One of the founding fathers of NASCAR, Raymond Parks, has passed away in his Atlanta home aged 96.

Parks was the first ever team owner to win what is now known as a Sprint Cup title, as well as a Modified title the year before, both with Red Byron at the wheel.

His time as a team owner was a brief but successful one – in 18 races he accumulated 2 wins and 11 Top 5 finishes, as well as running NASCAR legends like Byron, Curtis Turner and Bob Flock.

He may have retired from racing in the ’50’s, but he was still active in the sport until his passing. He also donated his championship winning tropies to the recently opened NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Parks wasn’t just a team owner though – he was the last living member of the 1947 meeting at the Streamline Hotel, that helped form NASCAR into what it is today.

“The NASCAR Community is saddened by the passing of Raymond Parks,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.

“Raymond was instrumental in the creation of NASCAR as a participant in the historic meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach.  He was also our first championship owner. Raymond is a giant in the history of NASCAR and will always be remembered for his dedication to NASCAR.”