NASCAR & Auto Racing

Mooresville hall to honor Benny Parsons, 'Banjo' Matthews

The late Benny Parsons and legendary car builder Edwin "Banjo" Matthews are this year's N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame honorees.

Parsons, the 1973 champion in NASCAR's top series who went on to a long career as a television analyst, died in January 2007 of complications with his battle with lung cancer. He will be inducted at the annual ceremony on Oct. 8.

Matthews is the recipient of this year's Snap-on Golden Wrench award. Born in Ohio, Matthews lived in Florida before moving to North Carolina. He drove modifieds and stock cars in what is now the Cup series before becoming a full-time owner in 1963.

It was his car-building business, Banjo's Performance Center, that gave him his greatest notoriety. Of the 362 Cup races held from 1974 to 1985, Matthews-built cars won 262 of them - including all 30 in 1978.

The ceremony will be held at the Citizens Center in Mooresville. Tickets can be purchased through the hall by calling (704) 663-5331.