Hershel McGriff became the oldest racer to compete in a NASCAR-sanctioned event, competing in the K&N Pro Series West event at Tucson (Arizona) Speedway on Saturday at age 90.
And if that wasn’t enough, he also kicked off the event by playing the national anthem on his trombone.
McGriff, who turned 90 in December, finished 18th in the first race on the 0.375-mile asphalt oval, driving for Bill McAnally Racing with sponsorship from South Point Hotel & Casino. According to the Tucson Star, McGriff’s son Hershel Jr., who also serves as his crew chief, and his granddaughter Mariah competed in separate races Saturday at the track.
McGriff, who won four races in 1954 in what is now the NASCAR Cup Series, last raced in the K&N series in 2012, having finished 18th in the event at Sonoma Raceway.
McGriff has won 35 races in the series, the most recent coming in 1989, and he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998.
NASCAR, which requires drivers to pass a physical, has no maximum age rule. The K&N series typically is a mix of young drivers working their way up the NASCAR ranks (similar to Class A baseball) and veterans of the series.
“I’ve had a great life. I wouldn’t backtrack for anything,” McGriff said, according to the Tucson Star. “I have family that’s with me and behind me, so it’s great.”
Information from ESPN’s Bob Pockrass was used in this report.