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;
Preview Show: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota, joins Marty Snider and Chris Rice on the Preview show Presented by FedEx to help break down the changes for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
Race Rewind: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in 15
Relive all the moments from the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in just 15 minutes.
Best in-car audio from the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
Go inside the cars and listen in on team communications as Chase Elliott and Danica Patrick get voted in, Tony Stewart races his final all-star event and Joey Logano takes home a cool $1 million in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
Race Rewind: 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in 15
Watch a condensed version of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race where a final pit stop sets up Denny Hamlin's run to the $1 million prize.
How the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race works
Eligibility expanded, race increased 20 laps from 2014 RELATED: More facts about Saturday night's race This year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will feature four 25-lap segments, then a 10-lap shootout to the checkered flag that will crown the $1 million winner. All laps will be counted during Segments 1, 2 and 3, and teams have the option to pit during breaks. All laps will also be counted during Segment 4. If there's a tie among drivers when calculating the average finish of all four segments, the finish in the fourth segment serves as tiebreaker. A driver's average finish following the first four segments will determine the order onto pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop before the final 10-lap run. In the 10-lap shootout, only green flag laps will count. WHO HAS QUALIFIED FOR THE ALL-STAR RACE? Drivers who won points races in either 2014 or 2015, as well as previous NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners and former Sprint Cup Series champions who had a full-time ride in 2014. SO THOSE LOCKED INTO THE ALL-STAR RACE ARE ... ? Driver Eligibility AJ Allmendinger Win at Watkins Glen (2014) Aric Almirola Win at Daytona (2014) Greg Biffle Win in Sprint Showdown (2015) Clint Bowyer Win in Sprint Showdown (2015) Kurt Busch 2 wins since 2014 Kyle Busch Win at Auto Club (2014) Dale Earnhardt Jr . 5 wins since 2014 Carl Edwards 2 wins since 2014 Jeff Gordon 4 wins since 2014 Denny Hamlin 2 wins since 2014 Kevin Harvick 7 wins since 2014 Jimmie Johnson 7 wins since 2014 Kasey Kahne Win at Atlanta (2014) Matt Kenseth Win at Bristol (2015) Brad Keselowski 7 wins since 2014 Joey Logano 6 wins since 2014 Jamie McMurray Win in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (2014) Ryan Newman Win in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (2002) Tony Stewart Win in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (2009) IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE SATURDAY'S RACE? The Sprint Showdown (Friday, 7 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio) precedes the All-Star Race, and is for drivers who did not meet the All-Star Race criteria. The Sprint Showdown consists of two 20-lap segments. The winner of each segment transfers over into Saturday's main event. UPDATE: Biffle, Bowyer transfer to Sprint All-Star Race WILL ANYONE ELSE MAKE THE ALL-STAR RACE? Yes. The winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, which will be announced after the Sprint Showdown. That gives us a field of 20. UPDATE: Patrick wins fan vote for second time in three years
Weather wipes out Sprint All-Star Race qualifying
RELATED: See the lineup in photos Inclement weather wiped out Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway . This meant the lineup was set by owner points, putting Stewart-Haas Racing 's Kevin Harvick on the Coors Light Pole. RELATED: Complete lineup for Sprint All-Star race The qualifying session was scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. ET on FS1 and was set to precede the Sprint All-Star Race at 9 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Driver introductions began at 9:05 p.m. ET as NASCAR Air Titans continued to work on drying the track. Green flag dropped at 10:12 p.m. ET. Earlier Saturday, Trevor Bayne , Greg Biffle and Kyle Larson all earned berths into the Sprint All-Star Race by each winning one of three segments in the Sprint Showdown. Chase Elliott and Danica Patrick were first and second, respectively, in the Sprint Fan Vote to complete the 20-car Sprint All-Star Race field. Denny Hamlin , who qualified for the Sprint All-Star Race with a win in the 2015 season, is the defending champion of the Sprint All-Star Race. MORE: Live leaderboard for Sprint All-Star Race
Stewart gives command for his final career NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
Tony Stewart, 2009 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner, gives the command to start engines in his final NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race pit stall assignments
See where drivers will pit for Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race (9 p.m. ET, FS1)
Snapshot: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
Get caught up for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race (9 p.m. ET, FS1) What: 31st-annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway , Concord, N.C. When: Saturday, May 16, 2015 TV/Radio: FOX Sports 1, MRN, Sirius XM Distance: 110 laps (165 miles) Time: 9 p.m. ET Format Change The format for this year’s Sprint All-Star Race will consist of four 25-lap segments, followed by a mandatory four-tire pit stop and ending with a 10-lap shootout. Teams will pit at the conclusion of the fourth segment in the order of their average finishing position through the four segments. The re-start order for the final segment will be determined based on the position of the cars as they exit pit road. On the Front Row 1. Denny Hamlin , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (145.648 mph) 2. Greg Biffle , Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford (144.643 mph) Fastest in practice: Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (188.884 mph) Jamie McMurray , Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 1 Chevrolet (188.396 mph) Transfers from the Sprint Showdown First Segment Winner: Greg Biffle , Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford Second Segment Winner: Clint Bowyer , Michael Waltrip Racing No. 15 Toyota Sprint Fan Vote Winner Danica Patrick , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Chevrolet Four-For-Three AJ Allmendinger is making his fourth start in the All-Star Race this weekend. The JTG Daugherty Racing driver’s three previous starts came with three different teams – Red Bull Racing (2008), Team Penske (2012) and JTG Daugherty (2014). Driver Rating Best driver rating average for the Sprint All-Star Race based on past 10 races: Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (108.1) Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet (104.2) Matt Kenseth , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota (88.3) Big Vote for Big D For the second time in three years, SHR driver Danica Patrick advanced into the All-Star race field by virtue of the Sprint Fan Vote. Patrick, who finished ninth in the second of the two 20-lap segments, also qualified via the Fan Vote process in 2013. Race, Pit, Race The unusual qualifying format for the race will feature single-car runs by drivers, and consist of two laps at speed with a pit stop for four tires in between. There will be no pit road speed limit enforced. The aggregate total time (on track and on/off pit road) will determine the starting lineup. Carl Edwards (JGR) has started on the pole for the last two All-Star events. Former Sprint All-Star Race Winners in the Field Jimmie Johnson (4), Jeff Gordon (3), Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Kurt Busch , Tony Stewart , Kasey Kahne , Kevin Harvick , Matt Kenseth , Ryan Newman , Dale Earnhardt Jr . (1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule