JEFFERSONVILLE — “Chargin” Charlie Glotzbach, a local pioneer stock-car driver, passed away Friday. He was 82.
Born in Edwardsville, Glotzbach began his racing career on the short tracks of Southern Indiana before eventually reaching the NASCAR Cup Series. He competed at stock-car racing’s highest level for 18 seasons between 1960 and 1994. During that time he won four races, recorded 38 top-five finishes and 50 Top 10’s in 124 starts.
“I’m proud to have run in NASCAR,” Glotzbach told the News and Tribune in 2011. “I was proud just to do it, but I’m also proud of the races I won. Plus I had a good percentage of finishing in the top five or top 10 of the races I ran.”
Glotzbach was a two-time runner-up in the Daytona 500, finishing second in 1969 (to LeeRoy Yarbrough) and 1972 (to A.J. Foyt).
“That’s how he got his name. He stood on the gas,” Foyt once famously said of Glotzbach’s swift nickname.
In September of 1969, Glotzbach set a world-qualifying record for the opening race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway by going 199.466 miles per hour.
Then in 1971, Glotzbach won the caution-free Volunteer 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Glotzbach, who was relieved by Friday Hassler during the race, won with an average speed of 101.074 mph — a record that still stands.
That turned out to be Glotzbach’s final win on the Cup circuit.
He also had a great deal of success on the ARCA circuit. He was named its Rookie of the Year in 1964. He won eight ARCA races in his career. Three of those victories came at Talladega, where he was the last ARCA driver to record a 200-plus mph qualifying lap (201.456 mph).
Glotzbach also failed in two attempts (1969, 1970) to qualify for the Indy 500.
In 1994, he was one of 43 drivers who failed to qualify for the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
After his retirement, Glotzbach was still a fixture in the area.
“He successfully campaigned many local tracks and many of the big ones,” local auto racing writer Jerry Curry said.