For the sixth consecutive year, NASCAR is ready to honor the drivers who have shown exceptional skill at NASCAR driving. As well as all-time great crew chiefs and owners, and the other major contributors to the sport’s competition. Last Wednesday, February 24th, the sanctioning body announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.
As has been its custom to date, a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners, and the media selected the nominees. From the nominee list, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel will elect five inductees, on Wednesday, May 25.
To become an eligible driver for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, they must have competed in NASCAR for at least ten years and been retired for two years. As well as any active driver who has competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year before the nominating year. In addition, any driver who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year before the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.
Non-drivers must have been involved in the NASCAR industry, at least, ten years. However, some candidates with shorter careers will be considered if there were special circumstances. Individuals may also be considered if they made significant achievements in the sport, but left the sport early due to a variety of conditions.
And The Nominees Are:
- 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
- Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
- Ray Fox, legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner
- Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
- Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
- Alan Kulwicki, 1992 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
- Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
- Robert Yates won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner
Besides the 15 names mentioned before, in this year’s nomination list, stand out five first-time nominees, who made various contributions to the sport:
- Ron Hornaday, four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion
- Jack Roush, five-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
- Ricky Rudd won 23 times in NASCAR’s premier series, including 1997 Brickyard 400
- Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence
- Waddell Wilson won three NASCAR premier series championships as an engine builder
Remember to follow the Hall of Fame Voting Panel, on Wednesday, May 25, and find out who will be the new five inductees of NASCAR’s history.