NASCAR Names New Class Of Inductees

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons were elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Wednesday afternoon as the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met at the Charlotte Convention Center.

While these five luminaries were chosen for induction to the Hall of Fame next January, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway founder H. Clay Earles won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

Fifty-four 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).

Parsons, the 1972 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion was named on 85 percent of the votes, with Hendrick cited on 62 percent. The top vote getters not elected this year 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.

Richard Childress (NASCAR photo)
Richard Childress (NASCAR photo)

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.