Gordon leads four other legends into NASCAR Hall of Fame

5/24/2018 3:04:37 AM EST

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In the least surprising racing story of 2018, four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday in his first year of eligibility.

But Gordon certainly wasn't the only worthy choice for the Class of 2019. Team owner Jack Roush, a brilliant innovator who has racked up victories and championships across a broad spectrum of motorsports, will join Gordon when the stellar class is officially ushered into the Hall on Feb. 1, 2019.

Team owner Roger Penske, who fostered the Hall of Fame career of driver Rusty Wallace and won his first championship in NASCAR's top division in 2012 with driver Brad Keselowski, will accompany his fellow Ford team owner into the Hall.

Davey Allison, winner of 19 Cup races and one of the brightest stars in the sport before he succumbed to injuries sustained in a helicopter crash at Talladega in 1993, joined his father, Bobby Allison, as a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Alan Kulwicki, whose life was cut short by a plane crash in 1993 less than five months after he became the last driver to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship as a "privateer," was the fifth member of the Class of 2019 introduced by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.

If ever there was a "lock" for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Gordon fills that role. Winner of 93 Cup points races -- third all-time behind Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105) and ahead of Darrell Waltrip (84), Bobby Allison (84), Cale Yarborough (83) and Jimmie Johnson (83) -- Gordon drove the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for 797 consecutive races from his debut in 1992 until he bowed out of the ride at the end of the 2015 season.

Now an analyst for FOX Sports, Gordon won four Cup championships, behind only Petty, Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Sr., who share the series record with seven each. Gordon won three Daytona 500s, four straight Southern 500s and a record five Brickyard 400s in his remarkable career.

"Man, I'm on cloud nine," Gordon said during a televised interview after the announcement.

He follows his long-time crew chief Ray Evernham and team owner Rick Hendrick into the Hall.

"The significance of being there when Rick was inducted and being a part of it earlier this year with Ray, that's when it really started to sink in with me about how special it would be," said Gordon, who was named on a record 96 percent of ballots. "They dedicated their whole lives (to racing), and that's the thing I see as a common thread of anybody that goes into the Hall of Fame.

"They sacrificed everything for racing and for NASCAR, and it became their life. To be honored by going into the Hall of Fame makes it all worthwhile and makes it very, very special."

Roush, who was named on 70 percent of ballots, started his career in drag racing and sports cars but gravitated to NASCAR racing in 1988. An owner with a keen eye for talent, Roush supported the careers of such luminaries as NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle.

"When we got started, I was just hoping I could stay in the sport for a while," said Roush, who won Cup championships in 2003 with Kenseth and 2004 with Busch. "I can't imagine that my name is up there with the 45 people that have already been inducted, with the things that they've accomplished.

"It's rarefied air, and I've got to take a while to think about what it all means to me."

In addition to the 2012 Cup championship, Team Penske has won the 2010 NASCAR Xfinity Series title and four of the last five Xfinity Series owners championships. In addition to his NASCAR accomplishments, Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 16 times as an owner.

"There were many great candidates," Penske said in a SiriusXM NASCAR Radio interview after the announcement. "This is my day, and I'll never forget it."

Wallace was delighted for his former boss.

"I don't know of anyone that has accomplished as much across all levels of motorsports as Roger Penske," Wallace said. "I don't know of anyone in motorsports that is as respected among all levels of racing and business as Roger.

"He's my personal mentor and my personal hero. He has helped me immeasurably, both in racing and in business. I can't say enough about Roger -- he's just an all-around fantastic person."

Penske was named on 68 percent of the ballots submitted by Voting Panel members.

Davey and Bobby Allison, the only father/son combination to finish 1-2 in the Daytona 500, are the second father/son duo to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, joining Ned and Dale Jarrett.

"It's was a great feeling of happiness, of weakness and everything," Bobby Allison said of the moment when France announced his son's name. "I just had to bend over and get a hold of myself. It was really good news."

Davey Allison received 63 percent of the vote from panel members.

Kulwicki, who was named on 46 percent of ballots, rallied from a 278-point deficit to win the 1992 series title, edging Bill Elliott by 10 points -- then the closest margin in Cup history -- after a thrilling season finale at Atlanta in which Davey Allison also had a shot at the championship.

Former NASCAR executive and newsman Jim Hunter received the 2019 Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Known for his rapier wit and wise counsel, Hunter was instrumental in guiding the careers of an abundance of current and former NASCAR stars.

After his days as sports editor of the Columbia (S.C.) Record, Hunter served as public relations director for both Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. He was later named president at Darlington and corporate vice president of International Speedway Corporation, before returning to NASCAR to lead the sport's PR initiatives.

