Flock, Petty, Jarrett, Ingram and Roberts to join the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2014
By: Staff Report, NASCAR Wire Service, Superior Telegram
Any trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame puts fans face-to-face with some of the sport's most remarkable artifacts, stories and legends.
Today, five more of those all-timers will live on forever, as NASCAR announced the inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
The five newest members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame that will be inducted on January 29, 2014, are Tim Flock, Maurice Petty, Dale Jarrett, Jack Ingram and Fireball Roberts.
Flock, who received 76 percent of the vote, was one of NASCAR's earliest superstars, winning the NASCAR premier series championship twice (1952, 1955). In only 187 starts, he had 39 victories, which ranks him 18th on the all-time wins list. He won eight races and posted 22 top fives in 33 starts while driving a Hudson Hornet to his first title in 1952. In 1955, his second championship season, he visited Victory Lane an amazing 18 times with 32 top fives and 18 poles in only 39 races.
He also won NASCAR's only sports car race in 1955. For Flock, racing in NASCAR's premier series was a family affair as he was joined on track by his brothers Bob and Fonty and sister Ethel. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.
Petty joins his father Lee, older brother Richard and cousin Dale Inman in the NASCAR Hall of Fame after receiving 73 percent of the vote in his first time on the ballot. As the chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises, he supplied the horsepower that propelled Richard Petty to most of his 200 victories in the NASCAR premier series, including seven titles and seven Daytona 500 victories.
The younger Petty also built winning engines for a number of other drivers, including his dad, Lee. As a teenager, he worked on his father's pit crew alongside his brother. In 2001, he worked as a consultant to Dodge upon its return to NASCAR's premier series in 2001.
Jarrett, who was on the ballot for the first time this year, received 56 percent of the votes. The 1999 NASCAR premier series champion joins his father, Ned, as the third father-son combination to be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame behind the Frances and Pettys. In the younger Jarrett's championship season, he finished first four times and landed 29 top-10 finishes in only 34 races. He capped off the year with a run of eight consecutive top-10 finishes that propelled him to the title.
By the time he hung up his driving gloves in order to pursue a successful career as a NASCAR commentator for ESPN and ABC, he had won 32 races in the premier series -- good for 21st on the all-time wins list -- including three Daytona 500s, two Brickyard 400s and a Coca-Cola 600.
Ingram, who only started 19 NASCAR premier series races, primarily found success in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and its precursor -- the Late Model Sportsman Division. Before the series as we know it today was formed, Ingram won three consecutive championships (1972-1974). He won the NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) title in its inaugural season of 1982, and again in 1985.
After 10 years of racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, he had 31 wins, a record that stood until Mark Martin broke it in 1997. All but two of his wins came on short tracks. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1988.
Fireball Roberts, who earned his nickname as a hard-charging high school pitcher, was the last inductee to be announced with 51 percent of the vote. During his career, which spanned 207 starts, he often came up big in the biggest events, winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and 1963. His driving style was a perfect match for Daytona International Speedway, where he won seven times.
In 1958, he only competed in 10 of 51 races, winning six and finishing in the top 10 in nine of them. Although he didn't compete in 41 of that season's races, he still finished 11th in the season-ending points standings. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.
The next top vote getters were Jerry Cook, Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott.
The top five vote getters in the fan vote were (listed alphabetically) Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Fireball Roberts.