It was with a heavy heart that I read that Benny Parsons has passed away. He will be missed. It will be difficult to imagine watching qualifying without hearing his signature “Green, Green, Green”.
I did not as a child have access to watch NASCAR. My first glimpse at this sport was watching midgets on a dirt track in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. Yup, even in a state that is more known for college football, Warren Buffet, and agriculture, racing dreams are made on small dirt tracks. In rural Nebraska, the concept of cable wasn’t easily accessible until the mid 1980’s. My family really didn’t have the means to travel to see races hundreds of miles away. I didn’t get to watch BP in his prime.
Legends have a way about them, a presence. A presence that has earned the respect of his peers. This is what BP had. A Cup champion and consistent, fiery competitor with a cool and calm head gave all of us hope that he could beat lung cancer too. He once posted on his blog that John Wayne lived with one lung and he could too.
This just wasn’t a race that a top 5 finish would do. This was a race that he needed to win and take the checkered flag. He was cleared of cancer in mid October. He just received the white flag for the final lap. Then in December he was not able to attend the season ending banquet in New York City. We all thought that Benny was having minor complications and really it was more of a green, white, checker finish. BP still could win. His body was tired and exhausted from treatments for lung cancer. Instead cheering with you in Victory Lane, we are stunned by your passing. Goodbye BP. We’ll miss you.