The 5th NASCAR Hall of Fame Class has been announced and it includes Cup champions, an engine builder and even a Late Model Sportsmen champion! I love the diversity of the class and I believe the 21 person panel did a fantastic job.
A two-time NASCAR premier series champion, Flock was one of the sport’s first dominant drivers. In 187 starts, Flock had 39 victories, a total that still ranks 18th on the all-time wins list. Flock won his first series title in 1952 while driving Ted Chester’s Hudson Hornet, and his second in 1955 driving Carl Kiekhaefer’s Chrysler. He dominated that season, posting 18 wins, 32 top fives and 18 poles in 39 races. Flock’s 18 wins stood as a single-season victory record until Richard Petty surpassed it with 27 wins in 1967.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series has had a variety of incarnations through the years but when considered collectively, an argument can be made that Jack Ingram is the series’ all-time greatest driver. Before the formation of the series, Ingram won three consecutive championships, from 1972-74, in its precursor – the Late Model Sportsman Division. When the NASCAR Busch Series was formed, he won the inaugural title in 1982 and again in ’85. In his 10 years of competition in what was called the NASCAR Busch Series, Ingram had 31 wins, a record that stood until Mark Martin broke it in 1997. All but two of Ingram’s 31 wins came on short tracks.
Dale Jarrett personified big-stage performances. A three-time Daytona 500 winner and two-time winner of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jarrett excelled under NASCAR’s brightest spotlights. His 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories – 21st all-time – also include the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jarrett won the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, and recorded six additional top-five championship finishes. With father Ned, the Jarretts are only the second father-son combination with NASCAR premier series championships after NASCAR Hall of Famers Lee and Richard Petty. Ned Jarrett was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2011. Ned and Dale Jarrett become the third father-son duo selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, following Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., and Lee and Richard Petty.
The chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises, Maurice Petty becomes the fourth member of the dynasty to be chosen for membership in the NASCAR Hall of Fame – following his older brother Richard, father Lee and his cousin Dale Inman. The man simply called “Chief” supplied the horsepower that propelled Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR victories, plus his seven NASCAR premier series championships and seven Daytona 500 victories. Lee Petty, Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal and Pete Hamilton were also among those who won with his engines. Petty had a brief driving career – 26 premier series races with seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes between 1960 and 1964 – but was satisfied to work behind the scenes as one of the top engine builders ever seen in the sport.
Glenn Roberts, who got his legendary nickname from his days as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school, is perhaps the greatest driver never to win a NASCAR title. He was arguably stock car racing’s first superstar, an immensely popular prototype for some of today’s competitors who are stars on and off the track. During his career he often came up big in the biggest events, winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and ’63. Overall, he won seven races at Daytona International Speedway, starting with the Firecracker 250 in the summer of 1959 – the year the speedway opened.
First of all, I want to thank nascarmedia.com for the info provided above on these five. The two in this class that really surprise me are Ingram and Maurice but especially Maurice. Ingram was the King of the NASCAR Nationwide Series when it first started but I didn’t think they would give Maurice Petty that much consideration just yet. Fireball and Flock were obvious choices and they needed to put Dale Jarrett in there seeing that he still has an active role in NASCAR and represents the modern era. I am a little disappointed that Benny Parsons didn’t make the cut but I can almost guarantee that he will be inducted come 2015. There is a nice mixture in this group and they did a good job. To see who the voting members are, look below.
American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association: Dusty Brandel, AARWBA President.
Eastern Motorsports Press Association: Ron Hedger, EMPA President.
National Motorsports Press Association: Kenny Bruce, NMPA President.
Print & Online Media: Jenna Fryer, Associated Press; Dustin Long, MotorRacingNetwork.com; Al Pearce, Autoweek; Jim Pedley, RacinToday.com; Bob Pockrass, Sporting News; Nate Ryan, USA Today.
Broadcasters: Mike Joy, FOX; Jerry Punch, ESPN; Kyle Petty, TNT; Barney Hall, MRN; Doug Rice, PRN; Rick Allen, SPEED; Dave Moody, SIRIUSXM 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: Junior Johnson; Bud Moore; Robert Yates.
Retired Crew Chiefs: Buddy Parrott; Waddell Wilson; Eddie Wood.
Industry leaders: Retired Associated Press writer Mike Harris; former motorsports journalist Tom Higgins; former broadcaster Ken Squier; former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler.