Five more legends of stock-car racing were inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday as part of the 10th class. Jeff Gordon, Jack Roush, Roger Penske, Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki had their diverse NASCAR legacies secured in a gala enshrinement.
Learn more about the Hall’s newest members.
The Class of 2019
Davey Allison was born with speed. The son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison grew up more interested in football, but could not escape the racing bug, following his father into the family profession. The younger Allison honed his skills at local Alabama tracks, getting his big break in 1987, taking over for legendary driver Cale Yarborough in Ranier-Lundy’s Ford Thunderbird. Allison got right to work on continuing the family’s legacy, compiling two wins, five poles and nine top fives in his full-season debut to capture 1987 Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Allison won 19 races and 14 poles, including the 1992 Daytona 500, before his tragic death in a helicopter accident in 1993. Months earlier Allison concluded his best premier series season, running first in the championship standings until his car was collected in an accident during the final race at Atlanta. Despite winning his own Daytona 500, Allison’s favorite racing moment was finishing second to his father in the 1988 “Great American Race” as the pair became the first and only father-son combo to finish 1-2 in NASCAR’s biggest event.| Full biography
Blessed with once-in-a-generation talent and charisma, Jeff Gordon helped take NASCAR from a regional sport to the mainstream. Gordon took NASCAR by storm in the 1990s, becoming the youngest driver in the modern era to win a premier series title as a 24-year-old in 1995. He went on to win three more championships (1997, ’98, 2001). In 1998, Gordon led the Rainbow Warriors – named for his colorful No. 24 Chevrolet – to a modern era-record 13 wins. Overall, he won 93 races, which ranks third on the all-time wins list. Gordon is a three-time Daytona 500 champion and won the Brickyard 400 a record five times. Charismatic and gifted in front of the camera, he developed one of the sport’s fiercest rivalries with Dale Earnhardt. The confident, youthful Californian served as the foil to the wily, rugged Intimidator. Gordon was the first NASCAR driver to host “Saturday Night Live.” He retired from full-time racing as the premier series’“Iron Man” with a record 797 consecutive starts, and now delivers the sport to its passionate fans as a race analyst for FOX. | Full biography
Noted Wisconsin short-track racer Alan Kulwicki moved to Charlotte in 1984 with nothing but a pickup truck, a self-built race car and the hopes of competing in NASCAR’s highest series. He had no sponsor and a limited budget. Kulwicki burst onto the scene as the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year with his self-owned AK Racing team. Throughout his career, Kulwicki received lucrative offers from powerhouse race teams, but insisted on racing for himself. That determination eventually led to his first of five career victories at Phoenix in 1988, and the unveiling of his trademark “Polish Victory Lap,” a celebratory clockwise cool down lap with the driver’s window facing the fans. His signature season was his championship-winning 1992 campaign, where Kulwicki overcame a 278-point deficit with six races remaining to capture the NASCAR premier series title. He had two wins, 11 top fives and 17 top 10s to defeat NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott by 10 points – at the time, the tightest championship margin in series history. Kulwicki never got the chance to defend his title, dying in a plane crash in 1993. Five years after his death, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers. | Full biography
Roger Penske is known, simply, as ‘The Captain.’ A true captain of industry, Penske has steered one of the most successful motorsports ships in the sport’s history. Penske, who celebrated his 50th anniversary in racing in 2016, reached a major milestone and collected a prestigious award during the golden anniversary season. That year, he reached 100 wins in NASCAR’s premier series and capped of the season by receiving the Bill France Award of Excellence. Penske won the premier series championship in 2012 with driver Brad Keselowski, and owns two Daytona 500 wins with Ryan Newman in 2008 and Joey Logano in 2015. And from 2013-15, Penske tied a record with three consecutive owner championships in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Off the track, Penske likewise left an indelible mark. He built the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California in 1996, and previously owned Michigan International Speedway. | Full biography
Once a Michigan-based drag racing owner and enthusiast, Jack Roush made his best motorsports decision when he turned south in 1988 to start a NASCAR team. Since beginning Roush Racing (now known as Roush Fenway Racing), the graduate-level mathematician turned engineering entrepreneur has won a record 322 races across NASCAR’s three national series. Overall, Roush boasts five NASCAR national series owner championships, while his drivers have won an additional three driver championships. Roush initially built his powerhouse organization by pairing with fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mark Martin, who won 83 NASCAR national series races for RFR from 1988-2005. Known for his trademark Panama hat, Roush has displayed a prowess for discovering and developing talent. He helped Matt Kenseth (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) grow into premier series champions and also jump-started the careers of Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. Roush was the 2001 recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence. | Full biography
The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened May 11, 2010, and is an interactive entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The 150,000-square-foot facility includes artifacts, exhibits and a 278-person theater. Learn more here about the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
• Class of 2010: Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Junior Johnson, Richard Petty
• Class of 2011: Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore, David Pearson, Lee Petty
• Class of 2012: Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Darrell Waltrip, Glen Wood, Cale Yarborough
• Class of 2013: Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace, Leonard Wood
• Class of 2014: Jack Ingram, Tim Flock, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty, Fireball Roberts
• Class of 2015: Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly, Rex White
• Class of 2016: Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, Bruton O. Smith, Curtis Turner
• Class of 2017: Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons
• Class of 2018: Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ken Squier, Robert Yates