On May 23 the NASCAR Hall of Fame named its ewest inductees into the Hall of Fame. The 2019 class features three drivers and two car owners.
The voting panel pared down the list of five inductees from a list of 20 finalists.
In his first year of eligibility, four time Monster Energ Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon leads the list. Gordon won 93 races to put him third on the winners list in 23 seasons of racing in the Hendricks Motor Sport number 24 car. He was just 24 years old in 1995 when he won hi first championship. Gordon follows his former crew chief Ray Evernham and car owner Rick Hendrick into the Hall of Fame.
Known around the circuit as “the cat in the hat”, car owner Jack Roush joins the Hall of Fame. After getting his start in drag racing, Jack Roush moved to NASCAR in 1988 where he fielded a stable of champion drivers including Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle. Over his career as a car owner, Roush has racked up a record 325 wins in the three NASCAR racing series.
Fellow champion car owner Roger Penske will join Roush in the Hall of Fame. Not only has he field a Cup champion, car owner Roger Penske has several Xfinity Series championships. Penske also owns teams in the Indy Racing League where his drivers have won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 16 times and has won 100 races in NASCAR as a car owner.
Making it a family affair, Davey Allison joins father Bobby in the Hall of Fame with a posthumous induction. Allison died in 1993 as a result of a helicopter crash in Talladega. Bobby and Dave Allison are the only father/son combination to finish the Daytona 500 one-two and the second father/son duo to be a part of the Hall of Fame along with Ned and Dale Jarrett.
Also in a posthumous induction, Alan Kulwicki – the man who invented the “Polish victory lap” rounds out the 2019 class in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Kulwicki also died in 1993 as a result of a plane crash less than five months after coming from behind to make up 278 points and winning the championship in the then Winston Cup by just 10 points over Bill Elliott.
Broadcaster and journalist Jim Hunter will be presented with the Landmark Award for his contributions to NASCAR.
The newest class of inductees will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on February 1, 2019. When the 2019 class is inducted that will bring the total number of Hall of Fame members to 50.
feature photo dredit: By Justin Felder – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32415795