Hall of Fame
National Motorsports Press Association
Hall of Fame
National Motorsports Press Association
BOBBY ALLISON (1993)
Allison carved his name into NASCAR history as one of its all-time gutsiest drivers. This Miami, Fla., native uprooted to Hueytown, Ala., and became the leader of the heralded Alabama Gang. Allison scored 84 career Winston Cup wins, tying him for third on the all-time win list, 57 pole positions, three Daytona 500 crowns and the 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup championship.
DAVEY ALLISON (1996)
Part of the first father-son duo inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. He earned rookie of the year honors in 1987 after winning two NASCAR Winston Cup races and five pole positions. Allison became the first rookie to sit on the front row of the Daytona 500, a race he eventually won in 1992 after finishing second to his father Bobby four years earlier. Davey Allison won 19 career races on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit in a brilliant six-year career that came to a premature end when he died in 1993.
DONNIE ALLISON (2018)
One of the original members of the legendary “Alabama Gang,” Allison 78, competed in NASCAR’s premier series for the better part of two decades even though he ran limited schedules on most occasions. His first victory came in 1968 at Rockingham, N.C., in 1967 he was the 1967 Grand National Rookie of the Year. His altercation on the backstretch at the completion of the 1979 Daytona 500 with fellow driver Cale Yarborough and brother Bobby Allison helped push NASCAR into the public eye. In addition to his stock car career, he also competed in USAC.
MARIO ANDRETTI (2014)
Andretti is the only racer to win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 and the Formula One world championship. Although he made just 14 NASCAR starts between 1966 and ’69, Andretti won the series’ premier event, the Daytona 500, in 1967 while driving for the legendary Holman-Moody team. Andretti won four Indy car championships (1965, ’66, ’69, ’84) and the Indianapolis 500 in 1969. He is a 12-time winner in F1, and captured that series’ title in ’78.
SAM ARD (1999)
In a career that lasted just three years (1982-84) before injuries cut short his tenure in the driver’s seat, Sam Ard turned in one of the most impressive records ever in the Busch Series, highlighted by titles in the 1983 and 1984 seasons. In only 92 career starts, the Pamplico, S.C. resident scored 22 victories and 24 pole positions. Ard finished among the top five 67 times. He also claimed top-10 finishes in 86 percent of his career starts (79 top 10s). He is seventh series’ all-time win list and second in career poles despite driving just three seasons, prompting many to wonder just what kind of records Ard might have put up had his career not been cut short.
BUCK BAKER (1982)
Baker drove his first stock car in 1946. Twenty years later, he had won 46 Cup races, ranking him 13th on the all time list, and two championships (1956-57). After retiring as a driver, Buck founded the popular Buck Baker driving school.
BUDDY BAKER (1997)
Baker recorded 19 career victories to tie him for 33rd on the all-time win list. He was at his best on the superspeedways, tallying 17 wins. He became the first driver to break the 200 mph barrier, turning in a 200.447 mph lap on March 24, 1970 at Talladega.
CANNONBALL BAKER (1966)
Baker was the first commissioner of NASCAR. He established 143 cross-country speed records and drove nearly five million miles in North and Central America, Australia and Europe. He won the first motorcycle race at Indianapolis.
NEIL BONNETT (1997)
A member of the Alabama Gang, Bonnett won 18 races, tied for 36th on the all-time list. He drove for legendary owners Junior Johnson and the Wood Brothers during his career. Bonnett won the first NASCAR-style event outside of North America in 1988 at Melbourne, Australia.
HAROLD BRASINGTON (1992)
With his equipment, Brasington turned a peanut field into Darlington Raceway in 1950 and staged the first ever superspeedway race in NASCAR, calling it the Southern 500. Today, the track remains one of the toughest on the NASCAR Cup Series.
RED BYRON (1966)
Became Grand National stock car racing’s first points champion in 1949 and won the first NASCAR-sanctioned race on Feb. 15, 1948 in a Dodge prepared by Red Vogt. Byron claimed the Modified Championship in 1948 after winning 11 races and finishing second five times.
RICHARD CHILDRESS (2012)
The owner of Richard Childress Racing, Childress was the first owner to win championships in NASCAR’s three major touring series. Childress built one of motorsports’ most successful operations with the help of driver Dale Earnhardt, winning six Cup titles and 48 races in a nine-year stretch (1986-94). Childress drove in the Cup series from 1969 –1981, scoring six top-five and 76 top-10 finishes in 285 career starts, as well as five top-10 points finishes.
BOB COLVIN (1969)
Served as Darlington Raceway president for more than 15 years until suffering a fatal heart attack in 1967. He helped originate the Union 76/Darlington Record Club, for years the most exclusive club in stock car racing.
JERRY COOK (1989)
Cook was a six-time Modified division champ before retiring in 1982 to become director of NASCAR’s Modified series. He won the championship in 1971 and ’72, then captured four straight from 1974-77.
DAREL DIERINGER (1988)
Dieringer won seven Grand National races during a 13-year career, but he is best known for his role in the development of the safety tire used by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. The dare devilish Dieringer conducted 90 percent of the high-speed, high-risk driving tests between 1963-65.
W.C. “JUNIE” DONLAVEY (2009)
Made his debut as a car owner in 1950. Although he won only one points race as an owner, he helped launch the career of several notable drivers, including Joe Weatherly, Harry Gant and Jody Ridley. Tiny Lund, Benny Parsons, Ricky Rudd, Buck Baker, David Pearson and Ken Schrader were among others who competed in Donlavey-owned cars.
H. CLAY EARLES (2000)
Earles was one of racing’s true pioneers, building picturesque little Martinsville Speedway in 1947, two years before NASCAR was formed, and bringing it into racing’s modern era. Earles’ track was one of the first to have permanent concession stands, attended restrooms and first-aid stations. Earles turned the everyday business of running the track to his grandson Clay Campbell in 1988, but maintained the title of chief executive officer until his death Nov. 16, 1999.
DALE EARNHARDT (2001)
Few athletes in any professional venue both inspired and inflamed audiences like “The Intimidator.” In addition to seven NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships (1979, 1986-87, 1990-91 and 1993-94), Earnhardt won 76 races, three installments of the series’ all-star event, and more than $41 million in career earnings. He also was a four-time winner in the International Race of Champions series. Earnhardt was the son of NASCAR champion Ralph Earnhardt, himself a 1989 NMPA Hall of Fame inductee.
RALPH EARNHARDT (1989)
Earnhardt is known as one of the best short track drivers of all time, although official records were not kept during his 23-year career. He won the 1956 Sportsman championship after winning 32 feature races at 11 different tracks.
CHRIS ECONOMAKI (2009)
Called the “Dean of Motorsports Journalists”. His booming voice is well-known throughout the world, as he circled the globe to cover motorsports. He became editor of National Speed Sport News in 1950 and continues writing a column for the publication today. He has been inducted into several other Halls of Fame.
JAKE ELDER (2018)
Jake Elder, better known as “Suitcase” is credited with 43 victories as a crew chief in NASCAR’s premier series. Elder got his start with Petty Engineering in the early 1960’s. He won premier series championships in 1968 and 1969 with David Pearson, won the legendary Southern 500 with Pearson in 1979 and then again in 1992 with Darrell Waltrip. The victory with DW was his final win atop the pit box.
BILL ELLIOTT (2015)
The man known as “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” amassed 44 premier series wins and captured the 1988 championship. In ’85 he won 11 races and become one of only two drivers to capture the Winston Million for winning three of the series’ Big Four events. Among his career wins were two Daytona 500 titles and three Southern 500 crowns.
RICHIE EVANS (1986)
Evans won an unprecedented nine NASCAR National Modified championships before his death in an accident during practice at Martinsville Speedway. He won more than 400 Modified races during his career.
RAY EVERNHAM (2014)
Between 1993 and ’99 Evernham won three NASCAR Cup titles and 47 races while paired with driver Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports. He twice guided Gordon to wins in the Daytona 500 and in 1994 the team captured the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As a team owner, Evernham helped Dodge return to the sport in 2001. His Evernham Motorsports organization fielded cars for six drivers between ’01 and ’07 – including former Cup champion Bill Elliott and Kasey Kahne.
RED FARMER (2019)
Farmer made his first-career NASCAR Strictly Stock division start on Daytona’s Beach and Road Course on Feb. 15, 1953. That day, he drove a No. 48 Hudson to a 41st place finish. Doing so gave him a taste of NASCAR’s premier division while keeping his short track championship dreams alive. Though he preferred racing in the Late Model Sportsman division, Farmer did run 36 premier series Grand National and Winston Cup races with a best finish of fourth (twice). He is a member of the famed “Alabama Gang” that includes Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison and the late Davey Allison and late Neil Bonnett. Farmer was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998 and at the age of 86, still races today.
BOB FLOCK (1981)
Flock won more than 200 Modified races and four Grand National events before being forced to retire because of a neck injury he suffered at Martinsville, Va.
FONTY FLOCK (1965)
Notched 19 Cup victories to tie for 33rd on the all time list. He combined with his brother, Tim, to win 26 of 37 races in 1965 for Carl Kiekhaefer. The duo finished first and second 11 times that season.
TIM FLOCK (1973)
The two-time Grand National points champion (1952 and ’55) is 15th on the all time win list with 39 victories. Flock’s 18 Grand National wins in 1955 was a single-season record until Richard Petty won 27 in 1967.
JOHN FORCE (2020)
John Force has won more races, more rounds, more championships, more money and more awards than anyone else in professional drag racing history. He has won 151 NHRA Tour victories and 16 NHRA Funny Car World championship titles to his credit. John is arguably the biggest name in drag racing’s long and storied history. He is the oldest driver to win an NHRA national event at age 70 and the oldest to win the championship at age 64. Force is the first drag racer to be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in its 54-year history.
RAY FOX SR. (1985)
Fox built cars for some of the biggest names in stock car history. David Pearson and Buddy Baker gained their first career victories in Fox-prepared cars. Speedy Thompson, Junior Johnson, Joe Weatherly and Buck Baker are among others who drove Fox’s cars.
A.J. FOYT (2001)
He won the motorsports equivalent of the “triple crown,” hoisting the trophies in the world’s three most storied and prestigious events – the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Foyt’s remarkable driver’s resume includes 158 feature victories, 11 major series championships, including seven Indy-car series titles, and four victories in the Indianapolis 500. In stock cars, he won 41 U.S. Auto Club events – second all-time – and three championships. He also won seven NASCAR Winston Cup Series races, 10 poles and was the International Race of Champions Series title-winner on two occasions.
WILLIAM H.G. FRANCE (1976)
He founded NASCAR in 1947 and served as its president for a quarter century. The first Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in 1950 spurred France to build Daytona and launch a new era in speed and prize money, making NASCAR Cup racing the most prestigious series in the United States.
WILLIAM C. (BILL) FRANCE JR. (2001)
Bill France turned America’s fastest family business into one of its premier spectator sports. The son of NASCAR founder William H. G. France, Bill France succeeded his father as NASCAR’s president in 1972 and his ascension to the leadership role of NASCAR is called the most important event in the sanctioning body’s history. France Jr. is credited with leading NASCAR to the crest of the American motorsports mountaintop. He served as president until 2000 when he became Chairman of the Board of NASCAR and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of International Speedway Corporation. France, Jr., who passed away June 4, 2007, turned the company over to his son, Brian, in September 2003.
HARRY GANT (2003)
For his career, Gant won 18 races, 17 poles and more than $8.4 million in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition. In the NASCAR Busch Series, he finished second in the final point standings in 1969, ‘76 and ‘77. In 1995, Gant was inducted into the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Court of Legends, and in 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
JOE GIBBS (2016)
Known simply as “Coach”, Gibbs eye for talent and the ability to mold individuals into champions has made him a legendary team builder in both National Football League and NASCAR. In 24 seasons as a NASCAR team owner, he has own four Sprint Cup championships and 128 Sprint Cup races. Gibbs also owned an organization that won two NHRA Pro Stock drag racing championship and earned two runner-up point finishes in Top Fuel in the 1990s.
JEFF GORDON (2019)
After building a successful career as an open-wheel Sprint Car driver, Gordon came to NASCAR in 1990 as an Xfinity (then Busch) Series standout. While driving for Bill Davis, he logged five series victories and a fourth place finish in points in 1992. He joined team owner Rick Hendrick in NASCAR’s premier Winston Cup series in the final event in 1992, winning NASCAR’s Cup series rookie of the year honors in 1993. In 1995, he became the youngest driver in the modern era to win a championship as a 24-year-old. He went on to win three more championships in 1997, ’98 and 2001. Gordon collected 93 Cup series wins, 325 top-fives, 477 top-10s and 81 pole positions in 805 starts between 1992 through eight events in 2016. After his retirement, Gordon turned his attention to co-ownership of Jimmie Johnson’s Cup series Chevrolets at Hendrick Motorsports and a promising television broadcast career with FOX Sports.
JANET GUTHRIE (2020)
Janet Guthrie was the first female driver to bring her talents to NASCAR’s modern era of Winston Cup Series racing in the 1970s. She was a pioneer for women in motorsports, competing in sports car races, NASCAR and IndyCar. Her first major accomplishment in stock car racing came in the 1976 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway where she became the first woman to compete on a superspeedway, finishing 15th in her NASCAR debut. Janet is the first woman to be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association.
BARNEY HALL (2007)
Hall began covering the sport in the late 1950s near his home in Elkin, N.C., and soon worked his way into a job with a fledgling radio group known as the Motor Racing Network (MRN). In the decades that followed, Hall became one of the most trusted men in the sport. He has called some of the sport’s most memorable events through the years – from the infamous post-Daytona 500 fight between Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison to Richard Petty’s 200th-career victory in 1984 and Dale Earnhardt’s 1998 Daytona 500 victory. The Barney Hall Award, named in his honor, is presented by the NMPA to recognize outstanding work in the field of radio broadcasting.
RAY HENDRICK (1993)
It is estimated that Hendrick won more than 700 races in a career that began in the mid 1950s and earned him the moniker “Mr. Modified.” One place very special to Hendrick was Martinsville Speedway, where he notched 20 NASCAR wins, which still stands as a track record.
RICK HENDRICK (2016)
The man affectionately known as “Mr. H” has made one of the biggest impacts of any team or organization in the sport’s history. Hendrick Motorsports has countless records in its 32-year existence including 14 NASCAR driver championships, 11 in the premier Sprint Cup Series, 14 owner championships across three national series, as well as 240 Sprint Cup Series wins. The youngest Chevrolet dealer at the age 27 in the U.S., built an empire that has grown into the six-largest automotive group in the country, with 99 dealerships and 137 franchises.
TOM HIGGINS (2011)
Higgins covered NASCAR and other motorsports in 40-year journalism career, including 34 years at The Charlotte Observer. He was one of the first reporters to cover NASCAR full-time. He received NASCAR’s Award of Excellence in 1996 and won the NMPA’s George Cunningham Award in 1987.
JOHN HOLMAN (1980)
Co-founder of the Holman-Moody operation with Ralph Moody in 1957. David Pearson won back-to-back championships in 1968-69 and Bobby Allison won 10 races with the team in 1971, the final year of the operation.
TOMMY HOUSTON (2008)
Houston, a native of Hickory, N.C., established a number of records in what is now known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The series’ first short-track winner (Richmond, 1982), Houston also scored the first wins in the series for two different manufacturers (Chevrolet, 1982; Buick, 1985). Additionally, he was the series’ first driver to record 300 and 400 career starts. A winner of 24 races, Houston led the division in career starts with 417 until Jason Keller eclipsed that mark in 2007. From 1982 through 1996, Houston won at least one race each season, and finished sixth or better in the point standings. Houston made a handful of starts in NASCAR’s Cup series from 1980-85.
JIM HUNTER (2013)
Held numerous positions within the corporate structures of NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. and was themost trusted lieutenant of long-time NASCAR president Bill France Jr. Served as president of Darlington Raceway. Began NASCAR career as a journalist and later served in several public relations positions.
HARRY HYDE (2004)
Hyde began his racing career following World War II. He was both driver and mechanic at first but quickly realized building and working on race cars was his area of expertise. His cars won races throughout the Midwest before he became crew chief for Nord Krauskopf’s K & K Insurance team. In 1970 under Hyde’s leadership, Bobby Isaac won 11 races, 13 poles and the NASCAR Grand National championship. Hyde finished his career with 56 victories.
JACK INGRAM (1997)
Ingram ranks third on the all-time NASCAR Busch Series win list with 31 victories. Ingram captured the inaugural Busch Series championship in 1982 and again in 1985. He was the first driver in series history to top $1 million in earnings, and is a three-time NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion.
DALE INMAN (2002)
Dale Inman is the only crew chief in history to win eight NASCAR Winston Cup Championships – seven with Richard Petty and one with Terry Labonte. Inman, born in 1936, retired from Petty Enterprises at the age of 62 following the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup season. During his 40-year career, Inman’s cars drove to victory lane 193 times. No other crew chief has visited victory lane more than 100 times.
BOBBY ISAAC (1979)
Isaac claimed 37 wins during the span of his 15-year career, ranking him 17th on the all time list. The most productive years for the 1970 points champion came between 1967 and ’72 when he won 36 races in 207 starts, including 17 in ’69 alone.
DALE JARRETT (2011)
1999 Winston Cup champion. Jarrett won 32 Cup races, including three Daytona 500s (1993, ’96, 2000). He and father Ned became the second father-son combination to have each won at least one series title behind only Lee and Richard Petty. Jarrett also won the Brickyard 400 twice and 16 career poles. Finished in the top five in points seven times. Also won 11 races and 14 poles in the Busch Series.
NED JARRETT (1973)
Jarrett notched 50 victories, tying for 10th on the all-time list, two Sportsman championships and a pair of Grand National titles (1961 and 1965) during his storied career. His most productive season came in 1964, when he won 15 times.
JUNIOR JOHNSON (1973)
Johnson’s 50 Grand National wins place him in a 10th-place tie with Ned Jarrett on the all-time win list. One of the most innovative members of the racing community, Johnson also claimed 139 wins in 31 years as a car owner.
CARL KIEKHAEFER (1980)
In 1955, Kiekhaefer became the first individual to sponsor an entire team. Under Kiekhaefer’s sponsorship, Tim Flock won 18 races and the 1955 Grand National championship. Buck Baker drove Kiekhaefer’s car to the ’56 championship, taking the checkered flag 14 times.
ALAN KULWICKI (1999)
Alan Kulwicki started five races in 1986, winning NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors with his modestly financed operation. During his brief career, he won five races, the last coming at Pocono during his 1992 title run. That year, Kulwicki pulled off one of the greatest upsets in motorsports history. Trailing by 278 points with six races remaining, Kulwicki stormed through the final half-dozen events to win the NASCAR Winston Cup championship by 10 points over Bill Elliott and owner Junior Johnson. It remains one of the closest points battles in history. Kulwicki’s title defense was tragically short. He raced just five events the following season before an airplane crash near Blountville, Tenn., took Kulwicki’s life on April 1, 1993.
TERRY LABONTE (2018)
A two-time NASCAR premier series champion, Labonte captured titles in 184 with team owner Billy Hagan and in 1996 with Hendrick Motorsports. Also known as the ‘Iceman’ for his quiet demeanor and his ability to remain calm under pressure won 11 times in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and has one victory in the Camping World Truck Series. His first victory came in legendary Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in 1980; his final victory came in the same event more than two decades later.
HOUSTON LAWING (1987)
Lawing was the first publicist for NASCAR and helped educate media and fans about the sport during its infancy. He later became public relations director at Daytona International Speedway.
CLYDE “BUTCH” LINDLEY (2006)
Lindley etched his name into NASCAR history by winning NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Series titles in 1977 and ‘78, and captured the 1984 All Pro Series national title before that series was incorporated into NASCAR. He competed in 11 Cup races in five seasons with a best finish of second at Martinsville Speedway. Lindley won more than 500 races on various speedways before a head injury in a crash during an All Pro race on April 13, 1985 ended his career. After more than five years in a coma, he died on June 6, 1990.
JOE LITTLEJOHN (1975)
A charter NASCAR member, Littlejohn promoted successfully at the half-mile Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds for 30 years, the site of the first race in South Carolina in 1939. He was instrumental in establishing Darlington Raceway. The Joe Littlejohn Award, named in his honor, is presented annually for outstanding service to the NMPA.
FRED LORENZEN (1978)
Made his mark by capturing the USAC points championship twice. Broke into Grand National racing in 1961 when he signed as Joe Weatherly’s replacement. He won 26 Grand National races between 1961 and ’67.
MARK MARTIN (2017)
Mark Martin is considered the best driver to never win a championship in NASCAR’s premier series. During a career that spanned more than three decades, the Batesville, Ark., native won 40 races and finished second in the points standings five times. His 882 career starts speak not only of his longevity, but of a work ethic that was second to none. Five of Mark’s victories came in the twilight of his career, at age 50 when he finished second in points. Martin also won 49 times in the Xfinity Series, seven in the Camping World Truck Series and was a five-time champion in the International Race of Champions.
EDWIN “BANJO” MATTHEWS (1996)
Made his mark in a number of different areas in auto racing during a career that spanned more than 40 years. After driving Modifieds in Florida as a teenager, he moved up to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and raced in 50 events over 11 years. Even though he never won a race as a driver, he made it to victory lane nine times as a car owner with drivers such as Fireball Roberts, Junior Johnson, A.J. Foyt, Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough.
DR. JOSEPH MATTIOLI (2013)
Founder and Chairman of Pocono Raceway. Ran track from its opening in 1971 until his final years, giving NASCAR a presence in northeast markets. Turned over operation of the track to his grandchildren in 2011. Had a medical degree and worked as a dentist.
PAUL MCDUFFIE (1965)
A legendary mechanic, McDuffie set up cars driven by Fireball Roberts, Joe Lee Johnson and Bob Welborn, who set a 100-mile race record of 142 mph when Daytona opened in 1959.
RALPH MOODY (1990)
Moody teamed with John Holman in the mid 1950s to form one of the most revered racing teams of all-time. Legendary drivers Dick Hutcherson, Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and David Pearson drove Holman-Moody Fords to victory. Pearson won consecutive Grand National championships with the team in 1968-69.
BUD MOORE (2002)
A World War II veteran, Bud Moore landed on Utah Beach during the D-Day invasion. He received five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for his service in the United States military. In NASCAR racing, he began building engines in 1946 and started his race team 15 years later. He and driver Joe Weatherly won back-to-back NASCAR Grand National titles in 1962-63. He revolutionized the sport as the first owner to use two-way radio communication between the driver and team.
BILLY MYERS (1968)
Myers won 48 races across the nation in NASCAR’s Sportsman Division, including 12 main events at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem, N.C. – all in 1955. He won two Grand National races.
ED OTTO (2002)
In 1952, Ed Otto became NASCAR’s first vice president. His vision for NASCAR was to “get respectability behind automobile racing,” and he devoted his career to that objective. He was instrumental in making sure the purse was paid even if the race lost money. Otto was an early advocate for NASCAR safety enhancements. In 1954, he recommended shoulder harnesses be required in all NASCAR events.
COTTON OWENS (1970)
Notched his place in history by winning hundreds of Modified races during the 1950s. Won seven Grand National events and was a key car builder and innovator.
MARVIN PANCH (1987)
Panch won the 1961 Daytona 500 in a Smokey Yunick Pontiac, but merged with the Woods Brothers to make one of the most formidable teams between 1962-66. He won 17 races, including four on superspeedways, during that stretch.
RAYMOND PARKS (1995)
Parks blazed the trail for modern-era car owners when he began fielding cars for drivers such as Red Byron in the late 1940s. With Byron behind the wheel, Parks’ car won the first race ever sanctioned by NASCAR and the first NASCAR points title. Among the legendary list of drivers to compete for Parks were Bob and Fonty Flock and Curtis Turner.
BUDDY PARROTT (2018)
Buddy Parrott won 47 races as crew chief in NASCAR’s premier series but that figure tells only a small part of the story of his career atop the pit box. A Gastonia, N.C. native was crew chief for seven-time series champion Richard Petty in 1984 when the King won his 200th and final premier series race at Daytona International Speedway. Parrott led Derrike Cope to his only two career victories in 1990. He led Rusty Wallace to 18 wins during 1993 and ’94. In 1997 he was the winning crew chief for Jeff Burton when Burton scored his first career victory in the premier series at Texas Motor Speedway.
BENNY PARSONS (1995)
Parsons scored 21 victories during his illustrious career, including victories in the 1975 Daytona 500 and the 1980 Coca-Cola 600. He captured the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup championship by completing 308 laps in a badly damaged race car in the season finale at Rockingham. Parsons, who passed away Jan. 16, 2007, enjoyed a successful second career as an award-winning television and radio commentator after retiring as a driver.
JIM PASCHAL (1977)
Paschal is 24th on the all-time list with 25 victories. He competed in the first Southern 500 at Darlington and twice captured the World 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
DAVID PEARSON (1991)
Pearson’s storied driving career lasted 27 years. He captured three NASCAR Winston Cup championships and 105 wins, ranking him second on the all-time list. He is the all-time leading pole winner on superspeedways with 64, including at least one every year from 1963-82. He won a record 11 consecutive poles at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. His best season came in 1968 when he won 16 races and finished among the top five 36 times in 48 starts.
ROGER PENSKE (2010)
A former elite driver in his own right, Roger Penske has distinguished himself as one of the greatest car owners in motorsports history. While known more for his 15 Indianapolis 500 titles and 12 IndyCar championships, Penske also has a long NASCAR history. He fielded cars in the mid-1970s (Bobby Allison was among his drivers), then returned full-time in 1991 with driver Rusty Wallace. Overall, Penske has won 64 races in the Cup Series, which places him among the top 10 owners of all time. Factoring sports cars and other types of motorsport into the equation, Penske Racing has won 22 national championships.
LEE PETTY (1969)
The first three-time Grand National champion (1954, ’58 and ’59), Petty never finished lower than sixth in the point standings, posting two seconds, three thirds, three fourths and one sixth. His best season was 1959 when he started 49 races, won 12, finished 41 and posted 31 top-five finishes. He has 54 career wins.
MAURICE PETTY (2007)
Petty, head engine builder at Petty Enterprises for more than two decades, began his racing career as a driver, making 26 starts between 1960 and 1964 in NASCAR’s Grand National Series. He posted seven top-five finishes – including a career-best third at Spartanburg, S.C. in 1961 – and 16 top-10s. But his most notable contributions to the sport came after he began building engines for the family-owned organization. His engines helped power the team’s entries to more than 200 wins and more than 750 top-10 finishes. Five of older brother Richard Petty’s seven NASCAR Cup championships came with Maurice Petty-built engines underneath the hood. He was named Mechanic of the Year on seven occasions, and was also instrumental in building engines for successful teams competing in series outside of stock car racing.
RICHARD PETTY (1998)
In a three-and-a-half decade career from 1958 to 1992, Petty amassed an unbelievable 200 career NASCAR Cup victories and seven NASCAR Cup championships. Petty won championships in 1964, 1967, 1971-72, 1974-75 and 1979. In 1967, “The King” turned in the greatest single season in the sport’s history, winning a record 27 races, recording 38 top-five finishes in 48 starts and tallying 19 poles while starting on the front row 34 times. He established records for the most consecutive races won (10) and the most races won from the pole (15). He ranks first all-time with 55 superspeedway wins, 139 short track victories and 126 career poles.
PAT PURCELL (1967)
Served 14 years as field manager and vice president of NASCAR until his death in 1966. Purcell negotiated dates and purses with track promoters, levied fines and enforced rules for NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.
TIM RICHMOND (2004)
Flamboyant and immensely talented, Richmond became an “overnight” sensation in the world of NASCAR. The 1980 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Race, Richmond moved south to compete in NASCAR where he won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1981. He won his first two races in 1982 driving for J. D. Stacy and won twice with Blue Max Racing before moving to Hendrick Motorsports where he achieved his greatest success. In 1986, he won seven of the final 17 races and finished third in the points. But in ‘87, he became ill and missed most of the first half of the season before returning in June and winning his first two races back in the No. 25 Chevrolet. Richmond, who died in August of 1989, finished his short, but brilliant career with 13 wins and 14 poles in 185 starts.
GLENN “FIREBALL” ROBERTS (1965)
Roberts won 32 races and an estimated $400,000 in NASCAR earnings during his illustrious 15-year career. Roberts’ best season was 1963 when he earned $67,320.
T. WAYNE ROBERTSON (2000)
Once ranked as one of the 50 most powerful figures in sports, Robertson interacted with both the heads of major corporations as well as part-time crewmembers with ease. In his 13 years as head of Sports Marketing Enterprises, Robertson oversaw RJR’s multiple sponsorships with NASCAR, the NHRA and the Senior PGA Tour. Robertson is credited with the creation of the Winston Million, as well as its successor, the Winston No Bull 5. He oversaw the addition of the series all-star race – and the NASCAR Winston Cup Preview. Robertson died from injuries suffered in a boating accident on Jan. 14, 1998.
JACK ROUSH (2010)
Car owner Jack Roush has fielded cars in NASCAR since 1988, collecting two Cup championships and 116 Cup victories along the way – putting his Roush Fenway Racing organization behind only Petty Enterprises, Hendrick Motorsports and Junior Johnson as the winningest teams of all time. Roush, a familiar sight in the NASCAR garage, often sporting his trademark Panama hat, has amassed a total of 274 wins across NASCAR’s top three divisions. His teams have made more than 2,500 starts in Cup competition.
RICKY RUDD (2012)
Rudd competed in NASCAR from 1975–2007, scoring 23 Cup wins and 29 poles. He holds the record for consecutive Cup starts with 788. He won the 1997 Brickyard 400 as an owner and was the championship runner-up in 1991. In addition to driving for his own team, Rudd competed for Richard Childress (scoring the team’s first win), Bud Moore, Rick Hendrick, Robert Yates and the Wood Brothers.
PAUL SAWYER (2006)
Sawyer’s unique vision crafted one of the sport’s most loved tracks out of the Virginia soil, creating one of NASCAR’s three remaining short tracks. Personable and outgoing, Sawyer began by promoting races at the Richmond Fairgrounds in 1955 before modernizing the facility. In 1988, he rebuilt the 0.542-mile track into a modern 0.75-mile oval. Lights went up three years later and sellout crowds have filled the facility annually. Sawyer sold the track to International Speedway Corp. in 1999, but remained as Chairman of the Board until his death February 26, 2005.
WENDELL SCOTT (2000)
Wendell Scott was a pioneer, a black race car driver in a predominantly white Southern sport when he came along in the 1960s. His struggles in racing and against racism, both subtle and overt, were a testament to his love for the sport and his unshakable belief that he had a right to be there. The Danville, Va., native won 128 short-track feature races before, in 1961, he began racing regularly on NASCAR’s Grand National circuit. Scott’s victory on Dec. 1, 1963, at Jacksonville (Fla.) Speedway Park remains the only victory for a black driver in NASCAR’s top series. Scott retired after being injured in a crash at Talladega in 1973. He died in 1990 at the age of 69.
RALPH SEAGRAVES (1992)
Seagraves spearheaded R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s venture into NASCAR in 1971 as series sponsor. With his unique style, Seagraves formulated a plan that pushed NASCAR Winston Cup racing into what is now termed the “modern era.”
KIRK SHELMERDINE (2020)
Best known for his outstanding abilities as a crew chief, Kirk contributed heavily to the success of seven-time Cup series champion Dale Earnhardt. Together they collected 44 of Earnhardt’s 76-career victories. Shelmerdine became the youngest crew chief to win a Cup Series race at 26 (in 1984) and the youngest to win a championship at 28 (in ’86). He retired as a crew chief in 1992 to fulfill his dream of being a race car driver. Kirk 20th place finish in the 2006 Daytona 500 was the best of his Cup Series career, he also had three ARCA Series wins and sat on the pole for the 2009 Sprint Showdown.
JACK SMITH (1981)
Smith notched more than 600 stock car victories, including 21 Grand National wins, during a career that stretched 17 years. Smith is tied for 28th on the all time win list.
O. BRUTON SMITH (2006)
Smith switched from promoting races to designing Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1959, a fateful career shift. Partnering with Curtis Turner, he helped build the 1.5-mile track, today known as Lowe’s Motor Speedway, in time to host NASCAR’s first World 600 on June 19, 1960. A year later, financial problems forced Smith out, but by 1975 he had regained majority control of the site and revamped the facility with condominiums and unique amenities never before seen at race tracks. His Speedway Motorsports Inc., became the first motorsports company to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (1995). SMI owns and operates seven speedways (Lowe’s, Atlanta, Bristol, Texas, Infineon, Las Vegas, and New Hampshire) that host Cup races.
KEN SQUIER (2013)
Pioneering motorsports broadcaster. From 1979-1997, was the lead commentator for NASCAR events on CBS. Also did racing broadcasts for TNT and helped found MRN. Participated in development of thelandmark in-car camera technology that was first used in the 1982 Daytona 500.
TONY STEWART (2020)
Tony Stewart dedicated his life to winning races and championships in many forms of American auto racing. Karting championships from 1980 through 1987 set the stage for a successful IndyCar career where he won series title in 1997. Two years later NASCAR Cup Series team owner Joe Gibbs began fielding a ride for Stewart in NASCAR’s premier series. Stewart collected three Cup series championships – two with Gibbs in 2002 and 2005 and the third in 2011 Cup while driving his own Stewart-Haas Racing. He tired from driving in NASCAR competition in 2016. He is the first and only driver to win championships in stock cars, IndyCars and open-wheel Midget, Sprint, and Silver Crown cars. In 2013, Stewart earned the prestigious NMPA Myers Brothers Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
MARSHALL TEAGUE (1968)
Posted seven Grand National wins. His racing career began in 1946, but he left NASCAR in ’52 for the American Automobile Association, USAC and Indy cars. He died at age 37 in 1969 when his Sumar Blue Special broke a front axle while attempting to establish a world speed record.
HERB THOMAS (1965)
Became the first two-time Grand National points champion (1951 and ’53) and first three-time Southern 500 winner (1951, ’54 and ’55). Captured 48 wins between 1950 and ’56, including 12 in 1953.
SPEEDY THOMPSON (1984)
Thompson won 20 Grand National races, seven from the pole position. He ranks 32nd on the all-time win list.
CURTIS TURNER (1971)
Noted as one of the toughest, and most colorful, drivers of all-time en route to 17 Grand National victories. Ranks in a tie for 41st on the all-time win list.
AL UNSER (2016)
Al Unser is one of only three drivers to win the legendary Indianapolis 500 four times. In 337 career Indy Car starts, he earned 40 wins, 127 podiums, 29 poles and three championships. He drove for notable teams in the open-wheel world including Penske, Foyt and Granatelli, and is the only driver to have both brother (Bobby) and son (Al Jr.) as fellow Indy 500 champions. Al even drove in NASCAR with three top-10 finishes in just five starts.
RED VOGT (1979)
Vogt is credited with giving NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) its name. He was also the head mechanic for the first NASCAR sanctioned race winner, Robert “Red” Byron.
STEVE WAID (2013)
Waid, a former president of the NMPA, has covered NASCAR for more than four decades. He is a former winner of the organization’s George Cunningham Writer of the Year award and in 1989 was presented the Henry T. McLemore Award for distinguished service in the field of motorsports journalism. Waid and fellow Hall of Fame member Tom Higgins co-authored the biography “Junior Johnson – Brave in Life,” detailing the life and times of one of NASCAR’s most popular figures.
RUSTY WALLACE (2010)
The 1989 Cup champion won 55 career races, which is eighth on the all-time wins list. Known for his short-track prowess, Wallace won nine times at Bristol (tied for the second-most), seven times at Martinsville (tied for third) and six times at Richmond (tied for third). In 1998, Wallace was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. Much of Wallace’s success came at Penske Racing, where he finished in the top 10 of the series standings 12 times and winning 37 races. He won at least one race for 16 consecutive seasons, which is tied for the third-most in NASCAR history. Wallace retired after the 2005 season following 706 career starts in the Cup Series.
DARRELL WALTRIP (2003)
One of only eight drivers to win three or more Cup championships (1981-82, ’85), Waltrip won 84 times in 809 career starts. He is tied with Bobby Allison for third place on the NASCAR Cup all-time win list. Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, Waltrip is now a television analyst.
T. TAYLOR WARREN (2009)
NASCAR officials declared Lee Petty the winner of the inaugural Daytona 500 after viewing Warren’s photo of the finish. One of the few people to have witnessed every Daytona 500 before his death in 2008, Warren was perhaps the best known photographer on the NASCAR circuit.
JOE HERBERT WEATHERLY (1965)
A two-time Grand National champion (1962-63). He ranks 24th on the all-time list with 25 career wins. Weatherly was killed in a crash at Riverside, Calif. He initiated the Joe Weatherly Stock Car Museum at Darlington Raceway.
BOB WELBORN (1982)
Captured three successive Convertible Division titles (1955-57), winning 20 races during that span. He also won seven Grand National races.
REX WHITE (1974)
White won the 1960 Grand National points championship and claimed 28 wins during his career. He holds the 22nd spot on the all-time win list.
H. A. “HUMPY” WHEELER (2004)
Wheeler, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, began his career at Robinwood Speedway in Gastonia, N.C. where he did everything from sell tickets to work with the local media. During the 1960s, Wheeler went to work for Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. In 1975, Bruton Smith hired Wheeler to run Charlotte (now Lowe’s) Motor Speedway. Under Wheeler’s leadership, the track led the way in race track promotion and “pre-race entertainment.”
WADDELL WILSON (2011)
Famed crew chief and engine builder. As crew chief, he won the 1980, ‘83 and ‘84 Daytona 500. During his long career, his engines powered teams to 109 wins, 123 poles and three Cup championships. Wilson built the first engine to exceed 200 mph, accomplishing the feat with driver Benny Parsons.
GLEN WOOD (2001)
Wood won four races and 14 poles in 62 career starts but it was as a team owner that he achieved his greatest fame. He is the patriarch of the famed Wood Brothers race team that has won 97 NASCAR Winston Cup races, 116 poles and has started cars in more than 1,000 races. The roster of Wood Brothers Racing drivers reads like a “Who’s Who of Motorsports” including 17 of the 50 drivers on NASCAR’s all-time greatest driver list. Wood is also known as a pit road innovator with the Wood Brothers revolutionizing pit stops in the 1960s. The Wood Brothers have collected at least one win in each of the past six decades.
LEONARD WOOD (2002)
In 1949, Leonard Wood and his brother, Glen, formed Wood Brothers Racing. Glen, 25, was the driver while Leonard, 15, was the sole mechanic and crew chief. Leonard prefers to say he was the chief mechanic “who did everything – build the car, build the motor and whatever else needed doing.” The Wood Brothers were the first team to emphasize the pit stop, and Leonard developed the jack that plays a major role in today’s faster pit stops. Seventeen of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers drove for the Wood Brothers at one point in their careers.
CALE YARBOROUGH (1994)
Yarborough was the first driver to capture three successive NASCAR Cup championships (1976-78). He retired in 1988 with 83 race victories, 198 poles and more than $5 million in earnings. Among his 50 superspeedway victories were five Southern 500s and four Daytona 500s. Cale drove for such legendary owners as the Wood Brothers, Harry Ranier and, during his championship run, Junior Johnson.
LEE ROY YARBROUGH (1990)
Yarbrough established a NASCAR record in 1969 when he won an unprecedented seven superspeedway races in Junior Johnson-prepared Fords. The Daytona 500, the World 600 and the Southern 500 were among Yarbrough’s record-setting wins, making him the first in NASCAR history to capture the “Triple Crown” for winning the richest, longest and oldest races. He also earned $188,605 that year. He finished with 14 career Grand National victories and 11 pole positions.
ROBERT YATES (2010)
After making a name for himself as a top engine builder throughout the 1970s and ’80s (he built the motors for Bobby Allison’s 1983 championship team), Yates fielded cars as a team owner of Robert Yates Racing from 1989-2007, collecting 57 victories along the way (11th on the all-time list). His engine program continued to produce some of the top horsepower on the circuit throughout his career, and he won the 1999 Cup title with driver Dale Jarrett. Yates won the Daytona 500 three times – once with Davey Allison (1992) and twice with Jarrett (1996, 2000) – and employed drivers such as Allison, Jarrett, Ricky Rudd, Ernie Irvan and Elliott Sadler, all of whom won multiple races under his watch.
SMOKEY YUNICK (1984)
Yunick gained fame behind the scenes, building winning race cars on the Winston Cup, Grand National and Indy car circuits. A popular figure that often found himself at odds with those who ran the sport, Yunick passed away in 2001.