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.
LANDMARK AWARD 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.
2020 LANDMARK AWARD NOMINEES
EDSEL FORD III
Hometown: Detroit, MI
There are few names as iconic in the sport of auto racing as Edsel Ford II. A member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors and longtime executive of the company founded by his great-grandfather Henry Ford, Edsel’s is a familiar face in the racing garage. Ford’s support of NASCAR has been both behind the scenes with the Ford Motor Company but also out in front where he is greeted warmly by the sport’s competitors, executives, team owners and fans at any race track he visits. He makes a point to check in regularly – in person – with all the NASCAR Ford teams and the excitement and commitment to the sport is palpable. His leadership at Ford includes time as President and Chief Operating Officer (May, 1991-1998) and a Director of International Speedway Corporation (November, 2007-October, 2015). Ford has been a viable and very public supporter of the sport of auto racing as counts one of his proudest moments as being on the Voting Panel for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
(B. 3/3/15 - D. 7/8/70)
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: Bristol, VA
Mike Helton is easily one of the most familiar faces and names in the NASCAR community. The first person outside the France family to be named NASCAR President (in 2000), he started his leadership career with the sport back in 1980 and now serves as Vice Chairman of NASCAR. His nearly five-decade long career in the sport has been spent in a variety of jobs. He was a track operator at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, and even raced a little himself, before joining NASCAR. During his time as President, Helton cemented NASCAR’s presence in major markets both within the United States, as well as Mexico, Canada and Europe. His hard work on the competition side of the sport included a push to increase safety standards – something NASCAR took the lead on and continues to revolutionize today. His influence is also seen in the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. – the first such facility owned and operated by a racing sanctioning body. Helton currently serves as a member of the NASCAR Board of Directors as well as the Board of Directors for The NASCAR Foundation.
DR. JOSEPH MATTIOLI
(B. 8/11/25 - D. 1/26/12)
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.
(B. 4/21/29 - D. 9/27/98)
Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
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.
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