By Kelly Crandall (CONCORD, N.C.) – The NASCAR Hall of Fame has its five newest members.
The sixth class of inductees was chosen today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, where the voting panel consisting of various personalities throughout the sport spent the day debating and discussing the 20 nominees. On the panel this year making history was six-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who became the first active athlete to vote in a major sports Hall of Fame. Fans were also given a voice and contributed a vote as they had the opportunity to cast a ballot on NASCAR.com.
The day began around 11 a.m. with voting concluding shortly before the 3 p.m. NASCAR reporting thereafter that the new class had been chosen and there were no ties.
The 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class
Bill Elliott: The 1988 NASCAR Cup champion, a two-time Daytona 500 winner and 16-time most popular driver
Wendell Scott: The first African-American to win a NASCAR race
Joe Weatherly: A two-time NASCAR champion
Rex White: The 1960 NASCAR champion
Fred Lorenzen: Earned 26 wins, including the Daytona 500 and World 600
The 2015 Hall of Fame Nominees
O. Bruton Smith
New this year for the voting panel was the award for an individual who has made significant contributions to the sport. Called the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR, five were nominated for the honor that was presented to one.
Nominated were H. Clay Earles, Anne B. France, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves, and Ken Squier.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR
Anne B. France
Anne Bledsoe was considered the matriarch of a motorsports empire. She met eventual NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. in 1931 and they were later married. Their eldest son, Bill France Jr., eventually became the head of the sport.
But Anne B. didn’t sit on the sidelines, she was very much involved in the business and the story goes that she ruled the roost. When the sport was founded in 1947 she became the treasurer and knew where every dollar was. Anne B. was also the secretary of Daytona International Speedway when it was built. She passed away in January of 1994.
The 2015 Hall of Fame class will be inducted January 30, 2015 in Charlotte.
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