News & Media

Five newcomers added to '13 HOF list of nominees

April 12, 2012, Official Release,

Among the 25: NASCAR matriarch France, trailblazer Scott, '89 champion Wallace

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Determination and innovation, two qualities existing in abundance in the men and women who built NASCAR, characterize the 25 nominees for the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.

NASCAR on Wednesday announced those 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's fourth induction class, and included among the diverse group are five newcomers who make this list arguably the most intriguing in the Hall's history.

From the list of 25, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM (open now through midnight on May 16). Voting Day for the 2013 class will be May 23 and, once again, fans can attend the announcement live at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Be a part of history

Learn more about the 25 nominees for the 2013 class, including newcomers (clockwise, from left) Wendel Scott, Ray Fox, Anne France, Rusty Wallace and Ralph Seagraves. Fans can then vote for five nominees.


The five first-timers all vary in expertise: NASCAR's first treasurer and secretary Anne Bledsoe France; engine builder and owner Ray Fox; trailblazing driver Wendell Scott; promoter and sponsor executive Ralph Seagraves; and driver champion Rusty Wallace. Of that group, two represent 'firsts' for the Hall: France the first female nominee; Scott the first African-American nominee.

The former Anne Bledsoe married Bill France Sr. in 1931, and the family put down roots three years later in Daytona Beach, Fla. Anne France took an active role in the family business, primarily in managing its finances as NASCAR secretary and treasurer, but also in organizing and promoting the competition.

Scott remains the only African-American driver to win a race at NASCAR's top level, which he accomplished on Dec. 1, 1963, in Jacksonville, Fla. In his 13-year career, the longtime privateer made 495 starts, tying him for 33rd on the all-time list. NASCAR continues to honor his legacy by awarding 12 scholarships per year in his name for minorities.

Fox's influence was felt for more than 40 years as one of NASCAR's brightest mechanics and car owners. The World War II veteran built engines and fielded cars for legends such as Junior Johnson, Fred Lorenzen, David Pearson and Cale Yarborough. Fox's mechanical know-how served him well in his second career as a NASCAR engine inspector, a position he held until retiring at age 80 in 1996.

Seagraves' lasting mark on NASCAR hit its peak in 1971, when the R.J. Reynolds official helped forge a relationship that gave the sport major sponsorship support for more than three decades and helped stock-car racing grow exponentially from a regional pastime to a national spectacle.

Wallace won 55 races in NASCAR's premier series, good for eighth place in the history books. The former rookie of the year was crowned Cup champion in 1989 and won at least one race each season during a 16-year span that reached into the turn of the century. He remains visible as an analyst for ESPN.

THE 25 NOMINEES, listed alphabetically:

-- Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series titles (1956-57)

-- 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

-- H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway

-- Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier series champion

-- Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others

-- Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband, Bill France Sr.; affectionately known as Annie B.

-- Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series

-- Jack Ingram, two-time Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion

-- Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion

-- Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600

-- Cotton Owens, owner/driver, won 1966 owner championship with David Pearson

-- Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner

-- Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion

-- Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway

-- Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500

-- T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. senior VP

-- Wendell Scott, first African-American NASCAR premier series race winner

-- Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

-- Herb Thomas, first two-time NASCAR premier series champion, 1951 and '53

-- Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"

-- Rusty Wallace, 1989 NASCAR premier series champion

-- Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier series champion

-- Leonard Wood, part-owner and former crew chief for Wood Brothers; revolutionized pit stops

This round of nominees was selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The committee's votes were tabulated by the accounting firm Ernst & Young.

The NHOF's 2013 inductees will be determined by the voting panel, which includes the entire nominating committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the Voting Panel's final ballot.

The 21-person nominating committee:

-- NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive director Winston Kelley; historian Buz McKim.

-- NASCAR officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; vice chairman Jim France; senior vice president Paul Brooks; president Mike Helton; vice president of competition Robin Pemberton; senior vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell; competition administrator Jerry Cook; former vice president Ken Clapp.

-- Track owners/operators: International Speedway Corp. CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); former Toyota Speedway at Irwindale operator Jim Williams; Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery.

NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this report.