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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31765883 More Richard Petty coverage on NASCAR

NASCAR's greatest families | DW, Larry and Jeff share their thoughts on Richard Petty | NASCAR's band of brothers | Hammond: NASCAR's 10 greatest champions

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773308 What Richard Petty is saying What+Richard+Petty+is+saying+ NASCAR

“When Bill France started, he didn’t start by himself, he had his family with France's name on it but then he had his family of lawyers and bankers and mechanics and all that stuff to make his dream come true. As he did that, the Petty family came in and we work on the car and we do our thing and it makes our dream come true because he’s giving us the opportunity to go do something that we have a little bit of talent and a lot of burning desire to do.”

“I was here kind of when it first started and just to see NASCAR grow to what it has today and to see them finally have a hall of fame and then to be inducted into it on top of that. Of all of the thousands and thousands of people it took to get NASCAR to where it is today, we just went along for the ride.”

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773311 Richard Petty's Hall of Fame credentials Richard+Petty%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials NASCAR

Seven time Cup champion (tied for most all-time), 200 Cup wins (most all-time), 123 Cup poles (most all-time), 27 wins in one season (1967, most all-time), 1,027 career starts (most all-time) 10 consecutive wins (1967, most all-time), seven-time Daytona 500 winner (most all-time).

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773309 More Junior Johnson coverage on NASCAR

DW, Larry and Jeff share their thoughts on Junior Johnson | McReynolds: Junior Johnson, NASCAR innovator

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773310 What Junior Johnson is saying What+Junior+Johnson+is+saying NASCAR

“For me to go in in the first bunch with Richard and the Frances and Earnhardt was just unbelievable. It still ain’t soaked in. When you’ve got that kind of company in the process of doing a hall of fame thing, you just cannot explain it. It’s just the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773317 Junior Johnson's Hall of Fame credentials Junior+Johnson%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials NASCAR

50 career Cup wins (tied for 10th all-time), 46 career poles (ninth all-time), 1960 Daytona 500 winner as a driver. He won the second Daytona 500 in 1960 and was credited with discovering drafting at superspeedways. He captured Six Cup championships and 139 wins as an owner with Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773314 More Bill France Jr. coverage on NASCAR

Hammond: Frances deserve to be first in Hall | DW, Larry and Jeff share their thoughts on Bill France Jr. | Greatest NASCAR families

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773318 What they are saying about Bill France Jr. What+they+are+saying+about+Bill+France+Jr. NASCAR

Say what? "Our entire family is honored to have Bill chosen for the Hall of Fame's charter class. And I know that if he was still with us, he would be also feel honored by this recognition." — Betty Jane France, wife

"Without the actions and leadership of Bill France and Bill France, Jr. there would be no NASCAR, no Daytona and no Talladega. I can't even imagine what the state of auto racing would be like were it not for them." — Rick Humphrey, Talladega Superspeedway President

France Family -
NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773316 Bill France Jr.'s Hall of Fame credentials Bill+France+Jr.%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials NASCAR

Succeeded his father as NASCAR President from 1972-2000. Served as chairman and CEO from 2000-03. Helped expand the sport from a regional sport to a national sport during his tenure. Secured a deal to televise the Daytona 500 from flag-to-flag in 1979, the first of many television contracts that culminated with his $2.4 billion contract with FOX, NBC and Turner Sports.

France Family -
NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773315 More Bill France coverage on NASCAR

Hammond: Frances deserve to be first in Hall | DW, Larry and Jeff share their thoughts on Bill France | Greatest NASCAR families

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773323 What they are saying about Bill France What+they+are+saying+about+Bill+France NASCAR

"There was a lot of discussion about having two France family members in the same year. so I was surprised, but very, very proud. Look, all the inductees easily could have made first ballot, but I also know how hard my father and grandfather worked. They poured their whole heart into this sport. It's a proud day for the France family." — Brian France, France's grandson and current NASCAR Chairman

"Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr. had the vision and passion to build NASCAR from its humble beginnings in 1948 to the sport it is today and are certainly well deserving of this honor." — Chris Browning, Darlington Speedway President

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773324 Bill France's Hall of Fame credentials Bill+France%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials NASCAR

Founded NASCAR in 1947, served as NASCAR President from 1948-72, helped lay out the first beach/road course in Daytona Beach, Fla. His iron fist leadership was challenged just once, in 1969, when NASCAR's top drivers pushed France to postpone the race at Talladega Superspeedway over tire concerns. France didn't budge and survived the driver walkout by finding 36 others to race.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31767959 More Dale Earnhardt coverage on NASCAR

DW: Dale Earnhardt was an inspiration to all | NASCAR's greatest families | DW, Larry and Jeff share their thoughts on Dale EarnhardtHammond: NASCAR's 10 greatest champions | Dale Earnhardt to grace upcoming Wheaties boxes

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773325 What they are saying about Dale Earnhardt What+they+are+saying+about+Dale+Earnhardt NASCAR

"It is truly an honor to see Dale Earnhardt recognized as one of the five most influential members of the NASCAR family and inducted in the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Of the many legendary accomplishments and accolades of his career — from the seven championships to the win in the Daytona 500 to the founding of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. — this is another defining moment. It is the achievement of a lifetime and is celebrated by the millions of Dale Earnhardt fans around the world." — Teresa Earnhardt, wife.

"For what my Dad achieved in this sport — both on and off the track — he certainly earned his place in history and deserves to be distinguished in this inaugural class of NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees ... It means a lot to the Earnhardt family, and it means a lot to my Dad's fans, which I am one. He was the man, plain and simple." — Dale Earnhardt Jr., son.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31773322 Dale Earnhardt's Hall of Fame credentials Dale+Earnhardt%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials NASCAR

Seven Cup championships (tied for most all-time), 76 career Cup wins (seventh most all-time), one Daytona 500 win (1998), all-time leader in race victories at Daytona International Speedway (34), three runner-up finishes in Cup championship.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575315 More Lee Petty coverage on NASCAR

Hall of Fame induction | Why Lee Petty is a Hall of Famer | Lee Petty in second Hall class | Drivers with three titles.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575308 What they are saying about Lee Petty What+they+are+saying+about+Lee+Petty+ NASCAR

"He was tough, okay? He was pretty good with the grandsons and stuff like that, but pretty hard on me, but real hard on the outside world. He lived in his world and he didn't want anybody to tell him how to live in his world. His big deal was to take care of his own. If you got in the way, didn't make a whole lot of difference to him, he got you out of the way."

- Richard Petty, son

"The funny part is that as my grandfather raced, he raced to put food on the table. That's what it was all about. It wasn't about the trophies. It was about keeping the family together and keeping us all as one cohesive unit."

- Kyle Petty, grandson

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575310 Lee Petty's Hall of Fame credentials Lee+Petty%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

Competed from 1949-64, making 427 starts, won 54 times (ninth on the all-time list and tops at the time), won 18 poles, won first Daytona 500 in a three-wide finish that took three days to determine, was NASCAR's first three-time champion. 

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576305 More David Pearson coverage on NASCAR

Pearson named to Hall's second class | Hall of Fame induction video | 5 reasons Pearson is a Hall of Famer | Pearson tops among Hall inductees.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576308 What they are saying about David Pearson What+they+are+saying+about+David+Pearson+ NASCAR

"He had so much talent, takes the perfect line, knows when to back off, knows when to get on the accelerator to bring him off the corner with the most speed and carry him down the straightaway. He had such a great feel for what the car was doing. Always qualified faster than he practiced, I mean 30- to 50-hundredths every race he ever drove for us. He had more self-confidence than anybody I've ever seen, extremely determined, looked, almost could sense danger, raced smart, easy on the brakes, never gave out, always had his competitors guessing, not letting them know what to expect until it was too late. If the car wasn't running, you better work on it because it sure wasn't the driver."

