I’m not really big on NASCAR’s off-season events, but The Hall of Fame inductions are to honor some really unique people who contributed to the history of this great sport. The ceremony will be held on February 8th, at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will officially signal the start of the 2013 season. This year’s inductees will be drivers, Buck Baker, Herb Thomas, and Rusty Wallace, championship car owner Cotton Owens and crew chief extraordinaire Leonard Wood.
The 2013 ceremony will for the first time include members of the media who have contributed to the growth and history of the sport. This year’s event will feature the presentation of the Squire-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. The award is in honor of pioneer NASCAR industry radio and television personalities Ken Squier and Barney Hall.
Squier and Hall’s careers have been intertwined since intersecting with the creation of the longtime Voice of NASCAR, the Motor Racing Network in 1970. Their expert observations on the sport have thrilled generations of NASCAR fans for more than 40 years and continue to do so today.
Buck Baker, and Herb Thomas both won two championships back in the rough and tumble 50′s. Thomas won championships in 1951 and 1953, becoming the first driver to win multiple titles in the sport. Baker won his titles in 1956 and 1957, becoming the first back to back winner. Buck’s son, Buddy Baker never won a title before retiring to the broadcast booth. Rusty Wallace won his only championship in 1989.
Cotton Owens, who passed away this past year was a huge supplier of cars and engines to many of NASCAR’s greats in the 60′s. He won a championship as the owner of David Pearson’s Dodge Charger which won the title in 1966. Pearson would go on to win two more titles with Holman-Moody in a Ford.
Leonard Wood, from the Wood racing family will follow his brother Glen into the Hall of Fame. Leonard Wood was the architect of the modern 15 second pit stop. He knew that if he could speed up the time it took to change tires and re-fuel, he could help his driver gain valuable track position, thus coining the phrase, “it’s easier to pass them on pit road than on the race track“.
All of these gentlemen are a part of the NASCAR I remember and loved, and all are deserving of a place in the Hall of Fame, and the History of NASCAR.
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