Butch Lindley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Butch Lindley
BornClyde Lindley, Jr.
(1948-03-25)March 25, 1948
Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.
DiedJune 6, 1990(1990-06-06) (aged 42)
Greer, South Carolina, U.S.
Cause of deathHead injury suffered while racing
Achievements1977, 1978 NASCAR National Sportsman champion
1972 Greenville-Pickens Speedway Late Model Champion
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
11 races run over 5 years
Best finish42nd (1982)
First race1979 Old Dominion 500 (Martinsville)
Last race1985 Miller High Life 400 (Richmond)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
41 races run over 3 years
Best finish9th (1982)
First race1982 Southeastern 150 (Bristol)
Last race1984 Cardinal 250 (Martinsville)
First win1982 Spring 220 (Richmond)
Last win1983 DAPCO 200 (Greenville-Pickens)
Wins Top tens Poles
6 22 5
NASCAR Grand National East Series career
2 races run over 1 year
First race1972 Sandlapper 200 (Columbia)
Last race1972 Gamecock 200 (Columbia)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0

Butch Lindley (March 25, 1948 – June 6, 1990) was a Short track racer. He was the champion of the NASCAR National Sportsman series (now the Xfinity Series) in 1977 and 1978.

Early life and start of career[edit]

Clyde Lindley, Jr., nicknamed Butch, was born in Greenville, South Carolina on March 25, 1948.[1] He began racing as a boy[2] and pursued it as a full-time career from his late teens.[3]

Lindley established himself as one of the country's premier short track drivers, winning track championships at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, and finishing first in races at short tracks throughout the United States.[4][5][6] During his career Lindley won more than 500 races, perhaps as many as 550.[7][8] During the six-year span from 1975 through 1980 he started 385 NASCAR sanctioned events and won 154 times.[9]

Of Lindley's wins, four took place in races recognised today as major Super Late Model shows -- the Snowball Derby in 1984, the Oxford Plains Speedway 250 in 1976, the All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway in 1981, and the Thunder Road International Speedbowl Vermont Milk Bowl in 1977. He was one of the few Southern drivers who successfully won the Northern late model scene.

NASCAR National Sportsman career[edit]

Lindley was a regular competitor in the NASCAR National Sportsman series (now the Xfinity Series) for several years. From 1974 through 1976 he finished second, third and third in the final points standings.[10]

Lindley won the 1977 NASCAR National Sportsman championship with a total of 7,566 points.[11]

In 1978 Lindley again captured the National Sportsman championship, finishing with 8,148 points. He competed in 80 events and finished in the top five 58 times, including 23 wins.[12]

In 1979 Lindley finished second in points, and in 1980 he was fifth.[13]

Lindley continued a limited schedule in the Sportsman series after it became known as the Budweiser and then the Busch Series. He ran half of the 1982 schedule for Emanuel Zervakis, making 14 starts and finishing in the top 10 ten times, including four wins. He also won two poles. The first win came at Richmond, followed by wins at South Boston Speedway and the season finale at Martinsville. Despite only competing in half of the events, he finished in ninth place in the final points standings.[14]

Lindley ran 25 of the 35 races in 1983. Lindley won three poles and posted 11 top 10 finishes. He won races at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, South Boston Speedway, and Caraway Speedway despite switching between the Emanuel Zervakis and Dana Racing teams. Despite running only a partial schedule, Lindley still finished 13th in the final point standings.

Lindley made two starts in 1984, both for Ed Whitaker. In his first outing for the team, he started 7th and finished 3rd at Richmond. Later in the year, he started 7th at Martinsville and was running well before engine failure relegated him to a 29th-place finish.[15]

All Pro Super Series career[edit]

The All Pro Super Series was a stock car racing organization which operated from 1981 to 1990.[16] It was subsequently purchased by NASCAR, and operated as the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series until it was terminated in 2006.[17][18]

Having run in selected races of the All Pro Super Series from 1981 to 1983, in 1984 Lindley participated in all 24 events. He finished in the top five 13 times, including seven wins, and was fourth in the final points standings.[19][20]

In 1985 he took part in four of 26 races in the All Pro Super series, and won twice.[21]

NASCAR Grand National career[edit]

Lindley made his debut in the Grand National series (later called Winston Cup and now Sprint Cup) in 1979.[22][23] He started 14th in a Kenny Childers Chevrolet at Martinsville and finished 28th after falling out early due to overheating.[24]

In 1981, Lindley made three starts in his own car, the #26 Chevrolet. He qualified fourth at Martinsville, but struggled in all three races. He did not finish any, and his best run was 24th at North Wilkesboro.[25]

In 1982, Lindley made four starts and finished only one. Driving the #01 Emanuel Zervakis Racing Buick, Lindley started 14th at Martinsville. He dominated the middle portion of the race, leading the most laps of his Grand National career (163), and finished second to Harry Gant.[26] In his return to Martinsville later in the year, Lindley led two laps before dropping out due to engine failure.[27]

Lindley made two starts in 1983. Driving for Zervakis in the spring race at Richmond, Lindley led seven laps and came away with an 11th-place finish.[28] He also ran at Martinsville for Bill Terry, recording a 25th-place finish.[29]

Lindley's last career Grand National start came at Richmond in 1985 for Bobby Hawkins in a car with Larry McReynolds as crew chief. He drove the #16 Carolina Tool Chevrolet, started 17th and was running near the front before a lug bolt fell off and he settled for a 19th-place finish.[30]

Fatal crash[edit]

On April 13, 1985, Lindley was competing in an All Pro Super Series race held at the Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Florida, driving Frankie Grill's #15 Chevrolet Camaro. He was leading after the 125-lap distance was complete, but the scheduled distance included a late caution flag, and All Pro rules stated that the final five laps of its races had to finish consecutively under the green flag, so the race continued. During the extra laps, a trailing arm on Lindley's car pulled apart as he entered turn three, sending the car into a spin that caused the driver's side to hit the wall. Lindley's helmet made hard contact with the wall, and he sustained a closed head injury.[31] His crash was one of the factors that led to improvements in window nets, helmets, and head and neck restraints, which have dramatically reduced the number of injuries and deaths resulting from race car crashes.

Death and burial[edit]

Lindley remained in a coma until his death.[32] He died at an assisted living facility in Greer, South Carolina on June 6, 1990.[33] He is buried at Springwood Cemetery in Greenville.[34]


In 1965 Lindley married Flora Joan Barbare, known as Joan.[35] She frequently traveled with him and assisted his race teams, and Joan was scoring laps during the race when he sustained his fatal injuries.[32] Butch and Joan Lindley had two children, daughter Tonda and son Mardy.[36]

Mardy pursued a career in racing, driving at Southeastern short tracks including the United Speed Alliance Pro Cup.[37] He later became a mechanic for Roush Fenway Racing, coincidentally on the #16 team, the car number most often associated with his father. He later served at HScott Motorsports as a crew chief in the K&N Pro Series, winning the 2013 championship, having worked later with Rico Abreu. Later he served in ARCA with Lorin Ranier, the son of a former NASCAR car owner himself, at MDM-Ranier Racing, again as a crew chief.[38][39][40][41]

Mardy currently is a crew chief in the K&N Pro Series with GMS Racing, the Chevrolet de facto works team in lower series featuring a JR Motorsports alliance, and won the 2019 ARCA Racing Series East Championship.

Additional accomplishments[edit]

Lindley won the Snowball Derby in 1984 driving for crew chief and car owner Frankie Grill's GARC race cars team. Grill's son Augie later himself became a two-time winner of the race.

In 2005, Lindley was inducted (posthumously) into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. The NMPA ceremony was held in January 2006 in Charlotte, North Carolina.[42]


