Fox and Yunick had a long-running feud, and they somehow decided to end it by letting each other's son work for the other one. Smokey Jr. would work for Fox, and Ray Jr. would go to work in Smokey's shop. And that was so funny because they fought with each other all the time but both managed to teach each other's kids quite a bit. I remember asking Fox one time, "Where's Raymond Jr.?" And he said, "He's over at Smokey's." So I asked Fox if he had him out stealing secrets or something, and he answered, "No, we've decided to trade sons." And I thought that was one of the more interesting things I've ever heard in my years of racing.
So I asked Fox, "What's the biggest carburetor you've got?" And he looked at me like I'd asked him to go into the gold mine and show me where the vein was. Well, finally he went and brought a carburetor out that you could swim in, it was so big.
Well, we put that big carburetor on, and Baker got in the car and ran without knowing what we'd done. He ended up going around Daytona at almost 200 miles an hour which was significantly faster than qualifying speeds at that time.
I can remember guys in those days would come back in after making a lap at Daytona and being absolutely scared white. But Baker was fearless, and when I told him how fast he went he said, "No I didn't." I told him it was the truth and what we had done with the carburetor, and he said, "Well, it didn't feel like it. Tell Ray to go get a bigger carburetor."
Well, Fox heard that and he got mad as hell because that was the biggest carburetor he had and he couldn't stand to let Baker win!
Did You Know?
• Built the Car Fireball Roberts Used to Lead Every Lap and Win the 1955 Race on the Daytona Beach Course, but Was Disqualified for Shortened Pushrods
• 1956 Mechanic of the Year
• As Carl Kiekhaefer's Chief Mechanic in 1956, Won 22 of the Season's First 26 Races With Drivers Buck Baker, Speedy Thompson, Tim Flock, and Herb Thomas
• Built the 1959 Chevrolet Junior Johnson used to Win the 1960 Daytona 500
• As a Car Owner, Fox Accumulated/Won 14 races and 18 Poles in Only Eight Years
• Fox's Driver List Includes David Pearson, Buck Baker, Buddy Baker, Earl Balmer, Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough, Marvin Panch, Fireball Roberts, and Leeroy Yarbrough
• In 1965 Leeroy Yarbrough Drove Ray's Dodge Coronet to a New World Speed Record for Closed Courses of 181.818mph. The Coronet Was Powered by a 426-Cubic-Inch Hemi-Charger Engine with Four-Port Hilborne Fuel Injection and a 617 Gmc Blower. He was Gaining Speed for the Third Lap When NASCAR Officials Saw Smoke and Gave Him the Black Flag. The Crew Later Found a 1?4-Inch Machine Bolt in the Right Front Tire
• Ray Retired from Racing in 1972
• Came Out of Retirement in 1990 to Become a NASCAR Inspector
• Retired a Second Time in 1996
• Member of the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame
• Inducted Into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2003
• President of the Living Legends of Auto Racing
• Is 97 and still lives in Daytona Beach, FL