.”

Moore, who received several honors for his service in World War II, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in its second class in 2011.

He was inducted for his success as a NASCAR team owner and crew chief. Most of his cars were either Pontiac- or Ford-powered and carried the number 15.

Moore spent 37 years as a team owner. In 37 seasons, he and his drivers compiled 63 wins, 298 top-fives, 463 top-10s (nearly half of the 958 total races his teams entered), 43 poles and three NASCAR Grand National championships.

Buck Baker won the Grand National championship in 1957 with Moore as his crew chief.

Buck’s son, Buddy, also raced for Moore and won three straight races at Talladega in 1975 and 1976.

Switching to a team owner in 1961, Moore had almost instantaneous success, particularly with driver Joe Weatherly, who won eight races for Moore in 1961 and then came back to win the 1962 and 1963 Grand National championships.

Tiny Lund won the Grand American division championship racing for Moore in 1968.

Moore expanded his ownership reach past NASCAR and in 1970 owned the team that Parnelli Jones won the Sports Car Club of America Trans-Am championship.

Bobby Allison won the 1978 Daytona 500 with Moore as the team owner.

Other drivers that drove for Moore in his career included the late Fireball Roberts, the late Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Ricky Rudd and Geoff and Brett Bodine.

Moore’s last full season as a team owner was in 1996 with Wally Dallenbach Jr., but he entered seven other races over the next five years before eventually retiring in 2000 and selling his entire operation.

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Teammates James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens earn top-fives at Barber

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For the first time this season, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates James Hinchcilffe and Robert Wickens earned top-five finishes in the same race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

Hinchcliffe finished third in the Grand Prix of Alabama; Wickens was one spot behind in fourth.

Wickens had one previous podium at Phoenix with his second-place finish. Hinchcliffe’s best result was a fourth in the season-opener in St Petersburg, Fla., so this marked his first podium of the year.

Both drivers needed a little help from the rain.

As precipitation began to fall in the closing stages of the race, Hinchliffe asked his team on a couple of occasions if it was wet enough to pit for rain tires. He was told twice to stay out and was then called into to the pits at the optimal time.

“Solid weekend for us after coming here before – not a great test,” Hinchcliffe said. “Two cars in the top 10 qualifying; two cars, top five in the race. Pretty proud of these boys, everybody on the Arrow car.”

The rain helped Wickens’ race strategy come together.

“I was having to save a lot of fuel in that second stint,” Wickens said. “So once (Scott) Dixon starting getting close to me I was thinking ‘Oh God, I’m going to actually have to give this one up.’ And then the rain came, so the fuel mileage happened naturally. So, yeah, it saved us a bit.”

And while both were pleased with their top-five finishes, drivers are rarely satisfied unless they are standing on the top step of the podium.

Wickens’ top-five finish was hard-fought. After winning the pole at St Petersburg and starting sixth at Phoenix, he failed to advance to the Fast 6 in back-to-back races at Long Beach and Barber – qualifying 10th both times.

“I was a little gutted that we came out in a big bunch of traffic,” Wickens continued. “It made the race fun, but a little frustrating as well because of people off sequence and whatnot. We lost a lot of track position there. Both of us could have been fighting for higher steps on the podium, but we need to do a little better job in qualifying. “