Statistical insight:
2016 Hall of Fame inductees

Photo by ISC Archives / NASCAR via Getty Images

Terry Labonte during his tenure with Hendrick Motorsports. Labonte was one of the five inductees announced for NASCAR's 2016 Hall of Fame class.





By Zachary Lange
Staff Reporter
May 23, 2015
zlange@theracingexperts.net

 

 


As the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit hits Charlotte Motor Speedway for Memorial Day weekend and the longest race of the 2015 season, five legends of motorsports will be enshrined in Charlotte for much longer than just a weekend.

NASCAR announced on May 20th the NASCAR Hall Of Fame inductees for 2016. The list includes four drivers in Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, and Curtis Turner and track promoter and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Incorporated (SMI) Bruton Smith. Inductees were selected from a pool of 20 finalists and include some extremely impressive resumes that played integral roles within motorsports.

 

Jerry Cook 
Cook was a six time NASCAR Modified series champion, winning the honors from 1971-1972, and again from 1974-1977. In his career, he amassed 342 wins, and in 1998, was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers for the 50th Anniversary celebration. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009 and since 1985 has acted as director of NASCAR’s Whelen Modified Series.

 


Photo by ISC Archives / NASCAR via Getty Images

Jerry Cook

Bobby Isaac
A staple in NASCAR’s top touring series in the late 1960s to early 1970s, Isaac set the record for most poles in a single season at 19, and captured the checkered flag 37 times in 308 races. He earned his lone championship in 1970 after having 38 top-ten finishes in the 48 race season. Isaac died of a heart attack in 1977, but posthumously has been inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame as well as the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.

 

Terry Labonte
Texas Terry’s resume is as extensive as his racing career, which spans over five decades. Labonte finished his career in 2014 after running his last four seasons part-time for FAS Lane Racing and Go FAS Racing, starting 890 Sprint Cup races. Labonte finished with 361 top-ten finishes in NASCAR’s top touring series. Labonte captured two championships in 1984 and 1996 running for Hagan Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. Labonte is probably most remembered for his Kellogg’s adorned No. 5 Chevy that ran for almost a decade. Labonte also captured a win in his class during the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1984 and won a championship in International Race of Champions (IROC) in 1989.

 

Chris Turner
Turner was one of NASCAR’s early big names and earned 17 wins and 73 top-ten finishes in 17 years racing in NASCAR’s top touring series. He also ran in the NASCAR Convertible Series in the late 1950s where he won 38 races, including 22 of the 47 race schedule in 1956. NASCAR banned Turner in 1961 for four years after he and other drivers attempted to unionize against NASCAR’s discretion.


 

Bruton Smith

One of NASCAR’s biggest supporters in an off-the-racetrack role, Smith is the only non-driver inductee this year. Smith is the founder and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Incorporated, SMI, which owns eight NASCAR tracks.


Dozier Mobley/Getty Images

Bruton Smith (left) and former Charlotte Motor Speedway track promoter Humpy Wheeler at an unknown event in the 1970s.

Smith’s tracks have produced memorable finishes in the sport for decades, and was the most voted for Hall of Fame candidate, receiving 68 percent of the vote from the panel. 
          




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