Beginning with the 2015 class, the Landmark Award for outstanding contributions to NASCAR was introduced to honor significant contributions to the growth and esteem of NASCAR.
FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO NASCAR
Potential Landmark Award recipients could 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 will remain eligible for NASCAR Hall of Fame enshrinement.
Five nominees will be selected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and then be voted on by the Voting Panel. To win the award, an individual must appear on at least 60 percent of the ballots and no more than one award will be presented annually. Voting for this award will occur immediately following the voting for the NASCAR Hall of Fame class and be monitored by the same independent accounting firm that oversees NASCAR Hall of Fame voting.
A special plaque honoring the Landmark Award winner in the Hall of Honor is revealed as part of the Induction Weekend events each year.
2024 LANDMARK AWARD NOMINEES
(B. 3/3/1915 - D. 7/8/1970)
Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
As Bill France Sr. began the daunting task of building the foundation of NASCAR, Alvin Hawkins was there as a foremost advisor. Hawkins, NASCAR’s first flagman, attended the momentous 1947 meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida, that signaled the start of what would become the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Later, France and Hawkins established NASCAR racing at Bowman Gray Stadium. The Hawkins family continues to operate the quarter-mile track, one that is an institution in the sport and a crown jewel for short track racers throughout the country. In 2015, Bowman Gray Stadium celebrated its 1,000th NASCAR race. Through the years, the Stadium has hosted a variety of NASCAR series, including the premier series from 1958-71. Its premier series winners list includes NASCAR Hall of Famers Lee Petty, Rex White, Glen Wood, Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, David Pearson and Bobby Allison.
Hometown: Miami, FL
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.
(B. 10/6/1930 - D. 6/12/2010)
Hometown: Riverside, CA
Les Richter achieved extraordinary success as both a NASCAR executive and a National Football League defensive star. After becoming an All-American and All-Pro as a hard-nosed lineman and linebacker, Richter, a native of Fresno, California, brought an incomparable work ethic to the world of motorsports. His second career began in 1959 at Riverside International Raceway, where he quickly rose to become president and general manager in 1961. Richter, affectionately known as “Coach” throughout the motorsports industry, came to NASCAR in 1983 and evolved into one of the most important advisors to then-NASCAR Chairman/CEO Bill France Jr. as NASCAR’s popularity expanded. Richter was named NASCAR's executive vice president of competition in 1986 and the senior vice president of operations in 1992. His last job in motorsports was as vice president of special projects for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, a track he helped come into existence. Richter was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Richter passed away in 2010 at the age of 79.
DR. JOSEPH MATTIOLI
(B. 8/11/25 - D. 1/26/1912)
Hometown: Pocono, PA
One of the most universally revered members of the sport of auto racing, Dr. Joseph (Doc) Mattioli founded Pocono Raceway in 1968 in the lush and scenic Pocono Mountains. Doc, a dentist and World War II veteran, and his wife Rose, a podiatrist, purchased property in the area and were approached about building a race track on site – something that intrigued the couple even though they had never been to a race. The rest is history – as they. The 2.5-mile triangular-shaped track has hosted all of America’s top racing series but has been a particularly prime stop on the NASCAR schedule. It was designed by two-time Indy 500 winner Rodger Ward and each of the three turns is completely different – each modeled off another track. Some of NASCAR’s biggest heroes own Pocono trophies, including all three seven-time champions (Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson). In all, 13 NASCAR Hall of Famers have a Pocono Cup Series win. Unique to the facility is solar energy “farm” set on dozens of acres surrounding the track making it the largest solar-powered sports facility in the world.
Lesa France Kennedy
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
Lesa France Kennedy is the Executive Vice Chair of NASCAR and one of the most influential women in sports. In her more than 30-year career with ISC (International Speedway Corporation), Kennedy advanced through several key executive positions with increasing responsibility including Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Vice President and CEO. Kennedy spearheaded the revitalization of Phoenix Raceway, and the state-of-the-art Daytona Rising project at Daytona International Speedway. She also helped cement NASCAR’s presence in the Midwest with the building of Kansas Speedway. Kennedy has been honored by Forbes, Adweek, Sports Business Journal, the National Women’s History Museum and is enshrined in the Cynopsis Sports Hall of Fame.
Images courtesy of ISC Archives/Getty Images