Sunday, May 28, 2017

Richie Panch Born In Daytona Beach, Florida - May 28, 1954

May 28, 1954 - September 2, 1985
Richie Panch
(Photo;"RichiePanchNASCAR" by Source)
Born in Daytona Beach, Florida.
He was an aspiring driver and son of hall-of-famer Marvin Panch. Richie was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver from 1973 to 1976, earning three top-fives and eleven top-tens. He competed in forty-seven Cup Series and one Busch Series event in his career prior to dying on September 2, 1985. Most of Panch's success came in his second year of competition, when he ran a full schedule in 1974. Earning seven top-tens including a career-best third place effort at Richmond International Raceway, Panch finished a career-high 14th place in points.

Following a part-time schedule in 1975 that earned Panch four more top-tens, Panch only made one start in 1976. Following a 21st place finish at Atlanta, Panch never returned to Cup competition.

Panch's lone Busch start came in 1983, when Panch raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Starting 27th in the forty-two car field, Panch completed all but three laps in route to a respectable 15th place effort.

Panch died September 2, 1985, returning to Daytona Beach when his private plane crashed. Panch, age 30, was flying a Piper PA-28-235-B plane and flew into heavy rain and squall line over Rion, South Carolina and came apart in mid-air. Pilot error, poor judgment and planning was blamed. Four people died in the accident, including Richie Panch's close friend Dale Singleton, a famous motorcycle rider, two-time winner of the "Daytona 200".

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