PORT ORANGE, Fla., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Thursday was a somber day for NASCAR, as Marvin Panch was found unresponsive in his car.
The 17 time winner in NASCAR's top series and 1961 Daytona 500 winner, was pronounced dead of natural causes according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Panch, who was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers, never won a cup title.
"He was one of the last of the group of drivers who helped establish the sport," Buz McKim, the historian at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, told the News-Journal. "We have a few left at best."
The 89-year-old's wife also died in 2006. Panch was a resident of Port Orange, FL, according to FOX Sports. He made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in 1951.
Panch also had two children, Richie and Marvette. Richie died in a plane crash in 1985.