In 1934 a man was born in Knoxville, TN that would influence the racing lives of many people. Ralph E. Rogers Sr. was born on October 21st with racing in his blood. In his late teens-early 20’s he raced his first race and started his milestone career. He progressed in racing at the Old Broadway Speedway in Knoxville where he raced an old modified car most probably an old Ford Coupe according to family members. He had already won his first race by 1955 the year that his future wife Barbara came into his life. He was married to her in 1957 and the couple made it 27 years. Barbara loved to watch him race and went to all of them that she could. He began having more local ties to Tazewell when he teamed up with Giles Industries which became a key sponsor that helped him have his wonderful career in racing. He got additional help from Calvin Turner, Jimmy Myers, Gary Huffaker, Joe Edwards and Richel Broughdon. Others sponsoring him throughout his career were Halls Amoco, Quality Bakery, Hatchett Tires and others. The list of racers he ran with includes many of the areas best including; Wayne Filden, M.C. Kerr, Tootle Estes, Lil’ Bill Corum, Melvin Corum, Claude Donovan, Duck Moore, Pete Huffaker and many, many other greats. According to his son Rick, there are just too many names that were involved in his racing to list them all but they all knew who they were. Buddy Rogers must have favored Rogersville a little over the other tracks because for a two year period he was nearly unbeatable there. He also was fond of racing in Crossville. One big milestone in his career occurred in or around 1980 in which the local tracks ran a promotion between them. The racing started on Thursday and went through Sunday. He won the Atomic feature, the Bulls Gap race and finished 2nd at Kingsport then captured a top 5 at Knoxville and won the series. He grabbed $ 7,800 in the four day period. Rick recalls one of Buddy’s scariest moments on the track also happened at Atomic. Steve Smith was in front of him and his motor blew putting oil on the track. Buddy couldn’t stop and went over Smith’s car and landed outside the track. Luckily the car never turned over and to the surprise and relief of his son he was unhurt. As he came into what is known as the modern area of dirt racing he got remarried to Sharon Smith who was also involved in racing. Buddy and Rick’s favorite car might have been one that won 65 races between the two of them. Buddy won 42 races in the Howe Chassis before Rick got in it and won 23 more. The awesome car met its demise at the Taz in a crash where it went through the cross-tie style railing. Buddy used to run # 25 on the side of his car when he started because he ran a car for Jimmy Myers and his that was his number. Later he took his sons football jersey number and placed it on his car, number 44. Rick eventually got into racing and ran the number 43 because it was close to his dads 44. As the wedge cars and the newer super late model style cars came along Rick went with a cooler and more hip three-digit number 144 until Buddy stopped racing. In tribute to his dad Rick brought back the 44 and handed down the 144 to his own son, Stephen. Buddy even got the chance to try NASCAR in an old 1955 Chevy according to Rick. Buddy had made a comment or two over the years in which he indicated that he should have pursued that area of racing more but he still had fun with a lot of the NASCAR guys, mainly during a trip in 1981 to the Silverdome in Michigan. At 4:00 pm they were still playing Pro-Basketball in the dome and at 7:00pm the drivers hit the track for hot laps. Racing alongside Buddy and Rick were David Pearson, Kyle Petty and others. Buddy and Rick made noise off the track when people around them saw them unload two cars out of the same trailer, a feat not often done if ever at that time. When looking back at his career Buddy once proclaimed that some of his best and favorite moments involved racing with his son. Rick Rogers while trying to hold back the tears had this to say about Buddy, “Daddy was a very good teacher. He was a gentleman but could always be stern when he needed to be. He could be a little quick-tempered at times but was a very thoughtful man who tried to help anyone whether it was racing or not. Man, I miss him big time.” Buddy Rogers lost his battle with cancer in 2008 only months after being inducted into the Tazewell Speedway Hall of Fame. Buddy is missed by his family and all that knew him, he is not only a Tazewell Speedway legend but he is a dirt racing legend.