MARTINSVILLE, VA -- When it was announced that Jeff Gordon would be coming out of retirement to fill in for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms. it was questioned about whether it would effect Gordon’s NASCAR Hall of Fame eligibility.
NASCAR confirmed to Speedway Digest on Friday that Gordon’s eligibility for the Hall of Fame has not been effected through his fill-in role in 2016.
Gordon will be eligible to be nominated in 2018. If he is a first ballot nominee, he will be inducted in 2019.
Gordon has filled in eight races. Gordon’s best finish was 10th at Dover International Speedway. His best start was 11th at Bristol and Richmond.
NASCAR Hall of Fame eligibility is drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired three years are eligible for nomination, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and have reached their 55th birthday before December 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible, or if a computer has competed 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by December 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is eligible.
Over his career, Gordon has 93 wins, 805 starts, 325 top-five’s, 476 top-10’s, and 81 poles over his 25 year career. Gordon is currently a member of the NASCAR on FOX team.
Robert Yates was a NASCAR team owner, but is now an engine builder for Ford Performance. He competed in NASCAR from 1989 to 2007.
Robert Yates was one of the rare engine builders that flourished in NASCAR. Yates began his racing career at Holman-Moody Racing in 1968. In 1971, Yates landed a job with Junior Johnson. Yates provided the engines for Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough. In the late 1980’s, Yates decided to try his hand at team ownership. Yates saw quick success with his driver, Davey Allison. In 1996, Yates expanded to two teams being piloted by Dale Jarrett and Ernie Irvan, where they won the Daytona 500 that same year. Yates stayed and is still loyal to Ford. Robert and his son continue to build racing engine for Ford Performance. Yates is considered one of the top engine builders in the world.
Yates has received numerous awards and inductions throughout his illustrious career as a team owner and engine builder.
Waddell Wilson was a crew chief and engine builder in NASCAR from 1979 to 1988, 1990 to 1993, and 1995. Throughout his career, he started in 287 race, receiving 22 wins and 32 poles.
Wilson was a threat as a crew chief and engine builder. He led some of the greatest drivers to major NASCAR victories. He supplied engines to David Pearson and Benny Parsons the years they won their premier series title. In addition to Pearson and Parsons, Wilson provided engines to Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, and Darrell Waltrip. As a crew chief, he won the Daytona 500 three times. His engine was in the famed “Grey Ghost”, driven by Buddy Baker, that still holds the record for the fastet Daytona 500. In 1982, Wilson helped build the first engine to help Benny Parsons to break 200 mph in the Winston 500 at Talladega.
Wilson has received numerous awards throughout his famed career.
Mike Stefanik was a driver in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, where he competed from 1985 to 2014. He has 450 starts with74 wins and 48 poles.
Stafanik is ranked up there with Richie Evans on the list of all-time NASCAR championships with nine. Stefanik’s championships came in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and K&N Pro Series East. He won seven titled in the Whelen Modified Tour. In the modified tour, Stefanik holds the record for all-time champinships, poles, top fives, and top-10’s. Stefanik won back-to-back championships in his series in 1997 to 1998.
Stefanik was the 1999 Camping World Truck Series rookie of the year. He is a three time Featherlite Modified Series Most Popular Driver, a four time Bush North Series Most Popular driver, and in 2003, was named as one of the top all-time modified drivers in NASCAR. He has won numerous awards over his illustrious career.
Ken Squier is one of the most notorious broadcasters in NASCAR History. Squire is the one of the namesakes of the Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence. Ken Squire has been a crucial part in the expansion of NASCAR on television and radio.
Squire is known for his smooth voice that can turn a small event into an epic tale. In 1970, Ken Squier co-founded Motor Racing Network, a network owned by Interational Speedway Corporation. Squire took the predominately southern sport of NASCAR onto a worldwide stage. He described the stars of NASCAR as “common men doing uncommon things”. Squier was a crucial part in broadcasting the 1979 Daytona 500, the first ever race to be shown from flag-to-flag, on CBS. Squier is credited for calling the Daytona 500, “The Great American Race”. Squier continued to call races on CBS and TBS until 1997, where he became studio host until 2000. Squier’s voice can still be heard on the PA at tracks, and also on TV for special events and stories.
Squier helped co-founded many things including Motor Racing Network, Radio Vermont Inc., World Sports Enterprises, Thunder Road International Speedbowl, American Canadian Tour, and Airborne Speedway.
Squier has been inducted into the Daytona Beach Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame, New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame, Vermont Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Vermont Sports Hall of fame. He has received the Henry T. McLenore Motorsports Press Award, the Buddy Shuman Award, EMPA Art Peck Award, Eastern Motor Sport Press Association Award, five time Vermont Broadcaster of the Year, Smokey Yunick Award, Flock Award, and the Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence.