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May 21, 2014 - 07:21 PM
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NASCAR Hall Of Fame To Unveil Sixth Class Of Inductees On Wednesday
Posted by: ASkyler on May 21, 2014 - 07:18 PM
Feature Articles
NASCAR Hall Of Fame To Unveil Sixth Class Of Inductees On Wednesday


Staff Report, NASCAR Wire Service

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The NASCAR Hall of Fame, also known as the gift that keeps on giving to the sport's ardent fan base, will unveil its sixth class of inductees on Wednesday afternoon.

Five inductees to the 2015 class will be announced at 4 p.m. (ET) by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the "Great Hall" area of the hall of fame in downtown Charlotte. Also announced will be the inaugural winner of the hall's Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

The five new inductees will be chosen from a list of 20 nominees, via a meeting Wednesday morning of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel. The panel's make-up:

· 22 members of the hall's Nominating Committee;

· 33 others, a group consisting of former drivers, former owners, former crew chiefs, manufacturer representatives, media members and community leaders;

· One ballot representing the results of a nationwide on-line fan vote on NASCAR.com;

· And, for the first time, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion, in this case Jimmie Johnson;

"It is a huge honor," Johnson said. "I've enjoyed studying up on everybody ... I have a huge booklet with 30, 35 names in it. It's been a fun process. And it will be a fun and educational meeting [Wednesday]."

 

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The 20 nominees include seven former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver champions, including the first, 1949 titlist Red Byron. Other notable nominees include Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event; nine-time NASCAR modified champion Mike Stefanik, five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Larry Phillips; Speedway Motorsports Inc. founder Bruton Smith; and NASCAR's first champion car owner, Raymond Parks.

Parks also is one of the five nominees for the Landmark Award, which also will be determined by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel. Anne Bledsoe France, wife of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and generally regarded as the key to constructing the sport's early business model, is a nominee.

The full lists of nominees follow below.

NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 nominees

· Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR's premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500

· Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949

· Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series

· Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion

· Bill Elliott, 1988 premier series champion, two-time Daytona 500 winner and 16-time Most Popular Driver

· Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and car owner

· Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series

· Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion

· Terry Labonte, Two-time NASCAR premier series champion

· Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins including the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600

· Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner

· Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion

· Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion

· Wendell Scott, first African-American NASCAR premier series race winner

· O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.

· Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

· Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"

· Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier series champion

· Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier series champion

· Robert Yates, NASCAR premier series champion as engine builder and car owner

Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR nominees

· H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway

· Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

· Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner

· Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

· Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence


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