NASCAR Announces The 2017 Hall Of Fame Classby Hunter Thomas May 25, 2016 0 comments
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – On Wednesday, NASCAR announced that Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2017.
Among the 20 nominees, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel had to narrow their choices down to five to represent the newest class. Benny Parsons received 85% of the vote, followed by Rick Hendrick with 62%, Mark Martin with 57%, Raymond Parks with 53% and Richard Childress with 43%. The class of 2017 will only be the eighth class inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Richard Childress is a current car owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series. As the owner of Richard Childress Racing, his drivers have amassed 11 championships between NASCAR’s national series. Childress as a driver, earned six top-five and 76 top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series between 1969 and 1981.
Rick Hendrick is also a current car owner, who founded Hendrick Motorsports. With 14 NASCAR national series championships, Hendrick has more than any other car owner in the industry. His drivers have also helped him earn 242 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 23 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and 26 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Mark Martin never won a championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but he’s certainly a legend, who deserves to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Batesville, Arkansas native has won 96 races between all three of NASCAR’s national series, which is seventh on the all-time win list.
Raymond Parks spent four years in NASCAR’s national series as a car owner. His driver, Red Byron won the first ever NASCAR title back in 1948 and the first ever national series championship in 1949. In only 18 starts in what it today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Parks’ drivers captured two wins, two poles, 11 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
Benny Parsons from Ellerbe, North Carolina won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 1973. Throughout his 21 years competing in NASCAR’s top level, he amassed 21 wins, 20 poles, 199 top-five and 283 top-10 finishes. Parsons was also a familiar face to race fans watching from home as he commentated for NBC and TNT. He was also a member of the Performance Racing Network (PRN) team. Parsons passed away at the age of 65 in 2007.
The other 15 individuals, who were considered for the class of 2017 included: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Ron Hornaday Jr., Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Larry Phillips, Jack Roush, Ricky Rudd, Ken Squier, Mike Stefanik, Waddell Wilson and Robert Yates.
Also announced on Wednesday was that Martinsville Speedway founder, H. Clay Earles was the winner of the prestigious Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
“It’s a great day for Martinsville Speedway,” Earles’ grandson and current Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “It’s an honor for my grandfather to be recognized for his contributions in the sport by his peers, as a pioneer in the sport.
“It’s a special day and quite an honor.”
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has historically been held in mid to late January. For updates, be sure to keep checking NASCARHall.com.
Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR