Bruton Smith, Terry Labonte, Curtis Turner, Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac elected to NASCAR Hall of Fame (VIDEO)


The 2016 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a diverse group of personalities spanning multiple eras, roles and series.

Voters elected two-time premier series champion Terry Labonte, 1970 champion Bobby Isaac, early star Curtis Turner, six-time modified series champion Jerry Cook and track mogul Bruton Smith to the Hall of Fame.

The seventh class of the Hall of Fame will be inducted at a January 2016 ceremony.

Fifty-seven votes and a fan vote were cast. Hall of Fame candidates Cook and Robert Yates were recused as voters.

Those who just missed making this class were inaugural champion Red Byron, former champion Benny Parsons and car owner Rick Hendrick.

The winner of the second annual Landmark Award was Darlington Raceway founder Harold Brasington, who was chosen over RJR executive Ralph Seagraves and legendary broadcast Ken Squier.

Here’s more on the list of inductees:

Born: March 3, 1927
Hometown: Oakboro, N.C.
Percentage of votes: 68 percent

Founder and majority stockholder of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which operates eight tracks that host NASCAR Sprint Cup races. … His company’s promotions and fan amenities have been credited with providing fans better experiences at races. … Smith took SMI public in 1995, making it the first motorsports company to be traded at the New York Stock Exchange. … Partnered with Curtis Turner in building Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1960. … Went bankrupt two years later … Became majority stockholder in track in 1975, regaining control of day-to-day operations. … Became interested in automobile racing when his dad took he and his brother to a race at the Charlotte Fairgrounds when Smith was 8 years old. Smith said he was hooked from that moment.

Born: Nov. 16, 1958
Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas
Percentage of votes: 61

Two-time champion of what is now the Sprint Cup Series. … Won his titles in 1984 and ’96. … Two-time Southern 500 champion, winning the race in 1980 and 2003. … Scored 22 career wins and 27 poles in 890 career starts. … Nicknamed the “Iceman” for his coolness under pressure. … Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. … Older brother to 2000 series champion Bobby Labonte.

Born: April 12, 1924
Died: Oct. 4, 1970
Hometown: Roanoke, Va.
Percentage of votes: 60

Called the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing,” Turner was among the most colorful competitors in NASCAR’s early years. … He competed in the first Strictly Stock race in 1949 at Charlotte. … He posted the first of his 17 career wins on  Sept. 11, 1949, at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway. … He also won 38 of 79 races in which he competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division. … He was barred from the sport from 1961-65 for trying to unionize the drivers. … Turner was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

Born: June 20, 1943
Hometown: Rome, N.Y.
Percentage of votes: 47

Six-time NASCAR modified champion, winning titles from 1971-72 and ’74-77. … Won those titles while competing against NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, a nine-time modified champion. … Scored 342 wins in 1,476 starts. … After retiring from racing in 1982, Cook stayed in the sport and helped shape the NASCAR Whelen Modifed Tour and served as its series director when it began in 1985. … He remains with NASCAR as a competition administrator.

Born: Aug. 1, 1932
Died: Aug. 14, 1977
Hometown: Catawba, N.C.
Percentage of votes: 44

Won the 1970 championship in what is now the Sprint Cup series, beating Hall of Famer Bobby Allison for the title by 51 points … Isaac won 37 races and 49 poles in his career. … In his 1970 title season, Isaac won 11 races and had 32 top-five finishes in 47 starts. … He was regarded as Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s favorite driver. … Isaac was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. … Second youngest of nine children, Isaac grew up on a farm. His father died when he was 13 years old, and Isaac dropped out of school.

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick still No. 1 after quiet Vegas

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Kevin Harvick didn’t have a flashy night Sunday in Las Vegas, but it didn’t keep him from retaining the No. 1 spot in this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings.

After winning the Bristol night race, Harvick finished in the top 10 in the first two stages in Vegas before placing 10th at race’s end.

Kurt Busch’s win at his home track vaulted him into the top 10 as 12 drivers received votes.

More: Playoff standings after Las Vegas

Here is this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings:

1. Kevin Harvick (Last week No. 1): In the last eight races he’s won three times and finished outside the top 10 only twice.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week No. 5): Placed fourth for his 11th top-five finish in the last 14 races.

3. Alex Bowman (Last week unranked): Finished fifth for his second top five and fifth top-10 finish in the last six races.

4. Denny Hamlin (Last week unranked): Left Vegas with a third-place finish to snap a three-race streak of finishing outside the top 10.

5. Kurt Busch (Last week unranked): Snapped a 46-race winless streak with his victory and advanced to the Round of 8.

6. Kyle Busch (Last week No. 3): Finished sixth after a “dismal” night. He has four consecutive top 10s.

7. Brad Keselowski (Last week No. 5): Finished 13th to give him two finishes outside the top 10 since he won at Richmond.

8. Chase Briscoe (Last week unranked): Opened the Xfinity playoffs with his second consecutive win.

8. Chase Elliott (Last week No. 2): Led 73 laps, but had to settle for a 22nd-place finish in Vegas.

8. Joey Logano (Last week No. 3): Finished 14th for his second straight finish outside the top 10.

Also receiving votes: Erik Jones and Chris Buescher.

NASCAR announces changes to Kansas playoff weekend

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Citing “programming changes,” NASCAR announced shifts in the race dates and start times for its visit next month to Kansas Speedway.

The Xfinity, ARCA and Truck Series races have been shifted, while the Cup race remains at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 18.

The biggest move is the Truck Series race shifting from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.

Here are the changes.

Friday, Oct. 16, 8:30 p.m. ETARCA Menards Series on FS1 or FS2; network TBD at a later date (previously at 10 p.m. ET)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 4 p.m. ETTruck Series on FOX (previously Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. ET Xfinity on NBCSN (previously 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN)


Xfinity Series playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Chase Briscoe opened the Xfinity Series playoffs by earning his second consecutive win.

His victory Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway gives him 57 playoff points and an automatic spot in the Round of 8.

Harrison Burton holds the final transfer spot. He has a two-point advantage over Ross Chastain.

Behind Chastain below the cutline are Michael Annett (-10 points), Riley Herbst (-14) and Brandon Brown (-20).

Below is the full Xfinity Series playoff standings going into Saturday’s race at Talladega (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance. Drivers in yellow are in the remaining playoff spots.

Xfinity Series playoff standings

Cup playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Kurt Busch flipped the script on the Cup playoff standings with his win Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

He entered the Round of 12 as the last driver in the playoff standings, but is the first driver to clinch a spot in the Round of 8.

Replacing Busch in the bottom spot of the playoff standings is Austin Dillon. He is 32 points behind Alex Bowman, who holds the final cutoff spot.

Behind Bowman is Kyle Busch (-9 points), Clint Bowyer (-20), Aric Almirola (-27) and Dillon.

“Obviously, the 1 car (Kurt Busch) was not a car that we needed to win a race,” Clint Bowyer said after Sunday’s race. “It’s been a hell of a battle back there with cars that are kind of in the same wheelhouse as far as points-wise. (Kurt Busch) winning changes that landscape quite a bit, but we’re only 20 points out.”

Here is the full playoff standings entering Sunday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance to the Round of 8. Drivers in yellow hold the remaining available playoff spots.

Cup playoff standings