DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Larger than life figures who built NASCAR lap by lap and bolt by bolt from the post-World War II era into the 21st century comprise the 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
NASCAR today announced those 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s fifth induction class, and included among the diverse group are five newcomers whose achievements are cornerstones of the sport’s origins and continue to fuel its growth in contemporary times.
Of the 25 nominees, 20 return from last year’s group. Five are first-timers with varying backgrounds in the sport: second generation NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion Dale Jarrett; Maurice Petty, for more than three decades the chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises; five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion Larry Phillips; race track builder and owner Bruton Smith; and 1960 NASCAR premier series champion Rex White.
From that list, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM. Voting Day for the 2014 class will be May 22. Fans can attend the announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.
This round of nominees was selected by a 21-person Nominating Committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame’s 2014 inductees will be determined by a 54-member Voting Panel, which includes the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners and crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel’s final ballot. Fan voting on NASCAR.COM opens today, April 10 and closes May 21 at noon.
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).
The 21-person Nominating Committee follows...
NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; President Mike Helton; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Senior Vice President Paul Brooks; former Vice President Ken Clapp.
Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery; Kingsport Speedway Operator Robert Pressley.