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Bill Whittington

William Marvin "Bill " Whittington[1] (born September 11, 1949) is an American racing driver from Lubbock, Texas who won the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans together with his brother Don Whittington and Klaus Ludwig in a Porsche 935. The German professional Klaus Ludwig, multiple winner at Le Mans and elsewhere, did most of the driving in the heavy rain as the brothers did not have any real racing experience prior to the late 1970s.[2] Bill's brother Dale also competed in open wheel racing

Together with Randy Lanier they owned the Blue Thunder Racing Team in 1984, with Marty Hinze. Bill also raced in 5 Indianapolis 500s with a best finish of 14th.

Whittington made two NASCAR Winston Cup starts in 1980, earning an 8th in his debut at Riverside International Raceway (besting brother Don by one spot) and then 32nd in the Daytona 500.

The Whittingtons raced aircraft prior to cars, Bill having won races at Reno between 1978 and 1983, and were the owners of the Road Atlanta circuit.

In 1986, Bill plead guilty plea to income tax evasion and conspiracy to smuggle marijuana into the United States from Colombia and was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to surrender $7 million in property and other assets. In 1987, his brother Don Whittington plead guilty to money laundering charges in association with his brother's activities[3] In addition to Bill and Don Whittington, Randy Lanier, John Paul Sr. and John Paul Jr. were part of the IMSA drug smuggling scandal of the 1980s, where a number of drivers financed their racing activities with the proceeds from drug smuggling[4]

In 2005, Bill's daughters, Nerissa Whittington and Keely Reyes, purchased The Springs, in Pagosa Springs, the facility includes a hotel, spa and outdoor hot springs facility.

Indy 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1980 Parnelli Cosworth 27th 30th
1981 March Cosworth 27th 21st
1982 March Cosworth 6th 16th
1983 March Cosworth 15th 18th
1985 March Cosworth 12th 14th
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jean-Pierre Jaussaud
Didier Pironi
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1979 with:
Klaus Ludwig
Don Whittington
Succeeded by
Jean Rondeau
Jean-Pierre Jaussaud

References

  1. ^ http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/918/149/24223/
  2. ^ http://www.maxim.com/cars/racing/article/untold-story-randy-lanier-indy-500-star-and-drug-smuggler
  3. ^ SPORTS PEOPLE; Whittingtons Sentenced, New York Times, January 6, 1986, Retrieved 2011-04-21
  4. ^ Siano, Joseph. Auto Racing; Paul Returns From Prison, New York Times, February 5, 1989, Retrieved 2011-04-21

External links

  • NASCAR Stats from Racing-Reference-info
  • RARA stats from airrace.org


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