Mike Stefanik One Of 20 Nominees For NASCAR Hall Of Fame Induction

Mike Stefanik (Photo: Howie Hodge for NASCAR)

Mike Stefanik (Photo: Howie Hodge for NASCAR)

Seven-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Mike Stefanik was one of 20 nominees for NASCAR’s 2016 Hall of Fame class.

Stefanik, of Coventry, R.I., stopped running full-time on the Whelen Modified Tour after the 2013 season. Stefanik is the division’s all-time winningest driver.

In addition to his seven Whelen Modified Tour titles, Stefanik also won a pair of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championships.

Below is NASCAR press release announcing the 20 nominees.

Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners and drivers. Their roles and responsibilities may have differed, but they all have one trait in common – each made an everlasting mark on NASCAR history.

NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees – legends all – who exceled in various disciplines, at various levels.

Among them are three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Ray Evernham; 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Harry Hyde; 1992 NASCAR premier series champion Alan Kulwicki; winner of a combined 96 NASCAR national series races, Mark Martin; and 1986 NASCAR west series champion Hershel McGriff. For a full list of nominees, please see below.

The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2016 class will be Wednesday, May 20.

The five nominees for the Landmark Award are Harold Brasington, H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:

Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500

Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949

Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion

Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief

Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others

Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief

Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion

Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion

Terry Labonte, two-time NASCAR premier series champion

Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition

Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion

Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion

O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.

Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Curtis Turner, early personality, called the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing”

Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner

The five nominees for the Landmark Award are as follows…

Harold Brasington, founder of Darlington Speedway

H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

The 22-person Nominating Committee follows…

NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.

NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton; Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell; Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook (Note: Due to Jerry Cook’s inclusion on the ballot for the NHOF Class of 2015, he was recused from voting for the Class of 2016 nominees.)

Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; West Coast representative Ken Clapp.

Media: Mike Joy, FOX.

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  1. Andy Boright says

    This is the problem with the NASCAR HoF in my opinion. While Mike Stefanik, Rick Hendrick, and Richard Childress will all be worthy nominees down the road, the fact is they are all still active in the sport and to me it makes little sense to rush these guys in the hall when there is such a bottleneck of deserving candidates who have been retired for a while and may not be around much longer to enjoy the induction.

    The NASCAR HoF really needs a 5 year eligibility rule like baseball and football have.

  2. Andy Boright says

    Gee, didn’t anyone from Holman/Moody have an impact on NASCAR?

  3. Walt Maguire says

    You make a good point.
    Having said that, Mike Stefanik did what no one in the modified community ever thought was possible. He re-set the bar for most victories and he also won 2 championships in a full bodied stock car which is unprecedented.
    All the while bring professional, respectful, and epitomizing what a champion should be.
    He and his cars, deserve a place alongside Richie’s.
    After all, who did Richie pick to drive the 61x?

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