RACING HAs LOST A TRUE GENTLEMAN WITH THE PASSING OF JUNIE DUNLAVEY

Longtime NASCAR car owner Junie Donlavey died at 90. He fielded cars in the sport in 45 seasons. (Photo: Steve Mawyer for USA TODAY Sports)

Longtime NASCAR car owner Junie Donlavey died at 90. He fielded cars in the sport in 45 seasons.
(Photo: Steve Mawyer for USA TODAY Sports)

Richmond, VA – Junie Donlavey, a former NASCAR car owner who fielded entries in 45 seasons, died Monday night at 90 after battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Junie was a friend to many and mentor to a few here at the speedway.

“There will never be another car owner like Junie is NASCAR; he was truly one in a million,” commented track owner Bill Sawyer.

“Junie was always willing to help with my racing; whenever we needed something he would just tell me to come over and get it,” commented track General Manager Clarke Sawyer.

Junie was a Richmond area native whose drivers included the likes of David Pearson, Fred Lorenzen, Joe Weatherly, , Kenny Schrader, Benny Parsons and Dick Trickle.

From the first time he fielded a car in a 1950 race at Martinsville Speedway through 1974, Donlavey’s team only ran more than a handful of races once.

But from 1975-1988, Donlavey fielded full-season cars for drivers such as Parsons, Ridley, Dick Brooks, Ricky Rudd and Ken Schrader. Three of his drivers won Rookie of the Year — Ridley, Schrader and Bill Dennis.

He then returned to a part-time schedule until 2002, when he last fielded a car with Hermie Sadler driving.

Funeral arrangements were pending as of Tuesday afternoon.

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