Looking back at the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee's career MORE: NASCAR Hall of Fame profile of Rex White " NASCAR Hall of Fame by class (Note: This release is part of a series in advance of the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 30, broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White are the five 2015 inductees.) DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.– Over the years, NASCAR premier series champions have come in all shapes and sizes – tall, short, muscular and lean. The single constant? It’s impossible to judge a book by its cover. Based upon first impressions, Rex White – at 5 feet 4 inches, weighing just 135 pounds and with his right leg withered by childhood polio – might have seemed the unlikeliest championship contender of all. White , however, was tough as nails fearing neither competitor nor track conditions. He won the 1960 premier series title and posted 28 victories over five seasons, finishing among the top five in nearly half of his 233 starts. "He looked more like a jockey than a race car driver," fellow competitor Buddy Baker told the Gaston Gazette, "but he lived large once they started the race. On short tracks, he was very aggressive. He didn't mind going in the turn with (NASCAR Hall of Famer and three-time premier series champion) Lee Petty and saying, 'I'm inside and if you come down we’re not going to agree on stuff.' "He raced hard." NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, the 1983 premier series champion, said, "I admired Rex as a race driver because he was a little guy. I started out small. Seeing him winning encouraged me to chase my dream." What might have been a handicap to many only served as motivation to White , born Aug. 17, 1929 in Taylorsville, N.C. "Most of the lessons I have learned (from childhood illness) have stayed with me all my life," said White in his autobiography "Gold Thunder," written with Dr. Anne B. Jones. "The biggest one was how to conquer fear." White learned to drive at age six, driving a neighbor's truck in surrounding fields. Two years later he was working on his family's Ford Model T. “I was unaware the car on which I labored represented hope to people around me (and) frustration to those trying to stop illegal moonshine," said White . "I saw automobiles as transportation, not the symbol of an upcoming billion-dollar sport." White dropped out of school, moving to the Washington D.C., area where he found employment as a cook and, after marriage, a service station job. A poster advertising stock car races took White to Lanham (Maryland) Speedway where he caught on as an unpaid crew member for 1952 NASCAR Modified champion Frankie Schneider. A year later, White returned to the track with a 1937 Ford purchased for $600 lettered "X." He won his heat race, the semi-main and the feature. "I'd never won a trophy at anything," said White . White made his premier series debut in 1956 on Daytona's beach/road course. In 1958, he teamed with crew chief Louis Clements in an "off the books" program by GM's Chevrolet Division. They won twice in 1958 and five times the following year. The 1959 season also saw the debut of White's iconic No. 4 gold and white Chevrolet. The 1960 season was the first in which White ran a full schedule, going to the post only after he and Clement built a car for a competitor, the sale of which netted $2,000 for their own Chevrolet. White won six times finishing 35 of 40 races among the top 10. White's ninth-place finish at Birmingham, Alabama on Aug. 3 was his worst performance in the year's final 15 races. The championship was a runaway, White beating NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty by nearly 4,000 points. "The thing about Rex is he thinks," said Clements in a 1960 interview with Sports Illustrated. "When he's out on the track, he's planning and figuring out which cars he has to race to stay ahead." Car owner and engine builder Smokey Yunick, quoted in the same article, said, " Rex is not a cautious driver but he know when to use caution." White didn't disagree. "I couldn't run quite as fast as some of those other guys," he said. "So long as I was smart and kept running; if any of those other guys had trouble, I had a chance." White nearly defended his title in 1961 winning seven times but finished second to NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett. He added two more top-10 championship finishes before retiring at the conclusion of the 1964 season. Between 1959 and the 1963 seasons, White won more races than any other driver. He won 36 premier series poles – at least one in eight consecutive seasons – and finished second in NASCAR's Short Track late model championship in 1959. In retirement, White has owned an automobile dealership and for 25 years a trucking company, both in the Atlanta area where at age 85 he continues to reside. Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, White holds membership in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame and the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
Oldest living premier series champion gives his thoughts on induction, Abreu Rex White , still keeping busy at age 85, reigns supreme as NASCAR's oldest living champion. He might also rank as its shortest. But White , who stands just a few inches above five feet, never saw his height as any sort of disadvantage, even in the rough-and-tumble days of stock-car racing's infancy. "I really wasn't built or the size for fighting, so I kind of avoided any physical contact with any drivers," White said. "In the race car, though, I was probably about the same height as all of them." White's stature will take another step up come Friday night, when he'll be enshrined as part of the sixth class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He'll be inducted with three drivers he competed against -- Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott and Joe Weatherly -- and latter-day star Bill Elliott. It's an honor that left the 1960 champion of NASCAR's premier series at a loss for words. "It's just unbelievable because I didn't really think I was going in that early," White said of his emotions upon hearing the news. "Just unbelievable -- I don't even know the correct word to use for it, but I was really flabbergasted." White won 28 races in NASCAR's top division, all but two of which came in a four-year heyday from 1959-62. He never regarded his diminutive size as a hurdle, a point that was underscored just last weekend with a modern-day corollary. A popular victory by Rico Abreu, who stands 4-foot-4, in the Chili Bowl Nationals sprint car showcase has opened the doors for a driving opportunity in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. White said if Abreu's talent speaks for itself, all other factors should remain equal. "If they build the race cars and get him adjusted and sitting in there where he can operate everything," White said, "I would say he's just as capable of winning races as any other driver." White's ascension to the top of the NASCAR ladder came during a time when the sport was expanding its reach, growing beyond the dirt bullrings and entering a major speedway boom. Atlanta Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway opened in the year White was crowned, and Daytona International Speedway 's 2.5-mile high banks debuted for business the previous year. Though he could see the sport transforming, White said he couldn't have envisioned what NASCAR would look like in 2015. "No earthly idea that it was going to grow to where it is today and be as popular as it is, and draw the money and pay the purses that they're paying," said White , who picked up a $13,000 check for winning the 1960 title. "I'm not even sure that Bill France had enough foresight to see that. I don't know. He may have, but I sure didn't." If White happens to cross paths with current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick during the Hall of Fame ceremonies, a link between the two will come full circle. White -- who drove a "Gold Thunder" car noted for its pristine gold and white paint scheme -- was the last champion to carry the No. 4 before Harvick accomplished the feat last season. White , like Harvick, was particularly loyal to driving for Chevrolet. The story goes, White needed to change his number from No. 44 once he stopped driving Chevrolet factory cars. Noting that Billy Myers -- an early star driver from Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina -- was a hero of his, it made White's choice all the easier. "Naturally, I grabbed it," White said. "It was a great number. Still is today." Though White hung up his helmet after a part-time schedule in 1964 and retired from his job at a car dealership in 2003, he said he's yet to slow down. His active schedule has picked up recently with appearances and interviews ahead of his Hall of Fame induction. Come Friday night in Charlotte, his stature as one of the sport's all-time greats will be secured, complete with a personalized blue blazer and the presentation of his NASCAR Hall of Fame ring. White says he's looking forward to the festivities, even if there might be the potential for stage fright. "Probably as ready as I'll ever be," White joked. "I'm sure there's something that I'll screw up on, so anyway, I'm going to do the best I can. It's a great honor, and it's a pleasure to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame."
Rex White talks with Bob Dillner about what it means to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Rex White acknowledges the team effort that helped earn him a spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Rex White reflects on his career and winning a NASCAR championship.
Inductee for 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame class
Driver mostly concerned with those caught up in final lap wreck DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jimmie Johnson didn’t get any help, and the only way to beat Dale Earnhardt Jr . in Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400 was to have help. Lots and lots of help. Johnson, three times a winner at Daytona International Speedway, including once in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ summer stop here, led five times for 35 laps. He lined up for a final, green- white -checkered finish second, on the outside of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. The opportunity, he said, was there on more than one occasion in the 161-lap race. “Yeah, restart‑wise, I was excited to have a front‑row opportunity and just hopeful that the scenario behind me would play out right,” Johnson said. The excitement was short-lived. “I don’t know what went on,” he said. “I had two or three shots at it and we just couldn't get our lane to go.” And as was the case most of the night in a race that started more than 3 1/2 hours past its scheduled start time of approximately 8 p.m. ET due to inclement weather, Earnhardt was able to deftly switch lanes, picking up the push of the faster line of cars that kept his No. 88 Chevrolet safely out front. Johnson’s final opportunity came on a green- white -checkered restart that extended the race one lap beyond its scheduled distance. “The last restart I think the 6 car (of Trevor Bayne ) was more focused on setting up a run down the back straightaway and was backing up to the car behind him and I got a great start with Junior and was door to door with him, but didn't have any help getting through (Turns) 1 and 2,” Johnson sad. “I lost control of my lane, and Junior was so strong all night; you give him control of the race, he's not going to give that up.” Earnhardt led seven times for 96 laps. The race was slowed eight times for accidents on the track, and ended under a hail of smoke and debris after Austin Dillon ’s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was launched into the fencing on the frontstretch. “Happy to be 1-2,” Johnson said of his runner-up finish to his HMS teammate, “but clearly thinking about the accident that happened and the people in the stands. “It sounds like things are well out there, which is shocking. I'm shocked that Austin Dillon is even alive, what he went through. Just a frightening moment. I saw it in the mirror, and man, I expected the worst when I came back around.” Johnson swept both Daytona races in 2013, and scored his first Daytona 500 victory in 2006. He’s seen his share of crashes here, and he’s been involved in his share as well. “I assumed that the 3 (Dillon) was backwards and it lifted off from that, but it was actually the 11 (of Denny Hamlin ) was backwards and the 3 bumped him and got some air under the nose of the car and then it just peeled the car up off the ground,” he said. “I don't know how you help the cars in that scenario. Slow us down, certainly. Slow us down, we get further below the lift‑off point, and that could be something to look at. But what I thought happened didn't happen. I was shocked to see the car get off the ground as it did from that type of contact.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 88 takes the checkered as another 'Big One' erupts behind him RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " Chase Grid SHOP: Dale Jr. gear DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . endured a weekend of rain, a three-hour-plus pre-race delay, and nine caution flags to win the Coke-Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway early Monday morning. The race ended at 2:41 a.m. ET and concluded with a large crash featuring Austin Dillon 's No. 3 Chevrolet going airborne and smashing into the catch-fence near Turn 1 after he crossed the start-finish line. Dillon walked away from the wreck, the fourth major crash of the night. After being released from the infield care center, Dillon said he suffered a bruised tailbone and forearm. Pole-sitter Earnhardt dominated the night, leading 96 laps in his No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet. He also had the convincing support of the fans remaining at the track following the 154-minute rain delay. The delay was a harbinger for the race itself, which included four multi-car crashes and those nine caution flags that covered 43 of the scheduled 160 laps before the green- white checkered finish. It was Earnhardt’s fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup career victory on the 2.5-mile Florida track. "I had a lot of fun tonight," a somewhat subdued Earnhardt said after the race. "We have such great motors and good cars. We ran very fast. I had to block a lot, get a lot of pushes from everybody. I had to run real hard to win this race here. We got shuffled back a few times." RELATED: Dillon shaken, but OK after big wreck " Daytona president discusses safety Driver Paul Menard could have been speaking for everyone at the speedway when he said on his radio during the race that Earnhardt’s No. 88 was “ridiculously” fast. Earnhardt consistently outran the competition on re-start after re-start. Earnhardt’s crew raced onto the track after the last-lap crash to check on Dillon’s condition. The catch fences at Daytona International Speedway were reinforced following an accident in 2013 during a NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Denny Hamlin finished third, with Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five. Harvick leads the Sprint Cup points standings by 63 points over Earnhardt. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Kentucky Speedway this week where it will debut its new aerodynamic package in the NSCS Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
A statistical look ahead to the 18th race of the Sprint Cup season DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (July 6, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky going into the Quaker State 400 on July 11 on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET. KENTUCKY-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Crispy Toyota) · One win, three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 4.500, series-best · Average Running Position of 5.270, series-best · Driver Rating of 124.3, series-best · 139 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.614, series-best · 1003 Laps in the Top 15 (93.9), series-most · 99 Quality Passes, 11th-most Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · Two top 10s · Average finish of 11.500, eighth-best · Average Running Position of 13.430, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 89.4, 11th-best · 21 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.179, 13th-fastest · 603 Laps in the Top 15 (56.5), 12th-most · 112 Quality Passes, seventh-most Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 NATIONWIDE Chevrolet) · Two top fives, two top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 12.750, 10th-best · Average Running Position of 12.607, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 90.7, ninth-best · 32 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.518, 10th-fastest · 633 Laps in the Top 15 (59.3), 11th-most · 106 Quality Passes, ninth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 COMCAST MINIONS Toyota) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 15.750, 12th-best · Average Running Position of 12.755, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 87.2, 12th-best · 20 Fastest Laps Run, second-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.201, 12th-fastest · 662 Laps in the Top 15 (62.0), 10th-most · 107 Quality Passes, eighth-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet) · One top five, four top 10s · Average finish of 7.250, fourth-best · Average Running Position of 12.069, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 95.4, sixth-best · 41 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.777, seventh-fastest · 736 Laps in the Top 15 (68.9), seventh-most · 140 Quality Passes, fourth-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 22.750, 13th-best · Average Running Position of 18.688, 13th-best · Driver Rating of 85.2, 13th-best · 34 Fastest Laps Run, series-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.252, third-fastest · 558 Laps in the Top 15 (52.2), 13th-most · 87 Quality Passes, 13th-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevrolet) · Two top 10s · Average finish of 11.000, seventh-best · Average Running Position of 10.600, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 95.2, seventh-best · 17 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.767, eighth-fastest · 884 Laps in the Top 15 (82.8), fourth-most · 133 Quality Passes, fifth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet) · One top five, four top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 7.000, third-best · Average Running Position of 6.292, second-best · Driver Rating of 116.6, second-best · 127 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.573, second-fastest · 963 Laps in the Top 15 (90.2), third-most · 142 Quality Passes, third-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 LIFTMASTER Chevrolet) · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 8.500, fifth-best · Average Running Position of 12.879, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 98.9, fifth-best · 64 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.039, fifth-fastest · 709 Laps in the Top 15 (66.4), eighth-most · 145 Quality Passes, second-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · One win, two top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 4.500, second-best · Average Running Position of 9.208, third-best · Driver Rating of 107.2, fourth-best · 79 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 172.189, fourth-fastest · 972 Laps in the Top 15 (91.0), second-most · 181 Quality Passes, series-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford) · Two wins, two top fives, three top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 10.500, sixth-best · Average Running Position of 10.234, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 116.1, third-best · 171 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.863, sixth-fastest · 840 Laps in the Top 15 (78.7), fifth-most · 88 Quality Passes, 12th-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil/AutoTrader Ford) · One top five, two top 10s · Average finish of 12.250, ninth-best · Average Running Position of 11.292, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 94.7, eighth-best · 25 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.579, ninth-fastest · 669 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6), ninth-most · 101 Quality Passes, 10th-most Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) · Two top fives, two top 10s · Average finish of 13.750, 11th-best · Average Running Position of 12.857, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 90.2, 10th-best · 14 Fastest Laps Run, third-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 171.476, 11th-fastest · 776 Laps in the Top 15 (72.7), sixth-most · 113 Quality Passes, sixth-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Kentucky Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 4 0 0 0 2 0 11 95.2 2 Dale Earnhardt Jr 4 1 0 2 2 0 12.8 90.7 3 Jimmie Johnson 4 1 0 1 4 0 7 116.6 4 Joey Logano 4 0 0 1 2 0 12.2 94.7 5 Martin Truex Jr 4 0 0 0 2 0 13 84.0 6 Jamie McMurray 4 0 0 1 1 1 22.5 76.5 7 Brad Keselowski 4 1 2 2 3 0 10.5 116.1 8 Kurt Busch 4 0 0 0 2 0 11.5 89.4 9 Matt Kenseth 4 0 1 2 4 0 4.5 107.2 10 Jeff Gordon 4 0 0 1 4 0 7.2 95.4 11 Kasey Kahne 4 0 0 1 2 0 8.5 98.9 12 Denny Hamlin 4 0 0 1 1 2 22.8 85.2 13 Paul Menard 4 0 0 0 0 0 20.2 74.5 14 Ryan Newman 4 0 0 2 2 1 13.8 90.2 15 Clint Bowyer 4 0 0 1 1 1 19.2 83.3 16 Aric Almirola 3 0 0 0 0 1 26.7 67.4 * – Based on last four races at Kentucky Speedway. Kentucky Speedway Data Season Race #: 18 of 36 (07-11-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 14 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 14 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 8 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 8 degrees Frontstretch Length : 1,662 feet Backstretch Length : 1,600 feet Race Length : 200 laps / 300 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Kentucky Kyle Busch ............................... 124.3 Jimmie Johnson ........................ 116.6 Brad Keselowski ....................... 116.1 Matt Kenseth ............................. 107.2 Kasey Kahne .............................. 98.9 Jeff Gordon ................................ 95.4 Kevin Harvick .............................. 95.2 Joey Logano .............................. 94.7 Dale Earnhardt Jr . ....................... 90.7 Ryan Newman ............................. 90.2 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (four total) among active drivers at Kentucky Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 188.791 mph, 28.603 secs. 06-28-14 2014 race winner : Brad Keselowski , Ford 139.723 mph, (02:51:59), 06-29-14 Track qualifying record: Brad Keselowski , Ford 188.791 mph, 28.603 secs. 06-28-14 Track race record: Brad Keselowski ., Dodge 145.607 mph, (02:45:02), 06-30-12 At Kentucky Speedway: History · In 1998, the track broke ground in Sparta, Kentucky, and opened as a 1.5-mile speedway in 2000. · The original owners, Jerry Carroll and four other investors owned the track until 2008, when current owners, Speedway Motorsports Inc. purchased the facility. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held in 2011 – won by Kyle Busch . Starts · There have been four NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky Speedway since the first race in 2011 – one race per season. · 60 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway; 45 in more than one. · 28 different drivers have made all four series starts at Kentucky Speedway. · Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Average Starting Position at Kentucky with a 5.75; followed by Kyle Busch with a 6.25. Poles · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying at Kentucky was cancelled due to weather. The starting line-up was set per the Rule Book – Kyle Busch started from first. · Brad Keselowski (2014), Dale Earnhardt Jr . (2013) and Jimmie Johnson (2012) are the three drivers that have won Coors Light poles at Kentucky. · Youngest Kentucky pole winner: Brad Keselowski (06/28/2014 – 30 years, 4 months, 16 days). · Oldest Kentucky pole winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr . (06/30/2013 – 38 years, 8 months, 20 days). Wins · Three different NSCS drivers have won at Kentucky Speedway: Kyle Busch (07/09/2011), Brad Keselowski (06/30/2012 and 6/28/2014) and Matt Kenseth (6/30/2013). · Brad Keselowski leads the series in wins at Kentucky with two. · Youngest Kentucky winner: Kyle Busch (07/09/2011 – 26 years, 2 months, 7 days). · Oldest Kentucky winner: Matt Kenseth (06/30/2013 – 41 years, 3 months, 20 days). · Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske are tied for the series lead in wins at Kentucky with two each: Joe Gibbs Racing (2011, 2013); Team Penske (2012, 2014). · Three different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Kentucky: Toyota (2011, 2013), Dodge (2012) and Ford (2014). · Brad Keselowski is the only driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky from the Coors Light poles (2014). · Kyle Busch won the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky from the first starting position. Due to the qualifying session being cancelled for the 2011 race, it was not from the Coors Light pole. · Two of the four (50.