Five legends unveiled as 2017 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class
RELATED: See all of the nominees DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 25, 2016) – NASCAR announced today the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The five-person group -- the eighth since the inception of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 -- consists of Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons. In addition, NASCAR announced that Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session at the Charlotte Convention Center to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2017 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton announced the class and Landmark Award winner, respectively, this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Great Hall." The Class of 2017 was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, including 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, a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com and, for the third year, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion ( Kyle Busch ). In all, 54 votes were cast, with four additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Ricky Rudd, Robert Yates, Waddell Wilson and Ken Squier). The accounting firm of EY presided over the tabulation of the votes. Voting was as follows: Benny Parsons (85%), Rick Hendrick (62%), Mark Martin (57%), Raymond Parks (53%) and Richard Childress (43%). The next top vote-getters were Robert Yates, Red Byron and Alan Kulwicki. Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Buddy Baker, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Benny Parsons and Larry Phillips . The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Ron Hornaday Jr., Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Larry Phillips , Jack Roush, Ricky Rudd, Ken Squier, Mike Stefanik, Waddell Wilson and Robert Yates. Nominees for the Landmark Award included Earles, Janet Guthrie, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier. Class of 2017 Inductees: Richard Childress Long before he became one of the preeminent car owners in NASCAR history, Richard Childress was a race car driver with limited means. Childress, the consummate self-made racer, was respectable behind the wheel. Between 1969-81 he had six top-five finishes and 76 top 10s in 285 starts, finishing fifth in the NASCAR premier series standings in 1975. Having formed Richard Childress Racing in 1972, Childress retired from driving in 1981. He owned the cars that NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt drove to six championships and 67 wins between 1984-2000. In addition to Earnhardt’s championships, Childress drivers have given him five others. Childress was the first NASCAR owner to win owner championships in all three of NASCAR’s national series, and his 11 owner titles are second all-time. Childress also owned the vehicles driven by NASCAR XFINITY Series driver champions Clint Bowyer (2008) and Austin Dillon (2013), as the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver champion Austin Dillon . Rick Hendrick The founder and owner of Hendrick Motorsports , Rick Hendrick’s organization is recognized as one of NASCAR’s most successful. Hendrick Motorsports owns an all-time record 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner championship titles -- six with Jimmie Johnson , four with Jeff Gordon and one with NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte . Hendrick also has 14 total NASCAR national series owner championships, most in NASCAR history. Gordon and Labonte combined to win four consecutive titles from 1995-98. In 2010, Johnson won a record-extending fifth consecutive championship. Hendrick also owned the car driven by 2003 NASCAR XFINITY Series driver champion Brian Vickers . Hendrick’s 242 owner wins in the premier series rank second all-time. Mark Martin He is often described as the "greatest driver to never to win a championship," but Mark Martin 's legendary career is so much more than that. He came incredibly close to that elusive title many times -- finishing second in the championship standings five times. Over the course of his 31-year premier series career, Martin compiled 40 wins (17th all time) and 56 poles (seventh all time). Martin saw success at every level of NASCAR. He won 49 times in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, holding the series wins record for 14 years. He retired with 96 wins across NASCAR’s three national series, seventh on the all-time list. In 1998, Martin was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. Raymond Parks Raymond Parks is one of stock-car racing’s earliest -- and most successful -- team owners. Funded by successful business and real estate ventures in Atlanta, Parks began his career as a stock-car owner in 1938 with drivers Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall. His pairing with another Atlantan, mechanic Red Vogt, produced equipment good enough to dominate the sport in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Red Byron won the first NASCAR title (modified, 1948) and first premier series title (1949) in a Parks-owned car. Parks’ team produced two premier series wins, two poles, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 18 events. Benny Parsons Benny Parsons won the 1973 NASCAR premier series championship and could be called an everyman champion: winning enough to be called one of the sport’s stars but nearly always finishing well when he wasn’t able to reach Victory Lane. He won 21 times in 526 career starts but finished among the top 10 283 times -- a 54 percent ratio. One of Parsons’ biggest victories came in the 1975 Daytona 500 . He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Parsons also was known as a voice of the sport making a seamless transition to television following his NASCAR career. He was a commentator for NBC and TNT until his passing in 2007, at the age of 65. Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR: H. Clay Earles One of the original pioneers of stock car auto racing, H. Clay Earles played an integral role in the early years of NASCAR's development. Earles built and opened Martinsville Speedway in 1947, and the short track remains the only facility to host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races every year since the series’ inception in 1949. The speedway held its first race on Sept. 7, 1947 -- three months before the creation of NASCAR. That initial race drew more than 6,000 fans to the track, which had just 750 seats ready. In 1964, Earles decided it was time for a "different" type of trophy for his race winners. He gave winners grandfather clocks, a tradition that continues today.
Brendan Gaughan gets nod from NBA star Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson's Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement speech got emotional quickly Friday as the 2001 NBA MVP and 11-time NBA All-Star thanked Georgetown coach John Thompson "for saving my life." Amid heartfelt, tearful, joyful, thanks to his family, his Georgetown family, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson (yes, that MJ), Jadakiss, Larry Brown, Julius 'Dr. J' Irving, his wife, Tawanna Iverson, and many more, A.I. also thanked Brendan Gaughan . Yes, that Brendan Gaughan , the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver of the No. 62 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Iverson made NASCAR drivers proud in his thanks to his sponsor, too. "Gotta thank Reebok. A lifetime contract? Whoo!" The Gaughan-Iverson connection goes back to the 1990s. Gaughan was a Hoya, too. Thompson tapped him specifically to make Iverson work hard and gain mental toughness in practice – by bumping him, beating on him. A bit like racing – banging doors, putting on the bump-and-run. "Allen Iverson's a lot quicker than me, and I was told to stop him [in practice] any way possible,” Gaughan told Philly.com in 2003 . "Hold him, push him, punch him, bite him. ... My job was to annoy the hell out of [Iverson]." Gaughan offered that quote while defending his former teammate after Iverson missed a pair of free throws in a Philadelphia 76ers playoffs loss to the Detroit Pistons. He also said simply, "Lay off Allen Iverson." "Allen is one of the nicest guys I've ever met, and one of the smartest men I've ever met," said Gaughan, who joked with the Inquirer that he himself averaged "0.2 points" before graduating from Georgetown with a business management degree in 1997. That's the kind of friend who gets a shoutout in a Hall of Fame enshrinement speech . As the NASCAR XFINITY Series gets ready to launch its inaugural Chase, with Gaughan locked in, it bears remembering the No. 62 driver knows how to guard and bump and bang with the best.
Benny Phillips named sixth Squier-Hall award winner
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2016) – NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame today announced longtime High Point (N.C.) Enterprise reporter and sports editor Benny Phillips as the sixth recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Phillips spent 48 years with the Enterprise, serving as its sports editor for 32 of them. He will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 20, 2017 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to his time at the Enterprise, Phillips wrote for Stock Car Racing magazine for 27 years and spent 12 years with TBS. The prestigious Squier-Hall Award is the latest in a long list of accolades bestowed upon Phillips during, and after, his exemplary career. Phillips was named the NMPA Writer of the Year seven times, won the NMPA Joe Littlejohn Award in 1977, the IMHOF Henry T. McLemore Award in 1978, the Buddy Shuman Award in 1986 and the NMPA George Cunningham Award in 1988. Phillips , who battled polio throughout his life, died in 2012 at the age of 74. "Benny Phillips told the engaging stories that transformed our drivers into heroes, and with it developed a deserved reputation as a trusted confidant whose determination and affable personality made him a beloved fixture in the NASCAR garage," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "Benny delivered the stories of our sport to millions of NASCAR fans on a daily basis through newspapers, books, magazines and television. This award has been given only to the giants of his industry, and unquestionably, Benny was exactly that." Phillips penned four books, including Dale Earnhardt’s autobiography "Determined," which he co-authored with fellow NASCAR reporter Ben Blake. Phillips was among eight nominees voted upon by a panel comprised of NASCAR and NASCAR Hall of Fame executives, journalists, public relations representatives and former competitors. The Squier-Hall Award was created in 2012 to honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport. Legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall, for whom the award is named, were its initial recipients. Chris Economaki, Tom Higgins and Steve Byrnes have since won the award. The other seven nominees were: Norma "Dusty" Brandel: The first woman to report from inside the NASCAR garage. Russ Catlin: One of the best-known early racing writers and historians, served as editor of "Speed Age" magazine. Shav Glick: Covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years, bringing NASCAR coverage to the West Coast. Bob Jenkins: Served as the lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor at ESPN from 1982-2000. Bob Moore: Spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer including stints with the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer. T. Taylor Warren: Best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, he covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008. Steve Waid: Covered NASCAR for more than 40 years for the Roanoke Times & World News, NASCAR Scene and NASCAR Illustrated.
2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame class announced
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Larry McReynolds bids farewell to boothmates
FOX NASCAR analyst embraces Joy, Waltrip after final broadcast together RELATED: McReynolds: 'Sunday is going to be very tough' The end of the FOX NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race broadcast season on Sunday was also the end of an era for one of the longest-running broadcast teams in sports television history. Larry McReynolds bid farewell to the booth and his mates, race announcer Mike Joy and fellow analyst Darrell Waltrip, following the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. RELATED: 'Rowdy' wins with late surge "I have to say I feel like the most blessed man on earth to stand beside you guys for 15 years," McReynolds said after FOX Sports 1 signed off with its 16th and final race of 2015. Last month, FOX announced that four-time champion Jeff Gordon would join Joy and Waltrip in the booth in 2016, replacing McReynolds. "Love you, brother," Waltrip said as McReynolds embraced him and Joy. On a "FOX Sports Live" post-race report, Joy said he still planned to work with McReynolds next season. "We're going to add Jeff Gordon to the booth," Joy said. "I'm going to keep Larry real close for all his race strategy beginning in 2016." RELATED: Gordon to transition into booth On Friday, McReynolds told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the race and the transition ahead would be difficult for him. "I'm looking forward to my next role whenever we kind of get our arms around what that's going to be with FOX, but it's probably going to be very tough the next three days," McReynolds said. "But especially when that producer comes in our ear on Sunday and says, 'The booth is clear.' " The two-time winner of the Daytona 500 as a crew chief will continue to serve as an analyst on FOX Sports 1's weekday "NASCAR Race Hub" program as well as its "NASCAR RaceDay" and "NASCAR Victory Lane" shows for the rest of the season. McReynolds also took a page from Gordon's playbook and tweeted on Saturday that he is not retiring. THANKS To All for the comments on me and my broadcasting! Very flattering & overwhelming! BUT, Trust Me, I Am Not Retiring! Not even close! — Larry McReynolds (@LarryMac28) June 27, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Sprint Cup Series GarageCam takes over NHMS
GarageCam host, Matthew Dillner, takes you on an exclusive and interactive tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage before teams hit the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Bruce: Throwbacks or not, Darlington chock full of lasting memories
RELATED: Paint schemes, then and now DARLINGTON, S.C. -- What year was it, 1985? The season Bill Elliott captured the Winston Million bonus the very first season it was put up for grabs by then-series sponsor RJ Reynolds? Ol' Bill, who would finish the season with an amazing 11 victories but lose the championship battle to Darrell Waltrip. Recollections of Elliott smiling broadly as "Million Dollar Bills" floated through the air in Victory Lane. That was probably it, the first time I covered a NASCAR premier series race at Darlington Raceway . The backstretch today was the frontstretch then, the big red press box and suites sitting there just outside Turn 1. It provided a grand view, possibly one of the best of any stops on the circuit. Watching the field roar out of the fourth turn, so incredibly close to the wall. Then flying down the frontstretch, hammer down and into Turn 1 to start the process all over again. Just sitting there. Soaking it all in. Overlooking history in the making. More than three decades. Time does fly, I suppose. The track's hugely popular throwback program, now in its second season, rekindles a lot of racing memories. Paint schemes that we haven't seen in years suddenly re-appear, roll out of the garage and in a sense, roll back the calendar. But then again the memories always stir a bit when it comes to Darlington. No throwback program is necessary. Maybe it's because the track is an honest-to-goodness landmark, cut out of the sandy soil by Harold Brasington and opened for business in 1950. It was NASCAR's first paved oval of more than 1 mile in length. Brasington had a vision and wasn't shy about pursuing it. But more than that he was also a kind and caring soul to all of us and I never make the trek down here for a race without thinking about him. The action on the track? Yeah, that stands out, too. But it wasn't always the kind of things you hoped to be writing about -- hard crashes and injuries could, and did, happen other places as well but a couple that occurred here haven't been forgotten. Neil Bonnett's crash in the spring race of 1990 is one of them. The extremely personable Bonnett was one of 10 drivers collected in the Turn 4 incident during that year's spring race. Briefly knocked unconscious, Bonnett was eventually transferred to the local hospital and hours later it was reported that he was suffering from amnesia. More than a decade later, it was Steve Park. The Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver was competing in a Busch (now XFINITY ) Series event when, under caution, his Chevrolet suddenly veered left and into the path of Larry Foyt. The impact was tremendous to have happened under caution. But the sadness of such instances doesn't completely overshadow the good times. Jeff Gordon 's Winston Million victory in 1997, the final year of that format, was the perfect bookend to that program's 13-year run. His battle with Jeff Burton in the closing laps of that race was as memorable as any that have unfolded on the 1.366-mile track. Speaking of Burton, there are recollections of his 1999 Darlington sweep in a pair of rain-shortened races here; toss in Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch bringing the fans to their feet with an absolutely amazing finish in 2003; and Regan Smith rising up with the then-small Furniture Row Racing operation to slay the field, and Carl Edwards in 2011. This year's Bojangles' Southern 500 , scheduled to get underway Sunday (6 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the 67th running of the legendary classic. I've seen some of the cars and heard many of the stories from several of the men who were there when the legend of Darlington began. For a lot of others, I've been there to witness it firsthand. It's been worth every minute of it.
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