NASCAR announced the 25 finalists Thursday night for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Five will be inducted into the inaugural class; the announcement will be in October.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is scheduled to open in May 2010 in Charlotte.

Among the nominees are seven-time Sprint Cup champions Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt and three-time Cup champs Lee Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.

Representing owners are Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Bud Moore, Junior Johnson, Glen Wood and Raymond Parks. Johnson also won 50 Cup races as a driver.

NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. is a nominee, as is his son Bill France Jr., who succeeded his father as the head of NASCAR in 1972.

The 25 nominees are:
Bobby Allison: Winner of 84 Cup races and the 1983 championship. Tied with Darrell Waltrip for third on career victory list. Won Daytona 500 three times, the last (1988) with son Davey Allison running second.
Buck Baker: Winner of 46 Cup races and two championships (1956-57). First driver to win consecutive championships. Ranks 10th all time with 45 poles.
Red Byron: Despite suffering a serious leg injury in World War II, won NASCAR's first Cup championship in 1949. Also won the 1948 NASCAR Modified championship. Was a stock car star and big winner before formation of NASCAR.
Richard Childress: Formed Richard Childress Racing in 1972 as an owner/driver. Won six Cup championships as an owner with driver Dale Earnhardt. Also has three Nationwide and one Camping World Truck Series title. Has 89 Cup victories.
Dale Earnhardt: Seven-time champion, tied with Richard Petty for most ever. Seventh on all-time list with 76 wins. Known as the Intimidator because of aggressive, take-no-prisoners driving style.
Richie Evans: Driver with an estimated 475 Modified wins. NASCAR Modified champion in 1973 and 1978-84.
Tim Flock: Winner of 39 Cup races and two championships (1952, '55). Has second-highest winning percentage in Cup history (20.9 percent). Won 18 races in 1955. Made news by driving with a monkey, Jocko Flocko, in 1953, winning one race.
Bill France: Founded NASCAR and was its president from 1948 to 1972. Began racing stock cars in the 1930s. Built Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
Bill France Jr: NASCAR president from 1972 to 2000. Guided NASCAR from its regional roots to a national sport.
Rick Hendrick: One of NASCAR's most successful owners with 181 Cup victories and eight Cup championships, including the past three with Jimmie Johnson. Also has 23 wins in the Nationwide Series and 25 wins and three championships in the Camping World Truck Series.
Ned Jarrett: Winner of 50 Cup races and two championships (1961, '65). Ranks sixth all time in percentage of finishes in the top five and top 10. Went on to have a successful career as a NASCAR TV personality.
Junior Johnson: Real name is Robert Glenn Johnson. Won 50 Cup races as a driver and six championships as a car owner. Won 139 Cup races as an owner.
Bud Moore: Owner with 63 Cup wins and two Cup championships (1962-63). Also served as crew chief for both championships. Was crew chief for Buck Baker when he won the 1957 Cup championship.
Raymond Parks: One of NASCAR's pioneers. Was the owner for the first Cup champion (1949) and the NASCAR Modified champion (1948). Was influential and successful as a stock car owner pre-NASCAR in the 1930s and 1940s.
Benny Parsons: Winner of 21 Cup races and one Cup championship (1973). First driver to qualify at 200 mph (200.176 at Talladega in May 1982). Went on to have a successful career as a NASCAR TV personality.
David Pearson: Prolific "Silver Fox" won 105 races and 113 poles (both second all time) in just 574 starts. Three-time champion had 301 top fives and recorded a career-high 16 victories during his 1968 title season.
Lee Petty: Won the first Daytona 500 in 1959. Winner of 54 Cup races and three championships (1954, 1958-59). Finished in the top 10 in 78 percent of his 427 starts over 16 seasons, the best percentage in Cup series history. Founder of Petty Enterprises.
Richard Petty: "The King" set the standard in NASCAR racing. Most significant Sprint Cup Series records are career wins (200), career poles (123), consecutive wins (10) and championships (seven, tied with Dale Earnhardt).
Fireball Roberts: Real name is Edwards Glenn Roberts Jr. Earned nickname for his prowess as a pitcher. One of NASCAR's early stars. Winner of 33 Cup races.
Herb Thomas: Winner of 48 Cup races and two championships (1951, '53) and finished second in points three times. Won 21 percent of his 228 races, which is the top winning percentage in the Cup series.
Curtis Turner: Colourful driver with 17 Cup wins. Won another 38 races in the four years of the Convertible Series. Instrumental in the building of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Darrell Waltrip: Three-time champion whose 84 victories match Bobby Allison for third on the career list. Fifth all time with 59 poles. Won all three titles driving for Junior Johnson.
Joe Weatherly: Winner of 25 Cup races and two championships (1962-63). Also won 12 Convertible Series races.
Glen Wood: Won four Cup races as a driver but made huge contribution to NASCAR as a car owner, winning 97 Cup races with a succession of the top drivers in NASCAR history. Revolutionized pit-stop methodology.
Cale Yarborough: One of two drivers to win three straight Cup championships (1976-1978). Fifth all time with 83 Cup victories; third with 69 poles. Won Daytona 500 four times.

by Bill Marx and Reid Spencer/Sporting News


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