On Wednesday, the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel met and selected the 2015 class of five inductees into the Hall of Fame in Uptown Charlotte. The class of 2015 consists of Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White.
Bill Elliott claimed 44 wins at NASCAR’s top level. He was the Winston (now-Sprint Cup) champion in 1988. That season he won six times, while also posting 15 top-fivies and 22 top-10s. He also holds the distinction of being the winningest driver when it comes to NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award, an award he’s won 16 times.
Fred Lorenzen was always a part-time driver but he was one of NASCAR’s first starts. He won three times in 1961, despite only competing in 15 races. His best season was in 1963 when he won six times in 29 starts. He finished in the top-10 in 21 of those 29 races. He also finished third in the standings that year, even though he only ran in 29 of 55 races.
Wendell Scott was a NASCAR trailblazer. He was the first African-American driver to race full-time and NASCAR’s top level and, to this day, is still the only African-American driver to win a race in NASCAR’s premier series. He was consistently competitive, finishing in the top-10 147 times in his 495 starts at NASCAR’s top level. At the local level, he won more than 100 races.
Joe Weatherly was a two-time champion at NASCAR’s top level, winning titles in 1962 and 1963. Over the course of his career, he visited victory lane 25 times. He was also a force in NASCAR’s Modified Series, winning an astounding 101 times in only two years (1952 and 1953). He was also a 12-time winner in NASCAR’s Convertible Division.
Rex White was as consistent as they come. Aside from his 28-career wins in NASCAR’s premier series, he posted top-fives in nearly half of the 233 races in which he competed. He was the 1960 champion, driving his own car. That year, he won six races and finished in the top-10 in 35 of 40 races.
These five inductees will be officially inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 30, 2015. The induction ceremony will be shown on NBC Sports Network.
The five inductees were chosen from a list of 20 nominees that also included Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, O. Bruton Smith, Mike Stefanik, Curtis Turner and Robert Yates.
Elliott’s name was on 87 percent of the ballots, followed by Scott on 58 percent. Weatherly was voted on by 53 percent of the voting panel, White 43 percent and Lorenzen 30 percent. Scott was the highest vote-getter in an online fan vote conducted on NASCAR.com. Results from the fan vote were combined for one ballot.
The panel also named Anne B. France as the winner of the first Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. She was selected from a nominee list that also included H.Clay Earles, Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier.