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Former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey passes away

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Junie Donlavey in 2012.

RICHMOND, Va. – NASCAR owner and Richmond native Junie Donlavey passed away Monday, according to a report on FoxSports.com. He was 90 years old.

Donlavey was involved in NASCAR from 1950 to 2002.

In that time Donlavey had three NASCAR rookies of the year drive for him, and several current NASCAR crew chiefs and other team members get their start in his garage, including Tommy Baldwin who fields cars for Michael Annett and Reed Sorenson.

NASCAR Hall of Famers Fred Lorenzen and David Pearson drove for Donlavey as did three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, Harry Gant, Ray Hendrick, Buck Baker, Ken Schrader, Ricky Rudd, Benny Parsons, and Ernie Irvan.

For years Donlavey was one of a very few owners who would not re-locate his team to the Charlotte area.

“Though Donlavey’s teams were never among the elite of NASCAR, he was well respected among his peers and highly regarded as one of the true gentleman competitors,” Fox Sports reported.


  • Paul Heath

    I seriously hope your station does a better job of covering this story and cut and pasting it from another news outlet. This man, just like your station, is a Richmond legend, a big part of its history, and deserves the news coverage. I can provide you with names of local people who knew him and worked for him

    • Jay

      I’m 100% with you, Paul. Junie D. was a self made man and lived life on his own terms. He was the first, if not only, NASCAR owner to go to LeMans. His Red, White and Blue Truxmore Ford was something many Richmond area natives were proud of. His independence and keen eye for talent( ie Kenny Schrader and Jody Ridley were both Rookie of the Year driving for Junie.) was admired by all racing fans. This Richmond Legend deserves a meaningful tribute by our local News channel.

  • Taylor Saunders l

    This is so heartbreaking! I was one of his favorite waitresses at one of his favorite spots to visit in the city years ago before he got really sick. If anyone has information about funeral services or how I can get in touch with his family please email me at lovelitay@gmail.com! Thank you so much!

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