October 30th, 2010
10:42 AM ET

NASCAR executive Jim Hunter dies at 71

Jim Hunter was among the first class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2010.

Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for communications, died of cancer Friday in Daytona Beach, Florida, the racing organization announced Saturday.

"Just woke up and find out that Jim Hunter a great friend passed away. All the prayers for his family," NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya tweeted Saturday morning.

Hunter, who was 71, was involved in auto racing for more than 40 years, according to his NASCAR obituary. He was inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May.

"Jim Hunter was one of the most charismatic people in NASCAR," Chris Browning, president of Darlington Raceway, was quoted as saying on a NASCAR.com commemoration page. "Everyone at Darlington Raceway will certainly miss Jim's smile, stories and laugh."

After starting out as a journalist with the Columbia (South Carolina) Register and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hunter moved into public relations, first with Dodge's motorsports division and several drivers, then with Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.

He joined NASCAR in 1983 as vice president of administration before being named president of Darlington Raceway in 1993. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Bill France Jr. wooed him back in 2001 to take over the organization's public relations. France died in 2007.

Hunter is survived by his wife of 48 years, Ann, two children and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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Filed under: Obituary • Sports • U.S.
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. vern

    My condolences go out to the family, RIP Jim NASCAR has lost another great figure.

    October 30, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lloyd Mitchell

    Racing has lost a grest fan in Jim. Darlington SC has lost a great citizen. Jim was a "good man"

    October 30, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. SB

    I believe a fact-check needs to be done on this story. As I recall Mr. Hunter was not inducted into the Hall of Fame. He may have been on the top 25 voting list, but not inducted as this article states.

    Great man of the sport regardless though.

    October 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LVI56

    Hunter is not in the Hall of Fame, he was only part of the voting and presenting.

    October 30, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RED4MAN

    NASCAR, dump the gear rule.

    October 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michael in Mich.

    Sorry for the loss. I don't care much for nsacar any more, gave up watching it, too much politicing and rule changing going on, and who the hell voted to put the frances in the hall of fame, I think we all know how that went down. It should be renamed Frances' Hall of Shame.!

    October 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Will in Columbia

    I don't remember there being a Columbia (South Carolina) Register

    October 30, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackie

      The NASCAR obit says The Columbia Record. CNN seems to have had a failure to copy correctly.

      October 31, 2010 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. kman

    Who is this man? Are we putting everyone on the front page of CNN that dies?

    October 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    Nascar is boring

    October 30, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ellen

    I`m not hooked on racing of any kind, so who cares. Am sorry for the family, but that is as far as it goes

    October 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Craig from Pa.

    Non-Athletic-Sport-Centered-Around-Rednecks.....sorry for the families' loss however...

    October 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. slavedriver57

    I cannot believe how insensitive some of you are. Of course the world must revolve around your sense of values which from what I am reading are surely low. My prayers go out to the family. May they fnd comfort with each other their friends and with God.

    October 31, 2010 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
    • proud

      Thank you, As one of the family members I appreciate your reply. I don't understand why people take the time to comment at all and slander something they know nothing about or understand then give back handed condolences. didn't their mothers ever teach them "if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all"

      November 4, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |