Saturday, February 21, 2015

Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners and drivers. Their roles and responsibilities may have differed, but they all have one trait in common – each made an everlasting mark on NASCAR history.

Mark Martin was one of five competitors added to the list of 20 nominees
eligible for the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. (Photo by Chris Trotman)

NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees – legends all – who excelled in various disciplines, at various levels.

Among them are three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Ray Evernham; 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Harry Hyde; 1992 NASCAR premier series champion Alan Kulwicki; winner of a combined 96 NASCAR national series races, Mark Martin; and 1986 NASCAR west series champion Hershel McGriff. For a full list of nominees, please see below.

The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on Voting Day for the 2016 class will be Wednesday, May 20.

Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:

Nominee Hershel McGriff poising with NASCAR Race Mom

  1. Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
  2. Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949
  3. Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
  4. Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion**
  5. Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
  6. Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
  7. Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
  8. Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
  9. Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion
  10. Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion
  11. Terry Labonte, two-time NASCAR premier series champion
  12. Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition
  13. Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion
  14. Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
  15. Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
  16. Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
  17. O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
  18. Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
  19. Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
  20. Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner

The five nominees for the Landmark Award are as follows…

  1. Harold Brasington, founder of Darlington Speedway
  2. H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
  3. Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
  4. Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  5. Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

The 22-person Nominating Committee follows:

NASCAR Hall of Fame:

  • Executive Director Winston Kelley
  • Historian Buz McKim.

NASCAR Officials:

  • Chairman / CEO Brian France;
  • Vice Chairman Jim France;
  • Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton;
  • Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar;
  • Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell;
  • Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps;
  • Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton;
  • Competition Administrator Jerry Cook (**Note: Due to Jerry Cook’s inclusion on the ballot for the NHOF Class of 2015, he was recused from voting for the Class of 2016 nominees.)

Track Owners/Operators:

  • International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy;
  • Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell;
  • Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage;
  • Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark;
  • Former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George;
  • Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn;
  • Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie McNally;
  • Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis;
  • Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett;
  • Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery;
  • West Coast representative Ken Clapp.

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