- What is the NASCAR Hall of Fame?: Opening May 11, 2010 in Uptown Charlotte, NC, the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, includes artifacts, interactive exhibits, 275-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, Sports Avenue retail outlet and NASCAR Media Group-operated broadcast studio. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000-square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000 square-foot ballroom. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. www.nascarhall.com.
NASCAR HALL of FAME 2014 Class
- 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Honors Spectrum of Skills: During a ceremony that celebrated talents and personalities from a wide array of eras and racing levels, five legends added their names – and astounding legacies – to the list of inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Their induction – the fifth in the hall’s history – now puts the number of inductees at 25. Those inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., tonight included Maurice Petty, Fireball Roberts, Jack Ingram, Tim Flock and Dale Jarrett.
Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises, powered his brother Richard Petty to most of his NASCAR premier series record 200 wins and all seven of his championships. Petty, who has the honor of being the first engine builder inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, became the fourth member of the Petty family to be enshrined – joining Richard, father Lee Petty and cousin Dale Inman. “It’s an honor and a privilege for me to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame,” Petty said. “Who would have thought growing up that there would be guys, four of us, out of a small, rural country community that would be in the (NASCAR) Hall of Fame.”
Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, who was inducted by his grandson Matt McDaniel, was considered by many as the first superstar of NASCAR. A seven-time winner at his home track of Daytona International Speedway – including the 1962 Daytona 500 – Roberts earned his nickname as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school. Roberts passed away in 1964. “We are proud that our grandfather, who sacrificed his life to racing, is being honored by NASCAR, the organization that set the scene for a life well lived,” McDaniel said. “There is no doubt that our grandfather would have shared this special night with everyone who influenced and had an impact on him during his career, including his family, friends, colleagues and fans.”
Jack Ingram, arguably the greatest driver in NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series history, won championships in two different series throughout his prolific career. From 1972-74, he won three consecutive Late Model Sportsman – the precursor to the current-day NASCAR Nationwide Series – and two NASCAR Busch Series titles, including the inaugural championship in 1982. Overall, Ingram racked up more than 300 NASCAR wins and 12 track championships. “I’m honored to be here tonight …it’s beyond words,” Ingram said. “This is a major lifetime achievement for me. While I’ve won driving the car, I had plenty of help and support along the way; otherwise I wouldn’t be here tonight.”
Tim Flock, another member of a successful racing family, raced during NASCAR’s formative years – and became only the second driver to win multiple championships. Along with titles in 1952 and ’55, Flock scored 18 victories in 1955 – a single-season record until Richard Petty broke it with 27 wins in 1967. Flock, with brothers Fonty and Bob and sister Ethel Mobley, are the only four siblings to start a NASCAR event (Daytona Beach & Road Course, July 10, 1949). Flock passed away in 1998. “I bet my darling and all the passed drivers are having one huge race up in heaven tonight,” said Frances Flock, Tim’s widow. “My darling passed away 16 years ago. He would be so proud and humbled to receive this honor tonight and is still remembered for his racing career.”
Few exceled on the big stage like Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR premier series champion. Among Jarrett’s 32 career premier series victories were three Daytona 500 wins (1993, ’96 and 2000) and two Brickyard 400 victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (1996 and ’99). With his induction, Jarrett joins his father Ned as the fourth father-son combination in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The others are Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., and Lee and Richard/Maurice Petty. “I’m honored to accept this induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame,” said Jarrett. “I have always considered it a privilege to represent NASCAR during my career. … I am honored that many of you could join me here tonight. Just know that if we worked together during my 31 years of driving or the last six years in the world of television, I have thought about you and appreciate the opportunity we had to work together. Your efforts and sacrifices are the reason I’m here tonight.”
Each of the five inductees had an inductor who officially welcomed them into the hall. The inductors for the five inductees: Maurice was inducted by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty; Fireball Roberts was inducted by his former engine builder Waddell Wilson; Jack Ingram was inducted by fellow competitor Harry Gant; Tim Flock was inducted by Humpy Wheeler, with whom he worked at Charlotte Motor Speedway for 30 years; and Dale Jarrett was inducted by country music superstar Blake Shelton, with whom he has been friends for the past decade.
Active drivers introduced each inductee video during tonight’s program. The list of drivers who participated: Aric Almirola for Maurice Petty; Jeff Gordon for Fireball Roberts; Jimmie Johnson for Jack Ingram; Kevin Harvick for Tim Flock; and Tony Stewart for Dale Jarrett.
