George “Buddy” Byers, Jr. Obituary, Death – Tragically, George “Buddy” Byers, Jr., a hydro racing legend, passed away on December 6th at the age of 94. The world is mourning his loss. Hydroplane racing will never be the same thanks to Buddy, a towering figure and legend in the sport. Buddy, who was born on Christmas Day, was a model of excellence and domination in the 7-liter class. He was champion for six consecutive years, from 1956 to 1962, and the APBA National High Points Championship.
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Breaking records in boats like the Chrysler Queen and Miss Desoto showcased his expertise and cemented his position as an unbeatable power on the water. Buddy made a daring move in 1963, switching to the Unlimited division and guiding the community-supported Miss Madison. The historic 1965 Dixie Cup triumph in Guntersville, Alabama, which was the first-ever win for the Miss Madison team, was his notable triumph.
Tragically, Byers had to retire from competitive driving too soon in 1966 due to a racing accident. But he never wavered in his commitment to hydro racing. In the administrative sphere of the sport, he left an indelible mark as Unlimited Commissioner from 1970 to 1980 and co-founder of the APBA Historical Society with fellow Hall of Fame driver Bill Muncey. The induction of Buddy into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America last year was a just reward for his exceptional achievements;
the honor recognized his significant influence on hydro racing as a driver and an administrator. The hydro racing community is saying goodbye to an icon, and the sport will feel the impact of Buddy’s departure. Hydroplane fans all over the globe will always remember his incredible accomplishments and the impact he had. #APBAChampionLoss #RememberingBuddyByers #HydroRacingLegend