Lake Chambers Speed

Born: January 17, 1948

Hometown: Jackson, MS

Year of Induction: 2010


High School Career

Murrah High School, Jackson, MS (1966-1970)


College Career

University of Mississippi (1970)
Mississippi College


Professional Career

• Six-time U.S. Karting National Champion (’65-’78)

• World Karting Champion LeMans, France (’78)

• WKA Karting National Point Champion, Road Racing Series (’08)


NASCAR (1980-1998)

Career Totals: 402 Winston Cup starts; 1 win; 16 top 5 finishes; 75 top 10 finishes; Avg. start 21.1; Avg. finish 20.9; winnings: $5,079,119.00

• NASCAR Rookie of the Year runner-up (’80)

• Fireball Roberts Outstanding Rookie Award at Charlotte National 500 (’80)

• Co-winner Buckstove Team Challenge with Dale Earnhardt (’80)

• Joined Hoss Ellington Racing; 3rd place Talladega 500 (’83)

• Led Winston Cup standings midway through season finishing 10th; second place Daytona 500 (’85)

• Formed own race team Lake Speed, Inc.; voted third most popular driver (’86)

• In only 13 races, finished 2nd Winston Open; 3rd World 600 (’87)

• Posted only NASCAR victory TransSouth 500 Darlington, S.C. (’88)

• Missed 6 races with broken shoulder (’89)

• 11th place finish in Winston Cup standings (’94)

• Joined Mehling Racing as driver & team business manager (’95-’98)

• Seven crashes in races & qualifying trials (’96)

• Major crash broke ribs and sternum and led to retirement (’98)


Honors and Special Recognition

• Developed & serves as board member of trackside ministry Motor Racing Outreach with Rev. Max Helton

• Board of directors Concord (NC) First Assembly of God

• Board of directors One in Heart Foundation


Did You Know?

Lake, the son of former Jackson, MS mayor Leland L. Speed (’45-’49), began his kart racing career in junior high school. Older brother Joe had to drive him to competitive races before Lake got his drivers’ license.

Against his father’s wishes, he developed an internationally successful karting parts business in Jackson.

After winning the World Karting Championship in 1978, Speed left the sport on top and drifted toward NASCAR on the advice of fellow Mississippian William Jeanes, the former editor-in-chief of Car and Driver magazine. Speed crashed his car in his first NASCAR test drive.