--By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service. Distributed by Field Level Media.

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Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:10:14 EST Report: Predators' Watson faces domestic assault charge
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 22:47:44 EST NHL notebook: Facing scrutiny, Hoffman traded twice in one day
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 20:01:48 EST Jackets GM: Want to keep LW Panarin, despite trade report
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:15:32 EST GM Blake: Kings plan to extend D Doughty
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 12:37:51 EST Hoffman shipped to San Jose, then Florida amidst harassment claim
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 22:03:39 EST Seattle group hires ex-Coyotes coach Tippett as adviser
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 15:41:36 EST Trotz resigns as coach of Capitals, reportedly over contract stalemate
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 00:51:32 EST On heels of unpopular trade, Domi reaching out to Montreal fans
Sat, 16 Jun 2018 01:29:42 EST Coyotes deal LW Domi to Canadiens for C Galchenyuk

WTA Stories

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:17:20 EST WTA roundup: Strycova upsets Muguruza at Birmingham
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:45:41 EST WTA roundup: Svitolina into Nature Valley quarters
Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:46:49 EST WTA roundup: Kvitova downs Konta at Birmingham
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 17:48:38 EST WTA roundup: Rybarikova tops Pliskova at Birmingham in Wimbledon rematch
Sun, 17 Jun 2018 12:50:49 EST WTA roundup: Krunic rallies again to capture first title
Sat, 16 Jun 2018 15:55:53 EST WTA roundup: Krunic stuns top-seeded Vandeweghe in semis
Fri, 15 Jun 2018 12:13:44 EST WTA roundup: Vandeweghe survives to reach Libema semis
Thu, 14 Jun 2018 16:16:08 EST WTA roundup: Barty, Konta advance to Nottingham quarters
Wed, 13 Jun 2018 15:53:51 EST WTA Roundup: Vandeweghe reaches quarters at Libema Open
Tue, 12 Jun 2018 16:57:48 EST WTA roundup: Pair of top-5 seeds swept out early in Libema Open
Mon, 11 Jun 2018 14:49:50 EST WTA roundup: Rybarikova, Osaka need three sets to survive at Nottingham
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 11:40:16 EST Halep rallies past Stephens for first Grand Slam title
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:27:18 EST Halep, Stephens earn spots in French Open final
Wed, 06 Jun 2018 11:00:34 EST Muguruza rolls over Sharapova into French Open semis
Tue, 05 Jun 2018 12:22:26 EST Stephens, Keys win to set up All-American semis at French Open
Tue, 05 Jun 2018 10:56:29 EST Serena Williams 'super excited' after doctor visit
Mon, 04 Jun 2018 15:45:43 EST No. 2 Wozniacki bounced by Kasatkina
Mon, 04 Jun 2018 10:03:34 EST Serena Williams withdraws from French Open with pectoral injury
Sun, 03 Jun 2018 14:24:44 EST Williams sisters eliminated in French Open doubles
Sun, 03 Jun 2018 15:45:37 EST Stephens, Keys hit milestones by making French Open quarters

LPGA Stories

Sun, 17 Jun 2018 18:19:37 EST Ryu prevails at Meijer LPGA Classic for sixth career win
Sat, 16 Jun 2018 19:11:23 EST Pace, Nordqvist grab share of lead at Meijer LPGA Classic
Fri, 15 Jun 2018 20:24:26 EST Ryu seizes control of lead at Meijer LPGA Classic
Thu, 14 Jun 2018 20:13:16 EST Shon, Ryu share lead at Meijer LPGA Classic
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 20:07:41 EST Annie Park shoots 63 to claim first LPGA Tour victory
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 21:27:23 EST Herbin, Kim share ShopRite lead with Round 2 suspended
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 19:27:53 EST Diaz, 43, part of 3-way tie for ShopRite lead
Sun, 03 Jun 2018 21:21:08 EST Jutanugarn recovers to win U.S. Women's Open in playoff
Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:28:57 EST Smith in control at U.S. Women's Open as rain suspends play
Thu, 31 May 2018 21:31:43 EST Jutanugarn among three atop U.S. Women's Open
Thu, 31 May 2018 14:25:19 EST Ariya Jutanugarn (67) grabs early lead at U.S. Women's Open
Wed, 30 May 2018 13:49:54 EST 13-year-old alternate Pano bails on U.S. Women's Open
Wed, 30 May 2018 12:49:02 EST USGA: Ball played as it lies at soaked U.S. Women's Open
Sun, 27 May 2018 20:15:54 EST Lee earns 4th LPGA win on 22nd birthday
Sat, 26 May 2018 23:29:22 EST Lee surges to two-stroke lead at Volvik Championship
Fri, 25 May 2018 21:25:16 EST Hataoka takes one-shot lead at Volvik Championship
Thu, 24 May 2018 20:14:48 EST Four tied for lead at Volvik Championship
Thu, 24 May 2018 02:27:16 EST LPGA announces new South Korean event
Tue, 22 May 2018 17:07:45 EST LPGA legend Mann dies at 77
Sun, 20 May 2018 21:39:08 EST Jutanugarn birdies playoff holes, wins LPGA tourney

