By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR legend Buddy Baker has been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. He made the announcement Tuesday evening during “Late Shift,” the show he co-hosts on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The road that led to Baker’s cancer diagnosis began in November 2014 when he was undergoing treatment for what was thought to be a rotator cuff injury.
“As they started to really get inside me, the problems, the pain was getting worse and worse and worse,” Baker said. “They went, ‘Wait a minute; what is this on the right-hand side, here?’ And they said, ‘My God, it’s a huge tumor’ in my lung.”
Because of the diagnosis, the 74-year-old Baker has decided to step away from his radio co-hosting duties.
Baker said he doesn’t know how much longer he has left, but that there’s no “fix” for his cancer. He told listeners on Tuesday that his doctor told him, “Well, we don’t own the hotel, so we don’t know when you check out, but it’s something that we cannot fix.”
Baker competed as a NASCAR driver in the premier series between 1959 and 1992, running 699 races. He won 19 times, with wins in the Southern 500, the Daytona 500 and a couple of wins in the World 600 (now the Coca-Cola 600). Baker is also credited with being the first driver to break the 200 mph barrier on a closed course at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 1970. After climbing from the driver’s seat, he became a broadcaster for The Nashville Network and CBS.
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