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January 30, 2015

Joy Barbee

Brad Keselowski

Bud Moore


BRAD KESELOWSKI:  I've got to say it's an honor to be up here and a great crowd.  But if they had invented Twitter in 1950, our next inductee would have been a must follow.  His hilarious antics earned him the nickname the Clown Prince of Racing, and you could always count on a practical joke and a big smile whenever he was near.  But if you were a competitor against him, it was rarely a laughing matter because when the two‑time premier series champion was on the racetrack, your best hope was second.
(Video shown.)
Representing the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Joe Weatherly, please join me in welcoming his niece, Joy Barbee.
BUD MOORE:  It's my honor on this 30th day of January, 2015, to present the NASCAR inductee ring to officially induct Joe Weatherly into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
JOY BARBEE:  Good evening.  My name is Joy Barbee, and I am the youngest niece of Joseph Herbert Weatherly.  I must say standing here this evening is a great honor, and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be here to be accepting this award on behalf of my uncle Joe.
Before I get started, I'd like to thank God almighty for bringing us here tonight, I'd like to thank Mr.Bud Moore, NASCAR, the Hall of Fame organization.  Everybody has been so wonderful here to us, and especially I'd like to thank the fans, because without the fans, we wouldn't be here tonight.
Being the youngest of seven, I was only two and a half when Joe was killed, so I really don't remember him.  But what I can share with you is a memory that I will hold forever in my heart, and that is a love of a brother and a sister, Joe and my mother Betty.  I feel like I knew Joe through her, through the stories she would tell us as kids, and the passion you could hear in her voice when she spoke of him.  You see, my mother loved her brother within an agape love, a love that a mother has for her child.
After Uncle Joe died, every Friday my mother would pack up my brother Richard and I, some fresh cut flowers, some gardening tools and we would head out to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk and she would replace the flowers in the urn, clean the bird droppings from his tombstone with a rag and a bucket of water.  There was never a need for the landscaping crew because my mother clipped every blade of grass on his plot with those hand clippers.  My grandmother would join us on occasion, and she too would tell us stories of her Joseph and Betty growing up together as children.
I remember my Aunt Jean telling me one time that when her and Joe first married that my mother would still do his laundry, and I asked her, I said, well, didn't that bother you, and she would laugh, and she'd say, no.  So she knew the love that they had for one another.
One fond memory that my sister Debbie shared with me is at Christmas time.  Uncle Joe pulled up to the house in his white Cadillac, and my grandmother sitting there in the front seat in her fur coat that he had just given her, and the car was loaded with presents.  You see, he was very generous and he loved his family.
But I am sure that there are many memories that the fans could share, as well.  Maybe ones of the practical jokes he enjoyed playing on his fellow drivers.  He certainly had a sense of humor, and he loved a good laugh, and he loved a good time.
He always had a big smile on his face, and he was just such a character to be around, and definitely lived up to the title given to him as the Clown Prince of Racing.
Uncle Joe was also a very competitive driver.  He was one of NASCAR's first big stars, as his 25 wins and back‑to‑back championships in 1962 and 1963 will attest.  In those days, the races were not televised in our home, and my mother would listen to them on the radio, but she sure got to know the local sportswriter at the newspaper.  She knew exactly what time the races were over, and she would call the newspaper, and she would ask who won, and when she hung up the phone and she was crying and she was jumping with excitement, we knew that there was a W.
Uncle Joe died doing what he loved, and I've often wondered if he had lived, would he have gotten one of us seven kids behind the wheel of a NASCAR.  Who knows?  It could have been me.  But there's one thing I know for sure.  If he had been here this evening, he would have been humbled by this honor.  He would have cherished this moment, and I wanted to thank you for remembering him in this incredible way, and congratulations to the other inductees, and God bless.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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