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Decision day here for next class of 5

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Tuesday, May. 21, 2013
Class of 2014 Nominees 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 (Va.) 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. First secretary and treasurer of NASCAR. Affectionately known as "Annie B." 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 (Calif.) International Raceway Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including 1962 Daytona 500 T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. senior VP Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. 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
More information NOMINATING COMMITTEE NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim. NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; vice chairman Jim France; President Mike Helton; senior vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell; vice president of competition Robin Pemberton; competition administrator Jerry Cook; former senior vice president Paul Brooks; former vice president Ken Clapp. Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corp. CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville (Va.) Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George; Dover (Del.) Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono (Pa.) Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Kingsport Speedway operator Robert Pressley; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery. VOTING PANEL The voting panel consists of the above 21-member nominating committee and the following 34 representatives. American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association: Dusty Brandel, AARWBA President. Eastern Motorsports Press Association: Ron Hedger, EMPA President. National Motorsports Press Association: Kenny Bruce, NMPA President. Print & Online Media: Jenna Fryer, Associated Press; Dustin Long, MotorRacingNetwork.com; Al Pearce, Autoweek; Jim Pedley, RacinToday.com; Bob Pockrass, The Sporting News; Nate Ryan, USA Today. Broadcasters: Mike Joy, Fox; Jerry Punch, ESPN; Kyle Petty, TNT; Barney Hall, MRN; Doug Rice, PRN; Rick Allen, SPEED; Dave Moody, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Manufacturers: Chevrolet – Jim Campbell, former general manager; Ford – Edsel B. Ford II, board of directors; Toyota – Lee White, President/general manager, Toyota Racing Development USA. Retired Drivers: Harry Gant; Ned Jarrett; Richard Petty; Ricky Rudd. Retired Car Owners: Junior Johnson; Bud Moore; Robert Yates. Retired Crew Chiefs: Buddy Parrott; Waddell Wilson; Eddie Wood. Industry leaders: Retired Associated Press writer Mike Harris; former motorsports journalist Tom Higgins; former broadcaster Ken Squier; former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler.

Who is next?

The voting panel will meet Wednesday to determine the fifth five-member class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and this year's outcome appears to be more wide open, especially with many of the sport's biggest names already enshrined.

If there are any locks this year one might well be Fireball Roberts, a 33-time winner in what is now the Sprint Cup Series.

Roberts lost a tiebreaker to Buck Baker for the fifth and final spot in the Class of 2013.

Five new nominees were added this year to the list of 20 remaining from last year's voting process.

They are former Cup series champion Dale Jarrett; Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith; Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises; five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion Larry Phillips; and the 1960 Cup champion Rex White.

Social media has become a new home of campaigns to get drivers and others important to the growth of NASCAR elected.

Banners went up in uptown Charlotte this week in support of Smith's bid.

NASCAR veteran Kenny Wallace has been promoting a grass roots bid to elect Fred Lorenzen.

“Fearless Freddy is one our true pioneers,” said Wallace. “We are all beneficiaries of Fred Lorenzen's commitment to the sport, and a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a way of saying thanks and acknowledging his contributions.”

“NASCAR Race Hub” on Speed Channel will provide live coverage of the results beginning at 6 p.m.

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