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Posts Tagged ‘Bill France Jr.’

First Class inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame

compiled from staff, wire and NASCAR reports

NASCAR’s new Hall of Fame inducted its inaugural five members on Sunday, celebrating and honoring auto racing’s pioneers.

NASCAR founder Bill France was recognized for his idea and vision of turning unregulated racing into the premiere motorsports series. His son, Bill France Jr., was recalled as a tough taskmaster who worked his heart and soul into keeping NASCAR going and improving it as the years go by.

Richard Petty (nascar)

Seven-time champion Richard Petty, was given credit for being the sport’s first real superstar, while Junior Johnson was honored as the symbol of the sport’s southern roots.

Dale Earnhardt Sr., who is the “champion’s champion” who represented the hard-working, blue collar spirit which is the heart of NASCAR.

“The Intimidator” was represented on stage by his widow, Teresa, and four children. It was a rare form of unity for a family that’s been fractured since Earnhardt’s 2001 death in the Daytona 500.

The Earnhardt family closed the ceremony.

Bill France Sr., was accepted into the Hall by his son, Jim, who said the promoter-turned-NASCAR founder would’ve been thrilled to see the racing series had far exceeded his expectation and vision.

Bill France, Jr., who took the reins from his father and guided NASCAR through a 30-year period of positive extreme growth, was represented by his children, Brian and Lesa.

Richard Petty, NASCAR’s all-time wins leader was inducted by his son, Kyle. “The King,” wearing his trademark cowboy hat and dark sunglasses, deflected attention to his achievements in his speech, preferring to praise his parents, his family, the media, his fans and the France family.

Junior Johnson, the one-time moonshine runner-turned-champion driver and car owner, was inducted by his 16-year old son, Robert.