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Wendell Scott, Wallace headline Hall field

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2012

Wendell Scott, the first and only African American to win a race in NASCAR’s premier series, and the 1989 series champion, Rusty Wallace, lead the list of new nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

The five-member class will be selected from among the 25 nominees released on Wednesday.

Twenty of the 25 members made up last season’s list of nominees as well with five new names added.

Joining Scott and Wallace as new nominees are former NASCAR owner, engine builder and official, Ray Fox; Ralph Seagraves, the former president of R.J. Reynolds who helped NASCAR land its first corporate sponsor for the Cup series; and Anne B. France, NASCAR’s first secretary and treasurer and wife of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.

Since the NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in uptown Charlotte, three five-member classes have been inducted.

Those already inducted are Bill France Sr., Richard Petty, Bill France Jr., Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Richie Evans and Glen Wood.

Jarrett said he was “very pleased” to hear of Scott’s nomination.

“I always admired Wendell for doing as much as he did with as little as he had to do it with. He never had top-notch equipment,” Jarrett said.

“I felt that he would have won more races if he had the same backing that I had at the highlight of my career.”

In 1961, Scott moved up to the NASCAR Grand National (now Cup) division. In the 1963 season, he finished 15th in points, and on Dec. 1 of that year, driving a Chevrolet purchased from Jarrett, he won a race on the 1-mile dirt track in Jacksonville, Fla.

Wallace said he was “extremely honored” to be nominated for the Hall.

“This really means a lot to me and my family,” said Wallace, who won 55 races in the Cup series. “There are a lot of people that have helped me to get to this point.

“I just really want to thank not only the nominating committee, but also all of the great fans, the media, the teams I drove with and all of the other people who have helped me throughout the years.”

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