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Herb Thomas' dedication to his farming background recalled during Hall of Fame induction

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    Rusty Wallace signs autographs for fans before making his way into the induction ceremonies for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)The Associated Press

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    Former NASCAR driver Buddy Baker flashes a thumbs-up to the media as he arrives for the induction of his father, Buck Baker, into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Friday Feb. 8, 2013, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)The Associated Press

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    Darrell Waltrip poses for photographers with his wife, Stevie on the red carpet at the NASCAR Hall of Fame before the start of the Induction Ceremony, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)The Associated Press

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    Leonard Wood, left, grabs the hand of his brother, Glen for photographers on the red carpet before the start of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies where Leonard will be inducted into the hall of fame, Friday Feb. 8, 2013 in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)The Associated Press

Herb Thomas was remembered as a hard worker who never forgot his farming roots during his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Thomas was the first of the five inductees honored during Friday night's ceremony. His induction was opened by current NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, and was accepted by Thomas' son, Joel.

Thomas, the first driver to win two NASCAR championships, died in 2000. A two-time champion at NASCAR's top level, he also finished second in points twice and ended the year in the top two in four consecutive seasons from 1951-54.

Thomas won 48 races and ranks 13th on the career wins list.

Joel Thomas said his father returned to working on the family tobacco farm in Olivia after his retirement. Thomas also operated a saw mill.