NASCAR announced today the 2012 class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person class, which will be officially inducted in a ceremony during the weekend of Jan. 20, 2012 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., consists of: Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Richie Evans and Glen Wood.
Members of the 55-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2012. The announcement was made by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's "Great Hall."
The class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
As was the case for the first two classes of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the results of this year's voting were competitive. Yarborough led with 85 percent of the vote, followed by Waltrip (82%), Inman (78%), Evans (50%) and Wood (44%).
Also receiving votes were Jerry Cook, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks and Herb Thomas.
The fans' five picks, in alphabetical order, were Richard Childress, Benny Parsons, Fireball Roberts, Waltrip and Yarborough.
The five inductees came from a group of 25 nominees for induction into the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame class that included:
Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Dale Inman, Fred Lorenzen, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Les Richter, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood, Leonard Wood and Cale Yarborough.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened on May 11, 2010 in Uptown Charlotte, N.C. The 150,000 square foot entertainment complex honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of the sport. In its first year of operation, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertained more than 270,000 customers, making it the second most-visited sports hall of fame in North America.
Class of 2012 Inductees:
William Caleb Yarborough was the first driver to win three consecutive NASCAR premier series championships, from 1976-78. During his three-year dominance, Yarborough won 28 races – nine in 1976, nine in '77 and 10 in '78. His final championship points margin in those three years was never fewer than 195 points and was as much as 474 in 1978. Yarborough totaled 83 victories in his 31-year career, which ranks sixth all-time. His 69 poles rank fourth all-time. He also won the Daytona 500 four times (1968, '77, '83-84), a mark that ranks second only to Richard Petty's seven. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
A three-time NASCAR premier series champion (1981-82, '85), Waltrip won all three with legendary driver/owner Junior Johnson. Waltrip is tied with Bobby Allison and Jeff Gordon for third all-time in series victories with 84. His 59 poles rank fifth all-time in NASCAR premier series history. He competed from 1972-2000, which included a 1989 Daytona 500 victory in a Rick Hendrick-owned Chevrolet. He currently is a commentator on FOX's NASCAR broadcasts. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
Dale Inman, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty's crew chief at Petty Enterprises for nearly three decades, set records for most wins (193) and championships (eight) by a crew chief. Inman won seven of those championships with Petty (1964, '67, '71, '72, '74, '75 and '79), and a final one in 1984 with Terry Labonte.
The recognized "king" of Modified racing, Evans captured nine NASCAR Modified titles in a 13-year span, including eight in a row from 1978-85. In the first year of the current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour format in 1985, Evans won 12 races, including a sweep of all four events at Thompson, Conn. Evans ranked No. 1 in the 2003 voting of the NASCAR All-Time Modified Top 10 Drivers, and he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.