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NASCAR pioneer Raymond Parks dies at 96

June 20, 2010 |  6:13 pm

Parks Raymond Parks, owner of NASCAR's first championship winning car and an integral part of the series' formation, has died. He was 96.

Parks died Sunday at his Atlanta home, NASCAR announced. No cause of death was given.

NASCAR President Mike Helton called Parks "the heart and soul or the spirit that got NASCAR started."

Parks was the last living member of the group of men who created NASCAR in 1947 during a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla. He fielded the car that Red Byron drove to the inaugural Cup Series championship in 1949, NASCAR's first season of competition.

 --Associated Press

Photo: Raymond Parks in 2009. Credit: Associated Press