Arnold Perry “Al” Grinnan Jr., a Fredericksburg native and long-time Richmond resident who was a well-known race car driver, died Friday at the age of 76. Grinnan was a driver at many race tracks in Virginia, as well as others from Florida to Maine. He began racing after leaving the Army following a decorated tour in Korea where, for a short period of time, he was a prisoner of war.
One of the original breed of stock-car racers on the precursor to NASCAR known as the Grand National circuit, Mr. Grinnan estimated last year in an interview with The Times-Dispatch that he won more than 500 races from the early 1950s until he retired from racing in 1979. He raced at Strawberry Hill – now Richmond International Raceway – with legends such as Runt Harris, Ted Hairfield, Sonny Hutchins, Eddie Crouse and many others.
In 1968, Mr. Grinnan was voted the most popular Modified Sportsman driver on the circuit. Grinnan is survived by his Wife, Carolyn O’Neal Grinnan, a daughter and three sons, three grandchildren and three sisters. Visitation will be today from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett funeral Home, 8014 Lee Davis Road, with a service immediately following. Burial will be tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Sunset Memorial Park in Fredericksburg.