NASCAR Hall of Fame Welcomes Five Exceptional Talents in 2018 Inductee Class

CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 24: Robert Yates, Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ken Squire and Ron Hornaday Jr. are announced to the Hall of Fame during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day at NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 24, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The distinguished NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2018 includes a formidable array of eclectic talent: NASCAR’s first champion, arguably the sport’s most innovative crew chief, racing’s most recognizable voice, the Camping World Truck Series’ all-time leading winner and a revered engine-builder-turned car owner. Continue reading

Two-Time Champion Red Byron Laid the Foundation for Future NASCAR Titlists

Note: This is the first in a five-part series of features detailing the careers of the five inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018. The inductees, who will be officially enshrined on Jan. 19th (8 pm ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), are Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ken Squier and Robert Yates. 

Robert ‘Red’ Byron was a true NASCAR original – the sport’s first crowned champion (NASCAR Modified Series) and first Strictly Stock Series (the current-day Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) title winner – and now he will join the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a nod to his historic achievements and the exciting foundation he helped establish for the sport. Continue reading

NASCAR Hall of Fame Enshrines Distinguished Class of 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC – JANUARY 20: The living members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame gather as a group at the conclusion of the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at NASCAR Hall of Fame on January 20, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

The enshrinement of three car owners of paramount importance to stock car racing, a driver who proved a prolific winner in NASCAR’s top-two series and a former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion who would become one of the most beloved storytellers in the history of the sport highlighted Friday night’s induction of the Class of 2017 into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Not only did the emotional proceedings usher one of NASCAR’s first car owners, Raymond Parks, into the Hall. Also recognized were the ongoing accomplishments of two owners – Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick – whose efforts have helped to produce a pair of seven-time champions.

Friday night also brought the induction of driver Mark Martin, who won 40 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, another 49 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and who finished second in the championship standings at NASCAR’s highest level no less than five times. Continue reading

From Small Beginnings, Rick Hendrick Reached Pinnacle of Success in Business and NASCAR

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 17: Jimmie Johnson (C), driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, poses with team owner Rick Hendrick (L) and crew chief Chad Knaus (R) in Champions Victory Lane with their six trophies after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. Photo – Robert Laberge/Getty Images

It’s said reaching the top is the easy part; staying there is more difficult.

For Rick Hendrick, the climb up the mountain required a decade of hard work culminating in Hendrick Motorsports capturing its first NASCAR premier series championship in 1995.

Two decades later, Hendrick’s Chevrolet team remains stock car racing’s platinum standard: a record 12 NASCAR premier series titles – including Jimmie Johnson’s record-matching seventh crown in 2016 – and 245 victories with 16 different drivers.

“It just seems like yesterday we didn’t think we’d even make it through our first year (1984) and now we’ve won 12 of these things, and it’s hard to do,” said Hendrick following Johnson’s title-winning victory last November at Homestead-Miami Speedway in south Florida.

The 67-year-old Hendrick will reach yet another career milestone on Friday when he’s inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The Class of 2017 includes fellow team owner Richard Childress, former Hendrick Motorsports drivers Mark Martin and Benny Parsons and pioneer car owner Raymond Parks. Continue reading

Stock Car Racing’s ‘Nice Guy Champion,’ Emmy-Winning Broadcaster Benny Parsons Enters NASCAR Hall of Fame

1973: Benny Parsons inside his L. G. DeWitt-owned Chevrolet at a NASCAR Cup race. Parsons finished in the top-ten in 21 of 28 races and won the Volunteer 500 at the Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway on his way to winning the NASCAR Cup championship.
Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images

A single word defined the late Benny Parsons: Beloved.

It mattered not whether you were fellow competitor, race fan or television viewer. Parsons was more than just a top premier series driver or broadcaster.

To race with him – or just to meet him – Parsons had the aura of being the best friend you wished you had.

Parsons became the NASCAR premier series champion in 1973. He won 21 times, a resume that included the 1975 Daytona 500.

“Benny didn’t win a lot of races – some thought he wasn’t ruthless enough – but few drivers won more friends and fans,” wrote Larry Woody in a 2014 Racin’ Today story.

“Ten minutes and you bonded with him,” said Rick Hendrick, whose Chevrolets Parsons drove in 1987.

Parsons, who died in 2007 at age 65, will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN). His fellow inductees among the Class of 2017 include Hendrick, Richard Childress, Mark Martin and Raymond Parks. Continue reading