NASCAR Hall of Fame – Class of 2018
Yeah, it’s that time of the year again! This week the NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, with Executive Director Winston Kelley and Historian Buz McKim at the helm, announced its slate of candidates for the Class of 2018. Voting to determine the five candidates to be inducted into this celebrated Hall of Fame will be held May 24, 2017, and once again will include a nationwide fan vote conducted via NASCAR.com. The five will join the 40 NASCAR standouts inducted in the Hall’s eight previous annual ballots, and will give recognition to another set of racing heroes who have contributed to the heights NASCAR has achieved in its seven decade evolution.
The 20-member ballot will include another fascinating array of motorsports talent, with 11 drivers, five owners, three crew chiefs, and one media luminary. Here they are, presented in alphabetic sequence:
- Davey Allison
- Buddy Baker
- Red Byron
- Ray Evernham
- Red Farmer
- Ray Fox
- Joe Gibbs
- Ron Hornaday Jr.
- Harry Hyde
- Alan Kulwicki
- Bobby Labonte
- Hershel McGriff
- Roger Penske
- Larry Phillips
- Jack Roush
- Ricky Rudd
- Ken Squier
- Mike Stefanik
- Waddell Wilson
- Robert Yates
(Note that each of the candidates listed above are linked to a Wikipedia page outlining their accomplishments in the world of motorsports)
The Balloting, Voting, and Induction Processes
Here’s a quick primer on how the NASCAR Hall of Fame process takes place:
- It all kicks off during Speedweeks, the nine-day period that precedes the Daytona 500 in February. During this timeframe, the Nominating Committee meets to resolve the 20-candidate ballot for the next class.
- In May, during the time between the “All Star Race” (or whatever name the event happens to take that year) and the Charlotte World 600 (Ed. Note: Yes, it has a different name now, but being a NASCAR throwback, it’s still the World 600 to me) the 55-member voting committee (the number varies) meets to boil the 20 candidates down to the five to be inducted for the year.
- In January of the following year, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place in the Crown Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center adjoining the Hall’s Charlotte, North Carolina home. The actual induction is preceded by a special dinner event at the Charlotte Convention Center during which the honorary jackets are presented.
- Less than a month later, the process kicks off again for the next year.
The Landmark Award
In addition to the Hall of Fame nominees, the process regularly presents the “Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.” This year’s nominees for this prestigious award include NASCAR Chairman Jim France, Veteran driver Janet Guthrie, NASCAR’s first flagman and early founding participant Alvin Hawkins, Winston Cup creator Ralph Seagraves, and renowned broadcaster Ken Squier.
Prior Landmark Award Winners include:
- 2017 – H. Clay Earles (Owner/operator, Martinsville Speedway)
- 2016 – Harold Brasington (Creator of NASCAR’s first Super Speedway)
- 2015 – Anne Bledsoe France (First secretary and treasurer of NASCAR)