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Marvin Richard "Richie" Panch
Born: May 28, 1954      Died: September 1, 1985 (Plane Crash)
Born in: Fort Monterey, Calif.  -  Home: Daytona Beach, FL (1959)  - Marietta, Ga. (1984)

Richie Panch  was most active in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver from 1973 to 1976, earning three top-fives and eleven top-tens. He had one final NASCAR race in the Late Model Sportsman Series October 8, 1983 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He competed in forty-seven Cup Series and one Busch Series event in his career prior to dying on September 1, 1985 in a plane crash. At the time of his death, he was residing in Marietta (Atlanta), Ga. and was employed by Motor Week Productions Inc. of Atlanta.

1972-3 Era -  Richie grew up in racing with his famous racing father, Marvin Panch. While attending Mainland High School in Daytona Beach (next to the Speedway), Richie would sometimes work in the pits for Richard Petty and Dave Marcis. In November 1970, Richie began sanctioned off-road 'Baja' racing. He also raced motorcycles competitively. Richie's career would take another big step while still in High School. At the urging of Ken Squier (who was a friend of Marvin and co-owned a New England race track with Tim Curly), Richie would spend the summer living in Colchester, Vermont with Tim Tiller and take part in the 1972 Northern Tour to "learn the racing trade".

The #98 team was based in Port Orange, Florida and campaigned on the Northern NASCAR circuit with Ken "Bucky" Bucklin as Crew Chief. The team consisted of Bucklin, Phil Bowler and a local "motorcycle gang". Phil Bowler recalls that the Panch's came north twice in the family Winnebago to see Richie race in the summer.

This car was an ex- Davey Allison 1964 Chevelle, sponsored by Tim Curly, who owned 'MERCHECKS' (MC on car), a sort of S&H Green Stamp company redeemable stamps that could be used to buy products.

 

 

 

In February, 1973, Richie made the next step up and raced in several different types of racing in 1973. A "Permatex 300" start in the #99 '66 Chevelle , a GN East race for Walter Ballard, an IMSA race, a USAC and an FIA World Sports Car race!

 

 

 

 


The #99 Permatex 300 car

(Future NASCAR driver Jackie Rodgers had #98 for that race)

 

His remaining three Cup 1973 races would all be in Donlavey 'rentals' as the #98. 

His first Winston Cup start would be at Darlington, driving for Junie Donlavey, finishing 17th in the #90 Ford.

 

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 and runner-up in the Rookie of the Year points to winner Earl Ross.

One of the cars was built by his old Vermont crew chief Ken "Bucky" Bucklin, reportedly was one of two cars from Elmer Duellman's Wisconsin salvage yard as Elmer had been a friend of his dad Marvin since 1968.

 

(Race photo - John Betts)

 

 

 

 

Though Richie began using his Dad Marvin's 1956 colors in 1973, it was this Ford that most fans remembered. Interesting to note that though this race photo with the local Atlanta "Tuxedo Plumbing" sponsorship may be the most widely posted photos of Richie's #98, it was ONLY this one race that the #98 wore this sponsorship! (info from RandyAyersModeling.com)

 

 

 

 

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 had officially raced a grand total of 9295 laps - the equivalent of 11,040.9 miles (17,768.6 km) of stock car racing. His average start is 18th place while his average finish is 23rd place. Total earnings for Richie Panch were $90,842. Out of the 9295 laps in his career, Panch had led nine of them.

Richie Panch is the son of NASCAR Cup Series veteran Marvin Panch.

Busch Series Career

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.

Richie also loved Road Racing

Daytona Road Racing with Ray Kessler and Wilbur Pickett - Feb 4, 1973
Started 27th and finished 7th in the FIA World Sports Car Championshipat Daytona International Speedway in the Ray Kessler, Inc. 1973 Chev Camaro Z28 (Kessler was a Daytona auto dealer)

 

 

 

 

Wirephoto collected by the Webmaster, Roland Via
In private conversations with Richie's dad, Marvin, he said this was one of his favorite pictures, of which I made him a copy.


With his father Marvin Panch of NASCAR fame during Daytona Road Races

 

The Air Crash

September 1, 1985: Richie Panch, age 30, a Nascar race driver, was flying a Piper PA-28-235-B plane with ID numbers N9340W departing Darlington, SC and was enroute to Muscle Shoals, Alabama before returning to hometown Daytona Beach when it flew into heavy rain and squall line near Rion, South Carolina and came apart in mid-air. Pilot error, poor judgment and planning was blamed.

From the Aviation Safety Network: THE ACFT HAD BEEN CRUISING AT 10,500 FT FOR SEVERAL MIN AND THEN INFORMED ATC THAT THEY WERE CLIMBING TO 12,500 FT DUE TO VFR. SHORTLY THERE AFTER THE ACFT DISAPPEARED FROM THE RADAR SCOPE. WITNESSES HEARD THE ENGINE MAKING AN UNUSUAL SOUND AND LOOKED UP AND SAW THE ACFT FALLING FROM THE SKY AND PARTS FALLING FROM IT. ONE WITNESS CLAIMED TO HAVE SEEN THE ACFT COME OUT OF A CLOUD. A SQUALL LINE AND HEAVY RAIN WERE REPORTED IN THE AREA A SHORT TIME LATER BY PEOPLE IN THE LOCAL AREA. 

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", who was just breaking into auto racing. Others who perished were Barbara Fairbanks and Richie's girlfriend Rosemary Pardus* (passengers unverified...Come you help?)


Piper PA-28-235 (Not Panch's Plane)

OBITUARY

September 4, 1985 - Marvin Richard ''Richie'' Panch, 30, Marietta, Ga., died Sunday, Sept. 1. Born in Fort Monterey, Calif., he moved to Daytona Beach in 1959 and then to the Atlanta area in 1984. He was a NASCAR race driver and was employed by Motor Week Productions Inc., Atlanta. Survivors: parents, Mr. and Mrs. Marvin R. Panch, Deltona; sister, Marvette Lynn Panch, Daytona Beach. Baggett and Summers Funeral Home, Daytona Beach.

 

*3/28/16: Gail L. sent along this information. After checking with family, they said the info can be published.

Richie's Girlfriend: Rosemary Helen Pardus, 20, was a Daytona native and completed High School at Mainland H.S in 1983, which is about a 1/2 mile from Daytona International Speedway. Classmates towards the end of her life said that Rosemary was at her happiest time of her life.

 

Rosemary met Richie Panch through the sister of Dan Pardus's, a future NASCAR driver, who were racing motorcycles at the time. Dan later raced as high as Cup and used to put on bowling tournaments for MS. After a brief courtship Rosemary moved with Richie to Marietta, Ga..

 


Yes, that's Darrell Waltrip to the left of Richie

 

 

 

 






 

Richie Panch Cup Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1973 19 4 of 28 0 0 0 0 510 0 4,510 70 23.2 31.0
1974 20 28 of 30 0 2 7 0 6257 1 52,712 14 17.7 20.8
1975 21 14 of 30 0 1 4 0 2276 8 32,585 29 15.6 25.1
1976 22 1 of 30 0 0 0 0 252 0 1,035 92 20.0 21.0
4 years 47 0 3 11 0 9295 9 90,842   17.6 22.9

Richie Panch Busch Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1983 29 1 of 35 0 0 0 0 197 0 2,900 116 27.0 15.0
1 year 1 0 0 0 0 197 0 2,900   27.0  

Richie Panch Grand National East Series Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1973 19 2 of 15 0 0 1 0 267 0 530 26   8.5
1 year 2 0 0 1 0 267 0 530     8.5
Date  Place

Division 

Start

Finish Owner

#

Car Laps Money Status Laps Led
 Feb 4 1973   Daytona International Speedway   FIA World Sports Car Championship  27 7  Ray Kessler Inc.   9   Chevrolet Camaro Z28  592     running   
 Feb 17 1973   Daytona International Speedway   NASCAR Late Model Sportsman  16 18    99   1966 Chevrolet  103   585   accident   
 Mar 4 1973   Hickory Motor Speedway   NASCAR Grand National East    11  Walter Ballard   30   1971 Mercury  267     running   
 Apr 15 1973   Darlington Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup  17 17  Junie Donlavey   90   1971 Mercury  309   1,530   running 
 Apr 21 1973   Daytona International Speedway   IMSA GT    11  Ray Kessler Inc.   9   Chevrolet Camaro  80     running   
 Jun 10 1973   Texas World Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  33 38  Junie Donlavey   98   1973 Ford   890   ignition 
 Jul 29 1973   Pocono International Raceway   USAC Stock Car  12 19    98   Ford  162   810   head gasket 
 Sep 3 1973   Darlington Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup  23 33  Junie Donlavey   98   1973 Ford  75   1,245   accident 
 Oct 6 1973   Charlotte Motor Speedway   NASCAR Late Model Sportsman  7 29    98   Chevrolet Chevelle  78   835   differential   
 Oct 21 1973   North Carolina Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  20 36  Junie Donlavey   98   1972 Ford  125   845   motor mount 
 Nov 11 1973   Hickory Motor Speedway   NASCAR Grand National East    6    98   1972 Ford        
 Jan 20 1974   Riverside International Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup/Winston West  14 9  Roy Thornley   98   1974 Chevrolet  183   2,025   running 
 Feb 14 1974   Daytona International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  13 14  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Ford  45   370   running 
 Feb 17 1974   Daytona International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  29 18  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Ford  160   3,770   running 
 Feb 24 1974   Richmond International Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup  16 21  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  125   700   engine 
 Mar 3 1974   North Carolina Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  21 14  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  420   1,370   running 
 Mar 17 1974   Bristol Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  18 27  Junie Donlavey   90   1974 Ford  46   795   suspension 
 Mar 24 1974   Atlanta Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  7 36  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet   900   engine 
 Apr 7 1974   Darlington Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup  18 37  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  16   875   overheating 
 Apr 21 1974   North Wilkesboro Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  14 18  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Ford  316   680   running 
 Apr 28 1974   Martinsville Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  14 13  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  427   900   running 
 May 5 1974   Talladega Superspeedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  42 44  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Ford  65   1,025   engine 
 May 11 1974   Music City Motorplex   NASCAR Winston Cup  21 28  Don Robertson   25   1973 Dodge  36   535   overheating 
 May 26 1974   Charlotte Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  13 23  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Ford  225   2,200   engine 
 Jun 16 1974   Michigan International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  32 9  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  176   1,800   running 
 Jul 4 1974   Daytona International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  18 34  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Ford  30   1,680   oil line 
 Jul 14 1974   Bristol Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  14 15  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  318   1,020   rear end 
 Jul 20 1974   Music City Motorplex   NASCAR Winston Cup  15 10  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  402   990   running 
 Jul 28 1974   Atlanta Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  14 27  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  155   1,470   engine 
 Aug 4 1974   Pocono International Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup  13 26  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  64   1,470   engine 
 Aug 11 1974   Talladega Superspeedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  24 43  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Ford  21   1,695   engine 
 Aug 25 1974   Michigan International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  9 10  Roy Thornley   98   1974 Chevrolet  196   1,575   running 
 Sep 2 1974   Darlington Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup  11 24  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  117   2,100   accident 
 Sep 8 1974   Richmond International Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup  17 3  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  493   3,295   running 
 Sep 15 1974   Dover International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  20 20  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  342   1,525   rear end 
 Sep 22 1974   North Wilkesboro Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  14 17  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  252   965   engine 
 Sep 29 1974   Martinsville Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  21 5  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet (ex-B.Allison)  488   2,000   running 
 Oct 6 1974   Charlotte Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  16 14  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  304   3,261   engine 
 Oct 20 1974   North Carolina Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  12 27  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  317   1,550   accident 
 Nov 24 1974   Ontario Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup/Winston West  19 9  Roy Thornley   98   1972 Chevrolet  192   2,775   running 
 Feb 13 1975   Daytona International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  7 5  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  49   600   running 
 Feb 16 1975   Daytona International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  10 8  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  191   8,950   running 
 Mar 23 1975   Atlanta Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  20 34  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  49   1,500   oil leak 
 Apr 27 1975   Martinsville Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  15 17  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  365   880   rear end 
 May 4 1975   Talladega Superspeedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  39 49  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet   1,505   engine 
 May 25 1975   Charlotte Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  13 8  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  389   4,840   running 
 Jun 15 1975   Michigan International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  6 6  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  197   2,830   running 
 Jul 4 1975   Daytona International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  11 28  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  104   1,460   clutch 
 Aug 3 1975   Pocono International Raceway   NASCAR Winston Cup  8 33  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  12   1,105   engine 
 Aug 17 1975   Talladega Superspeedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  16 43  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  24   1,195   engine 
 Aug 24 1975   Michigan International Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  23 25  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  183   1,375   engine 
 Sep 28 1975   Martinsville Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  5 5  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  487   2,885   running 
 Oct 5 1975   Charlotte Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  17 25  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  211   1,735   suspension 
 Nov 9 1975   Atlanta Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  23 35  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Chevrolet  42   1,185   accident 
 Nov 23 1975   Ontario Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup/Winston West  13 36  Bettie Panch   98   1975 Mercury  22   1,090   accident 
 Nov 7 1976   Atlanta Motor Speedway   NASCAR Winston Cup  20 21  Delbert Puro   99   Ford  252   1,035   engine 
 Oct 8 1983   Charlotte Motor Speedway   NASCAR Late Model Sportsman  27 15    36   Pontiac  197   2,900   running   

 

 



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