NASCAR community reacts to passing of Barney Hall
RELATED: Barney Hall passes away at age 83 " Hall honored prior to final race Legendary NASCAR broadcaster Barney Hall passed away Tuesday at the age of 83 from complications after a recent medical operation. Hall was known as "The Voice of NASCAR" and was a fixture for Motor Racing Network's coverage of the sport. His unique brand of storytelling earned Hall a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012, when the shrine created the annual Squier- Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, honoring Hall alongside legendary TV broadcaster Ken Squier. MORE: The story behind the Squier- Hall Award " Squier, Hall recognized for media excellence Shortly after news of Hall's passing surfaced, drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Brad Keselowski , Chase Elliott and many more took to Twitter to pay tribute. Barney Hall was a legend. He was the nicest, most genuine and funniest man I've ever met! He will be greatly missed. — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) January 27, 2016 Thank you Barney . You were a blessing and will be missed. https://t.co/0n52ssKUEQ — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) January 27, 2016 This is awful, awful news. Great guy & incredible spokesman for the sport for decades. I'll never forget that voice. https://t.co/SWB4ngmpZE — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) January 27, 2016 Had the honor of being in the booth with Barney at 2014 Daytona July race. When I hear "The Voice of NASCAR" I think Barney Hall . Legend. — Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott) January 27, 2016 Sad to hear about the passing of Barney Hall . Such a legendary voice and factual commentator for MRN. Thoughts and prayers to his family. — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) January 27, 2016 Very sorry to hear of the passing of Barney Hall . He did so much for the sport. Such a legendary voice. — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) January 27, 2016 So sad to here the news of Barney Hall he was the voice of Nascar when I was growing up I listened to him every Sunday #RipBarney — Ty Dillon (@tydillon) January 27, 2016 There will never be another like him. Our thoughts & prayers are with the family & @MRNRadio friends of Barney Hall . pic.twitter.com/mUOIKyKNfB — RCR (@RCRracing) January 27, 2016 Loved listening to Barney Hall call races as we were running up and down the road to dirt tracks he was so good!! @MRNRadio — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) January 27, 2016 Saddened to hear about loss of Barney Hall . His voice synonymous with the excitement & growth of our sport. His Impact is immeasurable. — Eric McClure (@ericmcclure) January 27, 2016 When I was young, like many I'd stage races on floor w/toy cars. Except I would record play-by-play on tape. I wanted to be Barney Hall ... — Eric McClure (@ericmcclure) January 27, 2016 Growing up listening to the race cheering for my dad as a kid Barney hall was one of the best on the radio. Prayers for him and his family. — Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) January 27, 2016 Barney Hall was truly the best. A legend and an inspiration to many. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family. — JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) January 27, 2016 Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, fans and colleagues of the great Barney Hall . — Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) January 27, 2016 Rest in peace Barney , thank you for all your contributions to NASCAR. https://t.co/BwXp5GY0s2 — Tommy Baldwin Racing (@TBR_Racing) January 27, 2016 Perfect description for Barney Hall . Godspeed, Barney ! #NASCAR https://t.co/cIvGLxwJKI — BK Racing (@BKRacing_2383) January 27, 2016 Barney Hall – the Rembrandt and Picasso of painting a picture of NASCAR. The Hemingway and Twain of telling the story. RIP my dear friend. — Winston Kelley (@WinstonKelley) January 27, 2016 Thinking of the @MRNRadio family this morning & sending thoughts and prayers to Barney's loved ones. https://t.co/0gWV8wfgSo — Red Horse Racing (@RedHorseRacing) January 27, 2016 So sad to hear that Barney Hall passed away. A true pioneer in NASCAR His voice will be missed. One of the most respected men in our sport — ray evernham (@RayEvernham) January 27, 2016 Thank you Barney . https://t.co/trBNfxA6JX — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) January 27, 2016 Well said @MRNRadio . He will forever be a part of @NASCAR folklore. May he rest in peace. #BarneyHall https://t.co/ywjYIeXPfp — Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) January 27, 2016 Really hate to wake up to the passing of Barney Hall .. He has done so much for our sport and was a true gentleman pic.twitter.com/lAS2MWdYrt — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) January 27, 2016 Sad to see the passing of Barney Hall . Loved listening to him call races on @MRNRadio — AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) January 27, 2016 We often talk about people who helped make #NASCAR what it is today. @MRNRadio 's Barney Hall was one of those people. #ThanksBarney — Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) January 27, 2016 Was just in the Barney Hall studio this week. I will always remember his smooth calling of a race. RIP https://t.co/FZ6cGCAnEP — David Ragan (@DavidRagan) January 27, 2016 No voice like Barneys!!! One of the nicest guys this sport has ever known... https://t.co/lDOXE0nC8W — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) January 27, 2016 May you RIP Barney . Your love and passion for the sport could be felt through your voice... https://t.co/uLaNYxyblD — DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) January 27, 2016 So sad to hear the passing of Barney Hall .. Loved listening to him on Sunday while we worked in the Go Kart shop.He was the voice of NASCAR — Elliott Sadler (@Elliott_Sadler) January 27, 2016 Thoughts and prayers to the @MRNRadio bunch and @TheMikeBagley . I know how much they'll be missing Barney and it's such a sad deal. #NASCAR — Jon Wood (@_JonWood) January 27, 2016 Rest In Peace, Barney Hall . pic.twitter.com/TQP49ACIqL — Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) January 27, 2016 We are deeply saddened by the loss of legendary NASCAR broadcaster Barney Hall . Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone at @MRNRadio . — Toyota Racing (@ToyotaRacing) January 27, 2016
Barney Hall passes away at age of 83
RELATED: NASCAR community reacts to Barney Hall's passing Barney Hall , whose soothing voice delivered stock-car racing broadcasts over radio airwaves for 54 years, died Tuesday from complications after a recent medical operation. He was 83. Hall was a fixture with Motor Racing Network (MRN) since its inception in 1970. His longevity and connection to racing fans with his unique brand of storytelling earned Hall a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012, when the shrine created the annual Squier- Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, honoring Hall alongside legendary TV broadcaster Ken Squier. MORE: The story behind the Squier- Hall Award " Squier, Hall recognized "I learned a long time ago, listen to the fans," Hall told NASCAR.com in the days before his final broadcast in 2014. "If you do what makes them happy, you're pretty much OK. If not, ain't nobody happy." NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said of Hall following news of his passing: "The entire NASCAR family extends its condolences to the family, friends and fans of Barney Hall , a NASCAR broadcasting giant for more than 50 years. Barney's impeccable delivery and incredible storytelling skills left an indelible mark on the sport that he so clearly loved. His legacy remains through an honor that rightly carries his name -- the Squier- Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. It will remain a constant reminder of the skill and passion that Barney brought to his work." Seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty said this about Hall : "He defined calling the races over the radio and he was the best at what he did in his field for a long, long time. He was there loudly during some of our greatest times and there silently during others. He was our voice and our friend. He will be missed. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Barney and his family at this time." Hall's radio career began during his four years of active duty in the United States Navy. After his military service, he returned to his hometown of Elkin, North Carolina, as a disc jockey for local station WIFM. RELATED: Barney Hall through the years Hall transitioned to calling on-track action, joining his first broadcast of the Daytona 500 in 1960 and was the first public address announcer at Bristol Motor Speedway when it opened one year later. Hall began his career with MRN as a reporter calling the action from the turns. As NASCAR grew from a regional sport to having a wider national reach, Hall moved to the booth and his recognizable voice resonated with a larger audience. "Whether you met him or not, you felt like you knew him," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and a colleague of Hall's at MRN. "His easy, conversational delivery made you feel like you were listening to one of your closest friends or relatives tell you a story -- the story of the very NASCAR race he was describing. He could paint a picture that would make Picasso or Rembrandt proud and tell a story that would awe Hemingway or Twain. "He was not just a trusted voice to listeners and race fans, he became what many believe is the most trusted journalist in NASCAR by the sport's competitors for decades." Hall made his final broadcast in July 2014 at Daytona International Speedway , calling Aric Almirola 's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the track's rain-shortened summer race. He received a standing ovation in the pre-race drivers' and crew chiefs' meeting. "To have been in this stuff for 54 years, I've gotten to know everybody at one time or another," said Hall , who received the Bill France Award of Excellence in 2007. "It's a pretty good feeling to go in that garage and hear somebody at some point go, 'Hey, Barney Hall , how you doing?' That makes you feel good. It really, really does." Hall is survived by his companion of 35 years, Karen Carrier, who was by Hall's side as he passed away.
Bruce: Remembering Barney Hall , the voice of NASCAR
RELATED: Hall passes away at 83 " Racing community reacts to Hall's passing He often said he had the best job in racing and the best seat in the house and maybe that's true, but the folks on the other end of the airwaves probably disagreed on the latter point. Wherever one might be while listening to Barney Hall "call" a race was the best seat and that might be sitting at home or riding down the highway. Regardless of where the action was getting ready to unfold, all one had to hear was "And the pace car's about to ease off onto pit road" to know that you were in the capable, comfortable hands of Barney Hall . The legendary announcer for Motor Racing Network passed away Tuesday. He was 83. PHOTOS: Barney Hall through the years "Give a call," and "up on the wheel" were just two of the many signature, go-to phrases coined by Hall , uttered with the ease and confidence bred from a career that spanned more than five decades. He informed listeners as to what was taking place on the track, but also entertained with stories that only a true insider would know. And Hall knew plenty. He didn't just have the ear of the listener, but that of the industry as well, due in large part to the respect he showed to others and the respect he had for his craft. Industry leaders confided in him. Drivers and owners sought his advice. His influence greatly overshadowed his slight frame, yet he would never admit as much. He was just a little ol' radio announcer from Elkin, North Carolina, doing his best to inform and entertain. He was on the air for some of NASCAR's biggest events, but was always hard-pressed to pick a favorite. Prior to his 2007 induction into the National Motorsports Hall of Fame, Hall recalled Dale Earnhardt's final victory, a stirring, come-from-behind win at Talladega, "but I also remember some of Richard (Petty's) finishes at Daytona," he said at the time. "It was personally satisfying to me when David Pearson won the Daytona 500 and Dale Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 . Because I knew both of them extremely well and I knew how much it meant to them despite the fact that they downplayed it, said 'if we never get a career win at Daytona it ain't no big deal,' because it was a big deal. I know how much it meant to them." What he didn't know was just what a big deal he was, and how much he meant to everyone else. " Barney will be forever the original voice of NASCAR," Petty, a seven-time premier series champion, said in a statement issued Wednesday. "He may not have been there at the first race, but he was at a lot of them and is a pioneer of the sport. He helped grow the sport nationally. He made it come to life, gave it excitement and made everyone feel like they were right there at the track, even if you weren't." Hall called his last race two years ago, the annual summer stop at Daytona International Speedway , but continued to contribute to MRN productions. His presence at the track was sorely missed, but in the last year or so, I've noticed something that seems to sum up how folks felt about him and what he meant to them. It's on those occasions when strolling through the garage one can hear the track P.A. announcer drop in a snippet of some long-ago race. Fans pause. And listen. And smile. As Barney's familiar voice calls the action and the leaders charge toward the finish line once more. So grieve at his passing, but smile when you think of all the pleasure Barney Hall brought to so many for so long.
Helton remembers Barney Hall on Sirius XM
NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton talks on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio about the lasting impact of Barney Hall on the sport of NASCAR.
Barney Hall honored prior to final race for MRN
TNT's Adam Alexander, Wally Dallenbach, and Kyle Petty took time out of their pre-race show to honor legendary radio announcer Barney Hall as he gets set to call his final race for MRN.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 honored, inducted
RELATED: Recap induction night, watch more speeches CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The enshrinement of three car owners of paramount importance to stock car racing, a driver who proved a prolific winner in NASCAR’s top-two series and a former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion who would become one of the most beloved storytellers in the history of the sport highlighted Friday night’s induction of the Class of 2017 into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Not only did the emotional proceedings usher one of NASCAR’s first car owners, Raymond Parks, into the Hall . Also recognized were the ongoing accomplishments of two owners -- Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick -- whose efforts have helped to produce a pair of seven-time champions. Friday night also brought the induction of driver Mark Martin, who won 40 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series , another 49 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and who finished second in the championship standings at NASCAR’s highest level no less than five times. WATCH: Martin enters the 'grandest Victory Lane' Perhaps the most gripping moment of the night was the enshrinement of 1973 Cup champion Benny Parsons, a man of indefatigable good humor who flourished after his driving career as one of the most beloved broadcasters the sport has known. Parsons lost his life on Jan. 16, 2007 after a courageous battle against lung cancer. Appropriately, Parks was first to be enshrined. Introduced by Kevin Harvick and inducted posthumously by family friend Kyle Petty, Parks was a close friend of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and a pillar of the sport in its formative years. Born in the mountains of north Georgia, Parks shares "moonshine" roots with such NASCAR pioneers as Junior Johnson. Parks later grew successful jukebox and vending machine businesses in Atlanta before venturing into NASCAR ownership. Parks won NASCAR's first two championships, in modifieds in 1948 and in Strictly Stock (NASCAR's top division) with Red Byron behind the wheel and Red Vogt as crew chief. RELATED: 'Lost' films restored, reveal Parks' talent "He put his money where his mouth was, investing in our great pastime as an owner," Harvick said. "The World War II veteran captured NASCAR's first premier series championship in 1949 and nearly 70 years later has earned the highest honor from the sport he always believed in." "Without Raymond Parks, there would be no Richard Petty -- there’s nothing to build on," Kyle Petty said. Introduced by fellow Michigander Brad Keselowski , Parsons won his only championship in 1973, an achievement that came during a string of nine straight years (1972-1980) in which Parsons finished in the top five in the final standings. All told, Parsons won 21 races, including the 1975 Daytona 500 , during a career whose hallmark was remarkable consistency. In 526 starts at NASCAR’s highest level, Parsons finished in the top 10 283 times, an enviable 54 percent. "He's from Detroit, and he came from being a Michigan taxi driver to a NASCAR champion," Keselowski said. "Think about that. That seems like the script from a Hollywood movie. "But that is exactly what Benny Parsons accomplished in 1973." WATCH: Childress says his story's possible 'only in America' Childress’ grandsons, Austin and Ty Dillon -- both of whom are racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this year -- introduced their "Pop Pop," the car owner with whom inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame class member Dale Earnhardt won six of his seven championships. "My brother and I are so proud and honored to introduce Pop Pop," Austin Dillon said. "There are countless family stories I could share of his true grit, persistence, determination, and love for others." Including Earnhardt’s six with RCR, Childress has won 11 titles combined in NASCAR’s top three touring series, second only to fellow inductee Hendrick’s 15. "I’m honored to go into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with my heroes," said Childress, who was inducted by his wife, Judy Childress. "Just look around this wall and look at the greats that we'll be going in the Hall of Fame with. Unbelievable. And to go in the Class of 2017 with so many great inductees is quite an honor." Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and four-time titleholder Jeff Gordon did the introduction honors for Hendrick, their car owner. "The stats speak for themselves: 15 national series championship, 245 Cup wins, certainly impressive numbers, but more important than the wins and the championships is the person behind them," Gordon said. "He's the most loyal man I know. He'll take the shirt right off his back for you. His accomplishments are endless, and his character is unrivaled." Hendrick accepted induction from his wife, Linda Hendrick. WATCH: Hendrick thanks NASCAR family "I humbly accept this tonight, and all the drivers that have been involved in our company, all the mechanics, everybody that's ever been a part of it, I accept this on your behalf, past and present," Hendrick said. "I know my son (Ricky Hendrick, killed in a 2004 plane crash) is watching tonight, and he's so proud. Congratulations to Jimmie for winning No. 7, dedicating it to him … "But I can tell you that the feelings that I have for this sport and for all the people in it, all the sponsors -- and I've got so many here tonight I can't name them all, don't want to do that -- but it's your faith, it's your family and your friends that get you through life, and that's the most important thing. When it's all over, it's the people that you touch and the lives you change that make a difference in this world." Introduced by former Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth and inducted by team owner Jack Roush, Martin chronicled a career that began in 1981 and ended at Michael Waltrip Racing in 2013. In between, Martin finished second in the standings four times with Roush -- the first in 1990 -- and once with Hendrick, in 2009, during Johnson’s run of five straight titles. Martin won 96 races across all three NASCAR national touring series, currently seventh all-time. He credited Roush with giving him a welcome opportunity to drive RFR Fords in 1988, after his career had stalled. "He was hell-bent and determined as I was to make a name for himself winning races and competing for championships at NASCAR's highest level," Martin said. "Jack Roush gave me that second chance." During Friday night’s ceremony, Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles was recognized with the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Opened in 1947, Martinsville is the only track to have hosted races at NASCAR’s highest level since the sanctioning body’s formation in 1949. The late Benny Phillips, former reporter and sports editor for the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise received the Squier- Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Overcoming polio to pursue his career as a journalist, Phillips also wrote for Stock Car Racing magazine for 27 years and spent 12 years covering racing with TBS. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Bruce: Family theme flows through 2017 Hall of Fame inductions
RELATED: Class of 2017 enters Hall of Fame CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The name on the card for Friday night's NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony read "Forever Legends." But after watching and listening to the Hall's eighth class as each was welcomed into the Hall , perhaps "Forever Family" would have been more fitting. "How great is that, to have your wife and your two grandsons to induct you into the NASCAR Hall of Fame?" asked Richard Childress, who rose to prominence as the owner of Richard Childress Racing , his teams winning 12 championships across NASCAR's three national series. Childress, fellow car owners Rick Hendrick and Raymond Parks, and drivers Mark Martin and Benny Parsons made up this year's Hall of Fame class. And much like Childress, others paid tribute to family and the family atmosphere that has permeated NASCAR practically since it's 1948 incorporation. NASCAR drivers Austin and Ty Dillon introduced their grandfather on the special night. Although Childress is 71, Ty Dillon noted that he doesn't believe his grandfather "will ever stop pursuing his passion." "He will continue to live his life, fighting to keep this ground which we stand on tonight the best in the world," Dillon said. "He will always keep going to the track because that is what he loves to do, but most of all, he loves his family." Family was also what drove Mark Martin to never give up on his dream, returning to the sport to rebuild a career that was halted almost before it began. With a wife by his side and four young children, Martin feverishly worked his way back into NASCAR to earn a second chance. More than three decades later, after 96 wins in NASCAR's three top series and five runner-up finishes in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points battle, Martin stood on stage and officially joined the list of racing legends. "Tonight," he said, "for me is about recognizing the VIPs that made this happen. But the MVP is Arlene Martin. "We met Christmas 1983, and Arlene, from that day, that day and every day since then, you have made me better. It's incredible what we've seen and what we've done to get here." RELATED: Martin recalls second chance, relishes induction Emotions were kept in check, somewhat. Voices did crack on occasion. No surprise there. This was, after all, a big, big deal. "We are like a big family, even though it's a lot of us, we care about each other, and I don't care if people think that's corny," Hendrick, who was a racer himself long before he built a successful auto dealership empire, said. "That's the way I was raised. It's worked for me, and it's worked in our companies, both of them." When Hendrick arrived at the Hall prior to the ceremony, one of the first people he saw was executive director Winston Kelley. Kelley, Hendrick said, told him that there was one thing he could tell the car owner and auto dealer about both his companies, that it was clear that his employees loved their boss. "And I said, 'You know what? Your telling me that means as much to me as getting into the Hall of Fame,'" Hendrick replied. It was every bit as much validation for what he had strived to become as the Hall of Fame ring he would receive just a few hours later. "I feel like 'job well done,'" Hendrick said, "because you look after your people and they look after you." Martin was still riding the adrenalin of the moment when he sat down with the media afterward. "I feel like I've had a cup of coffee or I've been playing some Gucci Mane," he said, grinning. Retired from racing since 2013, he now spends his days focused on more mundane matters. "How shiny can I get my motor home," he said. "I've got to get that trash and take it out. That lightbulb is burned out, damnit. ... "You know I just do all the things that I used to pay people to do. I still go like hell every day. That's the same ol' me." It had been an emotionally draining week for others. Those still entwined in the never-ending cycle of competition, where forward focus is key and there's no time for looking back. "It really was," Hendrick, a leukemia survivor, said. "... This has been the toughest week, besides losing a family member. "We're all emotions up