WILMINGTON, N.C. — staff report — Charles “Hoss” Ellington, a former NASCAR driver and team owner, died Saturday at the age of 79.
A native of Wilmington, N.C., Ellington won five races as a car owner in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Four of those victories came with driver Donnie Allison from 1977 to 1982. David Pearson also drove one of Ellington’s cars to victory in 1980.
Allison was driving a car owned by Ellington during the legendary 1979 Daytona 500, which saw Allison battling Cale Yarborough on the last lap for the victory when both drivers crashed, handing the victory to Richard Petty. Following the crash both drivers exited their cars and after being joined by Donnie’s brother Bobby Allison, got into a fistfight.
Ellington fielded cars for a number of legendary drivers, including Pearson, Donnie Allison, Yarborough, Fred Lorenzen, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Isaac, Buddy Baker, Davey Allison, Kyle Petty, Benny Parson, Dale Jarrett and Sterling Marlin.
As a driver Ellington made 21 starts in NASCAR’s premier division, earning four top-10 finishes.