Previous NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees
Tuesday, May. 22, 2012
The 15 men already inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame:
Class of 2010
Dale Earnhardt: Won 76 races in his career, the first in 1979 at Bristol, Tenn., and the last in 2000 at Talladega, Ala. ... Won seven season championships, tied for most all-time with Richard Petty. The mark had been thought unreachable. ... Known for his aggressive, controversial driving style, which earned him the nickname "The Intimidator." ... Son of NASCAR pioneer Ralph Earnhardt, and father of popular NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Richard Petty: Sport's all-time victory leader with 200 in 1,185 starts. ... Became a driver after working on pit crew for his father, 2011 inductee Lee Petty. ... First victory came in Charlotte in 1960, at Charlotte Fairgrounds, and the last was on July 4, 1984, at Daytona International Speedway. ... Won seven season championships, tied for most all-time with Dale Earnhardt. ... One of the most recognizable figures in American sports.
Junior Johnson: Ascended from moonshine hauler in the 1950s to NASCAR's pinnacle, winning the Daytona 500 in 1960. ... Had 50 victories as a driver (1953-66), 140 wins and six series championships as a team owner (1966-95). ... Won three consecutive championships as an owner with driver Cale Yarborough (1977-79). Won three more with Darrell Waltrip (1981-82, 1985).
Bill France Sr.: Moved family to Daytona Beach in 1935 and began promoting races on the storied Beach Course. ... Began the formation of NASCAR in 1947. ... Proposed construction of Daytona International Speedway in 1953 and opened it for a 500-mile race in 1959. ... Protected NASCAR's interests with an iron will, leading some to call the sanctioning body a dictatorship.
Bill France Jr.: Son of NASCAR founder "Big Bill" France Sr., Bill Jr. learned motorsports promotion and speedway construction from his father. ... Became NASCAR vice president in 1966 and president in 1972, when his father retired. ... Secured sponsorship from Winston and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in 1972, starting the sport's boom. ... Expanded International Speedway Corp., led by the France family, to 12 major tracks.
Class of 2011
David Pearson: Retired after the 1986 season with 105 victories and 113 poles, including an incredible record 11 straight first-place starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, 1973-78. ... Won titles in NASCAR's top series in 1966, '68 and '69, the only three years in a long career that he ran the full schedule. He took the first championship with team owner and Spartanburg friend Cotton Owens, the other two with Charlotte-based Holman-Moody. ... Won the 1976 Daytona 500 in a memorable duel with Richard Petty.
Bobby Allison: Had 85 wins on NASCAR’s major circuit. ... Joined team owner and inaugural Hall of Fame Inductee Junior Johnson in 1972 to form a potent combination that won 10 races, finished second 12 times and took 11 poles. The pairing didn't gel off the track and Allison left Johnson's team at season's end. ... Won the Daytona 500 in 1978 while driving a Ford for fellow Hall of Fame inductee Bud Moore. ... Won the Cup series championship in 1983. ... Edged son Davey by two car lengths to win the 1988 Daytona 500 and become the classic's oldest winner at age 50.
Bud Moore: In the late 1940s, pursued his interest in auto mechanics after returning home from World War II in Europe, where he served as an infantryman and won two Bronze Stars and five Purple Hearts. ... Fielded the winning car in the inaugural Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in 1950, for driver Joe Eubanks. ... Served as crew chief for Buck Baker's drive to the 1957 championship in NASCAR's Grand National Division, which evolved into the Cup series. ... Won the 1962 and '63 Grand National titles with driver Joe Weatherly as driver, scoring 14 victories. ... Also fielded cars for Darel Dieringer, Tiny Lund, Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt and Morgan Shepherd. ... Sold his operation in 1999 and retired to his farm near Spartanburg.
Ned Jarrett: Retired in 1966 with 50 victories in 352 races. ... Won national championships in NASCAR's Sportsman Division in 1957 and '58. That circuit evolved into the Nationwide Series. ... Captured the 1961 Grand National championship, winning only once but posting 34 top 10 finishes in 46 starts. ... Won the 1965 Southern 500 at Darlington by 14 laps, still the largest margin of victory in NASCAR history. ... Jarrett won 12 other races in 54 starts that year, and claimed his second driving championship. ... Later became a radio/television analyst and expert commentator.
Lee Petty: Started NASCAR's very first race for the Grand National Division on June 19, 1949, at Charlotte Speedway, a three-quarter-mile dirt track. He barrel-rolled a borrowed Buick Roadmaster in a wild crash, destroying the car. Unhurt, he worried about how to tell the car's owner and also how to explain to his wife where he had been that afternoon. ... Captured Grand National championships in 1954, '58 and '59, winning seven, seven and 11 races in those seasons, respectively. ... Won inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959. However, he wasn't declared the winner for three days after an incredibly close finish with Johnny Beauchamp. ... In a cruel twist of fate, the cars of Petty and Beauchamp sailed out of Daytona International Speedway in the 500 of 1961. The crash gravely injured Petty, essentially ending his driving career. ... He recovered to lead Petty Enterprises, fielding most of the cars son and inaugural Hall of Fame Inductee Richard Petty drove to 200 race victories and seven series championships.
Class of 2012
Cale Yarborough: Totaled 83 victories in his career, which ranks tied for fifth all-time. ... His 69 poles rank fourth all-time. ... Won the Daytona 500 four times (1968, '77, '83-84), a mark that ranks second only to Richard Petty's seven. ... Was the first driver to win three consecutive series championships (1976-78), a record that stood until 2009 when Jimmie Johnson won his fourth consecutive title.
Glen Wood: Laid the foundation for the famed Wood Brothers racing team as a driver in the Cup series and continued his run as a successful owner. ... Co-owner of Wood Brothers Racing, the team has amassed 98 victories in 1,367 races. ... Wood Brothers Racing, which dates to 1950, remains active to this day. ... team's all-time roster of drivers is a virtual who's who of NASCAR and includes David Pearson, Curtis Turner, Marvin Panch, Dan Gurney, Tiny Lund, Parnelli Jones, Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough, Fred Lorenzen and Bill Elliott. ... The Woods' most recent victory was the improbable win in the 2011 Daytona 500 with Trevor Bayne.
Richie Evans: Competed in an estimated 1,300 modified races and won around 475 in a career that spanned from 1973 until his death in 1985. ... The recognized "king" of Modified racing, Evans captured nine NASCAR Modified titles in a 13-year span, including eight in a row from 1978-85. ... His posthumous induction is a victory for all who race on short tracks and work on them at small garages for the joy of it. ... The only man so far elected into the sport's hall with no ties to NASCAR's top series.
Dale Inman: Served as crew chief for legendary driver and inaugural Hall Of Fame Inductee Richard Petty for nearly three decades. ... Set records for most wins (193) and championships (eight) by a crew chief. ... Won seven of those championships with Petty (1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979), and another one in 1984 with Terry Labonte. ... Credited with revolutionizing the crew chief position. ... Standout year was 1967, when he and Petty won a NASCAR-record 27 races – 10 consecutively. ... All 27 victories were in the same car they built a year earlier.
Darrell Waltrip: Made 809 starts in what is now the Sprint Cup Series from 1972 to 2000. ... A three-time Cup series champion (1981-82, '85), Waltrip won all three with legendary driver/owner and inaugurual Hall of Fame Inductee Junior Johnson. ... Waltrip is tied with Bobby Allison for fourth all-time in series victories with 84. ... His 59 poles rank fifth all-time in Cup history. ... He won the 1989 Daytona 500 victory in a Rick Hendrick-owned Chevrolet. ... He now works as a TV analyst for Fox Sports.