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CUP: Nominations Revealed For Second Hall Class

The second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be picked from a list of 25 nominees that includes 18 drivers, five of the sport’s top owners, an accomplished crew chief and a sponsor executive who helped to transform stock car racing.

The list was announced Thursday night on a SPEED television special.

On the nominee list are 20 men who were nominated but not chosen for the first Hall class last year, plus five newcomers – drivers Jerry Cook, Jack Ingram, Fred Lorenzen, crew chief Dale Inman and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. executive T. Wayne Robertson. The men who were nominated last year were not automatically carried over this year. They went through the nomination process again.

A panel of voters will choose the five members of the 2011 class in October. They will be inducted next spring in Charlotte, N.C.

The nominees were chosen by a 21-person committee made up of representatives from NASCAR and the Hall of Fame and track owners. The nominating committee members also will participate in the October vote, and they will be joined by media representatives, car manufacturer representatives, retired competitors and other industry leaders. There also is a fan element to the voting.

The 2011 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class nominees:

Bobby Allison – The unofficial boss of the Alabama Gang, Allison won 84 Sprint Cup races, placing him in a tie at that number with fellow nominee Darrell Waltrip.

Allison won the 1983 Cup championship and also is remembered for a spectacular 1972 season in which he teamed with car owner (and Hall of Fame member) Junior Johnson to win 10 races and finish second to champion Richard Petty. Allison won the Daytona 500 three times.

Buck Baker – Baker, one of NASCAR’s pioneer drivers, was the first driver to win consecutive Cup championships (in 1956 and ’57).

Over a four-year span, Baker never finished below second in the point standings. In 1955 and ’58, he was second in points. He totaled 46 wins in Cup racing and also was victorious in the Modified Series and in the old Speedway and Grand American divisions.

Red Byron – Byron won the first NASCAR race, held for Modified cars on the old Daytona beach-road course in 1948, and the Modified series championship.

Most notably, he was the first champion – in 1949 – in what became the Sprint Cup series. He won two of the eight races in that first season. Byron was wounded in World War II and raced with a leg brace that attached his leg to the clutch pedal.

Richard Childress – Childress once drove Cup cars, but he built his fame partnering with driver Dale Earnhardt Sr., who won six championships in Childress-owned entries.

The pairing of Earnhardt and Childress was magical. They won 67 races between 1984 and 2000 and were championship challengers in many of those seasons. Childress, who drove from 1969 to ’81, owns 11 NASCAR national series championships as an owner.

** Jerry Cook – One of this year’s first-time nominees, Cook won six Modified championships during a seven-year span from 1971-77, the third-most in the division’s 60-year history.

Cook raced in the Modified Series from 1969 to ’82 and finished in the top three in the point standings every year. He had six championship runner-up runs. He retired as a driver in 1982 and went to work for NASCAR.

Richie Evans – Evans won nine Modified championships in a 13-year period, including eight straight from 1978 to 1985.

Evans, universally recognized as the king of the Modifieds, won 12 races during the 1985 season. He was superlative at virtually every track he visited, winning 26 track championships at 11 different facilities.

Tim Flock – Part of a famous racing family, Flock won 39 times in only 187 Cup starts, producing one of NASCAR’s all-time best winning percentages.

He won the Cup championship in 1952 and ’55. In 1955, driving for car owner Carl Kiekhaefer, he won 18 times, a mark that stood as a single-season record until Richard Petty surpassed it with 27 wins in 1967.

Rick Hendrick – Hendrick has built one of the sport’s all-time winningest organizations.

He began his Cup racing career in 1984, starting a team called All-Star Racing. That group evolved into the Hendrick Motorsports juggernaut, a huge racing factory that has produced nine Cup championships – four each by Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson and one by Terry Labonte. He owns 11 NASCAR national series championships.

** - New nominee for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class

{pagebreak} ** Jack Ingram – Known as the Iron Man, Ingram raced in short-track events all over the country and often dominated them.

He won the championship in what is now the Nationwide Series in 1982 and ’85 and notched titles in that form of racing when it was still known as Late Model Sportsman from 1972-74. He once held the record for Nationwide Series wins at 31.

** Dale Inman – Possibly the sport’s all-time best crew chief, Inman made his name while preparing the winning cars driven by his cousin, Hall of Fame member Richard Petty.

Inman and Petty won 198 races and seven championships together, and Inman also won a title while leading Terry Labonte’s team (in 1984). Inman’s cars won races from the tiniest dirt tracks to giant superspeedways at Daytona and Talladega.

Ned Jarrett – Jarrett won the Cup championship in 1961 and 1965 and scored 50 Cup victories.

In the ’65 season, when he won 13 times, he won the Southern 500 by 14 laps, still the largest victory margin in Cup history. Jarrett, who eventually became a popular television analyst, also won the national Sportsman title in 1957 and ’58.

** Fred Lorenzen – Lorenzen won 26 Cup races in a career that began in 1956 and ended in 1972. He retired at the age of 33 in 1967, but he returned to drive with limited success from 1970 to ’72.

Known by “Golden Boy” and “Fearless Freddie” nicknames, Lorenzen won the Daytona 500 and the World 600 in 1965. During the middle 1960s, he won five races in seven appearances at Martinsville Speedway, showcasing his ability not only to run well at NASCAR’s biggest tracks – where he built his name – but also at short-track venues.

