Sunday, May 22, 2016

2017 #NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominees

Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Jack Roush

Each year, five inductees are selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame by a Voting Panel. Inductees are chosen from a list of 20 nominees that are determined by a Nominating Committee. The main criteria for nomination and induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame include NASCAR accomplishments and contributions to the sport.

Here are the third five of the twenty nominees. (Others to follow).

Hershel McGriff - Driver (b. 12/14/27)

Hometown: Bridal Veil, Ore.
Pro Series West Stats
  • Competed: 1971-2012
  • Wins: 37
  • Poles: 43
Hershel McGriff exhibited a competitive passion that lasted longer than any driver in NASCAR history. His first race was the 1950 Southern 500, in the NASCAR premier series’ sophomore season, at the age of 22. His final NASCAR race was at Sonoma Raceway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – in 2012 at the age of 84. In between: Greatness, and lots of it. McGriff competed in parts of 28 NASCAR premier series seasons, capturing four wins – all in 1954. But in what is now the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, McGriff displayed an excellence that made him one of the best in series history. Competing in parts of 35 seasons, McGriff won 37 races, good for third on the all-time West Series wins list. His signature year came in 1986 when he won the series title, part of a string of 10 consecutive seasons with finishes in the top 10 in championship points. In 1991, McGriff was the recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

Raymond Parks - Owner (b. 6/5/14 - d. 6/20/10)

Hometown: Dawson County, Ga.
Premier Series Owner Stats
  • Competed: 1949-1955
  • Starts: 18
  • Wins: 2
  • Poles: 2
Raymond Parks is one of stock-car racing’s earliest – and most successful – team owners. Funded by successful business and real estate ventures in Atlanta, Parks began his career as a stock-car owner in 1938 with drivers Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall. His pairing with another Atlantan, mechanic Red Vogt, produced equipment good enough to dominate the sport in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Red Byron won the first NASCAR title (modified, 1948) and first premier series title (1949) in a Parks-owned car. Though Parks’ team competed for only four seasons – 1949, 1950, 1954 and 1955 – his place in NASCAR history is secure. Parks’ team produced two premier series wins, two poles, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 18 events. Drivers Red Byron, Bob Flock and Roy Hall drove his cars during the 1949 season. Byron drove for him again in 1950. Fonty Flock drove for Parks in 1954, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner drove for him in 1955. Parks retired from racing in the mid-1950s.

Benny Parsons - Driver (b. 7/12/41 - d. 1/16/07)

Hometown: Ellerbe, N.C.
Premier Series Stats
  • Competed: 1964-1988
  • Starts: 526
  • Wins: 21
  • Poles: 20
Benny Parsons, a Wilkes County, North Carolina, native who called Detroit home after driving a taxi for a living during his years in the northern city, won the 1973 NASCAR premier series championship in one of the most dramatic fashions in series history. Parsons could be called an everyman champion: winning enough to be called one of the sport’s stars but nearly always finishing well when he wasn’t able to reach Victory Lane. He won 21 times in 526 career starts but finished among the top 10 283 times – a 54 percent ratio. One of Parsons’ biggest victories came in the 1975 Daytona 500. He was the first driver to qualify a stock car at more than 200 mph (200.176) in 1982 at Talladega Superspeedway. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Parsons also was known as a voice of the sport making a seamless transition to television following his NASCAR career. He was a commentator for NBC and TNT until his passing in 2007, at the age of 65.

Larry Phillips - Driver (b. 7/3/42 - d. 9/21/04)

Hometown: Springfield, Mo.
Weekly Series Stats
  • Competed: 1989-2001
  • Starts: 308
  • Wins: 226
  • Poles: N/A
The legend of Missouri’s Larry Phillips cannot be measured in wins alone. That’s because nobody can say for sure how many victories there were. He raced here, there and everywhere on dirt and asphalt and in places where record keeping wasn’t always a priority. Phillips was just happy to vanquish the competition and go on to the next track. One crew chief, James Ince, estimated Phillips won 1,000 times; maybe 2,000. Rivals expressed frustration upon seeing Phillips’ No. 75 car come through the pit gate, admitting they were racing each other for second place. What is fact is that Phillips is the only driver to win five NASCAR Weekly Series national championships. During an 11-year span – from his first title in 1989 through 1996 – the Springfield, Mo. competitor won 220 of 289 NASCAR-sanctioned starts. That’s a winning percentage of 76 percent. Phillips also won 13 track championships in three states. Phillips was named one of the 25 top drivers in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2006.

Jack Roush – Owner (b. 1/19/42)

Hometown: Covington, Ky.
Premier Series Stats
  • Competed: 1988-Present
  • Starts: 3,340
  • Wins: 135
  • Poles: 87
Once a Michigan-based drag racing owner and enthusiast, Jack Roush made his best motorsports decision when he turned south in 1988 to start a NASCAR team. Since beginning Roush Racing (now known as Roush Fenway Racing), the graduate-level mathematician turned engineering entrepreneur has won a record 322 races across NASCAR’s three national series. Overall, Roush boasts five NASCAR national series owner championships, while his drivers have won an additional three driver championships. Roush initially built his powerhouse organization by pairing with fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mark Martin who won 83 NASCAR national series races for RFR from 1988-2005. Known for his trademark Panama hat, Roush has displayed a prowess for discovering and developing talent. He helped Matt Kenseth (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) grow into premier series champions and also jumpstarted the careers of current stars Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. Roush was the 2001 recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence.

 * * * * * *

The process begins with a 22-person Nominating Committee, who meets at Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks to select the list of 20 nominees.

Then a 55-person Voting Panel, which includes the members of the Nominating Committee plus additional representatives, votes on five inductees from the list of 20 nominees. The Voting Panel submits a total of 56 ballots*, which includes one ballot from a nationwide fan vote, to determine the five inductees.

The number of ballots submitted may change if any member of the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel appears on the previous year’s ballot or current year’s ballot. These individuals are recused from participating in the nominating and/or voting process for as long as he/she appears on the ballot. If an individual who is currently on the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel is inducted, or is no longer included on a final ballot, he or she is immediately reinstated to active participation on the committee/panel.

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