Staff Report, NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
Last month, the NASCAR Hall of Fame enshrined its fifth class of NASCAR legends, bringing the total number of inductees to 25. Today, a 22-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from throughout the NASCAR industry selected 20 individuals who will make up the ballot for the Class of 2015.
In addition, the committee selected five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Those eligible for this new award can include competitors or those affiliated with racing organizations, track facilities, race teams, sponsors, media partners or general ambassadors for the sport.
Making the NASCAR Hall of Fame ballot for the first time is a group of individuals whose careers spanned all levels of racing and areas of expertise: Terry Labonte, a two-time NASCAR premier series champion; Bill Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR premier series champion and 16-time Most Popular Driver; Mike Stefanik, a nine-time champion with titles in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East; Buddy Baker, a 19-time winner in the NASCAR premier series; and Robert Yates, a championship-winning engine builder and team owner.
Raymond Parks returns as a nominee on the 2015 class ballot, but he's also one of five individuals in the running for the Landmark Award. He's joined by H. Clay Earles, Anne B. France, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier.
The five-member class of 2015, as well as the Landmark Award's inaugural recipient, will be announced on Voting Day - Wednesday, May 21.
Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:
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, six-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".