- Leonard Wood

"Although we know David as an icon, he doesn't understand what all the hoopla is about, why someone would want his autograph. That's what makes him special.
He doesn't care to be in the spotlight. You won't find any of his trophies in his home. They're all stowed away in an old building on his property. His ego doesn't feed off the hardware."

- Russell Branham, longtime PR person at Darlington Raceway

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575307 David Pearson's Hall of Fame credentials David+Pearson%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

Pearson sits second on the all-time wins list with 105 victories, made 574 starts, offering a stunning win percentage of 18.3, and earned 113 pole positions over the course of his career, never ran all the races in a season, won championships in 1966, '68 and '69.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576299 More Bud Moore coverage on NASCAR

Moore joins second Hall class | Hall of Fame induction video | 5 reasons Bud Moore is a Hall of Famer.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576301 What they are saying about Bud Moore What+they+are+saying+about+Bud+Moore+ NASCAR

"Bud Moore's career in NASCAR is something he should be proud of. He's been called a pioneer in NASCAR racing and rightly so. Bud was there from the very beginning. When he came home from the war, Bud started to dabble in some local racing. He always liked fast cars and there wasn't much Bud didn't know about making them go quicker. He was especially good looking for motors. After the war ended, people over the south were looking for entertainment and racing filled that up. Whether it was racing on a short track on Saturday night or a dirt track on Sunday afternoon or whatever, Bud saw that need and wanted to be a part of it."

- Barney Hall, longtime NASCAR radio announcer

"The life story of tonight's first inductee, Bud Moore, reads like the script for a Hollywood movie. It's full of courage and charisma and accomplishment."

- FOX Sports announcer Mike Joy

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576300 Bud Moore's Hall of Fame credentials Bud+Moore%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

Moore made 959 starts as a NASCAR team owner, won 63 races with a variety of drivers, a decorated World War II infantryman, won back-to-back championships in 1962-63 with Joe Weatherly, won 1957 title with champion Buck Baker, his cars finished in the top five 298 times and in the top 10 463 times, drivers won 43 pole positions.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576303 More Ned Jarrett coverage on NASCAR

Jarrett discusses his induction | Hall of Fame induction video | Five reasons Ned Jarrett is a Hall of Famer | Jarrett member of second Hall class.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576297 What they are saying about Ned Jarrett What+they+are+saying+about+Ned+Jarrett NASCAR

"We believe our dad has been followed in more facets of NASCAR racing than any other person. He spent more than 50 years promoting and talking to anyone and everyone about NASCAR. He has been a track owner and promotor, a radio commentator, sponsor representative, TV analyst, a huge fan, and of course a driver. Speaking of drivers, our dad was a fierce competitor, winning on dirt, asphalt, short tracks or superspeedways. His career as a driver was relatively short but very impressive. He won two sportsman titles, running over 60 races a year, two Cup titles in 50 races. As you just heard, one of those 50 races was the 1955 Southern 500 winning by a record 14 laps. All of this by the age of 34, there was a lot more to come."

- Dale Jarrett, son

"All the time that dad was busy racing, sometimes more than a hundred times a year, working long hours on radio and TV, making speeches, giving selflessly to charities and civic groups, he never, ever forgot his family. He was always there to watch Dale and I playing sports, and Patti doing all the things that girls do, I still haven't figured out what all those things were. But basically just being an awesome father. Most of our favorite memories are the times that we spent with our dad."