Prior to tonight’s Induction Ceremony was the presentation of the second Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, awarded to Chris Economaki. Known as the “Dean of American Motorsports,” Economaki, who died in 2012 at age 91, was the editor, publisher and columnist for National Speed Sport News for more than 60 years, a weekly racing publication he began selling at race tracks at the age of 14. He began his television broadcast career with ABC in 1961 and with CBS Sports helped make the Daytona 500 one of racing’s marquee events.
See more info on the 2014 class on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 page.(NASCAR)(1-30-2014)
- Induction Ceremony and TV: the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Charlotte, NC is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 and to be broadcast live at 7:00pm/et on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty and Fireball Roberts are the five 2014 inductees.
- Big Name Inductors and Active Drivers Add To NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Star Power: A brother, a contemporary, a rival, a colleague and a friend will all take the stage to induct this year’s Class of 2014 into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Richard Petty, Waddell Wilson, Harry Gant, Humpy Wheeler and Blake Shelton will induct the fifth class – Maurice Petty, Fireball Roberts, Jack Ingram, Tim Flock and Dale Jarrett – on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The five legends, who account for 15 NASCAR championships, will also be joined on stage by five current stars, combining for 15 national series championships of their own. Aric Almirola, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart will all take part in the evening’s festivities.
The Induction Ceremony begins at 7 p.m. ET and will air live on FOX Sports 1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Tickets start at $45 and are available at www.nascarhall.com/inductees/induction-ceremony and the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office.
As long lasting as they are varied, this year’s inductee-inductor relationships are uniquely special – each with a story all its own…
ï¿½ Maurice Petty built the engines that propelled his brother Richard to seven NASCAR championships and most of his 200 wins.
ï¿½ Fireball Roberts won the 1963 Southern 500 with an engine built by Waddell Wilson.
ï¿½ Jack Ingram and Harry Gant had a fierce rivalry that helped build the popularity of what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
ï¿½ Tim Flock worked with Humpy Wheeler at Charlotte Motor Speedway for more than 30 years.
ï¿½ After an introduction by former teammate Elliott Sadler nearly a decade ago, Dale Jarrett and country music star Blake Shelton have become close friends.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will kick off with a media red carpet entrance in the Great Hall at the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 4:15 pm/et. The formal presentations begin during the Induction Dinner, where the inductees will receive their NASCAR Hall of Fame jackets. Chris Economaki will also be honored as the third recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence.(NASCAR)(1-23-2014)
- 2014 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced: NASCAR announced the inductees who will comprise the 2014 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person group – the fifth in NASCAR Hall of Fame history – consists of Tim Flock, Jack Ingram, Dale Jarrett, Maurice Petty and Fireball Roberts. Next year’s Induction Day is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, broadcast on Fox Sports 1 from Charlotte, N.C. The 54-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2014. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France made the announcement this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.” Next year’s class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com – which counted for the 55th and final vote. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes. Voting for next year’s class was as follows: Tim Flock (76%), Maurice Petty (67%), Dale Jarrett (56%), Jack Ingram (53%) and Fireball Roberts (51%). The next top vote getters were Jerry Cook, Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott. Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Dale Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Fireball Roberts. The five inductees came from a group of 25 nominees that included: Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Tim Flock, Ray Fox, Anne Bledsoe France, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Dale Jarrett, Fred Lorenzen, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Maurice Petty, Larry Phillips, Les Richter, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Wendell Scott, Ralph Seagraves, O. Bruton Smith, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly and Rex White.
Class of 2014 Inductees:
Tim Flock – A two-time NASCAR premier series champion, Flock was one of the sport’s first dominant drivers. In 187 starts, Flock had 39 victories, a total that still ranks 18th on the all-time wins list. Flock won his first series title in 1952 while driving Ted Chester’s Hudson Hornet, and his second in 1955 driving Carl Kiekhaefer’s Chrysler. He dominated that season, posting 18 wins, 32 top fives and 18 poles in 39 races. Flock’s 18 wins stood as a single-season victory record until Richard Petty surpassed it with 27 wins in 1967.
Jack Ingram – The NASCAR Nationwide Series has had a variety of incarnations through the years but when considered collectively, an argument can be made that Jack Ingram is the series’ all-time greatest driver. Before the formation of the series, Ingram won three consecutive championships, from 1972-74, in its precursor – the Late Model Sportsman Division. When the NASCAR Busch Series was formed, he won the inaugural title in 1982 and again in ’85. In his 10 years of competition in what was called the NASCAR Busch Series, Ingram had 31 wins, a record that stood until Mark Martin broke it in 1997. All but two of Ingram’s 31 wins came on short tracks.
Dale Jarrett – Dale Jarrett personified big-stage performances. A three-time Daytona 500 winner and two-time winner of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jarrett excelled under NASCAR’s brightest spotlights. His 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories – 21st all-time – also include the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jarrett won the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, and recorded six additional top-five championship finishes. With father Ned, the Jarretts are only the second father-son combination with NASCAR premier series championships after NASCAR Hall of Famers Lee and Richard Petty. Ned Jarrett was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2011. Ned and Dale Jarrett become the third father-son duo selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, following Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., and Lee and Richard Petty.
Maurice Petty – The chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises, Maurice Petty becomes the fourth member of the dynasty to be chosen for membership in the NASCAR Hall of Fame – following his older brother Richard, father Lee and his cousin Dale Inman. The man simply called “Chief” supplied the horsepower that propelled Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR victories, plus his seven NASCAR premier series championships and seven Daytona 500 victories. Lee Petty, Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal and Pete Hamilton were also among those who won with his engines. Petty had a brief driving career – 26 premier series races with seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes between 1960 and 1964 – but was satisfied to work behind the scenes as one of the top engine builders ever seen in the sport.
Fireball Roberts – Glenn Roberts, who got his legendary nickname from his days as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school, is perhaps the greatest driver never to win a NASCAR title. He was arguably stock car racing’s first superstar, an immensely popular prototype for some of today’s competitors who are stars on and off the track. During his career he often came up big in the biggest events, winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and ’63. Overall, he won seven races at Daytona International Speedway, starting with the Firecracker 250 in the summer of 1959 – the year the speedway opened.(NASCAR)(5-22-2013)
- NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 to be announced today: The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be announced Wednesday, May 22 at 6:00pm/et following a vote by the 54-member Voting Panel. Five inductees will be selected from the 25 nominees at the Great Hall, NASCAR Hall of Fame.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Nominees
Red Byron, first NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion, in 1949
Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
Anne Bledsoe France, helped build the sport with husband Bill France Sr. Affectionately known as “Annie B.,” she is the first woman to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion
Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
Dale Jarrett, 1999 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises
Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion
Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including the 1962 Daytona 500
T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company senior VP
Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
Curtis Turner, early personality, called the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing”
Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion
NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.
NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; President Mike Helton; Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Senior Vice President Paul Brooks; former Vice President Ken Clapp.
Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Kingsport Speedway operator Robert Pressley; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery.
The Voting Panel consists of the above 21-member Nominating Committee and the following 34 representatives.
American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association: Dusty Brandel, AARWBA President.
Eastern Motorsports Press Association: Ron Hedger, EMPA President.
National Motorsports Press Association: Kenny Bruce, NMPA President.
Print & Online Media: Jenna Fryer, Associated Press; Dustin Long, MotorRacingNetwork.com; Al Pearce, Autoweek; Jim Pedley, RacinToday.com; Bob Pockrass, Sporting News; Nate Ryan, USA Today.
Broadcasters: Mike Joy, FOX; Jerry Punch, ESPN; Kyle Petty, TNT; Barney Hall, MRN; Doug Rice, PRN; Rick Allen, SPEED; Dave Moody, SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio.
Manufacturers: Chevrolet – Jim Campbell, former General Manager; Ford – Edsel B. Ford II, Board of Directors; Toyota – Lee White, President/General Manager, Toyota Racing Development USA.
Retired Drivers: Harry Gant; Ned Jarrett; Richard Petty; Ricky Rudd.
Retired Car Owners: Junior Johnson; Bud Moore; Robert Yates.
Retired Crew Chiefs: Buddy Parrott; Waddell Wilson; Eddie Wood.
Industry leaders: Retired Associated Press writer Mike Harris; former motorsports journalist Tom Higgins; former broadcaster Ken Squier; former Charlotte Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler.
Highlighting the Class of 2014
Tim Flock – Driver, NASCAR Hall of Fame
(b. 5/11/24 – d. 3/31/98)
Hometown: Fort Payne, Ala.
Premier Series Stats
- Late Start No Road Block To NASCAR Stardom For Tim Flock: By contemporary standards, Julius Timothy “Tim” Flock was a late bloomer. Flock was 24 years of age when he competed in his first stock car race in 1948. But the Fort Payne, Ala., native, who raced out of Atlanta, was a quick study finishing second in NASCAR’s inaugural season of modified stock car competition. Flock, along with older brothers Fonty and Bob, were among the field of 33 drivers competing in the organization’s first Strictly Stock – now NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – race at Charlotte, N.C., in June 1949.
Tim Flock won the premier series championship in 1952 and again in 1955 to become NASCAR’s second two-time champion. He competed in 187 races over 13 seasons winning 39 times. Flock’s best year was 1955 in which he won 18 races and 18 poles driving the famed #300 Chrysler 300 for outboard motor manufacturer Carl Kiekhaefer. In an era of rough and tumble competition – mostly on dusty and often rutted dirt surfaces – Flock was known for his precise driving skills. “To me, he was a cool customer,” said NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, who broke Flock’s season victory record in 1967. “You would see a bunch of them drivers running sideways. Tim would just be running around. When the race was over, Tim won. Those other guys were still running sideways.”
Flock retired after the 1961 season and spent 30 years in marketing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, dying in 1998 at age 73. “He was truly one of the heroes of his day,” said the late Bill France Jr., then NASCAR’s president upon Flock’s passing. Flock was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. He previously was enshrined in the International Motorsports, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and National Motorsports Press Association and Georgia Racing halls of fame.
The Flock clan – eight sons and daughters of textile worker Lee Flock and his wife, Maudie – lived on the edge to say the least. Lee Flock was a tightrope walker and bicycle racer. Older brother Carl raced speed boats. Sister Reo was a dare-devil parachutist, who got paid $50 a jump at fairs and airshows. Bob and Fonty Flock hauled moonshine for an uncle, Peachtree Williams, one of the region’s highest-producing bootleggers. Another sister, Ethel Mobley, also raced stock cars.
The family moved to Atlanta after Lee Flock’s death while Tim Flock was a young child. Both Bob and Fonty – whose given name was Truman Fontell – were dead-set against their younger brother driving race cars, as was their mother. Tim Flock accompanied his siblings to a race in North Wilkesboro, N.C., where another competitor asked the younger Flock to “hot lap” his modified – which he did and a career was born.
Ultimately, Tim Flock out-classed his racing siblings. Fonty Flock won 19 Strictly Stock races between 1950-56 and finished second in the 1951 championship standings. Bob Flock, who began racing before World War II, won four times and was third in NASCAR’s first premier series campaign in 1949. Four Flocks competed in the July 1949 Daytona Beach & Road Course race in which Mobley finished 11th in her husband Charlie’s Cadillac beating two or her three brothers. Tim finished second.
The Flocks were part of a so-called “Georgia Gang” that featured prominently in NASCAR’s pioneer era. Driving for Dawsonville, Ga.’s Ted Chester, Tim Flock won the 1952 championship in a Hudson Hornet despite breaking an axle and flipping the car in the season’s final race at West Palm Beach, Fla. “I bet I’m the only driver who has won the championship on his head,” Flock said in an article penned by Brandon Reed for GeorgiaRacingHistory.com.
In 1953, Chester, a one-time race promoter, bought a Rhesus monkey in an Atlanta pet shop. He named the primate “Jocko,” installed a seat in the race car and taught the monkey to pull a chain that opened a trap door built into the car’s firewall so that Flock could check tire wear. “I thought Ted had been hittin’ the jug too much. He couldn’t be serious. But the more I got to thinking about it, the more I liked it,” said Flock in Larry Fielden’s book, Tim Flock, Race Driver. Flock and Jocko won a race together at Hickory, N.C., but the pairing was short-lived. A few weeks later, at Raleigh (N.C.) Speedway, the monkey was hit in the head by a pebble, let out a scream and landed on Flock’s back. “It was hard enough to drive those heavy old cars back then under normal circumstances but with a crazed monkey clawing you at the same time, it becomes nearly impossible,” said Flock, who had to pit to remove his frightened passenger.
Flock sat out most of the 1954 season after an apparent Daytona victory was overturned due to a carburetor infraction. He went to Florida the following February without a ride but was hired by Kiekhaefer after being overheard saying about the Chrysler 300 that, “If I had that car, I’d win this race again this year.” He shattered the qualifying record by nearly seven miles per hour, finished second but got the victory when the Buick of fellow 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Fireball Roberts was disqualified for an engine infraction.
He won two premier series races on the 4.1-mile Beach & Road Course, both for Kiekhaefer. Flock was the only driver to win on every NASCAR division there – Strictly Stock, convertible and modified stocks. Flock finished ninth in the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959 driving a Ford Thunderbird.
Flock’s last victory came in 1956 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., where he drove a Mercury for Bill Stroppe. Along with contemporary Curtis Turner, Flock faced a lifetime ban from NASCAR in 1961 for supporting a driver’s union. He was reinstated in 1965 but did not return to competition in the premier series. His last driving appearance came in a 1991 Winston Legends race on a 0.25-mile track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“Tim was a great ambassador for racing,” said his widow, Frances Flock. “He would sign autographs and stop to talk to people. If somebody wrote Tim a letter, he would write them back. He was always such a gentleman.”(NASCAR)(1-26-2014)
Jack Ingram – Driver, NASCAR Hall of Fame
Hometown: Asheville, N.C.
Busch/Nationwide Series Stats
- ‘Iron Man’ Jack Ingram’s Career Spanned Multiple Racing Eras: When three-time NASCAR Late Model Sportsman national champion Jack Ingram was told the here, there and everywhere competition would transition into a more compact tour of 29 races in 1982, the Asheville, N.C., driver figuratively licked his chops in anticipation. Later nicknamed “The Iron Man,” Ingram had run 86 races throughout the southeast – sometimes three and four times a week in as many different states – when he won the 1972 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman national title. “When they made it to where you only had to go to 30 race tracks, it was like a vacation for us,” said Ingram of the then NASCAR Busch Series, now the NASCAR Nationwide Series. “I really liked the idea … it worked out well for me.” Yes it did.
Ingram captured the inaugural 1982 championship over cross-town rival Sam Ard with seven victories and 23 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes. He finished second to Ard in 1983-84 and fashioned a second title in 1985 with five wins. A two-race suspension kept Ingram from collecting a third championship the following season in which he finished third. Over nine seasons as a full-time competitor, Ingram finished outside the top five in points just twice. He ultimately competed in 275 races winning 31, the latter figure a record until broken by Mark Martin in 1997. Ingram remains fifth in all-time NASCAR Nationwide Series victories.
Ingram won at least one race in six consecutive seasons along with five career poles. All but two of those victories came on short tracks leading to Ingram calling himself, only half-jokingly, “the best short-track racer ever.”
Ironically, Ingram’s best racing memory was his victory in the 1975 Daytona Permatex 300, a race broadcast by ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” Because the event was televised – a rarity in those years, especially for a late model sportsman event – Ingram received congratulatory letters from throughout the U.S. and even from fans in foreign countries.
Ingram’s car had two crew chiefs, NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson and Banjo Matthews. “We got a big crack in the top of the windshield, a big hole,” said Ingram. “They were going to black flag me. Junior said he would fix it and they believed Junior. Now, he didn’t fix it but he taped it up and they let me finish the race and we won and that was the best time of my whole racing career.”
That NASCAR Nationwide Series total doesn’t include the dozens of NASCAR points-paying late model sportsman features Ingram won during the 1960s and 1970s driving his No. 11 J.W. Hunt-sponsored Chevrolets on weekly tracks – many of them long-shuttered. It was not uncommon for a driver and a single crew chief / mechanic to race in Virginia on a Friday night, tow to Tennessee for a Saturday show and finish the weekend in North Carolina.
Ingram won 15 races and finished among the top five in 67 starts during his 1972 championship season. A year later, he won a second title by concentrating on national championship-designated events, winning 11 of 18 starts. His third crown was a runaway as Ingram held a 2,000-point edge over the late Butch Lindley at season’s end. “One weekend, we ran Langley, Richmond, Manassas (Va.) and Kingsport (Tenn.) in the same car; maybe on the same set of tires,” said fellow competitor Jimmy Hensley of a typical weekend in NASCAR’s late model sportsman years. “Jack raced for a living. I’d work all day and race all night. He was tough to beat. He had good ability and was very competitive. He finished most of the races and rarely had breakdowns.”
Ingram also competed in 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events between 1965 and 1981 with a best finish of second to Richard Petty on Sept. 8, 1967, at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
“Jack’s record was phenomenal because he was the driver, crew chief, car owner and chief bottle washer on his team for most of his career,” said Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s late vice president of communications on Ingram’s 2007 induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. “He was a no-nonsense, get-in-your-face, hard-nosed, fender-scraping racer who took no prisoners on the track. He raced other drivers however they raced him. Sort of ‘You wanna beat and bang? I’ll beat and bang with you. You want to race hard but clean? I’ll do that, too.’ (But) in spite of his hard-nosed temperament, Jack was and still is very popular among his peers.”
“He was very dedicated to the sport … dedicated his life to it and even after he quit driving he continued to help others along the way,” said NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett in a 2013 interview with NASCAR.com’s Kenny Bruce. Ingram was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.(NASCAR)(1-24-2014)
Dale Jarrett – Driver, NASCAR Hall of Fame
Hometown: Hickory, N.C.
Premier Series Stats
- Dale Jarrett’s NASCAR Hall of Fame Credentials Earned As Late Bloomer: Success often comes for those who wait. That certainly can be said of Dale Jarrett, who didn’t reach the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series until age 30 and waited another four years for his first victory. The second generation star, who’ll be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 29, is among the sport’s ultimate late bloomers, winning the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at age 42 after 388 career starts. Only NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bobby Allison was older upon winning his first championship in 1983.
