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Nominees announced for NASCAR Hall of Fame 2020 class

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR unveiled its list of 20 nominees up for 2020 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and it includes six first-time nominees: Sam Ard, Neil Bonnett, Marvin Panch, Jim Paschal, Tony Stewart and Red Vogt. These six nominees fill the slots vacated by 2019 inductees Jeff Gordon, Jack Roush, Roger Penske, Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki and Kirk Shelmerdine, who fell off the nomination list a year after appearing on it for the first time.

Stewart’s nomination comes in his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility after retiring from full-time competition as a NASCAR driver at the end of the 2016 season. Stewart is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series championship driver (2002, 2005 and 2011) and a two-time championship owner (20011 and 2014). He continues as co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing.

Ard is a two-time champion of the series now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In 92-career starts between 1982 and 1984, Ard won 22 times and claimed consecutive series titles in 1983 and 1984. Eighteen of his wins came in those two seasons, including 10 in 1983.

Neil Bonnett was an 18-time winner in the Cup Series, with exactly half of those coming between 1979 and 1982 when he drove the iconic No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing entry. He competed in 362 Cup Series races 1974 and 1993 before a fatal practice crash at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in 1994. Bonnett also made his mark in NASCAR television broadcasting in the early 90s after suffering serious injuries in another racing incident.

Panch won 17 of 216-career Cup Series races between 1951 and 1966. Eight of those wins came as a Wood Brothers Racing driver in a three-year span between 1963 and 1965. Panch also won a race in NASCAR’s Convertible Series in 1956, running 24 races in that series between 1956 and 1959.

Paschal was a short-track ace. He won 25 times in NASCAR’s top series, with 23 of those wins coming on short tracks. He competed in 421 premier-series races between 1949 and 1972. His most active season in the Cup Series was 1967 when he ran 45 of the 49 races on the schedule, winning four times. His winningest season on the circuit was his five-win, 1963 season when ran 32 of 55 races.

Vogt is considered NASCAR’s first master mechanic and was among the men in the meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., that led to the formation of NASCAR.

Remaining on the list of nominees from last year include Buddy Baker, Red Farmer, Red Fox, Harry Gant, Joe Gibbs, John Holman, Harry Hyde, Bobby Labonte, Hershel McGriff, Ralph Moody, Larry Phillips, Ricky Rudd, Mike Stefanik and Waddell Wilson. The five 2020 inductees will be selected from among the nominees on May 22 and will be officially inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in early 2020.

Five nominees for the 2020 Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR also were announced. They include Ford Motor Company Board of Directors member Edsel Ford II, NASCAR’s first flagman Alvin Hawkins, former NASCAR President Mike Helton, Pocono Raceway founder Dr. Joseph Mattioli and former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company executive Ralph Seagraves. Helton is on the Hall of Fame nominating committee, as is Mattioli’s daughter Looie Mattioli.

Jim Hunter was the 2019 recipient of the award. Janet Guthrie, the first female driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, and former NASCAR broadcaster Barney Hall also were among last year’s nominees but were dropped from the 2020 ballot.

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Posted by on March 15, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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