Jeff Gordon leads 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class

Jeff Gordon, a four-time champion in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, leads the five-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

Jeff Gordon leads 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class
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Gordon, who now serves as a Fox Sports NASCAR TV analyst, won 93 races in the Cup series – third on the all-time wins list – and four series championships (1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001).

Gordon, 46, started his career in what was then the Busch Series with Hugh Connerty Racing, followed by Bill Davis Racing, winning three races, and began racing full-time in the Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports in 1993.

Gordon took NASCAR by storm in the 1990s, becoming the youngest driver in the modern era to win a premier series title as a 24-year-old in 1995. In 1998, Gordon won a modern era-record 13 races.

This was his first year he was eligible to be nominated.

Also elected to the Class of 2019:

  • Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing and five-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series. He has won a record 325 races across the three NASCAR’s three national series. Roush has displayed a prowess for discovering and developing talent. He helped Matt Kenseth (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) grow into premier series champions and also jumpstarted the careers of Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle.

  • Roger Penske, owner of Team Penske and winner of four car owner championships in the Cup and Xfinity series and a driver’s title with Brad Keselowski in 2012. Penske, who celebrated his 50th anniversary in racing in 2016, reached 100 wins in NASCAR’s premier series that year and capped off the season by receiving the Bill France Award of Excellence. 

  • The late Davey Allison, who won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier series, including the 1992 Daytona 500, before his tragic death in a helicopter accident in 1993. Allison honed his skills at local Alabama tracks, getting his big break in 1987, taking over for legendary driver Cale Yarborough in Ranier-Lundy’s Ford Thunderbird.

  • The late Alan Kulwicki, Wisconsin short track ace and 1992 champion of NASCAR’s premier series with a self-owned team. His signature season was his championship-winning 1992 campaign, where he overcame a 278-point deficit with six races remaining to win the Cup title. Kulwicki never got the chance to defend his title, dying in a plane crash in 1993.

Voting was as follows: Gordon (named to 96 percent of ballots), Roush (70%), Penske (68%), Allison (63%) and Kulwicki (46%).  In all, 57 votes were cast, with two additional panel members recused from voting as they were potential nominees for induction (Ricky Rudd and Waddell Wilson). 

The next top vote-getters were Buddy Baker, Hershel McGriff and Waddell Wilson.

Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Allison, Baker, Harry Gant, Gordon and Kulwicki.

In addition, Jim Hunter, longtime NASCAR executive and former president of Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, was elected the winner of the Landmark Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to NASCAR.

The 2019 Class will be officially inducted on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.

Utter’s vote

Jim Utter, NASCAR Editor of Motorsport.com, is among the members of the voting panel which selects inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

This was his original five-member ballot:

  • Gordon

  • Roush

  • Baker

  • Penske

  • Joe Gibbs.

Utter also voted for Hunter for the Landmark Award.

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