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‘Elmhurst Express’ makes another run at NASCAR Hall of Fame

Published: Friday, May 9, 2014 4:53 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Elmhurst-native Faith Johnson poses for a photo with her little brother Fred Lorenzen, who is running for the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2015.

ELMHURST – Fred Lorenzen won the Dayton 500, was the first NASCAR driver to earn $100,000 in a single season and was even named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, but there’s just one accolade that seems to be giving him a run for his money.

For the fifth year in a row, Lorenzen’s family and fans are on a mission to get “The Golden Boy” inducted into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame.

Lorenzen’s last try for the 2014 class gained some momentum in conjunction with an Elmhurst Historical Museum exhibit featuring the famed driver.

However, “On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen,” didn’t win “Fearless Freddie” enough votes.

He’s making a go at it again this year.

The “Elmhurst Express,” as some knew him, rose to fame in the 1960s after conquering local amateur and professional circuits, beginning with his invite to join the Holman and Moody team for Ford in 1960.

During 1963, he finished the season third overall after entering just 29 of 55 races. Lorenzen earned the record breaking $100,000 that year. His Daytona 500 win came just a couple years later in 1965.

After Lorenzen witnessed his friend and competitor, Edward “Fireball” Roberts die in a crash during the 1964 World 600, he changed. In 1967, “The Golden Boy” retired at 33.

He returned to his hometown of Elmhurst to be a realtor and raise his children.

To vote for Lorenzen to be inducted as part of the 2015 class, visit Voting closes at noon May 20.

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