Jarrett, born Nov. 26, 1956, won 32 times – including at least one win every season between 1993 and 2003. He captured the first of three Daytona 500s in 1993, twice won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and also won Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Coca-Cola 600. Jarrett won three times at Darlington Raceway although the track’s historic Southern 500 eluded him. In all, Jarrett won races on 13 superspeedways and three short tracks. He also won 11 times in the NASCAR Nationwide Series where he finished no worse than sixth in the points standings in six full seasons of competition.
Jarrett never intended to follow in the tire tracks of his NASCAR Hall of Fame father Ned Jarrett, NASCAR’s premier series champion in 1961 and 1965. In fact, the younger Jarrett was headed for a golf scholarship at the University of South Carolina – and hopefully a PGA professional career – before the friends he hung out with in Hickory, N.C., built a stock car to race at the local NASCAR weekly track. The group, which included future NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner, championship crew chief and television analyst Andy Petree, had a car but no engine. Jarrett was able to buy one at a discount from a distant cousin of his mother, Martha. It also gave him the right to replace Petree in the driver’s seat.
“It was the first time he showed an interest in racing,” said the elder Jarrett, inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011. “Once he drove the thing in the first race that was it.” Jarrett competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, along with his brother Glenn, now an MRN pit reporter and made his first premier series start in 1984 driving a Chevrolet for Emanuel Zervakis at Martinsville Speedway where he finished 14th. He took over Eric Freedlander’s Chevrolet in 1987 replacing Tommy Ellis but success was minimal. Two seasons with NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough’s Pontiac team weren’t much better although Jarrett did collect two top-five finishes in 1989.
Neil Bonnett’s injury in 1990 opened up the seat in the fabled Wood Brothers’ #21 Ford. Jarrett finally broke through the following summer at Michigan International Speedway where his recorded margin of victory over Davey Allison – pre-electronic scoring – was listed at 10 inches.
“The Michigan race that he won against Davey Allison is still one of the most exciting races to the checkered flag and one of my most memorable races,” said NASCAR Hall of Fame member Glen Wood. Jarrett spent the next three seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing where he was paired with brother-in-law Jimmy Makar. Their Daytona 500 victory in 1993 was JGR’s first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“I remember just being amazed that as a young organization trying to become established in a competitive sport like NASCAR, we were fortunate enough to land Jimmy Makar as our crew chief and Dale Jarrett as our driver,” Gibbs said. “Over the course of those first couple of seasons, we were really hoping for something special to help validate the work we were doing – especially to our sponsors. The win by Dale in the Daytona 500 was so special to us because it was our first win as an organization. I remember how excited we were, not only for JGR, but for Norm Miller and Interstate Batteries too, because like Dale, they took a big chance on us. The win really established us in the sport and we owe a lot to Dale.”
Jarrett finished fourth in the season championship but left the team a year later. He took the wheel of Robert Yates’ #28 Ford in 1995 as the replacement for the injured Ernie Irvan. Things did not immediately go well. In fact, Jarrett expected to be fired after what the owner termed a lackluster season – one win and a 13th-place points showing. But Yates added a second team and put Jarrett in the No. 88 car with crew chief Todd Parrott and the North Carolinian hit his stride winning 18 times over the next four seasons and never finishing outside the top three in the standings.
In his championship season, Jarrett took the points lead with a victory in the 11th race at Richmond and never gave it up. Four wins overall – including Indianapolis – and top-10 finishes in the season’s final eight races secured the championship. “It’s one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made,” said Yates of retaining Jarrett. Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart won rookie of the year honors in Jarrett’s championship season. He remembers Jarrett as a tough but fair competitor.
“He was one of those guys that would race you hard when it was time to race hard and when it was early in the race and it didn’t mean much, then he knew how to be patient,” said Stewart. “He raced you the way your raced him. If you learned to be patient and race him with respect, he would do the same. He was a great champion; he was a great winner and a great ambassador for this sport. He was one of the first guys [to congratulate me] when I won my first race at Richmond. He made you feel welcomed and you appreciated his friendship.”
Jarrett retired from competition in 2008 at the age of 51. He shares his father’s passion for broadcasting and currently is a NASCAR commentator for ESPN and ABC. The Jarretts are the third father and son duo to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame joining Lee and Richard Petty and NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr., the organization’s late chairman.
“This is very, very meaningful to be written about in the same paragraph as the Pettys and the Frances,” said Ned Jarrett. “I felt Dale had the credentials to make it one day but I didn’t think it would be this early and I wasn’t sure I’d be here when it happened.”(NASCAR)(1-28-2014)
Maurice Petty – Engine Builder, NASCAR Hall of Fame
Hometown: Randleman, N.C.
Brief driving career from 1960-1964
Chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises)
- Maurice Petty Created Horsepower That Powered A NASCAR Dynasty: Maurice “Chief” Petty has been proclaimed as the “silent” figure at Petty Enterprises. Yet his value as the team’s engine builder cannot be overstated. Petty, a self-taught mechanical magician, squeezed horsepower – and longevity – out of engines designed not for high-speed competition but daily use on America’s highways.
His creations supplied the horsepower that propelled his older brother Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR premier series victories, plus his seven NASCAR premier series championships and seven Daytona 500 victories. Father Lee Petty, Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal and Pete Hamilton also won with his engines. He was the crew chief for 1970 Daytona 500 Hamilton, who also swept that season’s two races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Maurice Petty’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 29 closes the circle for stock car racing’s first dynasty. He joins earlier inductees Richard Petty; Lee Petty, the organization’s patriarch and two-time premier series champion; and cousin/crew chief Dale Inman.
“He (also) drove the truck and worked as a tire changer,” said Richard Petty. “He was the complete package. We just had our own little part and we kept to it. We were all successful. We didn’t think about it at the time, we were too busy getting ready for the next race. But, I guess now they have recognized us for everything. It was just a real team effort by all of us.”
Each of the four contributed strengths that made the sum much greater than the individual parts, according to Kyle Petty, son of Richard Petty and a onetime Petty Enterprises driver who now does television commentary. “It shows that none of them probably could have accomplished any of this without the other,” he said in an interview published by ESPN following Maurice Petty’s Hall of Fame election.
“Maurice and the Pettys kept their cars to a very, very high standard,” said former Petty Enterprises crew member Robin Pemberton, now NASCAR’s vice president of competition and racing development in an interview published by the Charlotte Observer in May 2013. “They never had mechanical failures. The old saying was that there’s a right way, a wrong way and the Petty way of doing things.”
As an engine builder, the now 74-year-old Petty had few peers. “There were no computers; no engineers,” said Leonard Wood, the NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief for the rival Wood Brothers organization. “What you came up with, you came up with yourself. You didn’t want anyone else to have it. He’s probably kept some of those secrets up until now.”
Petty doesn’t disagree. “When you did something to get competitive, everybody didn’t know about it,” he said several years ago. “Even the people that worked for you didn’t know. You did it in the middle of the night.”
Although Petty ultimately built race-winning engines for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors cars, he was best known for his work on the Chrysler hemi power plant – to the point that fellow competitors complained that the manufacturer gave Petty Enterprises an advantage when the NASCAR rule book stipulated parts should be available to all. Petty responded that he’d be happy to provide a Petty engine for anyone who had $6,500 to spend. “I wasn’t the brains behind it and the motor was around since the ’50s,” he said in an article published in 2013 by the Greensboro News & Record. “Lee raced a hemi in ’52 and ’54. Back then, it had to be a production road engine before you could put it in. I first got my hands on one in 1963. We didn’t have a dyno or anything. You just built it and crossed your fingers.”
Petty, who overcame polio as a child, had a brief driving career running 26 premier series races with seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes between 1960 and 1964. A 1961 Daytona 500 accident effectively ended Lee Petty’s driving career and to keep the business afloat, he decided that Richard should drive and Maurice would work behind the scenes.
“Richard had his job to do and I had mine to do,” said Maurice Petty in an article published by AL.com upon his induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2011. “Lee told us what he wanted us to do and that’s what we did.”
Petty attended King’s Business College in Greensboro, N.C. where he learned basic business accounting, marketing and sales. That came in handy when dealing with Detroit executives and NASCAR’s first corporate team sponsors, including STP’s Andy Granatelli. He negotiated the STP contract that resulted in enough money for wind tunnel testing and computer controlled machining.(NASCAR)(1-27-2014)
Fireball Roberts – Driver, NASCAR Hall of Fame
(b. 1/20/29 – d. 7/2/64)
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Premier Series Stats
- Fireball Roberts Was A Pathfinder Into NASCAR Superspeedway Era: To his legion of fans, Edward Glenn Roberts Jr. was known as “Fireball.” His friends, however, simply called the pioneer NASCAR premier series racing star “Glenn.” Legend has it that Roberts, the 1962 Daytona 500 winner, acquired his nickname as a fastball-throwing baseball pitcher. Others, including Roberts’ family, disputed the story, noting that the teen’s alleged American Legion baseball team – the Zellwood Mud Hens – never existed. Fellow competitors said the moniker mirrored the Daytona Beach, Fla., driver’s devil-may-care approach to stock car racing.
