J.D. McDuffie Day Mural Unveiling

J.D. McDuffie’s legacy lives on, through his fans.

Throughout his four decades racing against NASCAR’s best, John Delphus “J.D.” McDuffie proudly carried the name of his hometown on the side of his iconic No. 70 racecar.

Sanford, North Carolina will honor McDuffie with a mural on 329 Carthage Street. Spearheaded by the McDuffie family and funded by fans around the world, the J.D. McDuffie mural will recognize a driver who gave everything to the sport of stock car racing, right up to his untimely death during a race in Watkins Glen, New York in 1991. The mural will also honor the close-knit crew who helped keep the No. 70 car and driver on track. On Labor Day, the City of Sanford and its residents will come together once again on J.D. McDuffie Day to celebrate the NASCAR legend. This year’s festivities will include the mural unveiling, cruise in, music, face painting, food trucks, raffles, and vendors. All proceeds and donations from the event will benefit the J.D. McDuffie scholarship to Central Carolina Community College. The first J.D. McDuffie Day was held in 1966 and funds for the mural are still being raised through GoFundMe (https://go fund.me/73b8a8fb).

The mural will be just the latest in a series of efforts that have brought McDuffie’s story back into the public consciousness. When author Brock Beard published McDuffie’s biography in 2018 (https://www.amazon.com/J-D- Forgotten-NASCAR-Legend/dp/1643707957), the story of the soft-spoken racer rekindled memories of those who knew him and attracted the attention of a new generation of fans. Later that year, the International Motor Racing Research Center inducted McDuffie into their “Walk of Fame,” located just down the road from the Watkins Glen International Speedway where his life ended. McDuffie is also a member of the Augusta International Raceway’s Preservation Society Hall of Fame. However, the biggest goal remains, an induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.

There have also been efforts to honor McDuffie’s memory through the vintage racing community. Two of McDuffie’s former race cars have been saved from the scrapyard and are in different phases of restoration. Charles Poindexter obtained the Chevrolet with which McDuffie earned his only pole position at Dover International Speedway in 1978. In Jackson, Michigan in 2019, the Bailey family who are longtime sponsors of McDuffie, rescued the last car McDuffie ran at Dover in 1991. The Bailey family also owns McDuffie’s famous “Ol’ Blue” transporter, which made an appearance during the NASCAR throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway during the 2017 season. Front Row Motorsports entered a car in the Southern 500 that resembled McDuffie’s No. 70 Chevrolet, complete with sponsorship from the Bailey’s company, Bailey Excavating, and longtime sponsor Rumple Furniture of Elkin, North Carolina.

J.D. McDuffie PR