DELAWARE, Ontario – staff report — NASCAR photo — Earl Ross, the only Canadian driver to ever win a race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, died Thursday in Canada. He was 73.
Ross made 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts during his career, running 21 of 30 races during the 1974 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. He scored his only series victory on Sept. 29, 1974 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, leading the final 79 laps and beating Buddy Baker by a full lap to score the victory. He also won the 1974 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Award.
“NASCAR extends its condolences to the family and friends of Earl Ross, a true racer whose considerable on-track success helped grow the sport internationally,” a NASCAR statement released on Friday said. “Ross was the first Canadian driver to win a race in what is today known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and he did it at one of NASCAR’s most historic tracks for one of NASCAR’s most historic owners. His 1974 win at Martinsville for Junior Johnson helped lay the foundation for the sport’s tremendous growth in Canada, and beyond.”
Ross was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2011.