WNCAAB Stories

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:42:54 EST Former Tennessee great Charles-Furlow dead at 49
Fri, 06 Apr 2018 23:51:39 EST South Carolina's Wilson earns Wooden Award
Mon, 02 Apr 2018 15:50:53 EST UConn's Stevens skipping final season, entering WNBA draft
Sun, 01 Apr 2018 21:15:27 EST Easter stunner: Irish win title on last-second 3-pointer
Sat, 31 Mar 2018 18:07:32 EST South Carolina's Wilson wins Naismith player of year
Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:26:56 EST Ogunbowale's shot lifts Notre Dame over UConn in OT thriller
Fri, 30 Mar 2018 21:46:41 EST Mississippi State outlasts Louisville in OT to advance to national championship
Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:16:06 EST Notre Dame downs Oregon to charge into Final Four
Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:01:32 EST UConn routs defending champion South Carolina to reach Final Four
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 21:57:47 EST McCowan, Mississippi State outmuscle UCLA to reach Final Four
Sun, 25 Mar 2018 22:04:33 EST Durr scores 18 as Louisville romps into Final Four
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:46:48 EST Oregon cruises past Central Michigan to advance to Elite Eight
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 21:11:38 EST Notre Dame edges Texas A&M to make Elite Eight
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:52:26 EST Collier paces top-seeded UConn in win over Duke
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 20:57:12 EST No. 2 seed South Carolina pulls away late to top Buffalo
Sat, 24 Mar 2018 00:34:21 EST NCAA women's roundup: Oregon State stuns Baylor
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:54:01 EST Louisville overpowers Stanford in regional semis
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:40:30 EST UCLA edges Texas to reach Elite Eight
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:42:57 EST Oregon State ends Baylor's 30-game winning streak in Sweet 16 upset
Fri, 23 Mar 2018 23:19:07 EST Mississippi State cruises past NC State to advance to Elite Eight

USA Stories

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:16:19 EST Report: NFL invited to testify at congressional hearing on sports betting
Mon, 11 Jun 2018 23:10:39 EST Drag racing legend Tom 'The Mongoose' McEwen dead at 81
Mon, 11 Jun 2018 22:49:22 EST Bode Miller's 19-month-old daughter drowns
Mon, 11 Jun 2018 17:10:47 EST N.J. governor signs sports betting into law, wagering to begin Thursday
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 13:25:55 EST Justify expected to race rest of 2018
Sun, 10 Jun 2018 01:43:26 EST Report: Justify worth record $75M value
Sat, 09 Jun 2018 19:34:13 EST Justify wins Belmont Stakes, becomes 13th Triple Crown winner
Fri, 08 Jun 2018 13:35:45 EST Justify has 'smooth' final workout ahead of Belmont
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 22:43:04 EST Sports betting bills sent to N.J. governor for approval
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 16:21:10 EST Justify roaring and ready to claim Triple Crown at Belmont Stakes
Thu, 07 Jun 2018 14:03:16 EST Justify impresses in gallop at Belmont Park
Wed, 06 Jun 2018 19:07:05 EST Delaware receives $322K in bets on first day
Wed, 06 Jun 2018 18:07:29 EST Triple Crown hopeful Justify arrives in New York
Tue, 05 Jun 2018 23:01:36 EST WCWS: Florida State sweeps for 1st NCAA title
Tue, 05 Jun 2018 21:28:58 EST Ex-USA Gymnastics CEO pleads 5th at Senate hearing
Tue, 05 Jun 2018 18:51:23 EST Justify seeking Triple Crown from No. 1 post at Belmont
Tue, 05 Jun 2018 10:40:30 EST XFL hires Oliver Luck as commissioner
Mon, 04 Jun 2018 22:10:44 EST WCWS: Seminoles blank Huskies, take 1-0 finals lead
Sun, 03 Jun 2018 21:50:04 EST WCWS: Washington, Florida State reach title series
Fri, 01 Jun 2018 00:43:24 EST WCWS: Oregon routs Arizona State in opener

INDY Stories

Sun, 27 May 2018 17:54:42 EST Power finally claims elusive Indy 500 victory
Sun, 27 May 2018 17:40:48 EST Patrick crashes out of final Indy 500