Kd Mcchead 1
Bob McCreadie

‘Barefoot’ Bob McCreadie Dies At 74

WATERTOWN, N.Y. — DIRT modified racer Bob McCreadie, who became a folk hero to masses of race fans has died after a lengthy illness.

Known as “Barefoot” Bob, McCreadie died Wednesday at the age of 74.

McCreadie was inducted into the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame in 2006. 

A scrawny, wild kid from the wrong side of the tracks who found salvation in auto racing, McCreadie’s legend began in small-block modifieds in 1971, at area ovals like Evans Mills and Watertown. By 1981, he was tearing up the clay on DIRT’s tough Central New York circuit, crowding the best in the business out of the winner’s circle.

Ss 040203 00 00 015 C
Bob McCreadie (SPEED SPORT Archives photo)

Smarter than he ever let on and insanely focused, McCreadie made his indelible mark. In 1985, he put together a 26-win season that earned him track titles at Canandaigua and Weedsport and the overall DIRT Series championship. In 1986, he won Super DIRT Week’s main event on the mile — the one that got away the year prior.

McCreadie’s best season came in 1994 — four track titles, his second of three Super DIRT Series championships, and a bell-ringing 47 feature wins. All told, he’s claimed in excess of 500 victories at 56 speedways in six states, two Canadian provinces and Australia.

Although McCreadie broke his back numerous times in racing crashes, it was a freak motorcycle accident that ultimately ended his career in 2006.

To a legion of faithful fans he was “Barefoot,” a throwback to his shoeless childhood days and later a super-narrow Plymouth Barracuda that was so tight he had to remove one shoe to drive it. He was always “the man” to a steadfastly loyal crew who lived by his lead, in the shop and at the tracks.

In addition to the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame, McCreadie is an inductee to the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Walk of Fame and the Eastern Motorsports Press Ass’n Hall of Fame.

McCreadie’s son, Tim, is one of the country’s leading dirt late model drivers with championship with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series.