Nominees are in for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Yesterday, nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2020 were announced. The nominees were selected by a committee that consists of representatives from both NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, as well as various track owners and members of the media. There are 20 nominees. Five inductees will be selected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, and that includes a nationwide fan vote at Voting day will be May 22nd.

Of course, if we've ever met or you have ever listened to my show, then you know I am a HUGE fan of Tony Stewart, and I was elated to see him make the list of nominees in his first year of eligibility. "Smoke" has 49 wins at 21 different tracks in NASCAR's top series as well as 11 wins in Xfinity and two Truck Series wins. He was the 1999 Rookie of the Year, and at the time, he had the most wins of any rookie in their rookie season with three. The feat has since been matched by Jimmie Johnson. Tony is a three-time Cup Champion, winning the cup in 2002 and 2005 for Joe Gibbs Racing and in 2011 for Stewart Haas Racing. By winning that championship in 2011, he became the first driver/owner to win a championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. He formed Stewart Haas Racing with Gene Haas beginning in the 2009 season. In total, Tony has racked up 51 Cup Series wins, five Xfinity wins, and a Truck Series wins. He also has an amazing record in various other forms of racing, including championships in the Indy Racing League in 1997, USAC and IROC. And on a personal note, he is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE DRIVER!!! I loved watching that man race NASCAR and Indy, and it's still exciting to see him show up at a sprint car race. So yeah, he's gonna get my fan vote! :)

The other 19 nominees are:

Sam Ard, NASCAR Xfinity Series pioneer and two-time champion

Buddy Baker,won 19 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500

Neil Bonnett, won 18 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories

Red Farmer,three-time Late Model Sportsman champion; 1956 Modified champion

Ray Fox,legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner

Harry Gant, winner of 18 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two Southern 500 victories

Joe Gibbs, combined for nine car owner championships in Cup and XFINITY series

John Holman, won two NASCAR Cup Series championships as co-owner of Holman-Moody Racing

Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief

Bobby Labonte, won a championship in both the Cup Series and XFINITY Series

Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion

Ralph Moody, won two NASCAR Cup Series championships as co-owner of Holman-Moody Racing

Marvin Panch, won 17 times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1961 Daytona 500

Jim Paschal, 23 of his 25 NASCAR Cup Series wins came on short tracks

Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion

Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400

Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Red Vogt, the first master mechanic of NASCAR, and a founding member

Waddell Wilson, won three NASCAR Cup Series championships as an engine builder

Here is a picture of me and my hero Tony Stewart. Good luck, Tony!

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