Neil Castles – the 1972 Grand National East Series champion and a long-time competitor in the NASCAR Cup Series – passed away on Thursday, at the age of 87, according to a report from Deb Williams, a Senior Writer at RacinToday.com.
Sadly, I have been notified that former #NASCAR driver Neil "Soapy" Castles passed away earlier today. When not racing Castles worked as a stunt driver in many movies, including Elvis Presley's "Speedway".
— Deb Williams (@DebWilliams72) August 4, 2022
Castles made his first start in the Cup Series at the age of 22, competing at Columbia Speedway in June 1957. What followed, was a driving career that spanned nearly two decades, with his 498th and final start coming at Dover in 1976.
Having collected a total of 51 top-five and 178 top-10 results, Castles is known as one of the most successful drivers – and most successful owner-drivers – to have never triumphed in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Over the course of his 19-year tenure in the NASCAR Cup Series, Castles collected a pair of points finishes inside the top five, with a career-high of fourth-place in 1969, where he only finished behind David Pearson, Richard Petty, and James Hylton.
When not racing, Castles worked as a stunt driver in a number of films, including Thunder Road (1958), The Last American Hero (1973), Hot Summer in Barefoot County (1974), Greased Lightning (1977), Six Pack (1982), and What Comes Around (1985) according to IMDB.com