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2017

NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Class of 2017
Richard Childress - Owner (b. 9/21/45)

Richard Childress - Owner (b. 9/21/45)

Hometown:Winston-Salem, NC
Premier Series Owner Stats
Competed: 1969-present (stats as of November 2016)
Starts: 2,736   
Wins: 105
Poles: 48

Long before he became one of the preeminent car owners in NASCAR history, Richard Childress was a race car driver with limited means. Still, he persevered, which is what you do when you purchase your first car for $20 at the age of 17. Childress, the consummate self-made racer, was respectable behind the wheel. Between 1969 and 81, he had six top-five finishes and 76 top 10s in 285 starts, finishing fifth in the NASCAR premier series standings in 1975. Having formed Richard Childress Racing in 1972, Childress retired from driving in 1981. The rest, as they say, is history. Much of that history is linked to one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers, inaugural NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt (2010), who won six championships and 67 races between 1984 and 2000 for RCR. But Childress has had other successes. Childress was the first NASCAR owner to win championships in all three of NASCAR’s national series, and his 14 titles are second all-time. Childress was the recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence in 1986.

Rick Hendrick - Ownder (b. 7/12/49)

Rick Hendrick - Owner (b. 7/12/49)

Hometown: Palmer Springs, VA
Premier Series Owner Stats
Competed: 1984-present (stats as of November 2016)
Starts: 3,699
Wins: 245
Poles: 210

The founder and owner of Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick’s organization is recognized as one of NASCAR’s most successful. A longtime racing enthusiast and driver himself, Hendrick owned drag-racing boat teams that won three championships before founding “All-Star Racing,” the team that would evolve into Hendrick Motorsports, in 1984. Hendrick Motorsports owns an all-time record 12 NASCAR premier series car owner championship titles – seven with Jimmie Johnson, four with Jeff Gordon and one with NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte. Hendrick also has 16 total NASCAR national series owner championships, the most in NASCAR history. Gordon and Labonte combined to win four consecutive titles from 1995-98. In 2010, Johnson won a record-extending fifth consecutive championship. Some of NASCAR’s most prominent drivers have driven for Hendrick. Geoff Bodine was the first, snaring the organization’s first victory on April 29, 1984, at Martinsville Speedway. The late Tim Richmond, NASCAR Hall of Famer, and three-time series champion, Darrell Waltrip (2012) and the late NASCAR Hall of Famer Benny Parsons (2017), the 1973 champion, also are Hendrick alumni.

Mark Martin - Driver (b. 1/9/59)

Mark Martin - Driver (b. 1/9/59)

Hometown: Batesville, AR
Premier Series Stats
Competed: 1981-2013
Starts: 882
Wins: 40
Poles: 56

He’s often described as the “greatest driver to never win a championship,” but Mark Martin’s legendary career is so much more than that. He came incredibly close to that elusive title many times – finishing second in the championship standings five times. In 1990, Martin finished 26 points behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt (2010), his closest run at the championship. He set career highs for wins (seven), top-five finishes (22) and laps led (1,730) in 1998 but was left with another second-place finish, this time to Jeff Gordon. He also finished second in 1994, 2002 and 2009. Over the course of his 31-year NASCAR premier series career, Martin compiled 40 wins (17th all-time) and 61 runner-up finishes (sixth all-time) in 882 starts (fifth all-time). His 56 career poles rank seventh on the all-time list. Martin saw success at every level of NASCAR. He won 49 times in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series, holding the series wins record for 14 years. He retired with 96 wins across NASCAR’s three national series, seventh on the all-time list. In 1998, Martin was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.

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

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, Georgia, 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 Parks' cars during the 1949 season. Byron drove for him in 1950 and finished third in the inaugural Southern 500 – Parks served as one of the tire changers. Fonty Flock drove for Parks in 1954, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner (2016) drove for him in 1955. Parks retired from racing in the mid-1950s.

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

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

Hometown: Ellerbe, NC
Premier Series Stats
Competed: 1964-1988
Starts: 526
Wins: 21
Poles: 20

Benny Parsons, a Wilkes County, North Carolina, native who called Detroit home, 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 mph) 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 ESPN, NBC and TNT until his passing in 2007 at the age of 65. 

