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Hendrick, Parsons lead newest NASCAR Hall of Fame class

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Hendrick, Parsons lead newest NASCAR Hall of Fame class
By:
May 25, 2016, 9:24 PM

Rick Hendrick, the most successful car owner in NASCAR history, and driver-turned TV analyst Benny Parsons lead the newest five-member class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Rick Hendrick
Living legends of auto racing beach parade: Raymond Park
Benny Parsons
Championship contenders press conference: team owner Richard Childress
Mark Martin, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Results of the Voting Panel’s decision was announced by NASCAR Chairman Brian France on Wednesday evening at the Hall.

A longtime racing enthusiast and driver himself, Hendrick owned drag-racing boat teams that won three championships before founding “All-Star Racing,” the team that would evolve into Hendrick Motorsports, in 1984.

Hendrick Motorsports owns an all-time record 11 Sprint Cup Series car owner championship titles – six with Jimmie Johnson, four with Jeff Gordon and one with NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte. Hendrick also has 14 total NASCAR national series owner championships- most in NASCAR history.

The other members of the class chosen from among a list of 20 nominees:

Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion

Voting: Benny Parsons (85%), Rick Hendrick (62%), Mark Martin (57%), Raymond Parks (53%) and Richard Childress (43%).  The next top vote-getters were Robert Yates, Red Byron and Alan Kulwicki

In all, 54 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). The accounting firm of EY presided over the tabulation of the votes.

"This is the biggest honor of Benny's life," said Terri Parsons. "It summarizes everything he has ever worked towards. Every job he has ever had be it as a race car driver in all divisions, host of a NASCAR radio shows, NASCAR Color commentator for TV networks each were just as important to him as the next. He lived his life for NASCAR fans and helping to make the sport of auto racing a better sport for them to enjoy. I know he is smiling his big smile tonight saying "Unbelievable"!"

"As a Daytona 500 winner and broadcaster, Benny loved a good story and loved sharing stories of the people that make this sport great." added Sam Flood, Executive Producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN. "I'll always remember him at the track, leaning up against a stack of tires and connecting with everyone who passed by. We were lucky to have him as the leader of NBC's NASCAR team for six years." 

The newest class will be inducted in a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

In a separate vote by the Voting Panel, the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR will be presented to H. Clay Earles, who founded Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Jim Utter, NASCAR Editor of Motorsport.com, is among the members of the voting panel which selects inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

This was his five-member ballot:

  • Red Byron
  • Raymond Parks
  • Robert Yates
  • Rick Hendrick
  • Benny Parsons
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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Benny Parsons , Mark Martin
Author Jim Utter