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NASCAR announces nominees for Hall of Fame Class of 2025

On Wednesday, NASCAR announced the Hall of Fame Class of 2025 nominees. Greg Biffle, Randy Dorton, and Jack Sprague are the new nominees on the Modern Era ballot. Ray Hendrick and Bob Welborn were added to the Pioneer ballot. Larry Phillips was moved from the Modern ballot to the Pioneer ballot, and Dean Sicking, a safety innovator, joined the list of nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

The Modern Era ballot consists of Biffle, Dorton, Sprague, Neil Bonnett, Tim Brewer, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Harry Gant, Harry Hyde, and Ricky Rudd. The Pioneer ballot includes Hendrick, Welborn, Phillips, Banjo Matthews, and Ralph Moody. The nominees for the Landmark Award are Alvin Hawkins, NASCAR’s first flag man, Lesa France Kennedy, NASCAR Executive Vice Chair, Dr. Joseph Mattioli, founder of Pocono Raceway, Sicking, and Les Richter, a NASCAR executive.

Biffle won championships in the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series and was the first driver to win a championship in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series. In the Cup Series, he won 19 races, two of which came in the Souther 500, but he never won a championship (he would have been the first to win a championship in all three national series). His best points standings finish was second in 2005. He was named one of NASCAR’s 75 greatest drivers.

Dorton was an engine builder for Hendrick Motorsports. His engines helped Hendrick Motorsports win nine Cup Series championship. He died in a plane crash in 2004 on the way to a race at Martinsville.

Sprague was one of the drivers in the Truck Series when it first started. He won 28 races and three championships. In addition to Trucks, he ran 132 races in the other national series.

Hendrick was known as “Mr. Modified “ and won about 700 races in Modifieds and the Late Model Sportsman Tour, the precursor to today’s Xfinity Series. In 2013, he was named one of NASCAR’s All-Time Top Ten Modified drivers.

Welborn was a three-time champion in the Nascar Convertible Division and won nine races in what is now the Cup Series. He was on the pole for the first Daytona 500. Phillips won five championships in the NASCAR Weekly Series. Sicking helped create the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER)barrier, which is used at every track today.

Two people from the Modern Era ballot and one from the Pioneer ballot will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. So who should get in? I think Dorton and Brewer should get in from the Modern Era ballot. Dorton was the engine builder for nine championships in the Cup Series. Brewer won two Cup Series championships as a crew chief and was a part of ESPN’s NASCAR broadcasts from 2007 to 2014. From the Pioneer ballot, I think Ralph Moody will get in. Moody owned the Cup Series and won two Cup Series championships.

I think the Landmark Award will go to Les Richter. Richter was a NASCAR executive who oversaw competition. He helped NASCAR get on the West Coast and grow there.

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