BRISTOL, Tenn. -

One of the greats of NASCAR history died this morning in Bristol, Tennessee.

Family members tell us team owner and car builder Ed Whitaker died just after 8:00 AM Friday.

His teams posted 28 Nationwide Series races wins and was a three time winner at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Whitaker is known for helping many of the biggest names in NASCAR get their start on the Nationwide Series.

Looking over the names of previous drivers who drove for Whitaker you will find Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Alan Kulwicki, Tim Richmond, and Davey Allison.

BMS officials say Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s first Nationwide race at Bristol in 1997 was in an Ed Whitaker-owned car.

We will have more on this developing story, as well as, the life and impact of Ed Whitaker throughout out the day.