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NASCAR Legend, RI Native, Nominated for Hall of Fame

Coventry resident and NASCAR legend Mike Stefanik is in the running for a Hall of Fame nod.

Mike Stefanik, a NASCAR record holder and Coventry resident, has been nominated to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Submitted Photo)
Mike Stefanik, a NASCAR record holder and Coventry resident, has been nominated to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Submitted Photo)
Coventry native and winner of nine NASCAR championships, Mike Stefanik, has been nominated for the 2015 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Stefanik is tied for the record for most championships in NASCAR history with Richie Evans. He was named to both the Whelen Modified Tour and K&N Pro Series East all-time top 10 drivers lists.

He's also the only non-Sprint Cup Series driver in NASCAR history to reach 70 wins.

In 2013, he was ranked fifth and won in 2 of the 14 races he drove.

In a release, NASCAR said this year's nominated class includes an "eclectic — and explemplary — group of individuals whose skillsets span all levels of racing areas of expertise."

The list was generated after the first in-person meeting among members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame nominating committee in the hall's history. 

A total of 20 people were nominated for the hall's sixth induction class.

Stefanik joins fellow NASCAR legends Bill Elliot, Terry Labonte, Buddy Baker and others in this year's list.

From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2015 class will be Wednesday, May 21. Fans can attend the announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

As was announced last November during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

The five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award are H. Clay Earles, Anne B. France, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier (more on each below). Parks is the only individual who was included as both a NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee and a Landmark Award nominee.

This round of nominees was selected by a 22-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks, as well as one at-large member. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. 

Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:

Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500

Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949

Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion

Bill Elliott, 1988 premier series champion, two-time Daytona 500 winner and 16-time Most Popular Driver

Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others

Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion

Terry Labonte, Two-time NASCAR premier series champion

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 series champion

Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion

Wendell Scott, NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.

Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"

Joe Weatherly, two-time NASCAR premier series champion

Rex White, 1960 NASCAR premier series champion

Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner

The five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award are as follows: 

H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway

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.

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

The 22-person Nominating Committee follows...

NOMINATING COMMITTEE

NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.

NASCAR Officials: Chairman/CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; President Mike Helton; Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Executive Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell; Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook; former Vice President Ken Clapp. (Note: Due to Jerry Cook’s inclusion on the ballot for the 2014 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, he was recused from voting for the 2015 nominee class.)

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 President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of director member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Riverhead Raceway operators Jim and Barbara Cromarty (1 vote); Rockford Speedway owner Jody Deery; Kingsport Speedway Operator Robert Pressley.

At-Large: Mike Joy, lead announcer for NASCAR on FOX.

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information, visit www.nascar.com and follow NASCAR at www.facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.

About NASCAR Hall of Fame

Conveniently located in uptown Charlotte, N.C., 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, opened May 11, 2010 and includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits, 278-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Media Group-operated broadcast studio. The venue is opened 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week and has an attached parking garage on Brevard Street. 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.


Renee Cwiek February 24, 2014 at 12:42 PM
Wow! Good for him! He's got some tough competition there though. Great race yesterday. Another win for Hendericks.
Ninja Turtle February 24, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Congrats! Wow something finally positive in the news
Leave RI February 24, 2014 at 01:56 PM
Nice job Mike!!
Joel Cooper February 24, 2014 at 10:54 PM
Lived in Coventry 56 years, never heard of this man. Has he always lived here? Is he a native?
Gem101 February 25, 2014 at 08:32 AM
Yes he has been a town resident for as long as I have live here. Congrats Mike nice job.
sherylawilcox February 25, 2014 at 06:01 PM
An interview would have been a nice addition to this story!
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) February 25, 2014 at 07:51 PM
I'm working on that. I want to find out more myself.

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