2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees

December 16, 2013 by  
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Established in the North Carolina city of Charlotte in May 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame honors exceptional drivers, crew chiefs, owners and other players in this exciting sport. The 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees are Tim Flock, Maurice Petty, Dale Jarrett, Jack Ingram and Fireball Roberts, who will join the likes of Dale Earnhardt, Bill France (Senior and Junior), Richard Petty, Lee Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood, among others, in the history annals of NASCAR.

Coming from a family of auto racing enthusiasts which included his sister Ethel Mobley (NASCAR’s second female driver) and bothers Bob Flock and Fonty Flock, Tim Flock (1924–1998) is considered to be one of the early pioneers of NASCAR. Tim Flock finished NASCAR’s first official season in 1949 in eighth place, with brothers Fonty in fifth and Bob in third overall points. After sitting out the 1950 season, Flock won seven races in 1951, and eight in 1952, the year he won his first Grand National Championship title. In 1995, Flock won his second Grand National Championship title, with 19 poles and 18 wins in the 45 races he completed that year. In 1998, shortly before his death at the age of 73, Flock was honored as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. Other achievements include induction in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991; the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1999; the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 1972; the State of Georgia Hall of Fame in 1972; the Charlotte Motor Speedway Court of Legends in 1994; and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Known to many simply as “Chief” Maurice Petty was the engine builder and crew chief for Petty Enterprises for many years. He is the fourth member of the Petty family to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the others being his father Lee, older brother Richard, and cousin Dale Inman. Although he had a brief driving career which included seven top five and sixteen top ten finishes, his talent in the auto racing industry lay in engine building, which he did with remarkable skill.

Currently a sport commentator for ESPN/ABC , Dale Jarrett’s racing career includes winning the Daytona 500 three times and the Brickyard 400 twice. He won 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and was winner of the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. With his father Ned having been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2011, the Jarretts are the third father-son inductees, the other two being Bill France Sr. and Jr., and Lee and Richard Petty.

Former NASCAR Busch Series race car driver Jack Ingram won 31 races and five poles, along with the 1982 and 1985 championships, during eight Busch Series seasons. It’s worth noting that Ingram was over the age of 45 when he claimed his victories, and held the record for the most Busch Series wins until Mark Martin broke the record in 1997. In addition to being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Ingram was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Nicknamed “Fireball”, Edward Glenn Roberts (1929-1964) was one of NASCAR’s pioneering drivers who gathered a host of achievements during his career, including winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and twice winning the Southern 500 (1958 and 1963). He was voted 1957 Grand National Series Most Popular Driver and named as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995. Sadly, Roberts crashed in the World 600 in Charlotte on May 24, 1964, and died from complications related to his extensive burn injuries on July 2, 1964. His accident prompted NASCAR to introduce more stringent fire-related safety measures and his memory lives on in NASCAR history.

Competitive Edge Motorsports

February 9, 2009 by  
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Competitive Edge Motorsports closed in 2006.

Joe Auer is the principle owner of Competitive Edge Motorsports, a team that was once a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team. Joe has been involved with sports on a whole for nearly 50 years and is well remembered as an outstanding pro football player for the NFL. Auer was the one who took the opening kickoff in the first game Miami Dolphins had ever competed in. From there he became the dolphins first MVP. His pro career saw Auer play for the Atlantic Falcons and Buffalo Bills in various seasons. Later he turned his attention to car racing.

Joe Auer has been involved with racing for over 3 decades and continues to enjoy it. Auer also has interests in things besides sport and is owner and president of ICN, a very successful global technology consulting and training firm, which he founded in 1975. Competitive Edge Motorsports made its debut at the Coca-Cola 600 in 2004 with driver Kevin Lepage fielding the #51 Marathon Oil Chevrolet. Lepage finished 43rd at the race because of his car suffering from overheating failures. Lepage ran another four more races but with out much success, resulting in DNF’s for all of them. With the team not doing to well CEM had to replace Lepage with Tony Raines who from there took over as driver for the team. He finished 28th at Dover, his best finish out of all his races he had taken on so far.

The year 2005 saw another change in driver, with ARCA racer Stuart Kirby taking over. Kirby qualified for a total of seven races, with his best point position being 31st. The following year Mike Garvey drove for the CEM team but with four finishes all of which were 38th position or worse, left Marathon Oil, the sponsor, no choice but to move to Petty Enterprises. Competitive Edge Motorsports had full intentions of having the team perform full time in 2007 but that was not to happen. Later that year the team was made to fold and sell its equipment when it was unable to find alternative sponsorship to fund it.

Petty Enterprises

February 9, 2009 by  
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Petty Enterprises merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2009 to form Richard Petty Motorsports.

Petty Enterprises is one of NASCAR’s many racing teams and is owned by Richard Petty as well as his son Kyle Petty. Petty Enterprises is based in Randleman, North Carolina. Richard and Kyle supervise the operations of their two NEXTEL Cup Dodge Chargers: the number 45 Marathon Petroleum Company Dodge, which Kyle Petty drives himself and the number 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, driven by Bobby Labonte. It was 1969 when the team was officially named Petty Enterprises. Throughout NASCAR’s history, Petty Enterprises has always been know and famous for its success, but in recent years they have been struggling.

