Raymond "Friday" Hassler
Born July 29, 1935 - Died February
17, 1972 (Racing Crash at Daytona)
Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hassler was a NASCAR Grand National and Winston Cup Series driver
and one of NASCAR's most
competitive independent (non-factory) drivers. He made his debut in 1960
but only drove a handful of races per year until 1967 when he drove 21
of the 49 races for Red Sharp and finished 32nd in points. He improved
to 27th for Sharp the next year and drove his own car in 1969 to a 28th
place finish. In 1970 he drove for James Hanley and finished 20th in
points. 1971 was his best season when he drove his own car to 13 top
tens and a 16th place points result.
was one of the few drivers running Chevrolets in the late 60's and early
70's, campaigning a Chevelle when Chevrolet was basically a non-entity.
But, he had some great moments, especially the year before his death,
winning two poles, one a short track, the other at the peanut shaped
Trenton Speedway, and his high point, when he drove many laps at the
caution free Volunteer 500 in relief of Charlie Glotzbach. They scored
Chevrolet's first NASCAR win in years, It was the fastest race
ever run at Bristol with no caution flags.. Friday Hassler was killed at
the age of 36 and the peak of his career in a thirteen car pile up
caused by Dave Boggs flat tire on a restart during one of the 125 mile
qualifying races for the Daytona 500. Friday Hassler was very well liked
by his fellow drivers.
Hassler competed in 135 races from
1960 - 1972. His best finish was second at Islip Speedway in 1971. All
told, Hassler scored twelve top fives, forty-eight top tens, and two
poles in his career.
Atomic's Hall of Fame has inducted many of the area's top drivers,
owners, and contributors to the sport both at Atomic and in the east
Tennessee region. Each year, Atomic inducts several new members.
Here is a members of Atomic's Hall of Fame: 1976 - Claude Donovan,
Friday Hassler, Brownie King
- 135 races run over 10 years.
Best Cup Position: 16th - 1971 (Winston Cup)
First Race: 1960 National 400 (Charlotte)
Last Race: 1972 Winston Western 500 (Riverside)
Top 10's: 48
Thirty-seven years ago Tuesday 2/17/09, Raymond 'Friday' Hassler
lost his life during speed weeks in Daytona running the first twin
125 qualifier in this exact car.
Stunning model and scene by Rioux. See more at
House of Hardtops.
1971 -- In the
caution-free Volunteer 500 at Bristol which is the fastest race
ever run at Bristol, with no cautions. Charlie Glotzbach started
the winning car and had relief help from
NASCAR, John Utsman and
both drove winning cars in NASCAR races as
relief drivers. But neither is recognized as a victor, because
of the way that NASCAR considers the driver at the start of the
race to be the only one that counts.
“Friday” Hassler, Jr.
Jay is the son of the late NASCAR Winston Cup Driver,
. Jay owns his own business, a rental
store, and races in the NASCAR Weekly Series sponsored by Dodge.
Jay and his wife, Angela, are active in their church where they
also teach a 5 year old Sunday School class. Jay and Angela have
two children. Current Southern All-Stars Series competitor and
NASCAR Weekly Series Sponsored by Dodge.
A win by Kevin Harvick's
at New Hampshire International Speedway marked the 400th time a
Chevy Monte Carlo crossed a NASCAR finish line at the front of
the pack. Since the Chevrolet Monte Carlo's first year of NASCAR
competition in 1971, the car has been one of GM's biggest
successes in racing and the ball started rolling with a win (and
a record set) by Charlie Glotzbach - with help from
Friday Hassler - at
Bristol on July 11, 1971.
Extraordinary 1968 Chevy Model by Rioux.
See more at
House of Hardtops.
Chevy Story: One of
the first teams to run a Monte Carlo (and the first to score a
win for the car) was run by Richard Howard and NASCAR legend
Junior Johnson. Johnson had made his name in racing in the
previous decade driving the famous 'Mystery Motor' Chevy Impala
and the new Monte Carlo was painted in the same white as his old
Chevy. The team retained the services of one Robert Yates to
build engines and the driving was done by former Dodge wheelman
Proving the car was capable of competing, Glotzbach already had
put the No. 3 Monte Carlo on the pole position at Charlotte
Motor Speedway's World 600 in May of 1971 but it was at the
Volunteer 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway where the beginning of
Chevy's return to NASCAR prominence took place.
Glotzbach started the race on the front row after qualifying
second. After leading much of the first half of the race, he
took over (the hot conditions were too
much for most drivers in the days before cool suits and helmet
air-conditioners.) Hassler then fought Bobby Allison for the
lead and ended up winning by three laps. Amazingly enough, there
were no cautions during the 500-mile event – something that has
not happened at Bristol since.
"The years have robbed my memory of a lot of races, but I sure
recall that one!" said Johnson in an August 21 interview from
thatsracin.com. "I consider what happened at Bristol that day
nothing short of a miracle. It just doesn't seem possible that
30 cars, the size of the field back then, could run 266 miles
there without somebody hitting the wall or spinning out."
"Another thing that continues to impress me about the race in
1971 is that Charlie, and then
Friday Hassler, were able to run so fast all afternoon.
Because there were no caution flags, they combined to average
over 100 miles an hour."
Their average was 101.074 mph, which also set a track record for
a 500-lap event.
Wreck with Ed Negre
Friday Hassler Grand National & Winston Cup Statistics
Nascar Nextel Cup Series Tickets
Copyright © 2003
by Roland Via. All rights reserved. Revised:
06/08/12 08:11:10 -0400.
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