Nascar

Former taxi driver Benny Parsons inducted into Hall of Fame

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Benny Parsons was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday night and his widow vowed to donate his commemorative ring to his official display in the hall.

Parsons was introduced by 2012 champion Brad Keselowski, a fellow Michigan native who grew up respecting Parsons' career.

''He's from Detroit, and he came from being a Michigan taxi driver to a NASCAR champion,'' Keselowski said. ''Think about that. That seems like the script from a Hollywood movie. But that is exactly what Benny Parsons accomplished in 1973.

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''The people of Michigan love their champions, and as I can attest and Benny can attest, he was a champion that made everyone in the state very proud.''

Parsons was officially inducted by Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, and it was accepted by his widow, Terri. Parsons died in 2007 from complications from lung cancer at 65.

He won the 1973 NASCAR championship and the 1975 Daytona 500 was among his 21 career victories. Parsons also had a successful career as a NASCAR commentator after his retirement from driving.

Also inducted Friday night was Raymond Parks, one of the first team owners in NASCAR.

Parks was an Atlanta businessman who first entered NASCAR with drivers Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall. Paired with mechanic Red Vogt, his teams dominated in the 1940s and 1950s.

His career as a car owner was interrupted when Parks served in World War II, and he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. When he returned from the war, he was lured into NASCAR by founder Bill France Sr. and his teams won the first NASCAR title in 1948 and again in 1949.

Parks was presented by 2014 NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick, inducted by Kyle Petty and it was accepted by his granddaughter.