Neil Castles, a NASCAR driver who later worked in films as a stuntman, transportation coordinator and actor, died today at 88. His death was reported by journalist Deb Williams.
Castles, nicknamed “Soapy,” was a NASCAR Cup Series driver from 1957 to 1976. He made 498 starts, but never won a race. His best-career finish was second on four occasions. He managed 51 top fives, 178 top 10s and finished in the top five in points in 1969 and 1970.
While still involved in NASCAR, Castles became a film industry stunt driver, mostly for movies about racing produced in the 1960s and ’70s. His film credits include Speedway starring Elvis Presley (1968), Greased Lightning starring Richard Pryor (1977), and Six pack starring Kenny Rogers (1982).
Castles also had acting credits in The Night of the Cat (1973) and Challenge (1974), and also had multiple transportation department credits as either a picture car coordinator or driver. His most recent came in Homeland (2011) and The Hunger Games (2012).
Castles was also the subject of a short story in the book American Zoom by Peter Golenbock.
No information on survivors or a memorial service was immediately available.