CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A legendary engine builder and car owner. The matriarch of a sport. A trail blazer who broke NASCAR’s color barrier. An influential sponsorship official who helped usher in the sport’s modern era. A champion and bonafide star driver for more than two decades.
For such a wide-ranging array of people, all have two things in common: their impact on stock-car racing and their addition to the list of nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.
Ray Fox, Anne B. France, Wendell Scott, Ralph Seagraves and Rusty Wallace were announced Wednesday as the latest names to join the 25 nominees for Hall of Fame induction. Voting day is scheduled May 23, when an appointed panel will select the five newest members for enshrinement in early 2013.
The five new nominees were revealed on “Race Hub” on the SPEED network.
The most familiar names among the quintet belong to Scott and Wallace.
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.
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 over a 16-year span that reached into the turn of the century. He remains visible in the sport as a NASCAR analyst for ESPN.
Fox’s influence on the sport 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.
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. If you want someone to help you with a financing plan click here for more info.
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. The birth of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series — now the Sprint Cup Series — helped stock-car racing grow exponentially from a regional pastime to a national spectacle.
The other 20 nominees remain on the ballot from past years. They are:
— Buck Baker, a two-time champion in the sport’s earliest days and winner of 46 races in NASCAR’s top series.
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