Phillips crew chief estimates Phillips won nearly one thousand times on weekly series racetracks. His outstanding career has been noticed as he is on the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame nomination list.
Nominee for the NASCAR Hall of Fame
Evernham, Kulwicki, Martin added to ballot; Landmark Award nominees named Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners and drivers. Their roles and responsibilities may have differed, but they all have one trait in common – each made an everlasting mark on NASCAR history. NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees – legends all – who exceled in various disciplines, at various levels. RELATED: Photo gallery of the Class of 2016 nominees Among them are three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Ray Evernham; 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Harry Hyde; 1992 NASCAR premier series champion Alan Kulwicki; winner of a combined 96 NASCAR national series races, Mark Martin; and 1986 NASCAR west series champion Hershel McGriff. For a full list of nominees, please see below. The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, 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 2016 class will be Wednesday, May 20. The five nominees for the Landmark Award are Harold Brasington, H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement. Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically: Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR's premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500 Red Byron , first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949 Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series Jerry Cook , six-time NASCAR Modified champion Ray Evernham , three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Ray Fox , legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series Harry Hyde , 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Bobby Isaac , 1970 NASCAR premier series champion Alan Kulwicki , 1992 NASCAR premier series champion Terry Labonte , two-time NASCAR premier series champion Mark Martin , 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion Raymond Parks , NASCAR's first champion car owner Benny Parsons , 1973 NASCAR premier series champion Larry Phillips , only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion O. Bruton Smith , builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc. Mike Stefanik , winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing" Robert Yates , won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner The five nominees for the Landmark Award are as follows… Harold Brasington , founder of Darlington Speedway H. Clay Earles , founder of Martinsville Speedway Raymond Parks , NASCAR's first champion car owner Ralph Seagraves , formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Ken Squier , legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence The 22-person Nominating Committee are as follows... NOMINATION COMMITTEE NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim. NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton; Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell; Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook (Note: Due to Jerry Cook's inclusion on the ballot for the NHOF Class of 2015, he was recused from voting for the Class of 2016 nominees.) 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 directors member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; West Coast representative Ken Clapp. Media: Mike Joy, FOX. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
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
Cook, Isaac, Labonte, Smith, Turner comprise Hall's seventh class
Reigning Sprint Cup champ to help determine seventh class of enshrinees
Dale Earnhardt Jr . knows all about growing up in the shadow of a legend. He knows where that path leads, where it ends and where the next one begins. Buddy Baker did, too. Both are the sons of famous racers. Both followed their fathers into the sport. It was a connection, a common thread leading away from two very uncommon individuals. Baker, the son of two-time NASCAR premier series champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Buck Baker, passed away Monday following a brief battle with lung cancer. The father, tough as an old boot, taught the son plenty. A giant of a man inside and outside the car, Buddy won 19 times, including the 1980 Daytona 500 . He's been among the nominees for the Hall for the past two years. Earnhardt Jr.'s father, Dale Earnhardt, was one of the inaugural members of the Hall selected in 2010. The elder Earnhardt won seven NASCAR premier series titles, tying Richard Petty's formidable mark. He won 76 races. For many, Earnhardt was NASCAR, helping to fill the void left by the departure of icons that had carried the sport on their shoulders through the 1960s and '70s -- men such as Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough. And Buddy Baker. The father-son connection question has been asked countless times of Earnhardt Jr. He is no longer surprised by it. His father's shadow loomed large over the sport, even after his death on the race track in 2001. The similarities to Baker's own circumstances became more obvious to Earnhardt Jr. over time. "When I was really young, I grew aware of his situation and I hadn't become a driver yet," Earnhardt Jr. said Thursday during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "I didn't feel like I could relate to him. "I obviously knew just what growing up in household must have been like, the yearning to compete and get into the series and do what your father was doing and be a part of it to be more a part of his life. "To be more of a part of your father's life is one of the main reasons why you get involved. I maybe could understand that part of it." Baker's on-track accomplishments, and later his move into broadcasting, helped him shed the "son-of" label. Just as Earnhardt Jr.'s eventual success -- he's won 25 races, including a pair of Daytona 500 titles -- helped him blaze his own trail. "You almost forgot about that scenario and how similar it may have been to your own (situation) because of what he was able to accomplish," Earnhardt Jr. said. "He created his own identity outside of Buck (Baker). He did so many things on his own, added to his own identity and legacy that you totally really forgot about having those similarities down the road." NASCAR hasn't lacked for father/son combinations through the years -- Lee and Richard Petty; Richard and Kyle Petty; Bobby and Davey and Clifford Allison; Ned, Glenn and Dale Jarrett; David and Larry Pearson; and more recently Ward and Jeb Burton just to name a few. There are a lot, Earnhardt Jr. said, "that I feel that connection to, that know what that connection is like." The situation isn't specific to racing, but racing is where both Earnhardt Jr. and Baker found themselves. Following in their fathers' footsteps. "Wanting to be in that shadow when you're young and wanting to be a part of his life when you're young and then trying to get out from under that shadow all the rest of the years of your life is definitely, I wouldn't call it a struggle, but it's just a unique situation that only a few of us can say we've been through," said Earnhardt Jr., "and we can relate to each other through that."
RELATED: McReynolds wins at Iowa " Get more with Home Tracks When Brandon McReynolds first prevailed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series at Iowa Speedway, his father, Larry , rejoiced 1,000 miles away, sharing his glee while broadcasting the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on FOX Sports 1. Last weekend, the 24-year-old driver was close enough to see the reaction for himself, sharing the moment with his father in Victory Lane in the Hawkeye State just 11 weeks later. The father-son duo joined the Bill McAnally Racing team in toasting the NASCAR Next alum's rare Iowa season sweep. The triumph was further proof that the next-generation driver hasn't fallen far from the career path of his father, who oversaw two Daytona 500 wins from atop the pit box for both Davey Allison and Dale Earnhardt. Still, he said he hasn't had any prodding to pursue the same livelihood in motorsports. "One thing I've got to give my dad credit for is there's a lot of dads out there who put a lot of pressure on you to be a race car driver, and he's never done that," Brandon McReynolds said. "He's just said whatever you're going to do in life, put your mind to it and work hard, roll up your sleeves and make the most of it. He's really allowed me to do that. He's allowed me to succeed; he's allowed me to fail. So to see him here and to see the smile and a little bit of tears on his face, it goes a long way with me. "It's really cool to see our relationship grow over the last few years. Obviously, we've always been close because he's my dad, but it's really cool. He's one of my best friends and it's cool to share this with him." The elder McReynolds happily watched the proceedings from the sidelines of Victory Lane, telling the team, "This is your night." He eventually relented, posing for a handful of photos against the backdrop of a moonlit Iowa night. Though Larry McReynolds' obligations with FOX Sports, which came to an end in June, have kept him from seeing more of his son's races in the K&N Pro Series West, he said he's seen growth in the face of some mild adversity. McReynolds has qualified among the top five for all but one race this season, but he has just two top-fives -- both Iowa wins -- to show for the speed. RELATED: Larry McReynolds bids farewell to boothmates While the results haven't been as consistent as hoped, the pieces have come together on the highly competitive stage at Iowa, host of the two combination events for the K&N East and West Series. "I think what he's hung his hat on is they've had a competitive car every single week," Larry McReynolds said. "The season didn't get started good at the beginning with a couple of engine issues and then of course he got spun out a few weeks ago battling for the lead, but I think that's what he's hung his hat on -- the fact that they've been competitive, they've been in position. Like I've always told him, and I speak from all my years of experience, you put yourself in position enough, the deal will get sealed." Though the younger McReynolds' focus for the short term was on savoring the Iowa victory and carrying momentum to the West series' next race Aug. 15 at Evergreen Speedway in Washington, the next deal that needs closure is his plan for next season. McReynolds said that 2016 was still in limbo but hinted that any potential moves would hopefully be made in conjunction with McAnally, a five-time championship team owner in the K&N Pro Series West. "I hate to beat around the bush about it, but obviously we work day in and day out," McReynolds said. "Me and Bill are on the phone constantly to make that next step or to move forward together. Right now, I really don't know, and I'm sure you guys get that answer a lot but it's really the truth. It's hard. We're lucky enough to have the sponsors that we do have with NAPA and Toyota and all of our associates that are behind us, and we hope to grow with those. Obviously, there's going to be some changing coming up here in the future. "There's a lot of movement going on. It seems like our silly season, even at the K&N level, it happens earlier and earlier each year. I know this (win) definitely helps and we'll see what it brings us, but we're working together to try to move forward together as a group."
RELATED: What 'Rowdy' needs to make Chase Kyle Busch came up short in his attempt to win four consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota running out of fuel on the final lap of Sunday's Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway. Twelve drivers have won four or more consecutive premier series races. NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Cale Yarborough was the first, in 1976. Six-time series champ Jimmie Johnson was the most recent, in 2007. And then there was Billy Wade. Notable here because Wade's fourth and final win came in 1964 at Watkins Glen International, site of this weekend's Cheez-It 355 at the Glen (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). Driving for car owner Bud Moore, Wade strung together wins at Old Bridge (N.J.) Stadium, a half-mile oval; Bridgehampton (N.Y.) Raceway, a 2.85-mile road course; Islip (N.Y.) Speedway, which measured a mere two-tenths of a mile; and Watkins Glen. The stops were part of what was known as the "northern tour" for the series at that time; the four races came in a span of 10 days. Wade's success came against some of the series' toughest competition of the day. At Old Bridge, he outlasted Ned Jarrett; two days later he held off two-time series champ Buck Baker; on Wednesday evening he bested Jarrett once more; and on the following Sunday, Wade beat LeeRoy Yarbrough to the checkered flag. Lee and Richard Petty, David Pearson and Marvin Panch were among those also in the field for the four races. A native of Houston, Wade had won the NASCAR Rookie of the Year title the previous year, tops among a group that included Bobby Isaac, Larry Manning and J.D. McDuffie. Three of his four wins during the streak came from the pole position, including the victory at Watkins Glen. Although he competed in only 35 of the season's 62 events, Wade finished a career-best fourth in the final points standings. Sadly, those were the only victories of Wade's brief NASCAR career. Less than a year later, the 34-year-old was killed during a January 1965 tire test at Daytona International Speedway when his Mercury blew a right-front tire and slammed into the wall. According to reports, the wall had been built barely a month earlier as a safety measure to keep cars inside the 2.5-mile track. Wade was the fourth driver to lose his life on the track in less than a year's time. Two-time series champ Joe Weatherly was killed in a crash the previous January while racing at Riverside (Calif.) Raceway; Glenn "Fireball" Roberts died in July of '64 as a result of injuries suffered in a crash at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier that season; and Jim Pardue, twice a winner, was killed when he crashed at CMS during a Sept. tire test in '64. Such tragedies did spur safety developments in the sport, such as the driver's side window net, the inner liner for tires and the fuel cell. Similar safety developments continue today, and were in evidence this past weekend at Pocono. When Brad Keselowski slid through his pit box during the race, he sent his crew scrambling. Jackman Braxton Bannon was upended and landed on his back; front tire carrier Jeremy Ogles, headed around the front of the car, managed to leap onto the hood of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. No one was injured, and the crew, wearing helmets, managed to complete the pit stop. WATCH: Pocono pit problems for Keselowski Since 2002, NASCAR has required crewmen going over the wall to service a vehicle on pit road in all three national series, Sprint Cup , XFINITY and Camping World Truck s, to wear a helmet. More than a decade earlier, in 1991, pit road speed limits had been put into place. The action was taken after a crewman, Mike Rich, was killed on pit road at Atlanta in the season-ending race of 1990. Limiting pit road speed doesn't eliminate the danger, as the Keselowski incident clearly revealed. But it has, fortunately, lessened it considerably.
NASCAR Next driver was NASCAR K&N Pro Series Rookie of the Year A new technical affiliation will offer an extra boost of support for NASCAR Next driver Jesse Little's 2015 plans. Team Little Racing and Larry McReynolds Racing announced Tuesday the formation of a technical alliance designed to help the 17-year-old driver's efforts in NASCAR K&N Pro Series events. The new partnership will provide Team Little with engineering and technical support for its No. 97 NASCAR Technical Institute Toyota, plus LMR personnel for shop duties. McReynolds -- a two-time Daytona 500 -winning crew chief, now an analyst for FOX's NASCAR coverage -- has the home base for his shop in Mooresville, North Carolina. "From the very beginning we have been clear that our mission at LMR is to identify and attract the best young drivers in NASCAR and then surround them with the sponsors, people and technical support that they need to succeed," McReynolds said in a release provided by the team. "Not only do we believe that Jesse is one of the top young talents in our sport, but I have no doubt that this partnership will give Jesse the opportunity to show NASCAR and its millions of fans worldwide just how good this young man is." Little, the 2013 rookie of the year in the K&N Pro Series East, notched his first K&N victory last season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . He also won the pole position in August at Iowa Speedway in a combined race for both the East and West divisions. "This is an exceptional opportunity for me and everyone involved in our program," Little said. "To have someone the caliber of Larry McReynolds and his team approach us to join their efforts for 2015 is something we're very excited about and I am looking forward to working with such a talented group." Little wound up sixth in the 2014 final K&N Pro Series East standings.