Landmark Award Winner

Harold Brasington (b. 5/10/09 - d. 2/4/96)

H. Clay Earles (b. 8/11/13 - d. 11/16/99)

Hometown: Martinsville, VA

One of the original pioneers of stock car auto racing, H. Clay Earles played an integral role in the early years of NASCAR's development. Earles built and opened Martinsville Speedway in 1947, and the short track remains the only facility to host NASCAR premier series races every year since the series’ inception in 1949. The speedway held its first race on Sept. 7, 1947 – three months before the creation of NASCAR. That initial race drew more than 6,000 fans to the track, which had just 750 seats ready. Built as a dirt track, the .526-mile asphalt and concrete speedway has grown from a dusty, primitive operation into a multimillion-dollar facility covering over 340 acres. The track’s unique paperclip shape makes it especially challenging, with 800-foot straights and tight turns banked at only 12 degrees. In 1964, Earles decided it was time for a “different” type of trophy for his race winners. He gave winners grandfather clocks, a tradition that continues today. Earles passed away on Nov. 16, 1999, as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the speedway.

 

Squier-Hall Award Winner

Benny Phillips

Benny spent 48 years with the High Point Enterprise in North Carolina, serving as sports editor for 32 years. He also wrote for Stock Car Racing magazine for 27 years and spent 12 years with TBS. Phillips was named the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Writer of the Year seven times and earned many accolades including the NMPA Joe Littlejohn Award in 1977, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) Henry T. McLemore Award in 1978, the Buddy Shuman Award in 1986 and the NMPA George Cunningham Award in 1988.

 

2017 Nominees

Buddy Baker - Driver (b. 3/12/15 - d. 11/11/60)

Buddy Baker - Driver (b. 1/25/41 - d. 8/10/15)

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Premier Series Stats
Competed: 1959-1992
Starts: 699
Wins: 19
Poles: 38

At six feet, six inches tall, Buddy Baker was often called the “Gentle Giant,” however, the nickname “Leadfoot” was more apropos due to the blistering speeds he often achieved during his 33-year career. In 1980, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native won the Daytona 500 with an average race speed of 177.602 mph – a track record that still stands. That same year, Baker became the first driver to eclipse the 200-mph mark on a closed course while testing at Talladega Superspeedway. Although he didn’t win at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in 1970, Baker won there four times throughout his stellar career. He won 19 wins in the premier series, including a victory in the 1970 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway where he lapped the rest of the field. He also won back-to-back World 600s at Charlotte in 1972-73. After retiring in 1992, Baker made a successful transition to the television booth as a commentator for The Nashville Network and CBS, and later as a radio co-host on Late Shift and Tradin’ Paint for SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. In 1998, Baker was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.

Red Byron - Driver (b. 3/12/15 - d. 11/11/60)

Red Byron – Driver (b. 3/12/15 - d. 11/11/60)

Hometown: Anniston, Ala.
Premier Series Stats
Competed: 1949-1951
Starts:  15
Wins: 2
Poles: 2

Robert “Red” Byron was there at the outset, to say the least. Byron won the sanctioning body’s first race in 1948, on the Daytona beach road course. He went on in 1948 to win NASCAR’s first season championship – in the NASCAR Modified Division. The following year, he won NASCAR’s first Strictly Stock title – the precursor to today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – driving for car owner Raymond Parks. The Strictly Stock schedule had eight races; Byron won two of them. Wounded in World War II, Byron drove with a special brace attached to the clutch pedal, to assist an injured leg – making his accomplishments even more impressive. That injury contributed to Byron’s relatively brief career, after which he continued to be involved in motorsports. When he died in 1960 at the age of 45, Byron had branched out, striving to make more history, by developing an American car capable of winning the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car event. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, recognition of a highly significant career, the relative brevity of it notwithstanding.

Ray Evernham - Crew Chief (b. 8/26/57)

Ray Evernham - Crew Chief (b. 8/26/57)

Hometown: Hazlet, N.J.
Premier Series Crew Chief Stats
Competed: 1992-1999
Starts: 213
Wins: 47
Poles: 30

In the 1992 season finale, a young driver and crew chief pairing made their NASCAR premier series debut. Less than a decade later, Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham were in the record books. Evernham guided Gordon and the No. 24 team to three championships in four seasons (1995, ’97, ’98), and a series-leading 47 wins in the 1990’s. Among their triumphs were two Daytona 500s (1997, ’99) and two Brickyard 400s (1994, ’98). Matching Evernham’s mechanical prowess was his innovation on pit road. Under his direction, the “Rainbow Warriors” revolutionized the art of the pit stop. In 2001, Evernham tried his hand at ownership, leading the return of Dodge to NASCAR. His drivers won 13 times, including NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott’s triumph in the 2002 Brickyard 400. After selling majority ownership of his team in 2007, Evernham worked for ESPN as a race analyst before joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2014 as a consultant for its competition department.

Ray Fox - Builder/Owner/Race Official (b. 5/28/16 - d. 6/15/14)

Ray Fox - Builder/Owner/Race Official (b. 5/28/16 - d. 6/15/14)

Hometown: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Premier Series Owner Stats
Competed: 1962-1974
Starts: 200
Wins: 14
Poles: 16

A New England native, Ray Fox saw his first automobile race at the 2-mile board track at Rockingham Park near Salem, New Hampshire. Following service in the U.S. Army in World War II, Fox moved to Daytona Beach to work as a mechanic. Fox built the engine in the Buick driven by Fireball Roberts which led the 1955 Daytona Road & Beach Course wire-to-wire. Roberts, however, was disqualified after it was determined that the car’s mechanic, Red Vogt, had modified the pushrods. In 1956, Fox went to work for Carl Kiekhaefer whose Chrysler 300 cars won 22 of the season’s first 26 races. He was named Mechanic of the Year. In 1960, Fox built the Chevrolet in which Junior Johnson won the Daytona 500. David Pearson won three times that year driving Fox-built Pontiacs. In 1962, Fox became a car owner. He won nine times with Johnson and twice – including the 1964 Southern 500 – with Buck Baker. Over the years, five NASCAR Hall of Famers took the wheel for Fox, including Cale Yarborough and Fred Lorenzen. Fox retired in the early 1970s but in 1990 accepted the role of NASCAR’s engine inspector, a position he held until his second retirement at the age of 80 in 1996.

 Ron Hornaday Jr. - Driver (b. 6/20/58)

Ron Hornaday Jr. - Driver (b. 6/20/58)

Hometown: Palmdale, Ca.
Truck Series Driver Stats
Competed:1995-99, 2002, 2004-14
Starts: 360
Wins: 51
Poles: 27

One of the forefathers of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, few drivers can be mentioned in the same breath as Ron Hornaday Jr. when it comes to wheeling a truck around a race track. The second-generation racer from Palmdale, California boasts a record four Truck Series championships and 51 wins competing on the rough-and-tumble circuit. Hornaday also holds the Truck Series all-time marks for top fives (158) and top 10s (234). In 2009, Hornaday won five straight Truck Series races, a feat matched only three other times in NASCAR national series history. Given his first opportunity in the Truck Series by Dale Earnhardt after “The Intimidator” discovered him during a NASCAR Winter Heat Series event on ESPN2, Hornaday gave back to the sport by allowing young West Coast upstarts to stay at his home while pursuing their stock car racing dreams, including future premier series champions Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick.

Harry Hyde - Crew Chief (b. 1/17/25 - d. 5/13/96)

Harry Hyde - Crew Chief (b. 1/17/25 - d. 5/13/96)

Hometown: Brownsville, Ky.
Premier Series Crew Chief Stats
Competed: 1966-1993
Wins: 56
Poles: 88

Harry Hyde was so good, they made a movie about him. Hyde, who inspired Robert Duvall’s character Harry Hogge in the cinematic classic Days of Thunder, enjoyed a nearly three-decade career in NASCAR’s premier series. During that tenure, his incredible leadership skills translated to immense success – even to the greenest of drivers. Prior to guiding Dave Marcis, Neil Bonnett and Geoff Bodine to their first career wins and harnessing the talent of Tim Richmond, Hyde laid a championship foundation with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Isaac. In 1969, Hyde called the shots for Isaac’s 17-win season, which ranks among the most prolific seasons in the history of the sport. That year, Isaac also won 19 poles, which still stands as a NASCAR premier series record. Hyde’s crowning achievement came in 1970, when he won the NASCAR premier series championship with Isaac, winning 11 times and capturing 32 top fives in 47 starts. Hyde was also named NASCAR Mechanic of the Year.

Alan Kulwicki - Driver (b. 12/14/54 - d. 4/1/93)

Alan Kulwicki - Driver / Owner (b. 12/14/54 - d. 4/1/93)

Hometown: Greenfield, Wis.
Premier Series Stats
Competed: 1985-1993
Starts: 207
Wins: 5
Poles: 24

Noted Wisconsin short-track racer Alan Kulwicki moved to Charlotte in 1984 with nothing but a pickup truck, a self-built race car and the hopes of competing in NASCAR’s highest series. He had no sponsor and a limited budget. Kulwicki burst onto the scene as the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year with his self-owned AK Racing team. Throughout his career, Kulwicki received lucrative offers from powerhouse race teams, but insisted on racing for himself. That determination eventually led to his first of five career victories at Phoenix in 1988, and the unveiling of his trademark “Polish Victory Lap,” a celebratory clockwise cool down lap with the driver’s window facing the fans. His signature season was his championship-winning 1992 campaign, where Kulwicki overcame a 278-point deficit with six races remaining to capture the NASCAR premier series title. He had two wins, 11 top fives and 17 top 10s to defeat NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott by 10 points – at the time, the tightest championship margin in series history. Kulwicki never got the chance to defend his title, dying in a plane crash in 1993. Five years after his death, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers.

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

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.

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

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)

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.

 Ricky Rudd - Driver (b. 9/12/56)

Ricky Rudd - Driver (b. 9/12/56)

Hometown: Chesapeake, Va.
Premier Series Stats
Competed: 1975-2007
Starts: 906
Wins: 23
Poles: 29

Tough. As. Nails. There is no other way to describe Ricky Rudd. Known as NASCAR’s Ironman for more than a decade, the Virginia native held the premier series record for consecutive starts (788) before Jeff Gordon broke it in 2015. His 906 overall starts rank second in NASCAR history to Richard Petty’s 1,185. During his 32-year premier series career, Rudd posted 23 wins, 194 top fives, 374 top 10s (seventh all-time) and 29 poles. One of the few successful driver / owners in the modern era, Rudd won six races for his Rudd Performance Motorsports team he operated from 1994-99, including the 1997 Brickyard 400. Rudd, the 1977 premier series rookie of the year, earned a best points finish of second in 1991. He scored at least one win in 16 consecutive seasons (1983-98), which is tied for the third-longest streak in NASCAR premier series history. In 1998, Rudd was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.

Ken Squier (b. 4/10/35)

Ken Squier – Broadcaster  (b. 4/10/35)

Hometown: Waterbury, Vt.

With a smooth voice, and knack for weaving a simple note into an epic tale, Ken Squier carved a massive footprint during NASCAR’s formative broadcast years. One of NASCAR’s original broadcasters, Squier co-founded the Motor Racing Network (MRN) in 1970. It was his golden voice that took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage, giving his insider’s view of what he famously described as “common men doing uncommon things.” He is perhaps best-known for calling the 1979 Daytona 500, a milestone moment for the entire sport, as Squier’s voice on CBS welcomed millions to the first live flag-to-flag coverage of "The Great American Race" – a moniker he coined. Following that signature moment, Squier proceeded to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997 before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000. Squier continues to enlighten NASCAR fans to this day, mostly through special appearances. In 2012, NASCAR announced the creation of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, which would be housed in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Squier and MRN’s Barney Hall were inaugural winners of the award.

Mike Stefanik - Driver (b. 5/20/58)

Mike Stefanik - Driver (b. 5/20/58)

Hometown: Coventry, R.I.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Stats
Competed: 1985-2014
Starts: 450
Wins: 74
Poles: 48

At the very top of the list of all-time NASCAR championships sit two men: NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans … and Mike Stefanik. Each tallied nine in their exemplary careers, with Stefanik’s coming in both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Seven of his titles came in his primary racing series – the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. In 2003, he was named one of the Tour’s 10 Greatest Drivers, an obvious choice if there ever was one – Stefanik holds the all-time series record in championships, wins, poles, top fives and top 10s. In 1997-98, Stefanik won back-to-back championships in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. That, along with a K&N Pro Series East win total that ties for ninth on the all-time list, earned him a spot on the Top 10 Drivers of the First 25 Years of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East list in 2011. In addition, Stefanik spent one full-time season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – and it was a successful one. He captured the Rookie of the Year Award in 1999.

 Waddell Wilson - Crew Chief/Engine Builder (b. 12/29/36)

Waddell Wilson - Crew Chief/Engine Builder (b. 12/29/36)

Hometown: Bakersville, N.C.
Premier Series Crew Chief Stats
Competed:  1979-88, 1990-93, 1995
Starts: 287
Wins: 22
Poles: 32

A dual threat as an engine builder and crew chief, Waddell Wilson powered and guided cars to some of the biggest victories in NASCAR history. As an engine builder, he supplied the power that helped David Pearson (1968, ’69) and Benny Parsons (1973) to premier series titles. Overall, Wilson’s engines helped some of the greatest drivers to ever wheel a car – including NASCAR Hall of Famers Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip – to 109 wins and 123 poles. He originally gained acclaim for building the engine Roberts used to win the 1963 Southern 500. Wilson guided three cars to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 as a crew chief, winning The Great American Race with Buddy Baker (1980) and Cale Yarborough (1983-84). The famed “Grey Ghost” he assembled for Buddy Baker still holds the Daytona 500 record with an average speed of 177.602 MPH. Wilson directed his drivers to 22 wins and 32 poles as a crew chief. In 1982, Wilson built the first engine to help a premier series driver break 200 MPH when Benny Parsons turned a 200.176 MPH qualifying lap at Talladega for the Winston 500.

Robert Yates - Driver/Owner (b. 4/19/43)

Robert Yates - Owner/Engine Builder (b. 4/19/43)

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Premier Series Owner Stats
Competed: 1989-2007
Starts: 1,155
Wins: 57
Poles: 48

Robert Yates was the rare breed, exceling in any field he chose. But two in particular placed him among NASCAR’s greats – engine building (his first love) and team ownership. Yates, who began his career at Holman-Moody Racing in 1968, landed a job with NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson in 1971 – and the rest is history. He provided the power behind Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough, later leading Allison to a series championship in 1983 with DiGard Racing. In the late 1980s, Yates launched his own team, Robert Yates Racing. Success came quickly – driver Davey Allison won the 1992 Daytona 500, and finished third in that season’s championship standings. In 1996, Yates expanded to a two-car team with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Ernie Irvan – and immediately won that year’s Daytona 500 with Jarrett. Jarrett would go on to win another Daytona 500 in 2000, a year after winning the NASCAR premier series championship – all in Yates-owned Fords. His lineage continues today, as son Doug carries on his legacy as one of the top engine builders in the sport.

Landmark Award Nominees

Janet Guthrie (b. 3/7/38)

Janet Guthrie (b. 3/7/38)

Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Premier Series Driver Stats
Competed:  1976-1978, 1980
Starts: 33

Janet Guthrie moved on from a successful career as an aerospace engineer in the early 1960s, trading equations for a wheel to become a full-time racer in 1972. A true pioneer in motorsports, Guthrie became the first woman to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race when she drove to a 15th-place finish in the 1976 World 600. The next year, she piloted cars in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500, becoming the first female to participate in both events. Guthrie steered her car to a sixth-place finish at Bristol in 1977, a career-best finish. Overall, the University of Michigan graduate made 33 premier series starts, logging five top-10 finishes. Guthrie was a member of the first class inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. Her helmet and firesuit are on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

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

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

Hometown: Dawson County, Ga.
Premier Series 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 Curtis Turner drove for him in 1955. Parks retired from racing in the mid-1950s.

Ralph Seagraves (b. 4/21/29 - d. 9/27/98)

Ralph Seagraves (b. 4/21/29 - d. 9/27/98)

Hometown: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Ralph Seagraves’ life – and NASCAR’s world – changed the moment he met NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson. In the late 1960s, Seagraves, an official with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, had been searching for a means to market cigarettes after the federal government banned RJR’s products from advertising on television and radio. Johnson, ever the entrepreneur, had an idea. How about RJR sponsor his cars? Seagraves had a bigger idea: Why not sponsor NASCAR’s top series? And so, in 1971, for the first time since its inception in 1949, NASCAR’s premier series had major corporate backing. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series was born. The partnership helped NASCAR launch into the national spotlight, and created a bedrock of stability for the next three decades. RJR’s Winston brand sponsored NASCAR’s top series for more than 30 years, ending in 2003. Under Seagraves leadership, RJR helped a number of race track operators refurbish their facilities, many of which were short tracks that ran developmental NASCAR Winston Racing Series races. He retired from R.J. Reynolds in 1986.

Ken Squier (b. 4/10/35)

Ken Squier (b. 4/10/35)

Hometown: Waterbury, Vt.

With a smooth voice, and knack for weaving a simple note into an epic tale, Ken Squier carved a massive footprint during NASCAR’s formative broadcast years. One of NASCAR’s original broadcasters, Squier began his career with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) in 1970. It was his golden voice that took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage, giving his insider’s view of what he famously described as “common men doing uncommon things.” He is perhaps best-known for calling the 1979 Daytona 500, a milestone moment for the entire sport, as Squier’s voice on CBS welcomed millions to the first live flag-to-flag coverage of "The Great American Race" – a moniker he coined. Following that signature moment, Squier proceeded to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997 before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000. Squier continues to enlighten NASCAR fans to this day, mostly through special appearances. In 2012, NASCAR announced the creation of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, which would be housed in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Squier and MRN’s Barney Hall were inaugural winners of the award.

 

Squier-Hall Award Nominees

Norma "Dusty" Brandel

Norma covered her first NASCAR race at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1972, becoming the first woman to report from inside the NASCAR garage. Her career started in 1955 as a writer for the Hollywood Citizen-News and included several stints in press information at Southern California tracks, including the now-defunct Riverside International Raceway. She received the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) Angelo Angelopolous Award in 2001. Brandel currently serves as president of AARWBA and a board member of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.

Russ Catlin

Russ was one of the best-known early racing writers and historians. He served as editor of Speed Age Magazine and contributed to several other publications. Catlin was the 1960 recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Myers Brothers Award, for outstanding contributions to the sport. In 1985, Charlotte Motor Speedway created an annual awardf or motorsports media excellence names in his honor.

Shav Glick

Shav had an illustrious 71-year career as a journalist, which included 37 years covering motorsports for the Los Angeles Times. His NASCAR coverage was key in validating the sport on the West Coast. Glick has earned numerous honors including the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) Henry T. McLemore Award (for lifetime achievement in motorsports journalism) in 1977, the AARWBA Angelo Angelopolous Award in 2004 and the Bob Russo Founders Award (dedication to auto racing) in 2009. In 1994, Glick become the first newspaper reporter to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Bob Jenkins

Bob was an original at ESPN and served as the network's lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor from 1982 until 2000. Jenkins announced more than 400 NASCAR races, including a 12-year stretch with Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons. He spent 15 years as host of ESPN's SpeedWeek and 20 years as a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Jenkins won the IMHOF Henry T. McLemore Award in 2001 and the Bob Russo Founders Award in 2008.

Bob Moore

Bob began covering NASCAR in 1962 for the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He spent more than 20 years on the beat, including 10 years with The Charlotte Observer. Moore has written for numerous publications including Car and Driver, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene and NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated. He earned the NMPA Joe Littlejohn Award in 1982 and 1986 for his outstanding service to the organization during his time at R.J. Reynolds.

Steve Waid

Steve started covering motorsports in 1972 with the Martinsville (Va.) Bulletin. He then spent 10 years as the motorsports writer for the Roanoke Times & World-News before joining what was then Grand National Scene, a small NASCAR weekly, in 1981.  Waid went on to work with NASCAR Scene, the leading motorsports publication in the country, and its sister publication, the monthly magazine NASCAR Illustrated. He is the recipient of the George Cunningham Award for the NMPA Writer of the Year and the Henry T. McLemore Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to motorsports.

T. Taylor Warren

Warren is best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, which Bill France used to determine the inaugural race winner. Warren had worked every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008. He was the recipient of the IMHOF Henry T. McLemore Award in 2005 and the NMPA Myers Brothers Award in 2008. The NMPA has named their ‘Photo of the Year’ award after Warren. He was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame in 2009.

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