On Wednesday the NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominating Committee selected the 20 nominees who will be up for 2017 Hall of Fame inductions. The five inductees will be chosen from the 20 nomonees by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel on May 25 and will be inducted in January 2017.
Fifteen of the names on the list were on the list of last year’s nominees with five names added to replace the five individuals inducted earlier this year. New to the nominee list are Ron Hornaday Jr., Jack Roush, Ricky Rudd, Ken Squier and Waddell Wilson.
Here is the full list of nominees up for 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction (names listed in alphabetical order):
Buddy Baker — a 15-time winner at NASCAR’s top level, including a victory in the 1980 Daytona 500. That Daytona 500 still holds the record as the fastest Daytona 500 at an average speed of 177.602 mph. He also is credited with being the first driver to exceed the 200 mph mark on a closed course with a 200.447 mph speed of record at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. After his driving career ended, Baker became a beloved broadcaster.
Red Byron — NASCAR’s first premier series champion in 1949. That championship was Byron’s second NASCAR title, though, as he also claimed the first Modified championship in 1948. Byron also won the first Daytona Beach race sanctioned by NASCAR in 1949.
Richard Childress — a former driver/owner who found great success when he started putting other drivers in his cars, including the late Dale Earnhardt. Childress is an 11-time championship owner across NASCAR’s three national series, winning titles in all three. Those include five in the Winston Cup Series, five of Earnhardt’s seven championships.
Ray Evernham — former crew chief and Cup level car owner. As a crew chief, Evernham was a part of three Winston (now-Sprint) Cup championships with Jeff Gordon as driver. Evernham also was an integral figure in bringing Dodge back to NASCAR in the early 2000s.
Ray Fox — a successful engine builder, crew chief, and car owner. Later, he was an engine inspector for NASCAR. He was part of 14 race wins at NASCAR’s top level.
Rick Hendrick — a championship car owner with 14 titles across NASCAR’s three national series, including 11 at the Cup level with three different drivers — Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.
Ron Hornaday Jr. — a driver with four championships in the Craftsman/Camping World Truck Series, the most of any other driver in series history.
Harry Hyde — legendary crew chief who was part of a NASCAR premier series championship in 1970 with Bobby Isaac as driver. He guided teams to 56 race wins as a NASCAR crew chief between the 1960s and 1980s. Hyde was said to be the inspiration of the Harry Hogge character in the move, Days of Thunder.
Alan Kulwicki — the 1992 Winston Cup Series champion. Was the last owner/driver to win the title until Tony Stewart did so in 2011. He also was the Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 1986. Kulwicki won five races and posted 75 top-10s.
Mark Martin — winning driver of 96 races across NASCAR’s three national series. Those wins include 40 at the Cup level. Touted as the best driver to never win a Cup title, Martin finished second in the championship points standings five times. He also hold five IROC championships, most of anyone in the now-defunct racing series.
Hershel McGriff — the 1986 NASCAR West Series champion. He competed in 85 races in NASCAR’s top series, but it was in the West Series, now known as the K&N Series West the McGriff made a name for himself. In addition to winning the 1986 championship, he won 37 races, putting him third on the series’ all-time wins list.
Raymond Parks — NASCAR’s first champion car owner in two different series — the first Modified championship owner in 1948 and the first at NASCAR top level, now known as the Sprint Cup Series, in 1949.
Benny Parsons — 1973 champion at NASCAR’s top level. In all, he claimed 21 race wins and 283 top-10s in 526 races between 1963 and 1988. After his driving career ended, Parsons became a well-admired TV broadcaster.
Larry Phillips — driver with five NASCAR weekly series national championships, most of any other driver, claiming championships in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 1996. Phillips also claimed seven regional championships and 13 track titles.
Jack Roush — car owner with five championships across NASCAR’s three national series, including two at the Cup level
Ricky Rudd — driver who won 23 times at the Cup level. Wins include the 1997 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His best Cup championship finish was second in 1991.
Ken Squier — a legendary racing broadcaster, both on radio and TV. He was one of the first winners of the Squier-Haal Award for NASCAR Media Excellecence, an award that carries his name.
Mike Stefanik — a nine-time NASCAR champion, claiming seven championships in NASCAR’s Modified series and two championships in the Busch North Series. He also was the 1999 Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year.
Waddell Wilson — an engine builder whose engines powered three NASCAR top-level championship runs.
Robert Yates — legendary NASCAR team owner-turned engine builder. He won championships in both roles.
Also announced on Wednesday were the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. One award is given yearly. The new name added to this year’s list to replace last year’s winner is that of Janet Guthrie, the first woman to compete in a superspeedway race at NASCAR’s top level.
With their Hall of Fame nominations, Parks and Squier are nominees twice over, as they’re also nominated for the 2017 Landmark Award. The other two nominees are H.Clay Earles, the founder of Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, and Ralph Seagraves, the catalyst for the partnership between R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and NASCAR that led to the tobacco company’s longtime title sponsorship of NASCAR’s top series through its Winston brand.
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