and down, and we had a little champagne toast before I went in there, and the two doctors, the doctor that invented the medicine that saved my life was in there, and I lost it. I mean, Jeff Gordon said, 'I've never seen you that emotional in there since I've known you.'" NASCAR is one big extended family. Full of the quarrels that divide them and the emotional ties that draw them back together. "I meant what I said tonight about all the people in the sport," Hendrick said. "There are some great folks. Hendrick and Childress had spoken earlier in the day. Joe Gibbs phoned, unable to attend Friday's function but happy for his fellow team owner. So did Roger Penske. Just three short months earlier, Penske, Gibbs and Hendrick met with the media in Homestead, Florida, each having drivers competing for the championship. "We're racing each other and we're paying each other compliments," Hendrick said. "You wouldn't see that in the NFL. We want to beat each other just as bad as anybody, but it's really strange. It's a different deal. "I don't know what it is, but it's pretty special." Forever Legends? Sure. But forever family? There's no doubt. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Childress' Hall of Fame career: 'only in America'
Richard Childress talks about living the American dream during his induction speech at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Reinvigorated Martin relishes second chances, Hall of Fame nod
RELATED: Learn more about the Class of 2017 " Martin's top moments CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mark Martin described the rollicking ride of emotions leading up to his induction speech for the NASCAR Hall of Fame as far more difficult than anything that he ever experienced in a race car. A heady statement, since Martin's path to stock-car stardom was anything but easy. "I can't tell you how it feels to stand up here in front of you tonight," Martin said. "It's a feeling that my words could never do justice." But Mark Martin had all the words Friday night, just over 1,500 of them in a heartfelt address that capped a stellar night in the Charlotte Convention Center. He joined Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons in the Hall's eighth class of five inductees. When it was all done and Martin was officially enshrined, the 58-year-old driver felt invigorated. "I feel like I've had a cup of coffee or I've been playing some Gucci Mane," Martin said with a laugh. "I'm wide open." The circuitous path to NASCAR enshrinement, which started on the rickety back roads with one-lane bridges in his native Arkansas, was a long time coming. And though he's just more than three years removed from his final big-league start -- in a fill-in stint for the injured Tony Stewart in the 2013 finale -- Martin says he's transferred his trademark determination to more mundane pursuits. "How shiny can I get my motor home. I've got to get that trash and take it out. That light bulb is burned out, dammit," Martin said of his day-to-day life now. "… You know, I just do all the things that I used to pay people to do. I still go like hell every day. That's the same ol' me. "Yeah, I just really enjoy not -- not having that laser focus. I'm still focused. Don't get me wrong. And I'm still OCD and I still run wide open, and I'm still odd about how I want things and all that. I'm still that same guy. But you know, life is just a lot more serene for me now." Martin nearly exited the sport twice, once because of unfortunate circumstances and another by his choice. His career nearly short-circuited during a struggle-filled 1982 season, but Martin stuck with it, eventually landing a second chance with car owner Jack Roush in a partnership that lifted both to elite status. "Because racing was my passion," Martin said when asked what kept him going. "The easy thing to do was to go to the trucking company that my dad owned and go to work there. I had no interest in that trucking company. The only thing I knew was racing." And when he dialed back his driving duties with two part-time seasons in 2007 and '08, it was Hendrick -- his fellow inductee and ever the salesman -- who persuaded him back to a full-season ride. The agreement yielded one his most prolific seasons -- the last five of his 40 premier-series wins and his last brush with the championship trophy that eluded him. In his three-year absence from the driver's seat, Martin says he's missed the people, the media, the garage and the fans. He hasn't missed driving the race cars, but his competitive nature, he says, has never left him. Martin seems content in channeling his tenacious spirit toward fixing an electrical outlet or other do-it-yourself projects these days. But though the lure of the track may have faded, he said he looks forward to his career enjoying a sense of permanence in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "This makes me feel like I have a place, a little bit of a place," Martin says. "But the thing about racing is when you step out, the hole closes behind you so fast, it's unbelievable, as a driver, as a crew chief, crew member, whatever. I'm sure even doing your job, you step out for very long, that hole closes, man. It ain't easy to get back inside. I stepped out, and the holes closed, and I just -- I embrace this opportunity to represent the NASCAR Hall of Fame because it makes me very proud that we have this because of how important it is to me to know the full story about Raymond Parks. I knew who he was and whatnot, but I know the full story now. "So for a guy who's been here for so long to learn that through this process, just think what it's going to do 50 years from now, how important it's going to be." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Parsons' life is celebrated with Hall of Fame induction
Terri Parsons, the widow of the late Benny Parsons, inducts him into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.