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Wayne Peterson (born May 24, 1938) is an American professional stock car racing owner/driver and former paratrooper and United States Army Special Forces member. He currently operates Wayne Peterson Racing, a team in the ARCA Racing Series.

Wayne Peterson
ARCA 0 Wayne Peterson Road America 2013.jpg
Peterson competing in the 2013 ARCA race at Road America
Nationality American
Born (1938-05-24) May 24, 1938 (age 81)
Boaz, Alabama
ARCA Racing Series career
Debut season1994
Current teamWayne Peterson Racing
Car number0
EngineChevrolet
Starts112
Wins0
Poles0
Best finish18th in 2016
Finished last season43rd (2018)
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1954–1981
UnitXVIII Airborne Corps
Third United States Army
Army Special Forces (77th, 10th, 1st, 5th, 7th Special Forces Groups)
Battles/warsVietnam War
Bay of Pigs Invasion
Operation Eagle Claw

Military careerEdit

Peterson grew up in a poor family in Boaz, Alabama, and when he was 15 years old, his high school was visited by Army National Guard recruiters. Attracted by benefits of food and clothing, he enlisted and entered active duty at 16, but was sent back to school upon discovering his age. After graduating, he returned to the military and was stationed at Fort Bragg as a paratrooper in the XVIII Airborne Corps. Peterson was a member of the United States Army Parachute Team (Golden Knights), and worked with NASA on performing High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) landings.[1]

He was later assigned to the Third United States Army for 30 days, during which he was placed in the 77th and attended Ranger School in Fort Benning, followed by survival training in Antarctica and language studies in California, the latter in which he learned French and Vietnamese. Peterson served in Germany and Okinawa with the 10th and 1st Special Forces Groups, respectively, before being deployed to Vietnam in 1963 as an advisor and eventually a combat role. He served multiple tours during the Vietnam War until 1972.[1]

In 1961, Peterson trained Cuban refugees and participated in the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. Two years later, he guarded President John F. Kennedy's body in the United States Capitol rotunda after his assassination. He also served as Richard Nixon and South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu's English/Vietnamese translator.[1]

Peterson was scheduled to complete his service in 1980 when the government extended it by 13 months. He was ordered to Diego Garcia, where plans were made for Operation Eagle Claw, an effort to free United States embassy members in the Iran hostage crisis.[1][2] However, the mission failed after two aircraft were destroyed during refueling. Peterson compared the debacle and resulting public backlash to that received by American troops withdrawing from Vietnam: "We had to abort, put our tail between our legs, same way we came out of Nam. We just didn't finish the job. [...] We had way too much TV coverage in Nam. The public don't need to know our missions; it messed with intelligence. Nam was a hard time, soldiers condemned for pulling the trigger. Of course, if you waited one second and thought about it, you were dead. We fought for the country, and our own survival. It wasn't pretty. You were there to save your people."[1]

Racing careerEdit

As a teenager, Peterson befriended a dirt track racing driver who would let him test his car. While he was stationed at Fort Bragg, he purchased a 1948 Hudson and converted it into a dirt track car.[1] Peterson later joined NASCAR driver Lee Petty's crew as a gasman, followed by a tenure with Junior Johnson on the DiGard Motorsports team. As compensation, Johnson gave him a car, which he fielded for Lennie Pond at Talladega Superspeedway.[1] He also competed in modified stock cars in the 1970s.[3]

During the 1980s, he began competing in the Automobile Racing Club of America.[4] In 1983, he entered the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' Atlanta Journal 500, but spun out during qualifying due to tire issues.[5] The following year, he tried to qualify for the Daytona 500, but did not make the race after suffering an engine failure in his Twin 125 qualifier and finishing tenth in the consolation race.[6][7][8]

Wayne Peterson Racing fields various cars in the ARCA Racing Series. Drivers included Tim Mitchell, a colorectal cancer survivor who raced for the team in the 2000s;[9] Zachary Gibson, son of ARCA Midget Series Larry and grandson of Indianapolis 500 driver Todd Gibson, in 2009;[10] and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Clay Greenfield in 2004. Greenfield, described by The Leaf-Chronicle as a "talented kid with no name", finished 12th in his series debut at Salem Speedway, marking the team's strongest finish since 1998.[11][12] As of 2018, Steve Cronenwett and Jim Walker share the team's best race finish of ninth at Toledo Speedway and Talladega in 2004, respectively.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Peterson was married to Sarah Peterson and has three sons, Michael, Brian, and Kevin, and five grandchildren. Sarah died in February 2008.[14] Peterson currently resides in Pulaski, TN.

Motorsports career resultsEdit

NASCAREdit

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup SeriesEdit

NASCAR Winston Cup Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 NWCC Pts Ref
1984 Wayne Peterson Racing 06 Buick DAY
DNQ
RCH CAR ATL BRI NWS DAR MAR TAL NSV DOV CLT RSD POC MCH DAY NSV POC TAL MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR CLT NWS CAR ATL RSD NA - [15]
Daytona 500Edit
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
1984 Wayne Peterson Racing Buick DNQ

ARCA Racing SeriesEdit

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

ARCA Racing Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 ARSC Pts Ref
1994 Wayne Peterson Racing 06 Pontiac DAY
32
TAL FIF LVL KIL TOL FRS MCH DMS POC POC KIL FRS IND I70 ISF DSF TOL SLM WIN ATL 133rd - [16]
2001 Wayne Peterson Racing 6 Chevy DAY NSH WIN SLM GTY KEN CLT KAN MCH POC MEM GLN
28
KEN MCH POC NSH ISF 133rd 165 [17]
7 CHI
36
DSF SLM TOL BLN CLT TAL ATL
2002 06 DAY
DNQ
ATL NSH SLM KEN CLT KAN POC MCH TOL SBO KEN BLN POC NSH ISF WIN DSF CHI SLM TAL CLT NA - [18]
2003 27 DAY ATL NSH SLM TOL KEN CLT BLN KAN
36
MCH LER 131st 165 [19]
06 POC
37
POC NSH ISF WIN
0 DSF
37
6 CHI
QL†
SLM
0 TAL
DNQ
CLT SBO
2004 06 DAY NSH SLM KEN
36
TOL CLT KAN
21
SBO
24
BLN KEN DSF
23
CHI SLM TAL 52nd 580 [20]
16 POC
38
MCH
DNQ
POC
DNQ
LER NSH ISF TOL
Jan Gibson Racing 56 Chevy GTW
33
2005 Wayne Peterson Racing 06 Chevy DAY NSH SLM KEN TOL
DNQ
LAN MIL POC
40
78th 385 [21]
09 MCH
DNQ
DSF
DNQ
CHI SLM
DNQ
TAL
Day Enterprises 90 Ford KAN
37
KEN BLN
Wayne Peterson Racing 0 Chevy POC
40
Norm Benning Racing 8 Chevy GTW
40
LER NSH MCH
Wayne Peterson Racing 16 Chevy ISF
35
TOL
2006 0 Ford DAY NSH
DNQ
SLM
DNQ
WIN
DNQ
KEN TOL POC MCH BLN
DNQ
POC GTW NSH TOL
DNQ
DSF
35
CHI
DNQ
SLM TAL IOW 107th 205 [22]
Chevy KAN
DNQ
KEN MCH
DNQ
ISF MIL
2007 DAY USA NSH
DNQ
SLM
DNQ
KAN WIN KEN
DNQ
TOL IOW
35
POC
DNQ
MCH
DNQ
BLN KEN
DNQ
POC
DNQ
NSH ISF
37
MIL
39
GTW DSF
DNQ
CHI SLM TAL TOL 68th 385 [23]
2008 DAY SLM
DNQ
IOW
DNQ
KAN
DNQ
CAR
50
KEN
40
POC
38
MCH
DNQ
CAY
33
BLN
30
POC
DNQ
NSH
41
ISF
DNQ
DSF
36
CHI
DNQ
SLM
DNQ
NJE TAL TOL 33rd 1050 [24]
Ford TOL
DNQ
KEN
DNQ
2009 10 Chevy DAY SLM CAR TAL
41
KEN TOL POC 40th 725 [25]
0 MCH
DNQ
IOW
37
KEN
37
BLN
34
ISF CHI DSF
36
NJE SLM KAN
40
Ford MFD
32
TOL
31
08 POC
DNQ
06 CAR
DNQ
2010 DAY PBE
28
TAL
41
ISF
35
DSF
34
TOL 31st 900 [26]
Chevy SLM
27
TEX
0 Chevy TOL
32
POC
DNQ
MCH
DNQ
IOW
39
POC
DNQ
BLN
33
NJE
35
CHI
39
KAN
DNQ
CAR
Brad Smith Motorsports 2 Ford MFD
31
SLM
32
2011 Wayne Peterson Racing 06 Chevy DAY TAL
29
NJE
32
CHI POC 41st 585 [27]
Ford SLM
21
TOL IOW
36
IRP
0 Chevy MCH
39
WIN
29
BLN
32
KAN
38
TOL
Ford POC
DNQ
ISF MAD DSF SLM
2012 06 DAY MOB
DNQ
SLM
26
TAL TOL ELK POC MCH ISF
29
MAD SLM DSF
C
70th 305 [28]
0 WIN
26
NJE IOW CHI IRP POC BLN KAN
39
2013 Chevy DAY MOB SLM TAL TOL ELK
22
POC MCH
27
ROA
25
WIN
22
CHI
26
NJE POC
31
BLN
24
ISF
32
KEN
31
KAN
31
21st 1320 [29]
06 Ford MAD
26
DSF IOW
Chevy SLM
26
2014 0 Ford DAY MOB SLM
28
TAL TOL 26th 1080 [30]
Carter 2 Motorsports 97 Dodge NJE
26
POC
Wayne Peterson Racing 06 Chevy MCH
26
ELK
23
WIN
19
CHI
Ford IRP
28
Hylton Motorsports 49 Ford POC
31
Wayne Peterson Racing 00 Chevy BLN
24
ISF
30
MAD
28
DSF
30
SLM KEN
33
KAN
2015 Kimmel Racing 80 Ford DAY MOB
25
21st 1505 [31]
Wayne Peterson Racing 00 Ford NSH
29
SLM
26
TAL TOL NJE POC KAN
27
Chevy MCH
27
DSF
29
0 Ford CHI
27
WIN
21
BLN
24
ISF
29
SLM
28
Chevy IOW
29
IRP POC KEN
26
2016 Ford DAY NSH SLM
25
TAL 18th 1430 [32]
00 Chevy TOL
27
NJE
27
POC MCH
32
MAD
23
WIN
22
IOW
28
IRP
31
POC BLN
25
ISF KAN
34
0 DSF
21
SLM CHI KEN
31
2017 88 DAY NSH SLM TAL TOL ELK POC MCH
29
MAD IOW IRP POC WIN ISF ROA DSF SLM CHI KEN KAN 117th 85 [33]
2018 1 Ford DAY NSH SLM TAL TOL CLT POC MCH
26
MAD 43rd 465 [34]
Chevy GTW
25
23 CHI
27
IOW
23
ELK POC ISF
0 Dodge BLN
19
DSF
Chevy SLM
24
IRP KAN
2019 Toyota DAY FIF SLM TAL NSH TOL CLT POC MCH MAD GTW
22
CHI ELK IOW POC -* -* [35]
Ford ISF
21
DSF
20
SLM IRP KAN
– Qualified for Brian Conz

* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Radebaugh, Don (April 6, 2015). "A military salute...this one for American hero Wayne Peterson". ARCA Racing Series. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "Marine speaks on leading 1980 Iranian rescue mission". Pensacola News Journal. June 30, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2018. To prevent anyone of knowing about the plan, the helicopters had to be painted inconspicuously below deck with the hangar doors closed because the Russians were using submarines and cruisers to follow them. But the paint was left on Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean used as a base of operations of sorts.
  3. ^ Associated Press (February 17, 1979). "NASCAR 200 leaders". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved December 30, 2018.  
  4. ^ Harris, Mike (May 6, 1984). "Davey Allison drives to victory". The News Journal. Retrieved December 30, 2018.  
  5. ^ Helms, Tracy (November 6, 1983). "Mike Waltrip wins stop-and-go 150". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 30, 2018.  
  6. ^ "1984 Daytona 500". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  7. ^ "1984 First UNO Twin 125 Qualifier". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  8. ^ "1984 Daytona 500 Consolation Race". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  9. ^ Brudenell, Mike (February 9, 2008). "ARCA driver glad to be racing, glad to be alive". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 30, 2018.  
  10. ^ McCurdy, Rob (June 18, 2009). "Young racer has big dreams". Telegraph-Forum. Retrieved December 30, 2018.  
  11. ^ Trodglen, Jimmy (September 30, 2004). "Greenfield likes first taste of ARCA racing". The Leaf-Chronicle. Retrieved December 30, 2018.  
  12. ^ Trodglen, Jimmy (February 19, 2004). "Clarksville driver hunting for ARCA ride". The Leaf-Chronicle. Retrieved December 30, 2018.  
  13. ^ "Wayne Peterson (owner) – ARCA Racing Series Results (races)". Racing-Reference. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "February 2008". The Pit Lane. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  15. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  16. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 1994 ARCA Hooters SuperCar Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  17. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2001 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  18. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2002 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  19. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2003 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  20. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2004 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  21. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2005 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  22. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2006 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  23. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2007 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  24. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2008 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  25. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2009 ARCA Re/Max Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  26. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2010 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  27. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2011 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  28. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2012 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  29. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2013 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  30. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2014 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  31. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2015 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  32. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2016 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  33. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2017 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  34. ^ "Wayne Peterson – 2018 ARCA Racing Series Results". Racing-Reference.
  35. ^ "Driver Wayne Peterson 2019 ARCA Menards Series results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 23 June 2019.

External linksEdit