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky have been won from the front row – both from the first starting position (2011, 2014). · Three of the four (75%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky have been won from a top-10 starting position. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kentucky is 16th, by Matt Kenseth in 2013. · The fewest laps led in a single race by an eventual NSCS winner at Kentucky is 38 laps by Matt Kenseth in 2013. · The most laps led in a single race by an eventual NSCS winner at Kentucky is 199 laps by Brad Keselowski in 2014. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Four different drivers have posted NSCS runner-up finishes at Kentucky: David Reutimann (2011), Kasey Kahne (2012), Jamie McMurray (2013) and Kyle Busch (2014). · 14 different drivers have posted top-five finishes at Kentucky led by Kyle Busch with three; followed by Brad Keselowski , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Matt Kenseth , and Ryan Newman with two each. · 19 different drivers have posted top-10 finishes at Kentucky led by Kyle Busch , Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth with four each. · Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch are tied for the series among active drivers in Average Finishing Position at Kentucky with a 4.5 each. Jimmie Johnson (7.0), Jeff Gordon (7.2), and Kasey Kahne (8.5) are the other active drivers with an average finish in the top 10. Track Event Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway was the July 9, 2011 race won by Kyle Busch over David Reutimann with a MOV of 0.179 second. · None of the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway have resulted with a green- white -checkered finish. · None of the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions. · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway once; the 2011 race. · The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky produced the most lead changes (20) at the 1.5-mile track. The fewest lead changes were in the 2013 race at Kentucky (11). · The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky produced the most different leaders (12) at the 1.5-mile speedway. The fewest leaders in a NSCS event at Kentucky were last season’s race with three. · Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Kentucky with 346 laps led in four starts. Female Competitor Stats · Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway . Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 29 23 6/30/2013 Danica Patrick 10 21 6/28/2014 Averages 19.5 22.0 NASCAR in Kentucky · There have been five NASCAR Sprint Cup races among two tracks in Kentucky. Track Name City NSCS Kentucky Speedway Sparta 4 Corbin Speedway Corbin 1 · 42 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Kentucky; three have posted wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Jeremy Mayfield 5 0 0 Michael Waltrip 4 11 1 Tommy Thompson 1 0 0 Jeff Green 0 16 0 David Green 0 9 0 Milestones – Kentucky Speedway HAS NEEDS MILESTONE DESCRIPTION DRIVER Michael McDowell 174 1 175th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career Start McDowell is 145th on the all-time NSCS career starts list, two starts behind Walter Ballard and Regan Smith (176 each) in 143rd. Danica Patrick 99 1 100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Career Start Patrick is 191st on the all-time NSCS career starts list, one start behind Bruce Hill (100) in 190th. Jimmie Johnson 74 2 76th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Jimmie Johnson is eighth on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in seventh (76 wins). Tony Stewart 48 2 50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Stewart is 13th on the all-time NSCS wins l
Annual ceremony pays tribute to five racing legends RELATED: More NASCAR Hall of Fame coverage HALL OF FAME PRESENTATIONS: Elliott " Lorenzen " Scott " White " Weatherly CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- On Friday night, in a particularly moving ceremony, the NASCAR Hall of Fame welcomed one of the most significant classes since the induction of its inaugural class in 2010. Perennial most popular driver Bill Elliott headlined a five-member class that also included NASCAR trailblazer Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver ever to win at NASCAR's highest level and the first ever to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame; Fred Lorenzen, a supremely talented driver who won 26 of his 158 career starts; two-time champion Joe Weatherly, who won 25 races in NASCAR's premier series and 101 races in the NASCAR modified ranks; and 1960 champion Rex White , who started 233 races and finished in the top five in 110 of them. Introduced by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart , Lorenzen, from Elmhurst, Illinois, was one of the first "northern" drivers to gain acceptance in what was, at the time, a predominantly Southeastern sport. Though Lorenzen never competed in more than 29 races in a single season, he won 26 times in 158 starts, a remarkable winning percentage of 16.46. "One of the most pivotal moments of dad's career came on Christmas Eve 1960, when Ralph Moody called dad and asked him to drive for Holman Moody," said Lorenzen's son, Chris, in accepting induction on behalf of his father. "Soon after, there he was at Darlington driving his Holman Moody Ford signature pearlescent white No. 28 to Victory Lane ... Dad always said, 'The sky is the limit, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.' That has been dad's most important saying in life, and he certainly lived by it." Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon introduced the late Wendell Scott, whose Dec. 1, 1963 victory at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida, stands as the first win by an African-American driver in NASCAR's top series. In a career that included 495 starts, Scott recorded 147 top-10 finishes. "We have been led to this great celebration and enshrinement tonight because of the character, tenacity and determination of Wendell O. Scott Sr.," Scott's son, Franklin, said in accepting induction on behalf of his father. "I believe dad envisioned a night such as this comprised of his family, friends and fellow competitors. Unfortunately, the love of his life, Mary Scott, is not here physically because of health reasons, but her spirit is definitely here in a very profound way. "The legacy of Wendell Scott depicts him as one of the great vanguards of the sport of NASCAR racing. Daddy was a man of great honor. He didn't let his circumstances define who he was. The Bible teaches that before a person can have honor, they must first have integrity and humility. In addition another one of his great attributes was perseverance. There were two words that were forbidden for us to use growing up in the Scott household. Those words were 'can't' and 'never.' "In spite of the many obstacles, struggles and hardships he faced, he persevered. What seemed to be insurmountable odds to others, daddy considered it an opportunity. His intestinal fortitude to follow his dreams has placed him among the greatest to ever compete in the sport he loved -- racing." Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick took the dais to introduce the third new member of the Hall of Fame, 1960 champion Rex White , who collected 28 victories and 36 poles in his 233 starts in NASCAR's premier series. "Words can't express how honored I am to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame along with the other Hall of Fame members, especially my 2015 fellow inductees," White said. "No driver wins a championship by himself, and nobody enters the Hall of Fame alone. I am the symbol of a team effort. From my first race in 1953 until now, this effort spans 62 years." Brad Keselowski , 2012 NSCS champion introduced Joy Barbee, niece of the late Joe Weatherly, who won championships in 1962 and 1963 before a crash in the fifth race of the 1964 season, at Riverside (Calif.) Raceway took his life. Known as the "Clown Prince of Stock Car Racing" for his gregarious nature and proclivity for practical jokes (rubber snakes were a favorite), Weatherly won 25 races and 18 poles in 229 starts. "Being the youngest of seven, I was only two-and-a-half when Joe was killed, so I really don't remember him at all, but what I can share with you is a memory that I will hold forever in my heart and that is a memory about the love of a brother and a sister, Joe and my mother Betty. "I feel like I knew Joe through her, through the stories she would tell us as kids, and the passion you could hear in her voice when she spoke of him ... I must say that standing here tonight is such a great honor, and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be here accepting this award on behalf of my Uncle Joe." Kasey Kahne , who took over the No. 9 car from Elliott, introduced his racing hero, "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville," the most prolific winner of the 2015 Hall of Fame class with 44 victories in NASCAR's top series, 16th on the all-time list. Elliott won the Cup championship in 1988 after becoming the first driver in series history to claim the Winston Million in 1985 with victories in the Daytona 500 , Southern 500 at Darlington Speedway and Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway . Champion crew chief Ray Evernham performed the official induction of Elliott, who advanced to NASCAR's highest level from a small family operation in Dawsonville, Georgia. "It's just an honor to be here, guys," Elliott said. "If you look on the walls here at the people who are already inducted into this great Hall of Fame, it's just incredible ... One thing that I look at out here today, guys, is one common bond with all these racers is the hard work and the dedication all these guys had. "And for me to stand up here among the guys that have already been here is totally incredible." Anne Bledsoe France, wife of founder and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bill France Sr., was honored with the first Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Familiarly known as "Annie B," Anne B. France handled the business end of NASCAR racing while "Big Bill" grew the sport into a national phenomenon. Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corporation, accepted the award on behalf of her grandmother. Renowned Charlotte Observer racing writer Tom Higgins received the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, joining Ken Squier, Barney Hall and the late Chris Economaki. NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes aptly referred to the quartet as the "Mount Rushmore" of motorsports journalism.