- Glenn Jarrett, son

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575309 Ned Jarrett's Hall of Fame credentials Ned+Jarrett%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

Has 50 career wins in the series (tied for 10th on all-time list), earned 35 pole positions, earned three NASCAR championships in 1961, 1964 and '65, won 28 races during those final two championship seasons, won the 1965 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway by 14 laps (17.5 miles, still the largest margin of victory in NASCAR Sprint Cup history), won two championships in the Sportsman Division (1957 and 1958), moved into career as a broadcaster.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576306 More Bobby Allison coverage on NASCAR

Five reasons Bobby Allison is a Hall of Famer | Hall of Fame induction video | Hall induction offers diverse class | Allison member of NASCAR's second class.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576294 What they are saying about Bobby Allison What+they+are+saying+about+Bobby+Allison+ NASCAR

"He's a very good family man as documented a while ago. But I'll tell you something, nothing paralleled racing. I mean, he loved it. He loved his wife. He loved his kids. He never neglected any of them. I always said his first love was racing."

- Donnie Allison, brother

"Stock car racing has gifted Bobby Allison with the highest of highs and dealt him the lowest of lows. The journey that is Bobby Allison's life is a story of tremendous courage, incredible perseverance and unwavering faith."

- Mike Joy, FOX Sports announcer

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575318 Bobby Allison's Hall of Fame credentials Bobby+Allison%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

Earned 84 career victories (tied for fourth all-time with Darrell Waltrip) in 718 starts, earned 58 career pole positions, won the 1983 NASCAR Cup championship, charter member of “Alabama Gang,” earned three Daytona 500 wins, two NASCAR Modified Division championship in 1964 and '65, won two NASCAR Modified Special Division titles in 1962-63.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576292 More Cale Yarborough coverage on NASCAR

Yarborough revels in Hall induction | Hall to add stellar third class | Yarborough has Hall of Fame credentials | 2012 inductees announced video.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576296 What they're saying about Cale Yarborough What+they%27re+saying+about+Cale+Yarborough+ NASCAR

"Cale Yarborough is the toughest driver I’ve ever seen drive a race car. ...  There’s nobody that could take a race car, put it on his shoulders and carry it like Cale can. It’s like, if the car was perfect, he would just pound the competition into the ground that much harder. But when the car wasn’t perfect is when he did his best work. He could take less and do more with it than anybody else I’ve ever seen get behind the wheel.”

- analyst and former Yarborough crew member Jeff Hammond

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576302 Cale Yarborough's Hall of Fame credentials Cale+Yarborough%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

Won 83 NASCAR Cup races, won 68 pole positions in career, first driver to win three consecutive championships in NASCAR (1976-78), won 28 races during that three-year dominance, was series runner-up in 1973, '74 and '80.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576307 More Glen Wood coverage on NASCAR

Wood reaches Hall with family help | Wood helped build sport | Legendary group set as Hall's third class | Wood has Hall of Fame credentials | Wood discusses being selected for Hall of Fame.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575314 What they're saying about Glen Wood What+they%27re+saying+about+Glen+Wood+ NASCAR

"Glen was always fair, honest, gave good advice, needed no more than a handshake. Glen was a great race car driver, great businessman, proud of his family Eddie, Len, daughter Kim, his wife Bernice, and Glen was so proud of Eddie, Len and Kim for winning this past Daytona 500."

- Leonard Wood

“They were just the greatest people in the world to work for. . . I am just so pleased to be coming into the Hall of Fame along with Glen Wood. If it hadn’t been for Glen Wood, I wouldn’t be here today.”

- Cale Yarborough

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575305 Glen Wood's Hall of Fame credentials Glen+Wood%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

Competed 1953-64 as a driver and 1953 to present as a team owner, won four races as a driver (all at Bowman-Gray Stadium) and 98 as a team owner, won 14 pole positions as a driver, has won 118 pole positions as a team owner, has worked with several championship drivers including Hall of Famers Cale Yarborough and David Pearson.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576291 More Darrell Waltrip coverage on NASCAR

Waltrip's joyful journey to Hall | Waltrip humbled by Hall nomination | Waltrip's Hall of Fame credentials | Waltrip discusses Hall induction video | Michael Waltrip honors brother's Hall induction.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576295 What they're saying about Darrell Waltrip What+they%27re+saying+about+Darrell+Waltrip+ NASCAR

"He's a fierce competitor, he's a lot smarter when it comes to knowing how to set a car up than a lot of people give him credit for, and he knew that the secret to being a good race-car driver was not necessarily being the macho man, but being the mechanical man."

- Jeff Hammond, Waltrip's crew chief and now a analyst

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576293 Darrell Waltrip's Hall of Fame credentials Darrell+Waltrip%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

Three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships (1982, '82, '85), 84 career victories (tied for fourth all-time), 59 pole positions (fifth all-time), won all his titles driving for Junior Johnson, won six races as a NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner, won 15 races as Nationwide Series team owner, won four races as Truck team owner, after retirement embarked on career as NASCAR broadcaster.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576298 More Dale Inman coverage on NASCAR

Inman paved path en route to Hall | Inman has Hall of Fame credentials | NASCAR Hall welcomes diverse class.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575317 What they are saying about Dale Inman What+they+are+saying+about+Dale+Inman+ NASCAR

"Way back when, there wasn't no such thing as a crew chief. You know, they had mechanics, crew mechanics, whatever they wanted to call them, and Dale was basically the first one. He's the one that basically started the crew chief operation, because we used to I guess in 1958 or something, my brother and Dale drove a '57 Oldsmobile to California, run the race and drove it back home. That was pit crew, that was the whole deal. And that's the way it started."

- Richard Petty

“The things that you learned were not always about being or trying to be the best race car mechanic or your win-loss record; they were also about how you represented your team on and off the track. Dale was very good at a lot of things, but I really think he was one of the best race strategists I have ever seen week in and week out. The vast majority of the time Dale made the right call to get the most out of the day.”

- Robin Pemberton, former Petty employee now a NASCAR vice president

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30576304 Dale Inman's Hall of Fame credentials Dale+Inman%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials NASCAR

Inman is the first crew chief to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has eight career NASCAR Cup titles (seven with Richard Petty and one with Terry Labonte), has 193 Cup wins, orchestrated 129 pole-winning runs, credited with revolutionizing the crew chief position, in 1967 set stellar mark with 27 victories with Petty.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575311 More Richie Evans coverage on NASCAR

Evans a Hall of Famer like no other | Evans has Hall of Fame credentials.

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575316 What they're saying about Richie Evans What+they%27re+saying+about+Richie+Evans+ NASCAR

"As Richie's crew chief for 11 years, he left me with two lifelong lessons, one, a hard work ethic, and two, to enjoy whatever you're doing, because he would later say, we're all just passing through."

- Billy Nacewicz

“He was the perfect template of a real race-car driver and a real race-car guy. I mean, he was just somebody that carried that with him. He was somebody that everybody really looked at, looked up to. You knew that when he was in town, you were racing against him. He was the guy we had to model off of to be successful. He kind of groomed a lot of us for the Cup level because you had to work so hard to beat him.”

- Tommy Baldwin, whose dad competed against Evans as Baldwin worked on the crew

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30575312 Richie Evans' Hall of Fame credentials Richie+Evans%27+Hall+of+Fame+credentials+ NASCAR

First Modified series driver to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, won an estimated 475 races, earned nine NASCAR Modified titles in a 13-year span including eight in a row from 1978-85, won 12 races in first season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, ranked No. 1 in the 2003 voting of the "NASCAR All-Time Modified Top 10 Drivers."

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31770246 What they're saying about Leonard Wood What+they%27re+saying+about+Leonard+Wood NASCAR

"I'm honored to drive the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, which has fielded a car since 1950. Their longevity and success partially owed to one man, Leonard Wood. As a crew chief, Leonard was the first to realize that his team could gain on-track positions through quick pit stops. His drivers won 94 races and captured 117 poles. Leonard worked on all parts of the car, often inventing parts or tools when none existed that were just like that. Leonard's contributions to NASCAR helped elevate the competition on track to higher levels."

— Trevor Bayne

"He taught me how to be articulate, detail, never take anything about a race car for granted because — I think he said it (as he was inducted), if you start taking race cars for granted, they'll turn around and bite you, and they will. But he always taught us to work until it was time to leave. You didn't have regular hours, you just — you worked all day, half the night, whatever, then my brother Len and I would hop in the truck and we'd go to the racetrack. ... My brother and I, Len, we was — one of our jobs back in the '70s was to walk around and look at things and pick up pieces of tape. I remember one thing we did, he was looking for a particular exhaust port that was on a different make of engine, I don't remember whose it was, but ... You would take duct tape and tape up the exhaust ports before you put the headers on, like when they ship the engine, when they would take that tape off it would just go in the trash can. So we would sit and wait until they took that piece of tape off, get it and bring it back to him, then he would see the size of the intake port. And he didn't have to see the port, he knew by the size of what — what sized headers they had, what kind of cam shaft they had, how much lift they had, he could tell just by that size."

— Eddie Wood

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31579178 Leonard Wood's Hall of Fame credentials Leonard+Wood%27s+Hall+of+Fame+credentials NASCAR

Wood has long been involved in the legendary Wood Brothers organization. He served as the organization's chief mechanic and helped revolutionize pit stops thoughout the sport. He also played a big role in the team's engine shop, one of the keys to its success. Woods was always working to improve things -- he built a washing machine engine-powered go-kart from parts he found when he was 13. It still runs and can be seen in the Woods’ museum. In 1965, Ford and Colin Chapman hired the Woods to service Jim Clark’s car in the Indianapolis 500; he went on to win the race.

NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31770243 What they're saying about Rusty Wallace What+they%27re+saying+about+Rusty+Wallace NASCAR

"Before I won the championship this year and before I sat behind the wheel for the first time of any stock car, Rusty Wallace had already spent the last 15 seasons of his 25-year career, from years 1991 to 2005, he is responsible for elevating Roger Penske and the Blue Deuce to his iconic status. In all he captured 55 checkered flags in the Premier Series and the Sprint Cup championship in 1989. ... I salute Rusty Wallace and the original Blue Deuce and Miller Lite in his honor."

— Brad Keselowski

"I'll tell you what, Dad. When we moved to North Carolina in 1983 I don't think anyone could have ever dreamed that this kid in a nuclear hairdo would be standing right here today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. You've told a story that we started in NASCAR and aspired to be a part of the club, guys like David Pearson and Richard Petty. I think it's safe to say, you've made it."

— Greg Wallace

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31770245 What they're saying about Herb Thomas What+they%27re+saying+about+Herb+Thomas NASCAR

"With the highest winning percentage in NASCAR history, Herb Thomas receives my utmost admiration for all he accomplished in such a short time. He recorded 48 wins in only 228 starts and captured two championships in NASCAR's Premier Series, becoming the series' first two-time champion. As an owner, Herb's drivers won 44 times and he became the first of only six individuals to win the series championship driving a car that he owned. (With this induction), Herb Thomas takes his rightful place among NASCAR's legends."

— Carl Edwards

"What a talent Herb Thomas was."

— Ned Jarrett

"Before he started racing, dad successfully operated his own sawmill. Almost 50 years later, he was excited to teach me how to run it. My father was a champion race car driver, and it is true that behind every champion driver there's a successful team. ...

"He also valued the friendship and bonding that came with racing on NASCAR's Premier Series. When dad finally retired from racing in 1962, he returned to the farm where he worked with his family for many years. Those were wonderful times. I often rode with him to the market when it was time to sell. When his crops brought top dollar at auction, I could see his satisfaction and contentment. I wish he were here right here so we could see the expression on his face."

— Joel Thomas

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31770247 What they're saying about Cotton Owens What+they%27re+saying+about+Cotton+Owens NASCAR

"Cotton Owens did so much for NASCAR in the early days, both on and off the racetrack. He dominated the Modified Series, winning countless times before jumping to the Premier Series, where he won nine times. However, it was his mechanical prowess and tenure as an owner that catapulted him to the annals of NASCAR victory. His drivers made it to Victory Lane 30 times with David Pearson capturing the championship in 1966. Cotton Owens will forever be remembered as a NASCAR legend that succeeded at everything he did."

— Mark Martin

"He was not only a good guy to drive for but he was a good guy, he was a friend, and one of the best friends I guess I had as far as running with. Every Sunday after church I'd go by and pick him up and take him and his daughter out to eat, and it's been that way for years, I guess. Everybody thought when we split up we would be mad at each other or something, but we were both happy."

— David Pearson

"My grandfather was one of the most humble, most loyal, hardest working men I've ever met. He took great pride in the fact that he could build a race car from the ground up, the engine, chassis, transmission, didn't matter, you name it, he could build it, then he could drive it to the track and drive it at the track straight to victory lane. There's not a whole lot of people that can say that. He was a wizard, truly, turning wrenches and behind the wheel.

"It didn't matter if he was at Daytona or Darlington or at a Carolina dirt track with his grandkids. He was going to have some of the most reliable, best looking, safest, best handling cars on the track, and when you combine that type of mechanical ability with just his diligent work ethic, that he never stopped working, it's no surprise that we're here."

— Kyle Owens, grandson

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31579177 Cotton Owens' Hall of Fame credentials Cotton+Owens%27+Hall+of+Fame+credentials NASCAR

Owens found success as both an owner and a driver, though he is more widely known to modern fans for his role in the latter. He was also an exceptional modified competitor. In what is now the Cup series, he was the 1959 championship runner-up to fellow Hall of Famer Lee Petty, winning nine races. Among them was the first victory for a Pontiac, which came at the Daytona Beach road course. In modifieds, he won the 1953 and ’54 championships. Once he moved into an ownership role, Owens continued to find success. He earned 38 victories and teamed with Hall of Famer David Pearson to win the 1966 Cup championship.

NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 31770244 What they're saying about Buck Baker What+they%27re+saying+about+Buck+Baker NASCAR

"In 26 seasons, Buck Baker established himself as one of NASCAR's first superstars, winning 46 races and back-to-back championships. Buck's natural ability and aggressive driving style earned him the respect of the competitors on race day. After his racing days were over, Buck wanted to give back to the sport, so he created the Buck Baker Racing School, where aspiring racers could learn the art of stock car driving, of which I'm proud to be one of those graduates."

— Jeff Gordon

"Buck always made an impression on people, whether it was good or bad. If you ever met him, you never forgot him. It was never boring being married to Buck, either. He could make me laugh like no one else could and had that same effect on others. He was very handsome in a rugged kind of way.

"We had a wonderful life together, going to NASCAR races, visiting family and friends, and later meeting the thousands of people through our racing school. He was very proud of his family and of the racing school, and at some point or another, every member of his family worked in the school.

— Susan Baker, his wife

"There was a whole bunch of my racing career I wasn't racing with him. He was up going into one corner and I was coming off another one. He was a straightaway ahead. I did get to race with him when he was in his prime, and I never will forget at Beltsville, Maryland, one time, I told him -- this was later on. I said, 'Dad, you know what, I've got a pretty good old Hemi in this thing. We got here late. When I get up to you, I'd appreciate a little courtesy.' I shouldn't have said that to him. At the end of that 100-mile race, he was still going in the corner and I was coming off the other one."

- Buddy Baker, son

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NASCAR 167 43 NASCAR Hall of Fame members 30891186 What a crowd What+a+crowd NASCAR

As NASCAR prepares for the official induction of five more Hall of Fame members, take a look at who is already enshrined.

Who are the 20 members already in the Hall? Take a look and see.

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