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NASCAR Hall of Fame Includes Mark Martin, Evernham On List of 2016 Nominees

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, February 20 2015

Mark Martin could be headed to the Hall of Fame. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Gregg Ellman)


The NASCAR Hall of Fame announced nominees for it Class of 2016 on Friday and it includes popular driver Mark Martin and 19 others.

Martin and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Ray Evernham are new to the list of nominees.

Other first-time nominees announced Friday by NASCAR are legendary crew chief Harry Hyde, on whom the character Harry Hogge in the film “Days of Thunder” was based; 1992 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion driver Alan Kulwicki, the last “privateer” to win the title; and Hershel McGriff, the 1986 west series champion who competed in NASCAR-sanctioned events during seven different decades.

Evernham won championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998 with driver Jeff Gordon before leaving Hendrick Motorsports to head the flagship team for Dodge’s return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

“I’m honored by the nomination and humbled by the thought of my name being mentioned at the same time as this legendary group of nominees,” Evernham said. “My NASCAR career spans almost 40 years and just the opportunity to compete has been a blessing. I sincerely thank the committee for their consideration.”

Mark Martin won 40 races in NASCAR’s premier series and finished second in the championship standings five times. In addition, he collected 49 victories in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series, second most all-time, and seven more in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The other fifteen 2016 nominees previously appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot: 19-time winner Buddy Baker; Red Byron, NASCAR’s first premier series winner; car owner Richard Childress, an 11-time champion in NASCAR’s three national series combined; six-time NASCAR Modified champion Jerry Cook; legendary engine builder and car owner Ray Fox; 14-time champion car owner Rick Hendrick; 1970 Cup champion Bobby Isaac; two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte; Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner; 1973 Cup champion Benny Parsons; Larry Phillips, NASCAR’s only five-time weekly series national champion; O. Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.; modified driver Mike Stefanik, winner of a record-tying nine NASCAR touring series championships; Curtis Turner, legendary entrepreneur and winner of 17 races at NASCAR’s top level; and champion team owner and engine builder Robert Yates.

In addition, NASCAR announced the five finalists for the prestigious Landmark Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sport of NASCAR stock car racing.

Darlington Speedway founder Harold Brasington joins a list that includes four nominees for the 2015 inaugural Landmark Award won by Anne B. France: H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway; executive Ralph Seagraves, who forged the long-standing NASCAR-Winston partnership; broadcaster Ken Squier; and Parks.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, February 20 2015
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