Neil “Soapy” Castles, who enjoyed a two-decades-long career in NASCAR while doubling as a Hollywood stuntman, died Thursday. He was 87.
Castles made 498 starts in what is now called the NASCAR Cup Series, netting 51 top-five finishes without a win in a career that spanned from 1957-1976. The former driver‘s passing was first reported by veteran journalist Deb Williams and later confirmed Friday by McMahan‘s Funeral Home, which is handling memorial service arrangements in Rutherfordton, N.C.
Castles won twice in the former NASCAR Grand National East Series, claiming that short-lived circuit‘s championship in 1972. After years of trying, he soaked in his first victory at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina that spring, edging Elmo Langley in a photo finish.
Memorial services are scheduled Wednesday at Mountain Creek Baptist Church in Rutherfordton. Visitation with the family is scheduled at 11 a.m. ET, with funeral services to follow at noon inside the church.
— NASCAR.com —