Roberts wasn’t afraid of anything – especially the towering banks of the brand-new Daytona International Speedway, where he won seven points-paying races from the superspeedway’s opening in 1959 through 1963. He also captured Darlington Raceway’s Southern 500 in 1958 and 1963. “I’m going to run the hell out of ’em every lap,” said Roberts in a February 1964 Sports Illustrated interview with Barbara Heilman. “I’ve never won a race stroking.”
And win Roberts did. Over 15 seasons he won 33 of 207 premier series starts beginning with an Aug. 13, 1950, victory at Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsboro, N.C., a 0.90-mile dirt track. Roberts, driving an Oldsmobile, defeated Curtis Turner. He posted at least one victory in nine consecutive seasons (1956-64) topped by eight wins in 1957 behind the wheel of Peter DePaolo’s factory-backed #22 Ford. Roberts never came close to running a full season’s schedule but finished among the top five in points three times; his highest was a runner-up finish in 1950. He also won 32 poles tying him with Fred Lorenzen and Jimmie Johnson for 21st on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career poles list.
Roberts’ last victory came Nov. 17, 1963, on a three-mile road course in Augusta, Ga. Driving a Holman-Moody Ford, Roberts finished a lap ahead of teammate Dave MacDonald. Ironically, the pair would perish in separate, May 1964 accidents – MacDonald in the Indianapolis 500 and Roberts succumbing to burns suffered during the then-named World 600 a week earlier at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Roberts died July 2, 1964, at the age of 35.
Roberts was born Jan. 20, 1929, in Tavares, Fla., and raised in Apopka near Orlando. His family moved to Daytona Beach, where he graduated from Seabreeze High School, a few miles from Daytona International Speedway. Roberts attended the University of Florida where he studied mechanical engineering leaving early after deciding that modified stock car racing would become his profession.
His 1939 Ford coupe, carrying the #11 and dubbed “White Lightning,” was a frequent winner on central Florida tracks. Roberts competed on the Daytona Beach & Road Course in 1947 and won a 150-mile modified race there the following year. The 4.17-mile circuit became Roberts’ introduction to NASCAR’s Strictly Stock – now NASCAR Sprint Cup – division. On Feb. 5, 1950, Roberts completed eight of 48 laps in a Hudson finishing 33rd and won $25.
Roberts’ Hillsboro victory was his last until 1956 when he was signed by Ford’s DePaolo. He won 13 races in the #22 Ford before Ford Motor Co. and the other Detroit automakers exited racing at the conclusion of the 1957 season. The car itself became as famous as its driver with roots musician and songwriter John Hiatt later penning “Fireball Roberts” for his The Open Road album.
“Got a 57 Ford, babe Painted Fireball Roberts, white and red Got a 57 Ford, baby I haven’t run my last race, darlin’ But sometimes wish I did”
Roberts switched to Chevrolet in 1958, won six times and was voted Florida’s Professional Athlete of the Year – a first for a race car driver. The inaugural 1959 Daytona 500 truly ushered in NASCAR’s superspeedway era and with it came Roberts’ teaming with crew chief Henry “Smokey” Yunick and Daytona auto dealer Jim Stephens. The trio won the track’s first Firecracker 250 (now the Coke Zero 400) and defended the victory in 1960. Roberts set consecutive Daytona 500 qualifying records from 1960 through 1962.
Roberts was 13 laps away from winning in 1961 when the engine in his car expired, handing the win to teammate Marvin Panch in the 1960 Pontiac Roberts had driven in the previous year’s Daytona 500. The following year, he won the Daytona 500 by outdueling NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty. The race was Roberts’ last with Yunick. He returned to Daytona in July with Banjo Matthews calling the shots and became the first driver to score a season sweep at the high-speed track.
Driving for the Holman-Moody Ford team, Roberts won four races during the 1963 season – including his second Southern 500 five weeks after suffering spinal injuries in a spectacular, roll-over crash at Bristol Motor Speedway. In NASCAR’s early eras, drivers didn’t contemplate racing into their 40s like today. By 1964, with a lucrative personal services contract in hand to represent a major brewing company, Roberts announced he would compete in just a few more races before retirement – including Charlotte’s 600, the major event he’d been unable to win.
Seven laps into the race, Roberts hit the wall attempting to avoid an accident involving NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett. The #22 Ford overturned and caught fire. Roberts, who declined to soak his driver uniform in flame retardant chemicals because the fumes worsened an asthma condition, suffered critical burns that ultimately were fatal. Tens of thousands of fans mourned Roberts’ passing. He was called a pathfinder of the superspeedway era and arguably stock car racing’s first superstar. “It was like awaking to find a mountain suddenly gone,” wrote Charlotte newspaper columnist Max Muhlman.