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 Clarence Caldwell “Hooker Hood” Hood, Jr

Clarence Caldwell “Hooker Hood” Hood, Jr

Death 24 Dec 2012 (aged 86)
Tennessee, USA
Burial Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Plot Section L, Site 3172
Memorial ID 102530739 · View Source
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"Hooker Hood"

"Hooker" Hood, veteran race car driver, took his final victory lap on December 24, 2012. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 29 at the Bartlett Baptist Church with visitation to be held on Friday, December 28 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the church (race attire is appropriate). Interment will be in the West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. A veteran of the U. S. Navy, he is survived by his wife, Carolyn Hood; three sons, Rickey Hood, Robin Hood and Kenny Hood; two daughters, Stormi Hood-Runkle and Misti Cooper; one sister, Marian Stoddard; eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

This was in the Sports section of the Commercial Appeal the same day as the obituary.

Mid-South racing leg­end Clarence "Hooker" Hood, a colorful character who was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1999, died Christ­mas Eve. He was 86.

Known for calling ev­eryone "Cat," Hood won more than 700 races dur­ing a 50-year-plus career. In 1954 and '55, he made five starts in NASCAR Grand National competi­tion in his '54 Olds 88.

A Memphis native who attended Tech High, Hood fell in love with racing in the late 1940s and won sev­eral hundred super-mod­ified and sprint car fea­tures. He was revered on the dirt track at Riverside Speedway in West Mem­phis, where he enjoyed unparalleled success, in­cluding winning 20 of 22 feature events in 1966.

"He laid the founda­tion for auto racing in the Mid-South area," said Stormi Hood-Runkle, Hood's daughter. "And he raced until he was 75 years old."

His career reached a peak in the 1960s. He won the National Dirt Track Championship at Mar­shall, Mo., in 1967, a year in which he won 57 times in 63 events driving his Chevy-powered super-modified No. 99 car.

He followed his out­standing year with 48 vic­tories in 1968.

"He was just real tal­ented," said Pete Walton, a spokesman for the Unit­ed Sprint Car Series who grew up watching Hood race. "And if a track got rough, he got better. He had a great feel for (han­dling) a race car on a race track."

On the Riverside Inter­national Speedway web­site, the home page led with "Loss of a Legend — Prayers and Condolences

On midsouthforums. com, Hood was referred to as "the oldest outlaw of them all."

One post to the site's message board described what made Hood a legend: "Lakeland late (19)50's. Charley Parrish and Coo Coo Martin ran 1st and 2nd one night on the ¼ mile asphalt track and made a gesture of it and it (ticked) Hooker off. His words were, ‘Hey Cat come to West Memphis tomorrow night and I'll lap you.' It just so happened they went and he lapped them."

At the height of his rac­ing career Hood could be found racing motorcycles, stock cars and midgets on practically every night of the week in either West Memphis or at the Mid-South Fairgrounds. Hood also had an affinity for young race fans.

"That was a big thing to him," Hood-Runkle said. "He would say, ‘You make the children happy, you make the par­ents happy.' He would not leave the pit area after a race until he spoke to ev­ery last kid."

Upon being inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame, Hood, who routine­ly gave his trophies away to those young fans, told an interviewer: "I've had a great life and I wouldn't do anything different ex­cept to try and run a little faster and that would be hard to do."



  • Created by: B Holland
  • Added: 24 Dec 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 102530739
  • B Holland
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Clarence Caldwell “Hooker Hood” Hood, Jr (18 May 1926–24 Dec 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 102530739, citing West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by B Holland (contributor 47041659) .