Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - The 2013 class of inductees for the NASCAR
Hall of Fame were revealed on Wednesday, with former Cup Series champion Rusty
Wallace among those selected in the five-member class.
Drivers Buck Baker, Cotton Owens and Herb Thomas, as well as team co-owner and
crew chief Leonard Wood will join Wallace in the NASCAR HOF's fourth class.
Voting for this year's class was as evenly distributed as any previous NASCAR
HOF induction selection. Thomas and Wood each garnered 57 percent of the vote,
followed by Wallace (52 percent) and Owens (50 percent).
For the first time in the four-year voting history, there was a tie for the
fifth and final induction spot. Voting Panel members chose Baker over Fireball
Roberts after a re-vote between the two nominees. Baker received 39 percent of
The hall's 54-member voting panel met in a closed session earlier in the day
in Charlotte. A fan vote made up the panel's 55th and final ballot. NASCAR
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France announced the new inductees
"I think as I was in the room, it's pretty clear that this was the toughest
class to date in making the choices, but it's going to be a great class,"
France said during his opening remarks.
Wallace, the 1989 Cup champion, won 55 races during his 25-year career in
NASCAR's premier series. His influence on the sport continued after his
retirement when he became an analyst for ESPN's coverage of NASCAR.
Elzie Wylie "Buck" Baker established himself as one of NASCAR's early greats,
becoming the first driver to win consecutive championships in its top series
(1956-57). His 46 victories rank him 14th on the series' all-time race winners
Everett "Cotton" Owens enjoyed success as both a driver and owner in NASCAR.
As a driver, he won nine times in the premier series, including the 1957
Daytona Beach, FL beach/road course race. Thomas also collected 38 victories
as an owner.
Thomas was the first driver to win two Cup championships, doing so in 1951 and
'53. He won both his title driving self-owned cars. Thomas also finished
second in the point standings in 1952 and '54.
Wood, part-owner and former crew chief for Wood Brothers Racing,
revolutionized pit stops in NASCAR. He figured out ways to get the race car
serviced in the least amount of time. The team used a light-weight jack in
place of a 100-lbs. floor jack found in the repair shops during the early days
of stock car racing.
Wood's brother, Glen, was inducted into the NASCAR HOF in January.
NASCAR also announced the creation of a new award to honor the contributions
of media members covering the sport. The award, which will become part of the
annual NASCAR HOF ceremonies beginning in February 2013, will bear the names
of the first two award winners -- legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney
Hall. It will be called the "Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence."
The Sports Network