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Candidates For 2014 Hall Of Fame Announced

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, April 10 2013

O. Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc., was named a candidate for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Tami Kelly Pope)

Five new candidates joined 20 past candidates as the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced its list of contenders for the Class of 2014 on Wednesday.

The new candidates include track owner/promoter O. Bruton Smith, former Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett, Petty Enterprises engine builder Maurice Petty, short-track specialist and 1960 Cup champion Rex White and five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Larry Phillips.

The 25 candidates for the next Hall class will be voted upon on May 22nd when the panel of voters converge on Charlotte, N.C. convention center.

Smith is the chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc. His company owns eight tracks which currently host 12 Sprint Cup events and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

Jarrett, who is currently a commentator for ESPN and ABC, won his championship in 1999 while driving for Robert Yates Racing. Jarrett, whose father, Ned, is already in the Hall of Fame, won the Daytona 500 three times.

Petty supplied the power which enabled Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR victories, seven NASCAR premier series championship and seven Daytona 500 victories.

White was a consistent top finisher in NASCAR. He finished almost half of his 233 starts in the top five.

Phillips, of Springfield, Mo. is nothing less than a Midwestern driving legend. Records are unreliable for the number of times and places he raced but it is estimated that he won over 2,000 times. He won five NASCAR Weekly Series national championships (1989, ‘91, ‘92, ‘95, ‘96). During an 11-year span (1989-1999), Phillips won 220 of 289 NASCAR-sanctioned events – a winning percentage of 76 percent. He also won 13 track championships in three states. Rusty Wallace once said that Phillips, who opted not to race in Cup, was the best stock car driver he has ever seen.

That group of five is added to the 20 nominees from last year, who each had to be re-nominated.

From this list of 25 nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Two senior staff members from RacinToday.com are on the voting panel – Mike Harris and Jim Pedley.

Following are the 25 nominees, listed alphabetically:

Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949

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

Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion

H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway

Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion

Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others

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.

Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion

Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion

Dale Jarrett, 1999 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner

Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion

Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises

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

Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway

Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500

T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company senior VP

Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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

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

Curtis Turner, early personality, called the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing”

Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion

Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion

Detailed information about the 25 nominees is available at NASCAR.COM (www.nascar.com/halloffame) and NASCARMedia.com, NASCAR’s media-only website (http://bit.ly/2014-NASCAR-HOF-Nominees).

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, April 10 2013
2 Comments

2 Comments »

  • Jay says:

    What is with this premier series stuff? Is it too much to ask to have the season champion referred to properly as Strictly Stock,Grand National,Winston Cup,Nextel/Sprint Cup champion? If the HOF is supposed to be about preserving history why make up titles? Can anyone explain why Bill Elliott and Davey Allison aren’t among the nominees yet 2 active car owners are? In that case we might as well put Jeff Gordon,Jimmie Johnson,and Tony Stewart on the list.But for making an impact on stock car racing Clay Earles deserves induction for creating a speedway that put the race fan first.And Ralph Seagraves for bringing Winston into racing. They did a lot for the local tracks beyond just the Winston Cup Series.

  • Robbie Stuart says:

    Glad to see Rex White on the list!