Childress, Hendrick highlight NASCAR HOF Class of 2017

(MRN) The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 was announced Wednesday in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. The latest group of honorees is made up of Benny Parsons, 1973 Cup Series champion – who was this year’s leading vote getter, appearing on eighty-five percent of the ballots … Richard Childress, currently a NASCAR team owner and a former driver … Rick Hendrick, also a current Sprint Cup Series team owner whose drivers have won a record eleven Cup Series championships … Mark Martin, called by some the “greatest driver to never win a championship” after finishing second in the standings five times … and Raymond Parks, one of stock-car racing’s earliest – and most successful – team owners … Parsons notched twenty-one victories, including the 1975 Daytona 500, and finished tenth or better in fifty-four percent of his career starts. He was named one of NASCAR’s Fifty Greatest Drivers in 1998 and after his competitive days were done, Parsons transitioned into the broadcast booth and became an essential part of telecasts for N-B-C and T-N-T until his passing in 2007, at the age of 65 … Childress had limited success in a thirteen-year driving career, posting just six top-five finishes in his 285 starts. His best season was 1975, when he finished fifth in the final Cup Series standings. He retired from driving in 1981. Childress was Dale Earnhardt’s car owner for six of “The Intimidator’s” championships and sixty-seven race wins from 1984 through 2000 … Hendrick has amassed his eleven Cup Series championships with three different drivers. Jimmie Johnson has six, Jeff Gordon won four and Terry Labonte – also a member of the Hall of Fame – won a title for Hendrick in 1996 … Martin won forty Cup Series races and fifty-six poles in a thirty-one-year career. He also totaled forty-nine wins in the X-FINITY Series … Parks dominated the sport’s early years , winning the very first Cup Series championship with driver Red Byron in 1949 … The Class of 2017 will be formally inducted in January – joining Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Jerry Cook, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Bill France Junior, Bill France Senior, Jack Ingram, Dale Inman, Bobby Isaac, Dale and Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Terry Labonte, Fred Lorenzen, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Maurice Petty, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, Wendell Scott, O. Bruton Smith, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Rex White, Glenn and Leonard Wood and Cale Yarborough … who are already enshrined as members of the Hall’s first seven classes.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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