Bud Moore – Moore built winning race cars for some of the sport’s leading drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Sr., Joe Weatherly, David Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Bobby Isaac, Buddy Baker, Benny Parsons, Bobby Allison and Ricky Rudd.

Moore became involved in NASCAR racing at the beginning and was a successful crew chief before starting his own team. He built championship cars for driver Buck Baker and then won titles with driver Joe Weatherly.

Raymond Parks – Parks, who died recently at the age of 96, was an important car owner in NASCAR’s pioneer years.

His cars won the first Cup championship with driver Red Byron aboard. Called the Rick Hendrick of his day, Parks fielded race cars that were professionally prepared and polished to perfection. During NASCAR’s early years, he played a key role in financially supporting the founding France family and in bringing strong cars to enhance race fields.

Benny Parsons – Parsons, who died in 2007, is best remembered for winning one of the most dramatic championships in Cup history.

Parsons held the point lead going into the final race of the 1973 season at Rockingham, N.C., but he crashed early in the race, putting his title chances in jeopardy. His crew, joined by mechanics from other teams, jumped in to make repairs to the battered car, allowing Parsons to return to the track, finish the race and win the championship. He won 21 Cup races and was known as a strong, consistent finisher. He scored 283 top-10 runs in 526 career starts.

David Pearson – Pearson, who was considered a leading candidate to be a part of the Hall’s first class, is second to Richard Petty on the all-time win list with 105.

Pearson won Cup championships in 1966, ’68 and ’69. He rarely ran schedules that were close to a full-season effort. He had a winning percentage of 18.29, one of the highest ever.

Lee Petty – Patriarch of a great racing family, Lee was the Pettys’ first champion. He won the Cup championship in 1954, ’58 and ’59, thus becoming the first driver to win the title three times.

Petty also won the inaugural 1959 Daytona 500 in a photo finish with Johnny Beauchamp. He held the record – 54 – for most Cup victories before his effort was surpassed by his son, Richard.

Fireball Roberts – Roberts has been called NASCAR’s first superstar.

Part of his fame was produced by the fact that he was very visible in NASCAR’s big events. He won the fourth Daytona 500 in 1962 and conquered the tough Southern 500 in 1958 and 1963. He won seven times at Daytona International Speedway, his home track.

Roberts won 33 Cup races in a career that began in 1950. Although he never won the Cup title, he finished in the top 10 in points six times.

** - New nominee for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class

{pagebreak} ** T. Wayne Robertson – An executive with Sports Marketing Enterprises, the sports promotional arm of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Robertson played a big role in attracting new and broader attention to NASCAR racing.

Working with other RJR personnel, Robertson developed imaginative plans that spread NASCAR’s influence to ever-wider circles. The Winston name became synonymous with NASCAR racing during his tenure.

Herb Thomas – Thomas, formerly a farmer, became the first driver to win two Cup championships (1951 and ’53). After watching only one race, he became convinced he could drive as well as anyone in the event, so he embarked on a racing career.

Thomas won the Southern 500 in 1951 and triumphed there again in 1954 and ’55. He finished his career with 48 wins, scoring at least one victory each year from 1950-56.

Curtis Turner – Turner, who often said he lost some races but never lost a party, was perhaps the most colorful character of NASCAR’s pioneer years.

Known as a rough-and-tumble racer who was a force to be reckoned with on dirt tracks, Turner won one of the eight races in NASCAR’s first Cup season (1949) and finished his career with 17 wins. He also won 22 races in NASCAR’s old Convertible division.

Darrell Waltrip – Yes, Waltrip had another career before he became famous in television circles. He won Cup championships in 1981, ’82 and ’85, all with team owner Junior Johnson.

Waltrip also drove for team owner Rick Hendrick, whose car he raced to the Daytona 500 title in 1989. In his first two championship seasons, he won 12 races each year. He was a revolutionary driver of sorts in that he challenged the “old order” as a youngster and made his boasts stick.

Joe Weatherly – Weatherly had one of NASCAR’s oddest careers. He won two Cup championships (in 1962 and ’63) in wildly diverse circumstances.

Weatherly, who won a total of 25 Cup races, won the title in ‘’62 for car owner Bud Moore, then repeated the championship the next season while driving for nine different teams. He also won 101 Modified races.

Glen Wood – Wood won four Cup races as a driver in NASCAR’s formative years, but his greatest fame is as the founder of Wood Brothers Racing, one of the sport’s grandest teams.

Teaming with his brother, Leonard, Wood built a potent team that ultimately fielded cars for some of NASCAR’s greatest racers, including David Pearson, Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough, Junior Johnson, Fred Lorenzen and A.J. Foyt. The Woods also worked the pits for winning driver Jim Clark in the 1965 Indianapolis 500.

Cale Yarborough – As fierce a competitor as any NASCAR has produced, Yarborough won Cup titles for car owner Junior Johnson in 1976, ’77 and ’78, becoming the first driver to win three straight.

He was known as a great last-lap racer and seldom lost matchups in the closing miles. He ended his career with 83 victories, a total that includes four Daytona 500 wins.

** - New nominee for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 28 years. He has written several books on NASCAR, including "NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport" and "Then Tony Said To Junior: The Best NASCAR Stories Ever Told". He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.