The team has been operating as far back as 1949 when Richard Petty’s father, Lee Petty, first formed Lee Petty Engineering as a NASCAR Grand National Division team with the number 42. Not only was the company formed that year but also the team won their first win at Heidelberg Raceway, finishing second in points that season. 1950 and 1951 saw Petty’s team win one race each season with a victorious three wins in 1952. With this success the team expanded by incorporating another vehicle, the Plymouth, which Jimmie Lewallen drove. The following years saw a major increase in races won by Petty Enterprises. By 1979 the team had won 10 championships in NASCAR premier series.

From 1980 to 1984 Richard Petty drove hard and won several races, but from there on till his retirement he did not win another race. This bad fortune did not stop there, it continued after Richard’s retirement with Petty Enterprises only winning another three races. In 2006 Petty Enterprises hired Bobby Labonte, after he won the NEXTEL Cup, to drive the #43 car and hired Robbie Loomis, who had served as a crew chief for Jeff Gordon, to be executive vice president.

The Petty Family created the number 43 car, hence its name Petty Blue. The blue color is distinct and was created apparently by mistake because of not having enough paint to cover the whole car. It was rumored that the famous paint scheme came about when Richard Petty would not allow sponsors to sponsor his car unless they agreed to keep part of the car blue and the rest they could paint STP Red.

Kyle Petty

February 9, 2009 by  
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Kyle Petty is a successful NASCAR driver, descending and descendent from a line of racers going back to his grandfather Lee Petty. Not only is NASCAR driver Kyle Petty known for his racing achievements but he is also a respected business executive and an outstanding example in the community.

Kyle Petty was born in Randleman of North Carolina, USA on 2 June 1960. His father Richard Petty and grandfather Lee Petty were already big names in the world of NASCAR. A fine sportsman from a young age, Petty was offered a number of scholarships because of his baseball, basketball and football skills. He was even told by an agent in Nashville that he had the potential to become a country music star. Despite this, racing was his chosen career.

In 1979 Kyle Petty began his career in NASCAR. His first race, the Daytona ARCA 200, saw him steering his stock car to victory. Petty also raced in 5 Cup races that same year, even making it into the top-10. The 3rd generation NASCAR driver began his full Cup racing schedule in 1981. That year he came in 12th with his points. Before the 1985 season Kyle Petty left Petty Enterprises to join the Wood Brothers. In 1986 Petty scored his first win at a race in Richmond of Virginia. He ranked 10th in 1986 and moved up to 7th in 1987. Petty raced for SABCO between 1990 and 1997. Two highlights in Petty’s career were when he came 5th in point standings for 1992 and 1993. He decided to take his team back to Level Cross in 1998. In that year he was named NASCAR USG Person of the Year. Petty continues to race under the banner of Petty Enterprises.

Beyond NASCAR driving, Kyle Petty is involved in a number of community and charity programs. To honor his charitable contributions he was given the title True Value “Man of the Year” in 1998 as well as the NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated’s “Person of the Year” award in 1999. Petty established the Kyle Petty’s Charity Ride Across America in 1995. This ride is held in aid of a number of children’s charities. Other charities with which Petty is associated are the NEXTEL Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary, Boy Scouts of America and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Why not join in making a contribution to one of Kyle Petty’s charitable projects.

Lee Petty

February 9, 2009 by  
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Lee Petty, father of the well-known race driver and NASCAR’s all-time race winner, Richard Petty, was born on March the 14th, 1914 near Randleman, North Carolina. Lee was one of the founders of NASCAR and was also one of NASCAR’s first American stock car superstars in the 1950s and 1960s. Stock car racing is found mainly in Great Britain and the United States and takes place on large oval rings and sometimes on road courses. A stock car differs from a race car in that its an automobile that has come off the production floor and has been used for racing rather then being custom-built for racing purposes only.

It was only at the age of thirty-five years that Petty began racing. His NASCAR career began at NASCAR’S official first race on June 19, 1949, at Charlotte Speedway, a three-quarter mile long dirt track. Lee Petty finished in the Top 5 in season points for all of NASCAR’s first eleven seasons. Lee, on three occasions, won the NASCAR Championships and the initial Daytona 500 in 1959. The Daytona 500 is 805 km NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race and requires the driver to complete 200-laps. This race was held every year at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Daytona Beach.

At the inaugural Daytona 500, Petty and Johnny Beauchamp fought every round near the final laps of the race. The finish was inconclusive because both drivers had finished so close to one another. Unofficially Johnny Beauchamp was declared the winner until further notice, it took a total of three days to make the final decision on who had won. With the assistance of the national newsreel a decision could be made and it was found that Petty was the official winner. From that day Lee Petty had cemented his place as one of the all time greats in stock-car racing.

Lee Petty founded Petty Enterprises, and along with both his sons Richard and Maurice, it became NASCAR’s most victorious racing team. He is the grandfather of Kyle Eugene Petty who is an American NASCAR driver and great grandfather of Adam Petty who started a promising career in racing but tragically died in 2000 at the age of 19 years.