NMPA Hall of Fame

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Mark Martin selected to NMPA Hall of Fame

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Mark Martin will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame on Jan. 22, 2017, after he was selected on 95 percent of the ballots cast from journalists who cover NASCAR.

Martin was the only person to be selected on at least 65 percent of the ballots, which is required for enshrinement.

Martin won 40 career Sprint Cup races, ranking 17th on the all-time list. He also won 49 Xfinity races and seven Camping World Truck Series events. He was a five-time champion in the International Race of Champions.

Others who received votes but fell short of making the required 65 percent threshold were crew chiefs Kirk Shelmerdine (61 percent), Buddy Parrott (59 percent) and Larry McReynolds (51 percent). Also receiving votes was long-time Martinsville Speedway public relations director Dick Thompson (59 percent). Former driver Dan Gurney and former statistician Bob Latford were named as write-in candidates.

“Those guys are heroes of mine,” Martin said of his fellow nominees. “It is just such an incredible honor to be considered along with them. I feel very fortunate and blessed but most of all I’m thankful. Very thankful.”

The National Motorsports Press Association was formed more than 50 years ago and its membership consists of motorsports writers, broadcasters and photographers from throughout the U.S. and abroad.

The NMPA Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is located on the grounds of Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Bill Elliott to be inducted into press association hall of fame

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Less than two months after being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, legendary driver Bill Elliott has been selected for induction into yet another notable motorsports hall of fame.

This September, the 1988 Winston Cup champion will become the 95th inductee in the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, the organization announced.

In voting of the NMPA membership, Elliott was a near-unanimous selection, being chosen on 98 percent of the ballots. A minimum of 65 percent of the total votes is necessary for a candidate to be eligible for induction.

Others receiving votes were: former drivers L.D. Ottinger and Sterling Marlin, former crew chief/driver Kirk Shelmerdine and sportswriter David Poole.

Elliott’s induction will be held Sept. 4 at the Darlington (S.C.) Country Club. Founded in 1965, the NMPA Hall of Fame and museum is located on the grounds of nearby Darlington Raceway.

Earlier this year, the Dawsonville, Ga., native, was inducted along with Fred Lorenzen, Rex White, Wendell Scott and Joe Weatherly into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

During his career, Elliott won 44 Winston Cup races, including two Daytona 500 victories (1985 and 1987) and three Southern 500 triumphs at Darlington (1985, 1988 and 1994). He also won the 2002 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Elliott was a 16-time winner of the NMPA’s Most Popular Driver award, voted upon by NASCAR fans, the most in the program’s history.

He is now a part of son Chase’s NASCAR racing efforts.

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