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Nominees Announced for 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class

April 19, 2011

Earles, Isaac, Owens, Richter and Leonard Wood Join List Of Legends

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 19, 2011) NASCAR announced today the list of 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s third induction class to be enshrined in January 2012. From that list, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM.

Of the 25 nominees, 20 return from last year’s group. Five are first-timers: H. Clay Earles, Bobby Isaac, Cotton Owens, Les Richter and Leonard Wood.

This round of nominees, which again includes many of the sport’s legendary names, were selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

The NHOF’s inductees will be determined by the Voting Panel, which has 54 members – the entire Nominating Committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel’s 55th and final ballot. Fan voting on NASCAR.COM opens on April 28 and closes June 12.

Following are the 25 nominees, listed alphabetically:

  • Buck Baker,first driver to win consecutive NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series championships (1956-57)
  • Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949
  • Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
  • Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
  • H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
  • Richie Evans,nine-time NASCAR Modified champion
  • Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
  • Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
  • Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion
  • Dale Inman, eight-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series championship crew chief
  • Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
  • Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
  • Cotton Owens, driver-owner, won 1966 owner championship with David Pearson
  • Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
  • Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
  • Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
  • Fireball Roberts, won 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series races, including the 1962 Daytona 500
  • T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Senior VP
  • Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, 1951, ’53
  • Curtis Turner, early personality, called the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing”
  • Darrell Waltrip, 84 wins and three NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series championships
  • Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
  • Glen Wood, as driver, laid foundation for Wood Brothers’ future team success
  • Leonard Wood, part-owner and former crew chief for Wood Brothers, revolutionized pit stops
  • Cale Yarborough, three consecutive NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series titles, 1976-78

The Class of 2012 will be announced live on SPEED on June 14 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C and inducted next January. The 2011 class, which includes David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Lee Petty, and Bud Moore will be enshrined at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Monday, May 23.

The 21-person Nominating Committee, as well as the additional 34 members who make up the Voting Panel, are as follows:


NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.

NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Senior Vice President Paul Brooks; President Mike Helton; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Vice President Ken Clapp.

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 owner Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway owner Doc Mattioli; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Toyota Speedway at Irwindale operator Jim Williams; Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery.


The Voting Panel consists of the above 21-member Nominating Committee and the following 34 representatives.

National Motorsports Press Association: Rea White, NMPA President; Kenny Bruce,; Dustin Long, Landmark Newspapers; Nate Ryan, USA Today; Jenna Fryer, Associated Press; Jim Pedley,; NASCAR.COM representative TBD.

Eastern Motorsports Press Association: Ernie Saxton, EMPA President.

American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association: Dusty Brandel, AARWBA President.

Broadcasters: Mike Joy, FOX; Jerry Punch, ESPN; Kyle Petty, TNT; Barney Hall, MRN; Doug Rice, PRN; Rick Allen, SPEED; Dave Moody, Sirius NASCAR Radio.

Manufacturers: Chevrolet – Jim Campbell, former General Manager; Ford – Edsel B. Ford II, Board of Directors; Toyota – Lee White, President/General Manager, Toyota Racing Development USA.

Retired Drivers: Harry Gant; Ned Jarrett; Richard Petty; Ricky Rudd.

Retired Car Owners: Bud Moore; Cotton Owens; Junior Johnson.

Retired Crew Chiefs: Barry Dodson; Waddell Wilson; Buddy Parrott.

Industry leaders:Former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler; retired Associated Press writer Mike Harris; former motor sports journalist Tom Higgins; former broadcaster Ken Squier.

Fan Vote