DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The second class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame was elected and announced on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., and four of the five inductees share a common bond of also being a Daytona 500 champion as either a driver or owner.
Included in the second NASCAR Hall of Fame class are:
• David Pearson, 1976 Daytona 500 champion and winner of a record five Coke Zero 400s
• Bobby Allison, three-time Daytona 500 champion and three-time Coke Zero 400 champion. Allison is also the oldest winner of both the Daytona 500 (50 years, 2 months, 11 days) and the Coke Zero 400 (49 years, seven months, one day)
• Lee Petty, inaugural champion of the Daytona 500 in 1959
• Ned Jarrett, two-time NASCAR champion and two-time Sportsman Division champion
• Bud Moore, a decorated World War II infantryman and successful NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner who won the 1978 Daytona 500 as both owner and crew chief
“Winning the Daytona 500 is the ultimate prize for any driver and Daytona International Speedway is proud to see three Daytona 500 champions as well as a winning Daytona 500 car owner recognized as part of the second NASCAR Hall of Fame Class,” said President Joie Chitwood III. “All of the 2011 inductees have made significant contributions to the sport and more than deserve this honor.”
Pearson’s lone Daytona 500 win in 1976 is one of NASCAR’s landmark finishes. In a last-lap duel, Pearson and Richard Petty crashed coming off of Turn 4. Pearson managed to keep his damaged No. 21 Ford from stalling and crawled across the start/finish line for the victory.
Allison captured his Daytona 500 triumphs with three different car owners – Moore, DiGard Racing and the Stavola Bros. In his third and final Daytona 500 win in 1988, he edged his son Davey in the race’s only father-son finish.
It took 61 hours for Petty to be declared the inaugural Daytona 500 champion. With the checkered flag waving, Petty and Johnny Beauchamp crossed the start/finish line side by side with the lap car of Joe Weatherly. Beauchamp was declared the unofficial winner but 61 hours later, still photos and newsreel footage determined that Petty was the official winner.
Moore’s victory with Allison in the 1978 Daytona 500 came in Ford Thunderbird, which started in the 33rd position and took home the win by a margin of 33 seconds.
And while Jarrett never won a Daytona 500, he was played a significant part in the history of the race as a broadcaster for CBS Sports. He called the finish for all three of his son Dale’s Daytona 500 wins.
Tickets for the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, which start at $55, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.