Wednesday afternoon, NASCAR announced the new set of inductees for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame. What makes these gentlemen Hall of Famers? Who are the inductees? Here is a look into the careers of the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees.
The first inductee is Bobby Allison. Bobby, who raced for almost 30 years, had a long and great racing career. Allison, who is third on the all-time win list with 85 victories, won the Winston Cup Championship in 1983. That year, he had six wins in 30 races to hold off Darrell Waltrip, who also had six wins. Allison's first win of the 1983 season was the Richmond 400 followed by the win at Mason-Dixon 500. Allison had victories in Pocono in the Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500, then grabbed back-to-back victories in the Southern 500, Wrangler Sanforset 400 and the Budweiser 500.
Bobby earned eight victories in 1982, one of the victories being the Daytona 500. He won the Daytona 500 in 1978, 1982 and 1988. He finished second in the Daytona 500 in 1970, 1972 and 1981. Allison was runner-up to the Winston Cup champion four times. He lost to Bobby Isaac by 51 points in 1970, to Richard Petty by 228 points in 1972, to Darrell Waltrip by 53 points in 1981 and to Darrell Waltrip again but this time by 72 points in 1982.
Allison won Driver of the Year Award six times. He won the honors in 1971-1973 then again in 1981-1983. In 1972 and 1983, he won the Olsonite Driver of the Year Award. In 1980, he was the IROC Champion and in 1989 he recieved th NASCAR Award of Excellence. He was named one of NasCar's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. In 1993, Allison was inducted into the International Motorsport Hall of Fame and into the National Motorsport Press Association Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1994.
Ned Jarrett, who was known as "Gentleman" Ned Jarrett, is the second inductee for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame. The 78 year old Jarrett, had a smooth demeanor and a pleasant disposition. He was an intense competitor and one of the best to put two hands on a steering wheel of a NASCAR stock car. Driving a Sportsman Ford, Ned drove in his first raceat Hickory, North Carolina where he finished tenth in 1952.
In 1956, Jarrett came in second driving in the Sportsman series and he was looking to pursue a career in Grand National racing in 1959. He won five races in 1960 and in 1961, he won the championship over Rex White. Jarrett joined team owner Bobby Long and won 15 times but lost the championship to Richard Petty in 1964.
Jarrett won 13 races, placed among the top five in 42 of the 54 races he ran, won the Southern 500 at Darlington, South Carolina and won another Grand National championship in 1965. Ned Jarrett retired at the age of 34 in 1966 after Ford announced they were withdrawing from NASCAR. He has benn elected into eight different Hall of Fames.
Bud Moore, an 85 year old World War II vetern from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is the third inductee for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame. Moore, who referred to himself as "a country mechanic", was crew chief for Buck Baker in 1957. Upon fielding the team in 1961, Moore became a successful, Cup series car owner almost immediately, winning back-to-back championships in 1962 and 1963 with Joe Weatherly as driver.
His cars had 63 wins, 298 top five and 463 top ten finishes during the teams 37 seasons in NASCARs premier division. Moore's cars have visited Victory Lane in most of the sports biggest events including the Daytona 500 and the Southern 500.
The sports top drivers that were attracted to Moore's fast and dependable cars included Joe Weatherly, DaleEarnhardt, Glenn Roberts, David Pearson, Billy Wade, David Dieringer, Bobby Isacc, Buddy Baker, Benny Parsons, Bobby Allison, Ricky Rudd and Geoffrey Bodine. The 1970 Sports Car Club of America championship with Parnelli Jones was among his successes.
Whitney, South Carolina native David Pearson is the fourth inductee for the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame. From 1960 to 1986, Pearson accomplished everything possible in his 26 year NASCAR Winston Cup career. In three of the four years he ran for the National Championship, he won. His winning percentage of 18.29% is second to none among drivers who have competed in at least 240 races, although his 105 wins are second to Richard Petty's 200.
Pearson, who is ninth on the all-time list with 574 starts, was on the pole in one of every five races that he ran. One of the greatest, if not the longest, racing duels in motorsports history was between David Pearson and Richard Petty. They finished first and second to each othera remarkable 63 times from August 8, 1963 to June 12, 1977. No other driver had as many as 63 wins at the time of their last 1-2 finish.
On September 19, 1953, Pearson made his debut in a hobby car at Woodruff, South Carolina. He was awarded with Rookie of the Year honors in 1960 after a fan club got him a Grand National car. He was offered a Pontiac prepared by legendary mechanic Ray Fox in 1961. He won the World 600 at Charlotte, North Caroina in his first outing. David Pearson retired on March 18th of 1990.
The fifth and final inductee to be inducted into the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame is Lee Petty. Lee Petty bagan his racing career in 1948 at the age of 35. Lee won the very first race he competed in. With a career that lasted from 1948 to 1964, Lee won three Grand National championships which came in 1954, 1958 and 1959.
For ten years of Lee's career, he finished no lower than fourth place. But winning the very first Daytona 500 meant the most to Lee Petty. Having finished so close to Johnny Beauchamp and Joe Weatherly, it took NASCAR officials three days to determine Lee Petty the winner of the very first prestigous Daytona 500.
After spending four months in the hospital in 1961, Petty returned to the racing world, but his career was never the same. Upon his return, he seemed he was not as competitive and three years later he ran his final race at Watkins Glen, New York.
Petty remained involved in racing even after his retirement. His son Richard was racing by then and later Lee's grandson Kyle and great-grandson Adam would soon follow Lee Petty's footsteps.
Just days after watching his great-grandson Adam Petty compete in his first Cup race, Lee Petty passed away on April 5, 2000. Lee was much respected and was the back-bone in what is now known as "The First Family of NASCAR."
CONGRADULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2011 NASCAR HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES!!!!