By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
The NASCAR Hall of Fame voting committee had their work cut out for them as they had to narrow 20 legendary names down to just five who would make it into enshrinement for the Hall’s 2017 Class based on their on-track accolades. There were many deserving candidates on this year’s ballot, but there were five that stood out above the rest according to the voters.
Parsons was an incredible driver, as he amassed 21 victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the 1975 Daytona 500. Parsons also was the Premier Series champion in 1973, and after his racing career concluded he became a television analyst. Parsons helped take the sport to another level with his incredible commentary throughout the years.
Hendrick is still a car owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but what he has done through 32 years in the sport is nothing short of remarkable. Hendrick has an all-time record 11 Sprint Cup Series championships as an owner, and three more championships between the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
Martin may not have won a Sprint Cup Series championship in his sterling career, but in all he tallied 96 wins through all three of NASCAR’s National Series ranks. Martin also finished runner-up in Sprint Cup Series points five times. He is widely considered to be the best driver to never win a championship, but now he will be known as one of the best drivers of all-time.
Parks was an important piece of the puzzle to getting the idea of NASCAR off the ground. Parks was a business man who made a fortune in real estate in Georgia. It was Parks who provided a ton of monetary help to the sanctioning body in it’s early years. Parks was also a two-time NASCAR champion car owner, including the first-ever champion of what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Childress had a successful driving career from 1969 to 1981, but it’s what he accomplished after his driving career that earned him a place in the Hall. Childress fielded cars for legendary drivers like Ricky Rudd, Dale Earnhardt and in more recent years Kevin Harvick. Childress has won six Sprint Cup Series championships as a car owner, and he has 11 all-time championships between all three NASCAR National Series divisions.
These outstanding individuals will take their place in the NASCAR Hall next January.
Also, H. Clay Earles received the prestigious Landmark Award, which is given to non-competitors that make an impact in the sport. Earles created and owned Martinsville Speedway, which to date is the only race track that can say it has been on the schedule in every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Image: Bill Hall/Getty Images