Photo Courtesy of NASCAR Media. Cutline: Left to right: Grand Marshalls Bob Lauth, Richard Petty, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, NASCAR President Mike Helton and Rick Hendrick break ground for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (Photo Credit: Davis Turner/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR recently announced the induction process for the new Hall of Fame set to open in Charlotte next year.
According to the release, the yearly HOF classes will have five inductees selected by a voting panel consisting of NASCAR industry leaders, manufacture representatives, former competitors, the media and fans.
No more than 25 candidates will be on the list annually, with the main criteria for nomination and induction being: NASCAR accomplishments and contributions to the sport.
To be eligible for induction, a former driver must have competed 10 years in NASCAR and be retired for a minimum of three years. Non-drivers must have worked at least 10 years in the industry, however those with shorter careers may be considered if there are special circumstances.
"With the excitement already building about the physical layout of the Hall of Fame, this will add to the excitement on another front, regarding this impressive, historic project," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said.
"We have established an orderly induction process that is inclusive, involving various industry constituencies — most importantly, the fans."
The list of nominees will come from a 20-member group, who then cast 20 of the 48 ballots. Former drivers, owners and crew chiefs, as well as manufacture representatives and media will cast 27 votes, while the final will come from a nationwide fan vote.
The inaugural list of candidates is expected to be unveiled in June, with voting to be completed by Sept. 15 and results announced no later than October.
The first induction will take place in May 2010 when the Series heads to Charlotte for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.
In addition, to the induction ceremony, NASCAR's Board of Directors will designate a special Hall of Fame exhibit, coinciding with the hall's opening, honoring those who helped build the sport up from its grass roots.
Those "Founding Members," will be permanently recognized at the HOF and the original group can be added to in the future.
According to the release, the 20-member Nominating Committee will be comprised of the following:
• Seven NASCAR representatives.
• NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director.
• NASCAR Hall of Fame Historian.
• Two track owners from International Speedway Corporation.
• Two track owners from Speedway Motorsports Incorporated.
• Track owner from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
• Track owner from Dover International Speedway.
• Track owner from Pocono Raceway.
• Four track owners from historic short tracks: Bowman-Gray Speedway in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C.; Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, N.Y; and Toyota Speedway at Irwindale in Irwindale, Calif.
The 48-member Voting Committee will include:
• 20 members of the nominating committee.
• 14 media representatives: Three each from the National Motorsports Press Association, the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Eastern Motorsports Press Association; one each from FOX, Turner, ESPN, Motor Racing Network and Performance Racing Network.
• One representative each from Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Toyota.
• Three retired drivers.
• Three retired owners.
• Three retired crew chiefs.
• Fan vote.