New nominees for NASCAR Hall of Fame

Former Cup champion Rusty Wallace and trailblazing driver Wendell Scott are among the five new nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame along with Bill France Sr.’s wife Anne B. France, former engine builder and team owner Ray Fox and former R.J. Reynolds executive Ralph Seagraves.

The fourth five-member class of the NACAR Hall of Fame will be inducted in January 2013 and will be determined by a voting panel that will choose from 25 nominees May 23.

The five new nominees joined a group of 20 men who did not make the cut for the 2012 induction class.

Wallace won the 1989 Cup title and ranks tied for eighth in all-time victories with 55.

“I’m extremely honored to be named as a nominee for the NASCAR Hall of Fame," Wallace said in a statement. “There are just so many people that have made huge contributions to the sport, that to be recognized like this is just really humbling.

“This really means a lot to me and my family."

Wallace, now an analyst for ESPN, was a notable snub in his first year of eligibility last year. The omission of Scott from the list since the Hall’s opening also had been a topic of heated debate.

Scott, who died in 1977, is the only black driver to have won a Cup race and the first nominated to the Hall. He started 495 races over a 13-year career, highlighted by his Dec. 1, 1963 victory at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla.

Anne B. France played a key administrative role in assisting her husband, Bill France Sr., in the development of NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway. She worked for NASCAR until her death in 1992.

Fox was an engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others. His cars won nine races. He also served as NASCAR’s engine inspector from 1990-1996. The 95-year-old Fox lives in Daytona Beach.

Seagraves was the Winston executive who decided to sponsor the Cup series starting in 1971. He retired in 1986 and died in 1998.

The 20 nominees from 2012 who are nominees again for the 2013 class:

• Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive Cup series championships (1956-57)

• Red Byron, first Cup series champion, in 1949

• Richard Childress, 12-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 Cup series champion

• Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series • Jack Ingram, two-time Busch Series champion

• Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR Cup series champion

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

• Cotton Owens, driver-owner, won 1966 owner championship with David Pearson

• Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

• Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR Cup series champion

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

• Fireball Roberts, won 33 NASCAR Cup series races, including the 1962 Daytona 500

• T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds marketing executive

• Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR Cup series champion (1951, 1953)

• Curtis Turner, early personality with 17 NASCAR Cup series wins

• Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR Cup series champion

• Leonard Wood, part-owner and former crew chief for Wood Brothers, revolutionized pit stops

A panel of 21 NASCAR executives and track promoters selected the 25 nominees. That panel will be joined by approximately 35 others (media, retired drivers, manufacturer representatives, industry insiders, etc.) as well as a collective vote from online fan voting, to determine the five-member 2013 class. Sporting News

Leave a Reply