On the selection of Tony Stewart:
“Tony has achieved success across so many racing disciplines during his incredible career. From sprint cars to open-wheel racing and stock cars, Tony is passionate about this sport and is a true competitor. While he competed for Toyota for a short period of time, we are honored to include him amongst the incredible list of Toyota NASCAR Cup winners.”
On the selection of Joe Gibbs:
“Joe is a staple in the Toyota family, believing in our NASCAR vision since partnering with Toyota in 2008. With nine NASCAR titles to his name – including Toyota’s first Cup Series championship in 2015 – Joe is a true legend. As the first person ever to be both a Pro Football Hall of Famer and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, we can all attest that there is no one more deserving.”
On the selection of Bobby Labonte:
“A champion in both the Xfinity and Cup Series, Bobby has been long-deserving of this honor as a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. Coming from a family of racers, Bobby quickly established himself as a race-winning driver who commanded respect in the garage and on the track. We’re proud to have had him in our Toyota family during his final full-time season in the Cup Series and want to congratulate him on this honor.”
NASCAR announced today the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2020. The five-person group – the 11th since the inception of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 – consists of Buddy Baker, Joe Gibbs, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Waddell Wilson. In addition, NASCAR announced that Edsel Ford II earned the 2020 Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. The distinguished group will be honored during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 31, 2020.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session at the Charlotte Convention Center to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2020 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award.
The Class of 2020 was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, including representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders, a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com and, for the sixth year, the reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion (Joey Logano). In all, 57 votes were cast, with two additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Ricky Rudd and Waddell Wilson). The accounting firm of EY presided over the tabulation of the votes.
Voting was as follows: Tony Stewart (88%), Joe Gibbs (72%), Waddell Wilson (72%), Buddy Baker (70%) and Bobby Labonte (67%).
The next top vote-getters were Mike Stefanik, Ray Fox and Hershel McGriff.
Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Buddy Baker, Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart.
The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen: Sam Ard, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer, Ray Fox, Harry Gant, John Holman, Harry Hyde, Hershel McGriff, Ralph Moody, Marvin Panch, Jim Paschal, Larry Phillips, Ricky Rudd, Mike Stefanik and Red Vogt.
Nominees for the Landmark Award included Edsel Ford II, Alvin Hawkins, Mike Helton, Dr. Joseph Mattioli and Ralph Seagraves.
The Class of 2020 Induction Weekend is set for Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, through Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The official Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The Class of 2020 marks the 11th class and a total of 55 legends inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Tickets to Induction Ceremony events begin at $75 per person (plus tax and applicable service fees). Tickets go on sale on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 10 a.m. ET. Special pre-sales will be available to NASCAR Hall of Fame members Tuesday, June 25 through Friday, July 5. For additional details about the Class of 2020 Induction Weekend events and to learn about becoming a NASCAR Hall of Fame member, visit nascarhall.com.
Class of 2020 Inductees:
At six feet, six inches tall, Buddy Baker was often called the “Gentle Giant,” a nod to her personable nature during a 33-year career. In 1980, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native won the Daytona 500 with an average race speed of 177.602 mph – a track record that still stands. That same year, Baker became the first driver to eclipse the 200-mph mark on a closed course while testing at Talladega Superspeedway. He won 19 races in the Cup series, including a victory in the 1970 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway where he lapped the rest of the field. He also won back-to-back Coca-Cola 600s at Charlotte in 1972-73. After retiring in 1992, Baker made a successful transition to the television booth as a commentator for The Nashville Network and CBS, and later as a radio co-host on Late Shift and Tradin’ Paint for SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Joe Gibbs has won throughout his entire life. The three-time Super Bowl champion football coach started Joe Gibbs Racing in 1992 and has led the organization to four Cup Series championships and five Xfinity Series titles. Known as a master motivator, Gibbs’ 164 Cup Series owner wins (through May 22, 2019) rank third all-time. They include three Daytona 500 victories and five Brickyard 400 wins. His Cup Series titles have come with three different drivers: Bobby Labonte (2000), Tony Stewart (2002, ’05) and Kyle Busch (2015). Referred to in NASCAR circles has simply “Coach,” Gibbs was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
The ultimate grinder, Bobby Labonte raced any car he could get behind the wheel of before he got his first break as a full-time Cup Series driver at 28 years old in 1993. His persistence paid off with a career highlighted by 21 trips to Victory Lane and the 2000 Cup Series title. A success in all three of NASCAR’s national series, Labonte was the first of four drivers to win both a Cup and Xfinity Series championship. He is also one of 27 drivers to win a race in all three national series. The Texan showed up on the biggest stages throughout his 2000 Cup championship season, earning two of his four wins in the Brickyard 400 and Southern 500.
Known as “The People’s Champion” for his blue-collar, hard-nosed style of competition, Stewart immediately showed that he would be a force to be reckoned with in NASCAR – earning three victories in his Rookie of the Year season. The titles soon followed. Stewart won his first Cup championship in 2002 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing and answered that quickly in 2005. His versatility was on display throughout his 17-year NASCAR career. He tallied 49 wins in the Cup Series – winning on every style of track. He won the prestigious Brickyard 400 at his beloved, home-state Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice. In 2009, Stewart became a team owner, partnering with Gene Haas. He won 16 times as a driver/owner including one of the most memorable championship pursuits in history. In 2011, he won five of the 10 Playoff races – including the season finale – to claim his third title by virtue of a tiebreaker over Carl Edwards.
A dual threat as an engine builder and crew chief, Waddell Wilson powered and guided cars to some of the biggest victories in NASCAR history. As an engine builder, he supplied the power that helped David Pearson (1968, ’69) and Benny Parsons (1973) to Cup Series titles. Overall, Wilson’s engines helped some of the greatest drivers to ever wheel a car – including NASCAR Hall of Famers Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip – to 109 wins and 123 poles. He originally gained acclaim for building the engine Roberts used to win the 1963 Southern 500. Wilson guided three cars to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 as a crew chief, winning The Great American Race with Buddy Baker (1980) and Cale Yarborough (1983-84). The famed “Grey Ghost” he assembled for Buddy Baker still holds the Daytona 500 record with an average speed of 177.602 MPH.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
Edsel Ford II
There are few names as iconic in the sport of auto racing as Edsel Ford II. A member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors and longtime executive of the company founded by his great-grandfather Henry Ford, Edsel’s is a familiar face in the racing garage. Ford’s support of NASCAR has been both behind the scenes with the Ford Motor Company but also out in front where he is greeted warmly by the sport’s competitors, executives, team owners and fans at any race track he visits. His leadership at Ford includes time as President and Chief Operating Officer (May, 1991-1998) and a Director of International Speedway Corporation (November, 2007-October, 2015).
Toyota Racing Development’s (TRD) Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Audio Toyota) takes the show down the road with his Venturini Motorsports team when the ARCA Menards Series returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Thursday’s prime time General Tire 150.
From early season points leader to falling out, Eckes has re-emerged back into the mix after back-to-back solid short track performances. Following a well-documented rough patch, the 18-year old driver has catapulted himself back into championship conversations with a win at Nashville and a third place finish last week at Toledo.
Currently sitting fourth in the point standings Eckes is on the hunt just 95-points behind series leader and teammate Michael Self.
Competing in his first full ARCA season Eckes is making the rounds visiting many intermediate tracks for the first time. Eckes, 18, a New York state transplant now residing in Cornelius, NC will make his first ever start at the 1.5-mile Charlotte speedway. “I’m very excited to go racing at Charlotte this week. It’s probably the first time I haven’t packed a suitcase in 2 years, so that’s definitely a plus,” said Eckes with a smile.
“It’s always exciting to come to these new tracks for the first time. I take a lot of pride in getting myself ready – been studying a lot of film and spending time in the simulator prepping. Any my guys have been working their tails off preparing our brand new Rowdy Manufacturing chassis for this race. We came out a couple weeks ago to shake it down and had a really good test. I think we’ve got a great piece. We’re ready to go.”
Eckes with 32 career ARCA starts has earned four wins and three poles since entering the series in 2016. The Middletown, NY driver has notched 14 top-5’s and 22 top-10’s overall.
The ARCA Menards Series returns to Charlotte on Thursday, May 23 as part of a double header which features Pole Night for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. Two hours of practice for the General Tire 150 is scheduled for 11:30 am ET, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 5 pm ET, and the race is set to go green shortly after 9 pm ET. The race will be televised live on FS1.
Ever wanted to drive your own car on the track?
Well now is your chance, IF you have a Ford! This Friday night at Kingsport Speedway will be our annual FORD night! If you have a Ford, you will be able to display your car and even make parade laps around the track before the racing action starts. (GM and Mopar Nights will be later in the year.)
Friday nights festivities will feature exciting NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned racing action in Highland Sign Shop Late Model Stock Car division, Super Transmissions Modified Street class, Pure 4, Mod 4, and Pure Street class.
- Pit Gate – 2 p.m.
- Spectator Gates – 5 p.m.
- Green Flag – 8 p.m.
Adult grandstand admission Friday $12, with kids 12-and-under admitted FREE. Adult tier-parking admission $12 per person (plus a $12 vehicle parking spot fee), with kids 12-and-under admitted free. Full race day schedule and updates points are attracted and will be posted online.
- This race is a Contingency Connection Racer Rewards event. Contingency Connection offers nearly $150,000 in national contingency awards. Visit contingencyconnection.com to see a list of over 100 sponsors posting awards for grassroots racers this season
- Tier-parking spots are still available for season-long reservation at $100 per spot. With a reserved parking spot, weekly vehicle and admission costs still apply.
- An open practice is scheduled for Thursday May 9, from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. and FREE for fans to come watch.
- Kingsport Speedway is the only weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned concrete surfaced short-track in the United States.
For more information on Kingsport Speedway, visit our website at -www.kingsportspeedway.com
Fresh content and updates can also be found on the tracks Facebook page (@KingsportSpeedway), Twitter (@KpSpeedway), Instagram (@KingsportSpeedway), Snapchat (@KptSpeedway), and YouTube (@KingsportSpeedway).
Aric Almirola and the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will head just a few miles down the road from the race shop for the second consecutive weekend for Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Last weekend’s Monster Energy All-Star Race was a non-points event that paid $1 million to the winner, but it’s back to racing for points with this weekend’s 600-mile marathon.
“This weekend is always really special,” Almirola said. “Being able to race and pay tribute to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for me to live in the greatest country in the world is really cool. I grew up in a military family. My dad was in the Air Force, so I know firsthand what the families have sacrificed. There are men and women who wake up every day and fight for our freedom and some of them lay down their lives for us. We get to do really cool things and I get to drive a racecar for a living without the worry of being attacked. We take it for granted that we live in a safe and free country.”
Once again joining the Memorial Day weekend tradition of honoring America’s fallen service members as part of the NASCAR Salutes initiative, the windshield header of each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car will feature the name of a fallen service member. The No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang will feature United States Army Warrant Officer John Patrick Bartone. A native of Hampton, Virginia, Bartone was born on Nov. 21, 1949, and was part of the Battery A, 2nd Battalion (Airmobile), 20th Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division. He paid the ultimate sacrifice in South Vietnam when he laid down his life for his country’s freedom on July 15, 1970.
Bartone was selected to be on Almirola’s car because he is the uncle of No. 10 team engineer Mark Hendrickson’s wife. Ten of Bartone’s family members will be in attendance this weekend to watch Almirola attempt to drive a hero’s name to victory lane in the Coca-Cola 600. Almirola says it’s the least he could do in remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice Bartone made to give his countrymen and women the ability to live free in America today.
“Having Warrant Officer Bartone on the racecar, with his personal connection to someone on our team, means even more,” he said. “Hopefully, we can give him one hell of a ride and make his family proud.”
Smithfield, a brand of Smithfield Foods, which is based approximately five hours northeast of SHR headquarters in Smithfield, Virginia, will adorn Almirola’s Ford Mustang with America’s patriotic red, white and blue. Smithfield is in its eighth season with Almirola and its second with SHR. Founded in 1936, Smithfield is a leading provider of high-quality pork products, with a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts.
Almirola’s ability to excel on 1.5-mile ovals like Charlotte so far this season indicate a strong run anticipated for the No. 10 Smithfield Ford team. The No. 10 driver has earned a top-10 at three of the four 1.5-mile tracks he’s visited.
The 35-year-old has eight NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte and garnered one top-five finish, three top-10s and has completed 99.4 percent of all possible laps. He also has two starts in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series at Charlotte, which both resulted in top-10 finishes.
Almirola has one pole, a top-five finish, seven top-10s and has led 99 laps this season in his bid for the Cup Series championship.
Memorial Day weekend is one of the biggest weekends in motorsports as the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 will both be run this Sunday. Now, racing enthusiasts can take advantage of the holiday by making sure they don’t miss out on the pinnacle of the NASCAR season, Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Starting Wednesday through Tuesday, May 28, Homestead-Miami Speedway will be offering a special Memorial Day ticket package for $90. Fans who purchase this package will receive the following:
· Grandstand ticket to the Ford EcoBoost 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship race on Sunday, November 17
· Pit pass, which gives the attendee access to exclusive areas in the infield
· Access to the post-race championship celebration
The 2019 Ford Championship Weekend is the culmination of 18 consecutive years of crowning NASCAR champions at Homestead-Miami Speedway. To purchase the Memorial Day package and buy tickets to Ford Championship Weekend, November 15-17, visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com or call (866) 409-RACE (7223).
Homestead Miami Speedway PR
Charlotte Motor Speedway will host race fans from all 50 U.S. states and 19 countries including the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and New Zealand this month in anticipation of the 60th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.
On Wednesday, crews from Pioneer Athletics completed painting on the speedway's infield synthetic turf – which was installed last year and covers more than 100,000 square feet in the infield.
The race-week action kicks off Thursday with Spectrum Pole Night as NASCAR’s best set the field for Sunday’s 600-mile showcase of patriotism and wheel-to-wheel drama. Thursday's fun continues with the ARCA Menards Series' General Tire 150 under the lights.
On Saturday, the Alsco 300 pits the up-and-coming stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series against one another in a 300-mile duel under the sun. Sunday's festivities will include a pre-race concert presented by Advance Auto Parts Speed Perks featuring Cheap Trick. A patriotic pre-race Salute to the Troops will build the excitement to an action-packed crescendo with Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 getting underway at 6 p.m.
To purchase Coca-Cola 600 race week tickets, fans can call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com
Fans can connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway and get the latest news by following on Twitter and Instagram, becoming a Facebook fan or downloading the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.