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index, entry for Clyde Lindley, Jr., accessed June 1, 2013
  2. ^ Hinshaw, Lydia (July 2, 1985). "The wreck didn't look that bad – but it was". Daytona Beach Morning Journal.
  3. ^ "Races at Harris today: Lindley a future star". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. March 21, 1971.
  4. ^ Oxford Plains Speedway, Fast Facts, accessed June 1, 2013
  5. ^ Thunder Road Speedbowl, Milk Bowl Winners 1962-2012, 2012
  6. ^ Ronnie White, Huntsville Times, The Winning Tradition Continues Archived 2013-01-30 at the Wayback Machine, accessed June 1, 2013
  7. ^ National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, entry for Butch Lindley, 2006
  8. ^ Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Lindley Dies After 5 Years in Coma, June 7, 1990
  9. ^ Jonathan Ingram, Speed TV, CUP: Days Of Short Track Yore And Ol’ Clyde, December 6, 2010
  10. ^ The Third Turn, NASCAR Nationwide Series Results, Butch Lindley, accessed June 2, 2013
  11. ^ The Third Turn, 1977 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman National Championship Central, accessed June 2, 2013
  12. ^ "Evans NASCAR Modified champ". Schenectady Gazette. November 3, 1978.
  13. ^ The Third Turn, NASCAR Nationwide Series Results, Butch Lindley, accessed June 2, 2013
  14. ^ ESPN, 1982 NASCAR Busch Grand National Results, accessed June 2, 2013
  15. ^ Racing Reference, Career Statistics, Butch Lindley, accessed June 2, 2013
  16. ^ The Third Turn, ALL PRO Super Series, central page, accessed June 2, 2013
  17. ^ Ward Woodbury, The Official NASCAR 2005 Preview and Press Guide, 2005, page 438
  18. ^ Greenville News, Southeast Series Finale to Decide Title, August 12, 2006
  19. ^ The Third Turn, Butch Lindley 1984 Season Results, ALL PRO Super Series, accessed June 2, 2013
  20. ^ The Third Turn, All Pro Super Series, Central Page, 1984
  21. ^ The Third Turn, Butch Lindley 1985 Season Results, ALL PRO Super Series, accessed June 2, 2013
  22. ^ Dunn, Roy (August 8, 1979). "Lindley seeking shot at Grand Nationals". The Free Lance–Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia.
  23. ^ "Lindley to make debut in Martinsville race". The Robesonian. Lumberton, North Carolina. August 19, 1979.
  24. ^ Driver Averages, NASCAR Race Results Martinsville Speedway, The Old Dominion 500, September 23, 1979
  25. ^ Driver Averages, Results for Butch Lindley at North Wilkesboro, accessed June 2, 2013
  26. ^ Driver Averages, Results for Butch Lindley at Martinsville, accessed June 2, 2013
  27. ^ Driver Averages, Results for Butch Lindley at Martinsville, accessed June 2, 2013
  28. ^ Driver Averages, Results for Butch Lindley at Richmond, accessed June 2, 2013
  29. ^ Driver Averages, Results for Butch Lindley at Martinsville, accessed June 2, 2013
  30. ^ Driver Averages, Results for Butch Lindley at Richmond, accessed June 2, 2013
  31. ^ "Butch Lindley still critical". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. April 17, 1985.
  32. ^ a b Hoagland, Brian (July 17, 1988). "Lindley's heart is strong, but his world ghostly silent". Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
  33. ^ "Ex-NASCAR driver who'd been in coma 5 years dies". The Item. Sumter, South Carolina. Associated Press. June 7, 1990.
  34. ^ Butch Lindley at Find a Grave
  35. ^ Greenville County, South Carolina, Marriage License Search, June 1, 2013
  36. ^ Jonathan Ingram, Speed TV, CUP: Days Of Short Track Yore And Ol’ Clyde, December 6, 2010
  37. ^ Dutton, Monte (July 23, 1993). "Lindley follows on his father's short tracks". Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, South Carolina.
  38. ^ "Walker out to start new racing team". Rome News-Tribune. Associated Press. June 3, 1999.
  39. ^ Mike Hembree, Speed TV, CUP: The Other Side Of The Track: Sometimes Dreams Fall by the Wayside..., April 1, 2010
  40. ^ Miami Herald, Lindley Hopes for Success Like His Late Dad, April 4, 1998
  41. ^ Greenville News, Number 16 Very Sweet for Lindley, February 26, 2004
  42. ^ Greenville News, Lindley Picked for Hall of Fame, August 24, 2005

External links[edit]

Preceded by
L. D. Ottinger
NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Division Champion
Succeeded by
Butch Lindley
Preceded by
Butch Lindley
NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Division Champion
Succeeded by
Gene Glover