Which NASCAR Driver Will Be Inducteed into the USAC Hall of Fame First?


Vice President of Race Operations for USAC, Jason Smith, announced on his Twitter account (@Jason_usac) on Friday night that USAC will create a Hall of Fame.  With the announcement, comes plenty of debate among USAC fans on which drivers will become the inaugural class.

Many NASCAR drivers have crossed over from USAC and there are plenty of alumni in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now, including the 2011 champion, Tony Stewart.

The success of NASCAR drivers is a testament to the talent that lies within USAC to this day.

Current USAC champion, Bryan Clauson has discussed coming back into NASCAR after a rough experience sent him to USAC.  Clauson has also thought about running in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 in the IndyCar Series as well.

Who will be in the first class of USAC heroes inducted into the Hall of Fame?  Many forget that USAC also had their own stock car division for many years and some of the best drivers spent time in NASCAR as well. The following are just some drivers who spent time in NASCAR and will definitely be in the USAC Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.

A.J. Foyt is a no-brainer for the first USAC Hall of Fame Class. Foyt’s first stock car win occured on February 25, 1962 at the flat half mile dirt track, Ascot Park in Gardena, Calfirnoa.  He drove the No. 51 stock car to three USAC stock car championships in 1968, 1978, and 1979.  He also won the 1972 Daytona 500, a year after running out of gas and losing to Richard Petty.

Parnelli Jones won in every type of car he ever strapped into and raced. Jones scored four NASCAR Cup wins in his 34 race career. He also won the Indianapolis 500 in 1963 and several Baja 1000 off-road events.  Jones is also remembered for brinign the stock block engine to the USAC as one of the “Chevy Twins” with Jim Hurtubise.  He also won the USAC chmapionships in 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1964. It’s a matter of when, not if, gets inducted into the USAC Hall of Fame it will the seventh Hall of Fame to contain his image.

While he has three NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, Tony Stewart’s heart will always belong to USAC. In 1995, he won the USAC Triple Crown championship. He is now a USAC owner as well as a track owner.  When he isn’t competing in NASCAR’s highest level, he often races USAC sprint cars, midgets, and silver crown cars. s.

Tags: AJ Foyt Bryan Clauson NASCAR Sprint Cup Parnelli Jones Tony Stewart USAC

  • sox1975

    Jeff Gordon with the understanding that A.J. is automatic regardless of the Hall. Follow Jeff with Freddie Lorenzen then Tony Stewart and Mario Andretti next. Tim Richmond will fit in after that too.

  • sox1975

    Jeff Gordon with the understanding that A.J. is automatic regardless of the Hall. Follow Jeff with Freddie Lorenzen then Tony Stewart and Mario Andretti next. Tim Richmond will fit in after that too.

  • NASCARKrissy

    WOW! Bringing out Tim Richmond. Nice job! Totally forgot he raced USAC. I think he’ll go into the second class, since there are so many drivers/owners that will have to be waited through.

  • sox1975

    Thanks, Krissy. Tim raced midgets and sprints in the 1970′s then in 1980 was the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, lead part of the race (which got his name on the Leaders Board in the 500 Hall of Fame), and then one final 500 for A.J. Foyt in ’81 before going on to NASCAR. Tim is certainly deserving and is already in one Hall of Fame (the International Racing HoF?) and he was a heck of a nice guy too.

    NASCAR needs to catch up if they want to get some crowds in their HoF. They were really disappointed at last years turn out, but what did they expect for 5-6 people? Now it is doubled but they need to put about 15 people in right now. Follow that with 10 and then 10 then cut back to a max of 7 but no fewer than 5. You can’t have a Hall of Fame without people in the Hall of Fame.

  • NASCARKrissy

    WOW! Bringing out Tim Richmond. Nice job! Totally forgot he raced USAC. I think he’ll go into the second class, since there are so many drivers/owners that will have to be waited through.

  • sox1975

    Thanks, Krissy. Tim raced midgets and sprints in the 1970′s then in 1980 was the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, lead part of the race (which got his name on the Leaders Board in the 500 Hall of Fame), and then one final 500 for A.J. Foyt in ’81 before going on to NASCAR. Tim is certainly deserving and is already in one Hall of Fame (the International Racing HoF?) and he was a heck of a nice guy too.

    NASCAR needs to catch up if they want to get some crowds in their HoF. They were really disappointed at last years turn out, but what did they expect for 5-6 people? Now it is doubled but they need to put about 15 people in right now. Follow that with 10 and then 10 then cut back to a max of 7 but no fewer than 5. You can’t have a Hall of Fame without people in the Hall of Fame.