On Wednesday, NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame are expected to announced the five 2015 inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The announcement will come at 4 p.m. ET and will be shown live on FOX Sports 1.
Here’s a list of the nominees from which the five inductees will be chosen:
Buddy Baker — winner of 19 premier level races
Red Byron — first NASCAR top-level champion in 1949
Richard Childress — car owner will 11 championship’s across NASCAR’s three national series
Jerry Cook — six-time Modified champion
Bill Elliott — 1988 Cup champion and 16-time Most Popular driver
Ray Fox — legendary engine builder and car owner for Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
Rick Hendrick — car owner with 14 titles across three national series
Bobby Isaac — 1970 top level champion
Terry Labonte — two-time Cup champion
Fred Lorenzen — winner of 26 races
Raymond Parks — first champion car owner
Benny Parsons — 1973 Cup champion
Larry Phillips — five-time Whelen All-American national champion
Wendell Scott — first African-American NASCAR top-level race winner
O. Burton Smith — Charlotte Motor Speedway builder and head of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
Mike Stefanik — holder of nine NASCAR championships
Curtis Turner — early NASCAR personality
Joe Weatherly — two-time NASCAR top-level champion
Rex White — 1960 top level champion
Robert Yates — Cup level champion as car owner and engine builder
With the inductee announcement just a day a way, here are my picks/predictions for the Hall of Fame Class of 2015:
Red Byron and Raymond Parks — These two men have been on the ballot since the beginning of NASCAR Hall of Fame ballots and still haven’t gotten in. Of course, there are others who have been on the Hall of Fame ballot for years, but these two guys were firsts. Byron was the first champion driver and Parks the first champion owner. There’s something to be said about being the first.
Rick Hendrick — The trend lately seems to be to throw one modern name into the induction class to attract younger fans to the Hall of Fame. Not sure I agree with this, as I think of a Hall of Fame as being more about the history. But if we’re going to throw in a modern name, why not Rick Hendrick. He’s still relevent to the younger set, as he’s still active in the sport as a car owner. Heck, he’s the reigning championship car owner. He has 11 Cup titles as a car owner, mostly thanks to Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. With Johnson’s championship, Hendrick has six Cup championships in the last eight years and all 11 have come in the 19 years between 1995 and 2013. That’s more than half of the championships awarded to car owners in the last 19 years. Not too shabby
Wendell Scott — NASCAR’s all about diversity these days. But admit it, minorities in today’s NASCAR don’t have it nearly as tough as Scott did back when he was racing. He didn’t even get to celebrate in victory lane after his win in Jacksonville. If NASCAR want’s diversity, there should probably be at least a little diversity in its Hall of Fame. Give Scott his due.
Bruton Smith — Think about it. Without Smith, would we have a Coca-Cola 600? Night race at Bristol?
Well, those are my picks for 2015 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Of course, my track record for picking race winners, Hall of Fame inductees, and well, any kind of guessing the future leaves a lot to be desired. So I may be way off, here. Anyway, there they are.
Let us know whay you think. Talk to us on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner