NMPA Hall of Fame Returns to Darlington, “Awesome Bill From Dawsonville” Inductedby Tommy Dampier September 5, 2015 0 comments
Photo Credit: Tommy Dampier
The National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame observance returned to its roots in Darlington. This year’s Hall of Fame ceremonies came back to the Darlington Country Club during the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Labor Day race weekend. Bill Elliott was the 2015 honoree. The awards ceremony returned to Darlington after being away since 2004.
Elliott talked about the distinction of being selected for this prestigious award that puts him among the other elite members of the NMPA Hall of Fame.
“It’s an honor to be here and be a part of this,” Elliott said. “The induction into the NMPA Hall of Fame validates my career, and the things I’ve accomplished in my NASCAR career.
“I appreciate everything everyone has done to get me to where I am. I really appreciate what everyone has done for me and my family throughout the years. I’m truly honored to receive this award.”
Elliott has 44 career wins in his 37-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, putting him 16th on the all-time Cup career win list. He has three Bojangles’ Southern 500 victories. Elliott made his first career start in 1976 at Rockingham Speedway. He’s the 98th member inducted into this esteemed group of colleagues. He was voted Most Popular Driver 16 times. He holds the record in this category.
Chase Elliott is paying tribute to his father this weekend with a special paint scheme designed to look similar to his dad’s 1985 car. Bill Elliott won the 1985 Winston Million at Darlington in the familiar No. 9 Coors Ford Thunderbird. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Elliott’s Winston Million win. This will be Chase Elliott’s final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this season before he competes full-time in Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 24 car in 2016.
Formed more than 40 years ago, the NMPA was initially known as the Southern Motorsports Association. It began as a small group of writers and broadcasters who primarily covered NASCAR and related stock car racing in the South. The name was later changed to the National Motorsports Press Association. The NMPA Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway. The organization was founded in 1965.
Through the years, the association has evolved into an organization made up of national and international members who cover all forms of motorsports. It also includes associate members, many of whom are among the most influential individuals in auto racing.