JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — Charlie Glotzbach, a pioneer stock car driver and a four-time winner in what is now known as the NASCAR Cup Series, died Friday morning at his Indiana home. He was 82.
WAVE 3, the NBC affiliate in Louisville, Ky., which also covers southern Indiana, confirmed the news Friday evening via sources close to the Glotzbach family.
Born June 19, 1938 in Edwardsville, Ind., Glotzbach first broke onto the NASCAR scene in 1960, entering his first of 124 Cup Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Glotzbach ran part time every year from 1968 through ’76.
While he never ran a full schedule in the premier series, Glotzbach — known affectionately as the Chargin’ Comet or Chargin’ Charlie — ran a career-high 22 of 49 races during the ‘68 season.
It was that season that Glotzbach won his first Cup Series race, topping the National 500 at Charlotte in a ’68 Dodge owned by Cotton Owens. He led 92 of 334 laps that day and won by seven seconds.
However, it was Glotzbach’s final Cup Series win that stands as his most memorable triumph.
On July 11, 1971, Glotzbach won the caution-free Volunteer 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, wheeling the No. 3 Chevrolet for car owner Richard Howard after leading 411 of 500 laps.
Glotzbach earned $5,675 for topping a race that took only two hours, 38 minutes and 12 seconds to complete. His average speed of 101.074 mph for a 500-lap race at Bristol is a record which still stands.
In addition to his four Cup Series wins, Glotzbach was a two-time runner-up in the Daytona 500, finishing second in The Great American Race at Daytona Int’l Speedway in both 1969 and ’72.
He also notched 12 Cup Series pole positions during his 18-year career. His final Cup Series attempt came in 1994 during the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he failed to qualify in a Ford owned by Carl Miskotten.
Outside of NASCAR, Glotzbach was the 1964 ARCA Menards Series rookie-of-the-year and won four times in that series between 1990 and ’92. Three of Glotzbach’s ARCA triumphs came at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
He attempted to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1969 and ’70, but missed the field both times.
Glotzbach came out of retirement in 2010 to compete in a charity legends race at Bristol, but was injured after being involved in a serious incident where he T-boned the side of Larry Pearson’s car.
Both drivers recovered from their injuries suffered in that crash.
Glotzbach ran a truck sales business — Charlie’s Truck Sales — in Sellersburg, Ind., prior to his death.