Former Sprint Cup champions Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip are two of the first 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Hall announced Tuesday.

Five of the nominees will be inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame class, which will be selected by a panel of motorsports luminaries and journalists.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame opens in May 2010 in Charlotte.

The first two nominees are tied for third on NASCAR's all-time Cup win list with 84 victories each. Allison won the series title in 1983. Waltrip is a three-time champion, having claimed the trophy in 1981, 1982 and 1985.

Allison is a three-time winner of the Daytona 500; in fact, his last victory in the Daytona 500 came in 1988 in a dramatic one-two finish with his son Davey Allison.

Allison, however, has no memory of that victory, nor of anything else that happened in 1988, because of a violent, near-fatal crash at Pocono later that year. The wreck ended Allison's career.

Waltrip added the Daytona 500 to his resume in 1989, driving for Rick Hendrick, in his 17th attempt at NASCAR's most prestigious race. Waltrip is fifth on the all-time Cup pole list with 59, one more than Allison.

All 25 nominees will be named Thursday during a one-hour special on Speed beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News

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