NASCAR announces list of 2016 Hall of Fame, Landmark Award nominees

Mark Martin. (Getty Images)
Mark Martin. (Getty Images)
Mark Martin. (Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Ray Evernham and prolific winner Mark Martin are new additions who headline the list of 20 nominees for the 2016 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Other first-time nominees announced Friday by NASCAR are legendary crew chief Harry Hyde, on whom the character Harry Hogge in the film “Days of Thunder” was based; 1992 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion driver Alan Kulwicki, the last “privateer” to win the title; and Hershel McGriff, the 1986 west series champion who competed in NASCAR-sanctioned events during seven different decades.

Evernham won championships in 1995, 1997 and 1998 with driver Jeff Gordon before leaving Hendrick Motorsports to head the flagship team for Dodge’s return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

Mark Martin won 40 races in NASCAR’s premier series and finished second in the championship standings five times. In addition, he collected 49 victories in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series, second most all-time, and seven more in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The other fifteen 2016 nominees previously appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot: 19-time winner Buddy Baker; Red Byron, NASCAR’s first premier series winner; car owner Richard Childress, an 11-time champion in NASCAR’s three national series combined; six-time NASCAR Modified champion Jerry Cook; legendary engine builder and car owner Ray Fox; 14-time champion car owner Rick Hendrick; 1970 Cup champion Bobby Isaac; two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte; Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner; 1973 Cup champion Benny Parsons; Larry Phillips, NASCAR’s only five-time weekly series national champion; O. Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.; modified driver Mike Stefanik, winner of a record-tying nine NASCAR touring series championships; Curtis Turner, legendary entrepreneur and winner of 17 races at NASCAR’s top level; and champion team owner and engine builder Robert Yates.

In addition, NASCAR announced the five finalists for the prestigious Landmark Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the sport of NASCAR stock car racing.

Darlington Speedway founder Harold Brasington joins a list that includes four nominees for the 2015 inaugural Landmark Award won by Anne B. France: H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway; executive Ralph Segraves, who forged the long-standing NASCAR-Winston partnership; broadcaster Ken Squier; and Parks.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.