Announcing the Inductees for the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC: Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners and drivers. Their roles and responsibilities may have differed, but they all have one trait in common – each made an everlasting mark on NASCAR history.
From the list of 20 nominees, NASCAR announced the 5 newest Inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel and the nationwide fan vote from NASCAR.com.
The 5 Newest Inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 are:
Bruton Smith – Promoter and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., and owner of 8 NASCAR sanctioned speedways.
Terry Labonte – 2 Time NASCAR Champion.
Curtis Turner – Known as “Pops” in the garage area, drove in the early years of NASCAR.
Jerry Cook – Was a 6-time Whelen Modified Tour Champion in the NASCAR Modified Series during the 70’s
Bobby Isaac – The North Carolina native won the NASCAR Grand National Series Championship in 1970.
Lee Petty was the first driver to crash in a NASCAR race. He crashed at lap 107 in that first race at Charlotte on June 19 1949.
On May 14, 1994, NASCAR CEO, Bill France Jr. announces the creation of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, then called the NASCAR SuperTruck Series.
In 1950, the Darlington Raceway opened in Darlington, South Carolina, and hosts the Southern 500, the first NASCAR race run on a paved road.
— Did you know it’s entirely possible for the second-place car to earn more than the winner? Payouts include money from a host of sponsors. To get those bonuses, a team must have their sticker — usually behind the front wheel well — on the car. Some teams, particularly Penske Racing, choose not to clutter the car’s appearance with stickers. Kurt Busch won at Atlanta last year and made $164,175. Jeff Gordon finished second and made $186,276 because he had more sponsor stickers.
— A race team will go through more than 15 sets of tires this week. But did you know they have to pay the same $5 federal disposal fee you have to pay at the neighborhood tire store?
— A race car generally uses three times as much motor oil — or about 13 quarts — as your passenger car. Also, race cars only use water in the radiator.
— All the money collected in fines during the year is donated to charity.
— Did you know the most-asked question about drivers is how do they go to the bathroom during a race? Because there are no rest stops in a 500-mile race, they usually just go. Some pour water or Gatorade on themselves before they get out of the car to hide it.
In 2006, Toyota announced they would be joining NASCAR’s ranks. Toyota generated early success winning several races off performances from Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
– The late Alan Kulwicki had glove boxes installed in his race cars, and he kept a comb in them. The 1993 Winston (now-Sprint) Cup champion wouldn’t get out of his car until after he combed his hair.
– Another Kulwicki tidbit: Junior Johnson wanted to hire Kulwicki to drive his cars and approached him about it twice. Kulwicki turned him down both times.
– There’s a popular saying in racing that drivers would wreck their mothers to win races. David Stremme actually did once, early in his career while racing the short tracks in Indiana. He also won his first race in his mother’s race car at the age of 15.
– Elliott Sadler holds the record for eating the most bologna burgers at South Boston (Va.) Speedway
– Jeff Gordon’s step-father John Bickford had a track built at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Indiana so that a young Gordon had a place to practice racing his quarter midget. The stipulation was that Gordon couldn’t practice while the fairgrounds hosted paying events.
– NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski and his brother, Brian Keselowski, flipped a coin to decide which of them would inherit the seat in the family-owned K-Automotive entry in the NASCAR Craftsman (now-Camping World) Truck Series. Brad won.
– Early in his career, Michael Waltrip lived with Richard Petty. He started out living with Kyle, but Michael moved out of Kyle’s house and into Richard’s when he and Kyle had an argument that ended with Kyle throwing Michael’s shoes into a lake.
– Bobby and Donnie Allison are among a group of drivers known as the “Alabama Gang,” but the Allisons are actually natives of Miami, Fla.
– Ned Jarrett started racing under an assumed name to hide the fact that he was racing from his parents. They found out when he won. He later wrote a bad check to buy a car from Junior Johnson. He was able to cover the check by winning his first two races in the car.
Richard Petty is credited with inventing the window net to help keep drivers arms inside the car to avoid injuries during a crash.
The NASCAR acronym stands for the “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.”
The first NASCAR race was held on June 19th, 1949 in Charlotte, NC at the Charlotte Speedway, a 3/4 mile dirt track.
Lee Petty was the first driver to crash in a Winston cup race. He crashed at lap 107 in that first race at Charlotte on June 19 1949.