For the eighth time the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting committee met today in Charlotte, North Carolina to vote in the next class of five to the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame.
With 85% of the vote from the committee Benny Parsons name was called along with fellow class members Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, and Raymond Parks.
“This is the biggest honor of Benny's life. It summarizes everything he has ever worked towards. Every job he has ever had be it as a race car driver in all divisions, host of a NASCAR radio shows, NASCAR color commentator for TV networks each were just as important to him as the next.” Said Terri Parsons
He lived his life for NASCAR fans and helping to make the sport of auto racing a better sport for them to enjoy. I know he is smiling his big smile tonight saying "Unbelievable"!" Continues Parsons
Parsons would make his first start by mere accident when a driver failed to show at Mt. Clemons Speedway in 1963. As a driver Parsons would go on to 20 pole awards, 21 wins, 199 top-5, and 283 top-10 finishes in 526 starts at a ratio of 54 percent.
In 1973 Parsons would go on to win the NASCAR Premier championship and on May 2, 1982 would become the first driver to ever qualify a stock car at over 200mph(200.175mph) at Talladega Superspeedway.
When Parsons would retire from racing in 1984 he would take to the air working for ESPN, NBC, and TNT broadcasts and PRN radio.
“Somewhere the ever-humble BP is saying 'so many people deserve this', but I know he's also smiling knowing he earned this honor. Benny won the big races, won the championship, and every single day a BP story comes up and brings me a smile. I’m so thrilled he’s been elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame” Said Allen Bestwick
Aside from a storied racing and broadcast career Parsons would seek out talent and bring it into the sport of NASCAR. When Harry Melling sought out a driver Parsons would later bring Bill Elliott to him telling him at the time he was the “Real Deal”. Years later while watching the Winter Heat Series would bring a driver by the name of Greg Biffle to the attention of Jack Roush in a pairing that exists to this day.
Parsons will join fellow Wilkes County native Junior Johnson in the Hall of Fame during the January induction ceremonies in Charlotte, North Carolina.