Born: Dec. 30, 1934, Elmhurst, Ill.
Lorenzen won three times in 15 starts his rookie season. In the Rebel 300, a convertible event at Darlington Raceway, Lorenzen engaged famed old pro Curtis Turner in a fender-slamming duel over the final 20 of 219 laps on the 1.375-mile track. Lorenzen feinted high, then swung low to take the lead with two laps to go and held on to win by six car lengths over an angry Turner.
He won 23 more times over the next six seasons, excelling on superspeedways. Perhaps his best season was 1964, when he took eight checkered flags in only 16 starts.
Lorenzen retired after the 1967 season, but attempted a comeback with other teams from 1970-72, running 29 races. He won two poles, but scored no victories. Serious injuries suffered in a violent crash during practice for the ’71 Southern 500 at Darlington eventually led him to quit for good.
He returned to Illinois and became highly successful in the real estate business. He now resides in an assisted living facility near Chicago.
His many honors include NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver award in 1963 and ’65, and induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.