Determination and innovation, two qualities existing in abundance in the men and women who built NASCAR, characterize the 25 nominees for the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.
NASCAR today announced those 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's fourth induction class, and included among the diverse group are five newcomers who make this list arguably the most intriguing in the hall's history.
Of the 25 nominees, 20 return from last year's group. Five are first-timers, and all vary in expertise: NASCAR's first treasurer and secretary Anne Bledsoe France, engine builder and owner Ray Fox, trailblazing driver Wendell Scott, promoter and sponsor executive Ralph Seagraves and driver champion Rusty Wallace. Of those new five, two represent 'firsts' for the hall: Scott the first African-American nominee; France the first female nominee.
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. Voting Day for the 2013 class will be May 23, and once again, fans can attend the announcement live at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
This round of nominees was 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 2013 inductees will be determined by the Voting Panel, which includes 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 final ballot. Fan voting on NASCAR.COM opens today, April 11, and closes May 16 at midnight.
Following are the 25 nominees, listed alphabetically:
Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series titles (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
Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as "Annie B.," she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion
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, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500
T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company senior VP
Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
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"
Rusty Wallace, 1989 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
Leonard Wood, part-owner and former crew chief for Wood Brothers, revolutionized pit stops
Detailed information about the 25 nominees is available at NASCAR.COM and NASCARMedia.com, NASCAR's media-only website.
The 21-person Nominating Committee 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 President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); former Toyota Speedway at Irwindale operator Jim Williams; Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery.