Story By: JOSH HAMILTON / NASCAR – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
The list includes six first-time NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees whose careers spanned the entirety of NASCAR.
Among them are a NASCAR Xfinity Series pioneer and two-time champion (Sam Ard), an original member of the “Alabama Gang” (Neil Bonnett), a Daytona 500 winner (Marvin Panch), a short track ace (Jim Paschal), a three-time Cup Series champion (Tony Stewart) and the first master mechanic in NASCAR (Red Vogt).
Stewart was nominated in his first year of eligibility, and could join Jeff Gordon as a second consecutive first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, and media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm EY.
From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2020 class will be Wednesday, May 22.
Added to this year’s list of Landmark Award nominees are Edsel Ford II, Mike Helton and Dr. Joseph Mattioli. Two nominees return for the Landmark Award: Alvin Hawkins and Ralph Seagraves (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:
Sam Ard, NASCAR Xfinity Series pioneer and two-time champion
Buddy Baker, won 19 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
Neil Bonnett, won 18 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories
Red Farmer, three-time Late Model Sportsman champion; 1956 Modified champion
Ray Fox, legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner
Harry Gant, winner of 18 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two Southern 500 victories
Joe Gibbs, combined for nine car owner championships in Cup and XFINITY series
John Holman, won two NASCAR Cup Series championships as co-owner of Holman-Moody Racing
Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief
Bobby Labonte, won a championship in both the Cup Series and XFINITY Series
Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion
Ralph Moody, won two NASCAR Cup Series championships as co-owner of Holman-Moody Racing
Marvin Panch, won 17 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1961 Daytona 500
Jim Paschal, 23 of his 25 NASCAR Cup Series wins came on short tracks
Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400
Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
Tony Stewart, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, two-time Brickyard 400 winner
Red Vogt, the first master mechanic of NASCAR, and a founding member
Waddell Wilson, won three NASCAR Cup Series championships as an engine builder
The five nominees for the Landmark Award, listed alphabetically, are as follows…
Edsel Ford II, Member of the Board of Directors for Ford Motor Company, long-time NASCAR supporter
Alvin Hawkins, NASCAR’s first flagman; established NASCAR racing at Bowman Gray Stadium with Bill France Sr.
Mike Helton, named third president of NASCAR in 2000; career included track operator roles at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway
Dr. Joseph Mattioli, founder of Pocono Raceway
Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
NASCAR Hall of Fame Nomination Eligibility
– Drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for two years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. If extenuating circumstances cause a driver’s eligibility to be in question, NASCAR will review and determine if any adjustments are needed prior to the Nomination Committee Meeting.
– In addition, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF.
– Any driver who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.
– Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
– For non-drivers, individuals must have worked at least 10 years in the NASCAR industry.
– Individuals may also be considered who made significant achievements in the sport, but left the sport early due to a variety of circumstances.
The 24-person Nominating Committee follows…
NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Curatorial Affairs Manager Tom Jensen.
NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Jim France; President Steve Phelps; Vice Chairman Mike Helton; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell; Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Jill Gregory; Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer Eric Nyquist; Senior Vice President, Competition Scott Miller; Managing Director, Racing Operations Ben Kennedy.
Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy; Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Marcus Smith; International Speedway Corporation President John Saunders; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; West Coast Short Track representative Ken Clapp; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie Mattioli; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis.
Media: Mike Joy, FOX.