Red Farmer's first race was at Opa-locka Speedway near Miami, Florida in a 1934 Ford in 1948. He became famous as a member of the Alabama Gang and he considered his hometown to be Hueytown, Alabama. Estimates of Farmer's career victories range from 700 to 900 victories, most occurring in the late 1950s and early 60's. He raced 36 NASCAR races from 1953 to 1975. He won numerous championships at local tracks. He was the NASCAR National Late Model Sportsman champion (later Nationwide Series) for three consecutive years from 1969 to 1971. Farmer's best finish in NASCAR's top division was a fourth at both the 1972 Talladega 500 , and the 1968 Middle Georgia 500 near Macon, Georgia). He had so few Cup races because he was content to run primarily in the Late Model Sportsman. He was named NASCAR's most popular driver 4 times. Red later raced in the white and gold #97 car. In the mid 60's, however, Red raced a white, gold, and red Ford Fairlane, #F-97.
Red has retained his skills as a driver in spite of his age. He competed in 2 Busch Grand National races in 1992. On June 2005, Farmer, now over 70, turned heads in winning a heat over current NASCAR Sprint Cup stars, and finished 8th in the feature during the Sprint Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway, owned by Tony Stewart.
Farmer is still a regular at Talladega Short Track, an oval-shaped dirt track in Alabama, only a short distance from Talladega Superspeedway. His Grandson, Lee Burdett, also races there.
He was Davey Allison's crew chief in the Busch Series.
His accolades are numerous. He's a member of 5 halls of fame. Red was named one of the 50 Greatest Drivers in NASCAR history in 1998. He was a member of the first Class of Inductees into the Talladega-Texaco Walk Of Fame. When the International Motorsports Hall of Fame inducted Red, they had to waive their rule of 5 years of retirement - they figured that he never would retire.
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame lists his birth year as 1928, but other sources list his birth date as October 15, 1932. He was asked by stockcarracing.com: "You've been coy about your age over the years. I've read that you were born in 1928, 1929, or maybe even 1930 or 1931. What year was it?" Farmer replied: "Hey, I ain't sure. When I was born I was too young to read the birth certificate." The interviewer followed up with "We'll just go with 1928, how's that?" Farmer replied "There is so many that I can't even figure it out. I ain't even sure myself anymore."
On July 12, 1993 Farmer was a passenger in the helicopter crash at Talladega Superspeedway that took the life of Davey Allison, when the two were arriving at the track to assist young driver David Bonnett (Neil Bonnett's son) around the track. He escaped with only broken bones.