NASCAR makes popular selections for 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class

The 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class (NASCAR/Greg Engle)

NASCAR announced the five inductees for the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame Wednesday in Charlotte North Carolina.  NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton announced the class and Landmark Award winner, Wednesday evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”

The 2017 class features inductees including drivers and team owners all of whom enjoy immense popularity in the NASCAR industry and with NASCAR fans.  The 2017 class is Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons. In addition, Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

The class was chosen by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel consisting of NASCAR executives, industry members and members of the media. They met in a closed-door session and debated, then voted to determine the five inductees chosen from 20 nominees.  The voting showed Benny Parsons, a 1973 champion who became a commentator for NBC and TNT until his passing in 2007, at the age of 65, was the most popular with 85% of the vote.

Team owner Rick Hendrick whose organization is recognized as one of NASCAR’s most successful and owns an all-time record 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner championship titles – six with Jimmie Johnson, four with Jeff Gordon and one with NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte, received 62% of the vote.

Mark Martin never won a title but finished second in the championship standings five times.