TOPEKA, Kan. (Jan. 28, 2014) – C.L. “Charlie” Earwood passed away January 28, 2014, at his home in Punta Gorda, Fla., leaving a lasting mark on the motorsports world as an official and facilities manager. His contributions to the Sports Car Club of America were solidified as a member of the 2012 SCCA Hall of Fame class. Earwood was 89.
Earwood was an SCCA member since 1960, where he raced Porsches in the E and F Production classes. Eventually, he made the transition from driver to race official and became one of the most prominent stewards in American road racing. Aside from other events, Earwood served as an official of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs when the event was held at Road Atlanta, from 1964 to 1993.
Additionally, Earwood was the Chief Steward for the SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am Series, SCCA Pro Racing Truck Series, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours at Daytona.
Earwood was born March 4, 1924, in Atlanta, Ga. Before pursuing his passion of racing, Earwood retired from Life of Georgia in 1985, after a 40-year career. His final position with the company was that of executive vice-president.
After retiring from the insurance industry, Earwood went on to become the general manager of Sebring International Raceway. While there, he was given the task of re-routing the original 5-mile course so the facility could be used year-round. With the help of John Burns, the current 3.7-mile course was designed. It cut out the portion of the circuit that used the still-active airport on which the track was laid out, while retaining many of its original qualities.
Earwood was the recipient of other motorsport-related honors, in addition to his induction to the SCCA Hall of Fame. In 1981, he was awarded the SCCA Woolf Barnato Trophy in recognition of his contributions to SCCA and the sport of road racing. He was also inducted to the Sebring International Raceway Hall of Fame in 2006.
He is survived by Ann, his wife of 72 years; two sons Terry and Steve, both of whom followed him into the auto racing industry; two granddaughters, Tammy Ferran, of Punta Gorda, Fla., and Stephanie Peterson, of Richland, Mich.; grandson Todd Beal, of Cambridge, Mass.; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned for March 4 in Punta Gorda.