2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class Announced
Baker, Owens, Thomas, Wallace and Wood comprise list of new inductees
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 23, 2012) – NASCAR announced today the 2013 class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person class, which will be officially inducted in a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., consists of Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood.
Members of the 54-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2013. The announcement was made by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”
Next year’s class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
Voting for this year’s class was as evenly distributed as any previous NASCAR Hall of Fame induction class. Herb Thomas and Leonard Wood each garnered 57 percent of the vote, followed by Rusty Wallace (52%), Cotton Owens (50%) and Buck Baker (39%).
For the first time in Voting Day history, there was a tie for the fifth and final induction spot. Voting Panel members chose Baker over Fireball Roberts after a re-vote between the two nominees.
The next top vote getters were Roberts, Jerry Cook and Tim Flock.
Results for the NASCAR.COM Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Benny Parsons, Fireball Roberts, Wendell Scott, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood.
The five inductees came from a group of 25 nominees for induction into the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class that included:
Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Tim Flock, Ray Fox, Anne Bledsoe France, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Fred Lorenzen, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Les Richter, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Wendell Scott, Ralph Seagraves, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Rusty Wallace, Joe Weatherly and Leonard Wood.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened on May 11, 2010 in Uptown Charlotte, N.C. The 150,000 square foot entertainment complex honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of the sport. In its first year of operation, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertained more than 270,000 customers, making it the second most-visited sports hall of fame in North America.
Class of 2013 Inductees:
Elzie Wylie “Buck” Baker established himself as one of NASCAR’s early greats, becoming the first driver to win consecutive NASCAR premier series championships. His repeat performance in 1956-57 was the highlight of an incredible four-year span; in 1955 and ’58 Baker finished as the series championship runner-up. His career victory total of 46 ranks tied for 14th all-time.
Everett “Cotton” Owens enjoyed success as both a driver and owner in NASCAR. Behind the wheel, he won nine times in NASCAR’s premier series competition, including the 1957 Daytona Beach road course. He nearly won the 1959 championship, finishing second to NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty. But as an owner, Owens stood out as one of the greats of NASCAR’s early eras. His eye for talent was unmatched. He hired NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson in 1962, the same season in which he began a future championship relationship with another NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson. Owens won 38 races as an owner.
Herb Thomas was truly one of NASCAR’s first superstars. He was the first to win two NASCAR premier series championships (1951, ’53). He finished second in the points standings in 1952 and 1954 giving the North Carolina veteran top-two championship finishes in four consecutive seasons. He finished outside the top two in the championship only once (fifth in 1955) between 1951 and 1956. Thomas won both his championships driving self-owned cars.
Russell William Wallace Jr., the 1989 NASCAR premier series champion, won his first of 55 races in 1986, capturing the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway. His 55 victories rank ninth all time. He was especially adept on the circuit’s short tracks winning 25 times at Bristol, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro and Richmond. His influence on the sport continued after his retirement, as an analyst on ESPN.
The Wood Brothers team is renowned as the innovator of the modern pit stop. Leonard Wood, brother of Glen and Delano Wood, was front and center in its development as chief mechanic (crew chief) for the Stuart, Va.-based team. As crew chief, Wood amassed 96 wins and 117 poles in 990 races.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America's premier sports. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in 20 languages. In the U.S., races are broadcast on FOX, TNT, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, SPEED and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. NASCAR fans are among the most brand-loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 100 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, and one local grassroots series, as well as two international series. Also part of NASCAR is Grand-Am Road Racing, known for its competition on road courses with multiple classes of cars. NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races at 100 tracks in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., NASCAR has offices in eight cities across North America. The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, will air May 27 on FOX at 6p.m. ET. For more information and a complete schedule, visit www.nascar.com. Follow NASCAR on www.facebook.com/NASCAR or on Twitter: @NASCAR.
About NASCAR Hall of Fame
Conveniently located in uptown Charlotte, N.C., the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, opened May 11, 2010 and includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits, 278-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Media Group-operated broadcast studio. The venue is opened 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week and has an attached parking garage on Brevard Street. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000-square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000 square-foot ballroom. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. www.NASCARHall.com.