Breaking down the Hall of Fame modifications
May 20, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
Changes open the door for Terry Labonte, Bill Elliott, Mike Stefanik to become eligible
WATCH: NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 announcement live at 4 p.m. ET
MORE: Track the social buzz from the Hall of Fame announcement
After the induction of five classes, NASCAR officials announced modifications to the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame last December. Read up on those changes, and how they affect this year’s process:
2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day
When: Wednesday, May 21.
Where: Charlotte Convention Center.
10:30 a.m.: Meeting of Voting Panel begins; Landmark Award discussion; 2015 Hall of Fame Nominee discussion; Landmark Award Round 1 vote.
1 p.m: Lunch break.
1:45 p.m.: Class of 2015 vote; Landmark Award Round 2 vote.
4 p.m.: NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 inductees announced.
Driver Eligibility: Now includes those that have competed for at least 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the previous year. Also, any driver that has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR by Dec. 31 of the previous year is automatically eligible for consideration, regardless of age. Before this year, drivers had to have competed in NASCAR for a minimum of 10 years and be retired for three years to be eligible.
Impact: The change opened the door for drivers Terry Labonte, Bill Elliott and Mike Stefanik to become immediately eligible. Labonte, 57, continues to compete in limited races. Elliott last raced in 2012, meaning he was still inside the three-year window, and Stefanik, 55, remains active as a driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Trimming The Field: The list of nominees to be considered for induction has been reduced from 25 to 20.
Impact: Previously nominated candidates not included on this year’s list are: Martinsville track founder H. Clay Earles; Anne B. France (wife of NASCAR founder William H. G. France); Les Richter (NASCAR executive) and RJ Reynolds executives Ralph Seagraves and T. Wayne Robertson.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR: New for 2015, the award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the growth of NASCAR. Five nominees will be chosen each year, from which one will be selected.
Impact: Opens up the Hall to provide an opportunity to recognize key figures that were not necessarily involved in the competition side of the sport. Earles, France, Parks, Seagraves and legendary announcer/TV analyst Ken Squier make up this year's list of nominees. Landmark Award nominees and recipients remain eligible for consideration into the Hall of Fame, as is the case with Parks this year.
Recused: Members of the nominating committee or voting panel that appear on the current ballot, or the ballot of the previous year, will not participate in the voting process for the current year. Once an individual is inducted into the Hall, or is no longer on the final ballot, he or she will be allowed to resume participation in the voting process.
Impact: Two nominees on this year’s ballot, Yates and six-time Modified champion Jerry Cook, will not participate in the voting process. The move drops the number of voting panel members from 55 to 53 (excluding the fan vote).
Squier will be recused from voting on the Landmark Award, because he is among the nominees. He will, however, be allowed to take part in Hall of Fame voting.
Champion's Vote: The reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has been added to the voting panel.
Impact: The addition increased the number of panel members, and more importantly placed an active Cup driver among the group -- in this case, six-time champion Jimmie Johnson. (Read Jimmie's perspective on voting)
2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominees:
O. Bruton Smith
Landmark Award Nominees:
H. Clay Earles
Anne B. France
Members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame with year of induction:
Dale Earnhardt; Bill France Sr.; Bill France Jr.; Junior Johnson; Richard Petty
Bobby Allison; Ned Jarrett; Bud Moore; David Pearson; Lee Petty
Richie Evans; Dale Inman; Darrell Waltrip; Glen Wood; Cale Yarborough
Buck Baker; Cotton Owens; Herb Thomas; Rusty Wallace; Leonard Wood
Tim Flock; Jack Ingram; Dale Jarrett; Maurice Petty; Glen "Fireball" Roberts
NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominating Committee (22) /Voting Panel (34) for 56 total votes
Nominating Committee (22)
NASCAR Hall of Fame (2)
NASCAR officials (8)
Jerry Cook (recused)
International Speedway Corporation (2)
Speedway Motorsports Incorporated (2)
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (1)
Dover Motorsports (1)
Pocono Raceway (1)
Historic short track operators -- one representative from each track (4)
Bowman Gray Operator: Dale Pinilis
Rockford Speedway Operator: Jody Deery
Riverhead Speedway Operator: Jim/Barbara Cromarty (1 vote)
Kingsport Speedway Operator: Robert Pressley
Voting Panel (34)
National Motorsports Press Association (1)
Kenny Bruce, NMPA President
Eastern Motorsports Press Association (1)
Ron Hedger, EMPA President
American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters (1)
Dusty Brandel, AARWB President
Print & Online Media (6)
Kyle Petty, TNT
Dr. Jerry Punch, ESPN
Barney Hall, MRN
Doug Rice, PRN
Rick Allen, SPEED
Dave Moody, SIRIUS/XM
Jim Campbell, Chevrolet
Edsel Ford, Ford
David Wilson, Toyota
Former Drivers (3)
Former Owners (3)
Robert Yates (recused)
Former Crew Chiefs (3)
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion (1)
NASCAR Community Leaders (5)
Ken Squier (recused from Landmark Award)
NASCAR.com Fan Vote (1)