The fourth class of inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame has been decided. After a list of 25 nominees was released last month, voters decided on five of them to be inducted into the Hall.
For the first time in history, there was a tie to determine the fifth and final inductee into the Hall of Fame. Voters we required to go back and re-vote to break the tie in order to create the class of five.
When the voting had stopped, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announced the five inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s 2013 class.
- Herb Thomas: The first driver in NASCAR history to win multiple championships, Thomas won the title in NASCAR’s premier series in 1951 and ’53. In ’52 and ’54, Thomas finished second in the points, posting top-two points finishes in four consecutive seasons at the top level. During his championship runs, Thomas drove his self-owned car to the top of the sport.
- Leonard Wood: The inventor of the modern day pit stop, Wood follows his brother, Glen, into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. During his time as chief mechanic for the family operation, Wood amassed 96 wins and 117 poles in 990 races.
- Rusty Wallace: A 55-time race winner, Wallace ranks ninth on the NASCAR all-time win list. The 1989 Cup champion is the only inductee of the 2013 class to be a first-ballot selection.
- Cotton Owens: As a driver, Owens won nine times in NASCAR’s top level of competition. But as an owner is where Owens thrived. Hiring NASCAR Hall of Fame inaugural class member Junior Johnson in 1962, also grew a relationship with another Hall of Fame driver and fellow South Carolina native, David Pearson, in the same year. In total, Owens won 38 races as an owner.
- Buck Baker: Baker was NASCAR’s first back-to-back champion, winning the title in both 1956 and ’57. Known as one of the sport’s early greats, Baker won a total of 46 races at the top level of the sport, a mark that puts him tied for 14th on the all-time win list.
With drivers and mechanics being rewarded for the contributions to the sport, NASCAR added a “Media Excellence Award” that will be distributed annually to one member of the media who has made a significant contribution to the sport.
The award will be called the “Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence”, named after two of the sport’s most recognizable voices, Ken Squier and Barney Hall who are also the inaugural recipients of the award.
These legends of the sport will be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, February 8, 2013 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.