Hall of Fame 2015 Nominees Announced

NASCAR

Buddy Baker, Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, Mike Stefanik and Robert Yates were the five new nominees. (Photos: ISC Archives)

Former champions Terry Labonte and Bill Elliott are among five new nominees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The 20 Hall of Fame nominees were announced Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

Labonte, who said this will be his final Daytona 500, and Elliott became eligible after NASCAR adjusted eligibility requirements last year. Any driver over age 55 who has competed for a minimum of 10 years is eligible, along with any driver who has competed at least 30 years in NASCAR.

Labonte is a two-time champion who has 22 career Sprint Cup wins. Labonte’s titles came in 1984 and ’96. Elliott won the 1988 crown and has 44 career victories.

Joining Labonte and Elliott among the new nominees is Buddy Baker, Mike Stefanik and Robert Yates. Baker has 19 career wins. Stefanik won seven titles in the NASAR Whelen Modified Tour.

They are joined by 15 returning nominees - Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Bobby Isaac, Fred Lorenzen, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Wendell Scott, Bruton Smith, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly and Rex White.

There are 14 drivers among the 20 nominees, a sign that the nominating committee, which met earlier Friday, was focused on competitors.

The 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame class will be determined May 21 when the voting committee meets.

With NASCAR cutting the list of nominees from 25 to 20, five individuals who had previously been a nominee are no longer on the list: Anne B. France, Les Richter, T. Wayne Robertson, Ralph Seagraves and H. Clay Earles.

Another change is the creation of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions. The five people eligible for that are Ken Squier, Seagraves, Parks, Earles and France.

Here is the background on the 20 Hall of Fame nominees:

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

Jerry Cook - 6-time NASCAR Modified champion

Bill Elliott - 1988 premier series champion, two-time Daytona 500 winner and 16-time Most Popular Driver

Ray Fox - Legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others

Rick Hendrick - 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Bobby Isaac - 1970 NASCAR premier series champion

Terry Labonte - Two-time NASCAR premier series champion

Fred Lorenzen - 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600

Raymond Parks - NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Benny Parsons - 1973 NASCAR premier series champion

Larry Phillips - Only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion

Wendell Scott - NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

O. Bruton Smith - Builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.

Mike Stefanik - Winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Curtis Turner - Early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"

Joe Weatherly - Two-time NASCAR premier series champion

Rex White - 1960 NASCAR premier series champion

Robert Yates - Won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner

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