SBM hires father Stan Barrett to drive in Mexico City race
For the first time in NASCAR’s racing history a father will drive for a team owned by his son and not vice-versa. Stan Barrett, the first man to ever break the speed of sound on the ground in 1979, will pilot the Stanton Barrett Motorsports No. 31 Interush and Grandstay.net Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, while his son Stanton drives the No. 30 4Caring.org Chevrolet Monte Carlo with major associate sponsors Interush and Grandstay.net in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Corona Mexico 200 race on April 20.
The famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote, "Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is all it is for. Spend all you have before you die: and do not outlive yourself." Is this what Stanton Barrett is encouraging his father Stan to do? So it would seem. Then again it could very well be the motto of both the younger and elder Barrett.
Driver Stanton Barrett, who led the first NASCAR road race in Mexico two years ago, is fielding a car for his father to qualify for the 4th annual NASCAR Nationwide Series Mexico City race on April 20. Stanton remarked, "I am excited to have my dad race in a competitive car and I expect him to do well. He hasn’t missed a step with anything else he does, and he is an amazing athlete!" He continued, "It’s great to have such support from your sponsors to field a car with your dad, it reminds me of all the fun times working together on movie sets."
Stan Barrett started as a stuntman doubling for stars like Paul Newman (who is also Stanton’s godfather) as well as the likes of Burt Reynolds, Steve McQueen and nearly every big star of his era. Stan credits Hal Needham with most of his film credits and success, which are too many to list. Hal, acclaimed by most as Hollywood’s greatest stuntman, was Stan’s mentor as a stuntman, 2nd Unit Director, Director, Producer, Rocket-car driver, and stock car racer. Stanton has followed his dad’s footsteps, but has gone a little further. In 1992, Stanton became founder and owner of the SBM race team that has given his dad a chance to go racing again. "Funny how the tables are turned sometimes," mused Stan.
Stan has a celebrated career in racing in addition to his work in the film industry. Stan became the first man to break the speed of sound in a land vehicle called the Budweiser Rocket. With its 60,000 HRP rocket motor and 20,000 HRP side-winder missile-booster, the vehicle was propelled to a speed of 739 mph in just 16.8 seconds on the space shuttle runway at Edwards AFB in California on Dec. 17, 1979. This vehicle which was owned and financed by Hal Needham and now rests quietly in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. with exact replicas in the Speed Museum at Talladega and with Richard Childress Racing in North Carolina.
When asked how Stan’s racing got started, he remembered, "I got a call one day from Hal, saying that if I would drive the car he would buy and finance it. I said yes, and they did!" The same conversation occurred again when Hal planned to buy a NASCAR Winston Cup team only if Stan would drive for him. With this team, Stan became the first Skoal Bandit driver enjoying top-ten finishes right from the start with absolutely no experience and leading laps in Winston Cup Series races.
To his dad’s surprise, Stanton made a similar call this season with an offer to drive one of his own cars in the upcoming race April 20th. Stan’s last road course race was driving the Ultra Slim Fast car owned by Hendrick Motorsports in 1990 at Sears point. Stan was running 5th with three laps to go when Ernie Irvin and Sterling Marlin got together on a restart and took Stan out. He ended up 16th after such a promising showing. Stanton told his dad that this was not the way to end his career. Besides, look at Paul Newman, he won a car race last year at 82 years young… So what could Stan say, but "OK!"