By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
For all of those who participate in NASCAR, from drivers to car owners, crew chiefs, and media members, the upper echelon of the sport is earning a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. On Tuesday, the nominating committee for the Hall of Fame announced the 20 names of those who will get their chance to be enshrined among the legends of the sport.
Fifteen of the nominees are those who were carried over from last season, but there were also five new nominees looking to make it into the Hall on their first try.
The 15 nominees that were carried over from last season include such greats as:
Davey Allison – Won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup) series, including the 1992 Daytona 500
Buddy Baker – Won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
Red Farmer – Three-time Late Model Sportsman champion; 1956 Modified champion
Ray Fox – Legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner
Joe Gibbs – Combined for nine car owner championships in premier and XFINITY series
Harry Hyde – 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
Alan Kulwicki – 1992 NASCAR premier series champion
Bobby Labonte – Won a championship in both the premier series and XFINITY Series
Hershel McGriff – 1986 NASCAR west series champion
Roger Penske – Combined for four car owner championships in premier and XFINITY series
Larry Phillips – Only five-time NASCAR weekly series national 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 the 1997 Brickyard 400
Mike Stefanik – Winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
Waddell Wilson – Won three NASCAR premier series championships as an engine builder
Along with the 15 nominees carrying over, there are five that get their first shot at the Hall of Fame, including Jeff Gordon, John Holman, Ralph Moody, Harry Gant, and Kirk Shelmerdine.
Gordon, who many consider a shoe in for getting elected into the Hall on his first go-around, won four-championships in the Cup Series and scored 93 wins in NASCAR’s premier division, ranking him third all-time behind Hall of Famers Richard Petty and David Pearson. Aside from his driving career, he has also been successful in the broadcast booth in his stint with FOX Sports.
The other four new nominees also carry with them stellar resumes of their own. Holman and Moody won two premier series championships as co-owners of Holman-Moody Racing, “Handsome” Harry Gant was victorious in 18 premier series races, including two wins in the Southern 500 at Darlington, and Shelmerdine was the winner of four NASCAR premier series championships as a crew chief.
Along with the Hall of Fame nominees, the nominees for the Landmark Award were also announced. Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
Janet Guthrie – The first female to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race
Barney Hall – Legendary broadcaster for the Motor Racing Network; namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence
Alvin Hawkins – NASCAR’s first flagman; established NASCAR racing at Bowman Gray Stadium with Bill France Sr.
Jim Hunter – Longtime NASCAR executive and former president of Darlington Raceway
Ralph Seagraves – Formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
The five members of the 2019 Hall of Fame class and the Landmark Award winner will be elected on Wednesday, May 23.