Handsome Harry Gant was best known for driving the number 33 Skoal Bandits car on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit and holds the record as oldest driver to win a cup race just shy of his 53rd birthday.
Best known for driving the number 33 Skoal Bandits car on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. He was known as Handsome Harry Gant due to his Hollywood-style good looks, and later as 'The Bandit' after his longtime sponsor.
A humble man, Gant often stated that he was a good race car driver, but a great carpenter. Gant finished second 10 times before winning his first Winston Cup race at Martinsville April 25, 1982, in the Virginia National Bank 500. He then went on to become runner up to Winston Cup season champion Terry Labonte in 1984.
Gant won the IROC (International Race of Champions) championship in 1985. He tied on points with Darrell Waltrip but was awarded the title on tiebreak by finishing higher in the final race: a photo-finish win over Labonte at Michigan International Speedway.
Gant earned the nickname "Mr. September" in 1991 after winning all four September Cup races (Darlington, Richmond, Dover and Martinsville) and two Busch races (Richmond and Dover) at age 51. The four consecutive cup victories ties the modern era record set in 1972.
Harry Gant took his last cup victory on August 16, 1992, at the Champion 400 at Michigan. He holds the record as oldest driver to win a cup race (52 years and 219 days). In his career he has collected 18 cup wins, 21 Busch Series wins, and 3 runner-up finishes in the Busch Series Championship (69, 76, and 77). "Handsome" Harry Gant retired from Winston Cup and Busch Series racing at the end of the 1994 season, and later ran a partial season in Craftsman Trucks in 1996.