Buddy Baker best know as "Lead foot" or the "Gentle Giant" was known for his record-setting speed over his 34 year career in Winston Cup. In 1970 at Talladega, Buddy became the first driver to race over 200 mph on a closed course, actual speed was 200.447mph. At the 1980 Daytona 500, Buddy won with an average speed of 177.602mph a record which still stands today.
Buddy Baker was the first driver to win the racing's "Big Four:" Daytona, Talladega, Darlington, and Charlotte. Buddy won at Talladega four times (1975 twice), 1976, and 1980). Charlotte four times (1967,1968,1972, and 1973), Darlington twice (1970 and 1971), and Daytona twice (1980 and 1983). Buddy won 19 times during his career on the NASCAR circuit, 17 on major speedways. He ranks ninth on NASCAR's all-time list for top-five finishes with 202 and top-ten finishes with 311 (out of 688 starts). Buddy also ranks tenth on the all-time list for pole positions with 40 and he is the all-time lap leader at Talladega with 1,099.
Buddy Baker was inducted into the Charlotte (N.C) Motorspeedway Court of Legends in 1995 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, AL in 1997.
Buddy Baker drove one of the fastest and scariest cars in NASCAR. It was called the "Gray Ghost". The reason it was given that name was because the car would come up behind other drivers and it was hard to see because it would blend in with the track. The gray part of the car which was the hood, top and rear deck-lid blended in with the speedway. The sides of the car was black so that didn't help either. When the other drivers would look in their mirrors they wouldn't see it coming and all of a sudden, it was like an explosion when the car went by because of the speed it generated.
NASCAR officials finally made Baker put Day-Glo strips on the front of the car so it could be seen in the rearview mirrors of the other drivers. It was the Gray Ghost Baker drove to victory at the Daytona 500, his only victory there. Some of the drivers complained to NASCAR, thus the reason why the strips were ordered to be put on it.