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2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class Announced Wednesday; Bill Elliott Headlines

May 21st, 2014 at 9:04 PM
By Mark Eddinger

The sixth NASCAR Hall of Fame class was announced today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina and the inductees selected were Bill Elliott, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly, Rex White, and Fred Lorenzen. The 2015 class will be inducted on January 30, 2015.

'IMG_2481' photo (c) 2012, Parker Anderson - license: was the top vote getter as he appeared on 87 percent of ballots cast. That number was the second highest in the history of the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting process and was only behind David Pearson's 94 percent in 2011. Scott garnered 58 percent, Weatherly 53 percent, White 43 percent, and Lorenzen 30 percent.

Bill Elliott was the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion and won 44 total races at the premier level of NASCAR. He had 320 top 10's in 828 career starts. He was also a 16-time winner of NASCAR's most popular driver award.

"I never imagined that I'd be in the Hall of Fame, especially starting out as a little red-headed runny-nosed kid from Dawsonville, Georgia," said Elliott. "I was shocked, more than anybody, I would guess, but very much happy, not only for myself but for (brothers) Ernie, Dan, a lot of guys who worked hard on my team throughout the years…I've done a lot, and I've been blessed with what I've done, and I'm just so happy to be here."
Wendell Scott, the first African-American to race fulltime in NASCAR's premier series is also the only African-American to win a premier series race. That came in 1964 at Jacksonville's Speedway Park. Scott posted 147 top 10's in 495 career starts. He passed away on December 23, 1990 at the age of 69.

Rex White was the 1960 NASCAR premier series champion and won 28 races and had 163 top 10's in his 233 career starts.
"I didn't feel like I would beat the guys that were nominated this year," the 84-year-old White said. "Hoping … but, anyway, I made it. I kind of thought that eventually I'd get in this Hall of Fame. Pretty good stats, if that means anything. If they overlooked me and didn't put me in, I think that would be kind of an injustice — if I didn't get in at all. A NASCAR champion should be in the Hall of Fame."
Joe Weatherly was the 1962 and 1963 NASCAR premier series champion and won 25 races with 153 top 10's in 230 career starts. While defending his back-to-back championships Weatherly was tragically killed at the age of 41 due to head injuries in a crash at Riverside International Raceway during the fifth race of the 1964 season.
Fred Lorenzen never competed fulltime in NASCAR's premier series but he won 26 races and had 84 top 10's in 158 career starts. In 1963 Lorenzen won six of the 29 races he participated in and had 23 top 10's. He finished third in the points that season even though he did not compete in 26 of the races. He is 79-years-old and will be 80 when he is inducted in the Hall of Fame in January.
For the first time in the six classes of Hall of Fame inductees all of them were drivers. Jerry Cook, Robert Yates, and Benny Parsons were the next three highest vote-getters but missed out this time around.
In addition to the five inductees, Anne B. France, wife of NASCAR founder and Hall of Fame inductee Bill France Sr., will receive the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. She served as the first secretary and treasurer of NASCAR.
Tags: Anne B. France, Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Joe Weatherly, Landmark Award, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Rex White, Wendell Scott

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