NASCAR Hall's 2nd class strictly 1st class
Emotional ceremony welcomes Moore, Petty, Jarrett, Allison and Pearson
Monday, May. 23, 2011
There were laughs. There were tears. And there were a lot of stories.
It was another induction at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The Hall's second class consisting of Bud Moore, the late Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison and David Pearson was inducted in a ceremony Monday night.
"The second class of the Hall of Fame is a great one," NASCAR Chairman Brian France said. "Thank you, the second class, for the memories and moments that you gave this great sport."
Beginning today, visitors to the Hall can see new exhibits honoring the 2011 class.
On Monday night, the five inductees received praise and adulation from wide variety of friends of family. Here is a sampling:
In a video message, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw said Moore's tenure during World War II as a decorated infantryman helped define the rest of his life.
"When he came home from the war, he was one of NASCAR's true pioneers and an accomplished car owner," Brokaw said. "He is a true hero to NASCAR fans everywhere and to all of his fellow American citizens."
As a car owner, Moore won championships in what is now the Sprint Cup Series in 1962 and 1963 with driver Joe Weatherly. His cars won 63 races and 43 poles.
One famous family received an introduction from another in the form of former President George H.W. Bush.
"The Petty family has been involved in everything NASCAR has achieved through the years and Lee Petty emerged as the patriarch of what would be one of the most famous families, not only in NASCAR, but in all of American sports," Bush said in a taped message. "Lee Petty set the standard of excellence that defined the sport in its early years - a standard few drivers ever passed."
Petty won three Cup titles and 54 races, which still ranks ninth all-time. He also founded Petty Enterprises, one of the most successful organizations in NASCAR history. Petty died in 2000.
It was easy to see how "Gentleman Ned" got his nickname as members of his family took the stage to talk about the two-time Cup champion who went on to a stellar career as a broadcaster.
"Driver, broadcaster, sponsor spokesperson, promoter, our dad wore many hats," said Jarrett's daughter, Patti Makar. "While you have devoted most of your life to racing, the sport itself hasn't been your only love.
"We have witnessed of God and our mother. We have witnessed your love of race fans and of your roots. We have seen your love of your competitors and your colleagues - all of which has made a positive impact on our lives."
Allison won 84 times - though he continually insisted Monday it was 85 - in the Cup series and he won the 1983 championship. The charter member of the "Alabama Gang" got a welcome message from Alabama football coach Nick Saban.
Saban said Allison "took NASCAR by storm some years back and in the process took the whole sport to a new popularity. Congratulations Bobby to your induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
"Roll Tide and Roll Bobby!"
The "Silver Fox" garnered 105 career Cup victories in 574 races. His former team owner, Leonard Wood, hailed Pearson as a model of efficiency.
Pearson was "the greatest driver in the history of NASCAR," Wood said of the three-time champion. "You were the best thing that ever happened to the Wood Brothers."