CHARLOTTE (NASCAR Wire Service) — Four nominees renowned for their competitive spirit and one of the most talented broadcasters in NASCAR racing were added to the list of nominees for the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Drivers Ricky Rudd and Ron Hornaday Jr., team owner Jack Roush, engine builder Waddell Wilson and legendary play-by-play man Ken Squier are the five new nominees announced by NASCAR on Wednesday.
They join 15 nominees who appeared on the ballot last year, and collectively they comprise the 20 individuals eligible for Hall of Fame consideration this year.
A relentlessly feisty driver from Chesapeake, Virginia, Rudd posted 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories during a career that spanned 33 years. Over the 16-year period from 1983 through 1998, he won at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race per year.
But Rudd is perhaps best known for his Iron Man mark of 788 consecutive starts, a record that stood until Jeff Gordon broke it last season in the fall race at New Hampshire.
Though Hornaday competed in all three of NASCAR’s top national series during his 24-year career, he enjoyed the most success in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, winning 51 races and four championships — both series records.
Known as a master of restarts, Hornaday also won 27 poles in the Truck Series and collected 234 top 10s in 360 career races.
Nicknamed the “Cat in the Hat,” Roush Fenway Racing team owner Jack Roush boasts 322 NASCAR national series victories — more than any other car owner. A master at discovering young driving talent, Roush won consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships in 2003 and 2004, the first with Matt Kenseth and the second with Kurt Busch in the first year of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
In aggregate, among all his drivers, Roush has 3,343 Sprint Cup races to his credit, 135 of which have ended with a Roush Ford in Victory Lane.
Waddell Wilson still enjoys the well-deserved reputation as one of the foremost engine builders in the history of NASCAR racing. Though engines were his forte, Wilson’s talents didn’t stop there. He won three Daytona 500s as a crew chief, in 1980 with fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Buddy Baker and in 1983 and 1984 with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough.
The final new 2017 nominee never competed on the track or in the garage, but no one was better at describing the action than Ken Squier, who served as the lap-by-lap announcer for NASCAR on CBS from 1979 through 1997. (The full list of Class of 2017 nominees appears below).
Squier is also a returning nominee for the Landmark Award for outstanding contributions to the sport, joining Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles, champion car owner Raymond Parks and former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company executive Ralph Seagraves.
The one new addition to the list of Landmark Award nominees is Janet Guthrie, the first female driver to compete in a superspeedway race at NASCAR’s highest level. Guthrie made her Sprint Cup debut in the 1976 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and went on to run 33 races, with her best finish a sixth at Bristol in 1977.
The potential Hall of Famers and Landmark Award winners were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks, and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.
From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2017 class is Wednesday, May 25.
The following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s 2017 class, listed alphabetically:
Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949
Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
Ray Fox, legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner
Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Ron Hornaday, four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion
Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion
Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition
Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion
Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
Jack Roush, five-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR’s premier series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400
Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence
Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
Waddell Wilson, won three NASCAR premier series championships as an engine builder
Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner
The five nominees for the 2017 Landmark Award, listed alphabetically, are as follows:
H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
Janet Guthrie, the first female to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race
Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence