By AMANDA VINCENT
Retired NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, the 1988 Winston (now-Sprint) Cup champion, was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame in Darlington, S.C., on Friday after a nearly unanimous decision among NMPA membership. Elliott’s name was on 98 percent of the ballots cast.
“The induction into the NMPA Hall of Fame validates my career, and the things I’ve accomplished in my NASCAR career,” Elliott said during his induction ceremony at the Darlington Country Club. “I appreciate everything everyone has done to get me to where I am. I really appreciate what everyone has done for me and my family throughout the years. I’m truly honored to receive this award.”
Elliott won 44 races in NASCAR’s premier series in a career that spanned from 1976 to 2012, including two Daytona 500 wins in 1985 and 1987 and three Southern 500 victories in 1985, 1988 and 1994. He also won the Brickyard 400 in 2002. In 1985, along with his Daytona 500 and Southern 500 wins, Elliott also won the Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway to earn the “Winston Million” $1 million bonus for winning three out of four marquee races.
Elliott also was voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver a record 16 times.
Others receiving NMPA Hall of Fame votes include drivers L.D. Ottinger and Sterling Marlin, crew chief Kirk Shelmerdine and sports writer David Poole.
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