NASCAR Media Conference: NASCAR Hall of Fame Announcement
May 23, 2012
BRETT JEWKES: Good evening, and welcome to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. My name is Brett Jewkes, and I am part of the communications team at NASCAR. It's my privilege to extend NASCAR's welcome to all of you gathered here in the Hall tonight, especially to the fans. We also extend our welcome to those following live on SPEED, on Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio, on NASCAR.com and those also choosing to follow tonight through social media. We invite you to follow us on Twitter @NASCAR, and if you are tweeting tonight, which we hope you are, we invite you to use the hash tag #NASCARHOF.
So Winston Kelley and the team here at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, thank you for a great year. Thank you for all you do to preserve and promote the history of this great sport.
Finally to the members of the media who have joined us here tonight, thank you. We are grateful to have you here tonight.
Before you meet the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class, I want to provide a quick overview of the process that brought us to this point. To be eligible a driver must have competed in NASCAR competition for at least 10 years and be retired for a minimum of three years. For non‑drivers individuals must have worked in the sport for at least 10 years within the industry.
Earlier this year, each member of the 21‑person nominating committee submitted 25 names for consideration for the Hall of Fame. The top 25 most nominated people were determined and announced last month. From there, the most passionate fans in sports began voting on NASCAR.com, and the NASCAR fan vote has been accumulated and tallied to one vote and is factored into the results you are about to hear.
Finally, over the last several hours, the 53‑person voting panel convened, debated, discussed, and ultimately voted on the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted here on February 8, 2013.
The voting today has been overseen by the accounting firm of Ernst& Young. That team has been led by Patrick Gramling who I'll now invite to come on the stage with the sealed envelopes. It should be noted that Patrick's team had to work a little harder this year. For the first time we had a tie for the final inductee, and that required a revote of the full panel.
Here now to announce the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class, please welcome NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Brian France.
BRIAN FRANCE: Good afternoon. I think as I was in the room, it's pretty clear that this was the toughest class to date in making the choices, but it's going to be a great class, I'm sure, and so with that, let's get started.
One of the original pioneers, driver Herb Thomas, will make it to the Hall of Fame.
Joining the fourth class and joining his brother, Leonard Wood will make it into the Hall of Fame.
Something that's hard to do, this driver is going to make it into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot. He's the '89 champion and winner of 55 races, Rusty Wallace.
Another one of the early pioneers and the early legends, Cotton Owens from South Carolina, will make it into the Hall of Fame.
The final spot belongs to one of the early great drivers on short tracks, part of a family, as well, Buck Baker will make it into the Hall of Fame.
BRETT JEWKES: Thank you, Brian and Patrick. Congratulations to the Class of 2013. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments and achievements next February here in the Hall. Before we close tonight, we have one more special announcement to make, and this is the creation of a new award that will be presented annually as part of the induction ceremonies.
Since NASCAR was formed, our sport's drivers, crew chiefs, owners and others in the sport, maybe even a controversy or two, have become known to our fans through the hard and diligent work of the media. These writers, photographers, announcers, broadcasters and others have fed the passion of NASCAR fans by telling NASCAR's story to millions across the globe, so tonight we are announcing the creation of a new award annually to honor a member of the media who has made significant contributions to NASCAR.
This award will be presented to one individual annually. The one exception to that rule will be in 2013, when there will be two legends to receive this honor, and the award will be named in their honor. The media award will bear the names of legendary NASCAR broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall.
Ken and Barney's voices have a special place in the soundtrack that is NASCAR's rich history. The Squier‑Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence will become a permanent part of the media section of the NASCAR Hall of Fame to honor the great contributions of those who tell NASCAR's story.
Congratulations to Ken and Barney on this well‑deserved honor. We also look forward to celebrating your great and outstanding careers next February, as well.
Thanks again to all of you for joining us tonight. We look forward to seeing you back here on February 8, 2013, to mark the achievements of all of these great inductees and honorees tonight. Thank you, and good night.
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