Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday, Ken Squier and Robert Yates will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2018.
The five inductees were announced by NASCAR on Wednesday. According to the sanctioning body, Hornaday tied with Alan Kulwicki for the fifth and final spot in the class. Hornaday then beat Kulwicki via a tiebreaker.
Hornaday is a four-time Camping World Truck Series champion. His inclusion into the Hall of Fame comes at the over Kulwicki, the 1992 Cup Series champion and Bobby Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion. He also beat out champion owners Joe Gibbs, Jack Roush and Roger Penske.
His induction over two Cup-winning drivers and owners with Cup titles is a statement about the significance of the Truck Series in voters’ minds. While four Truck titles is a hell of an accomplishment, it seems fair to wonder just how much Cup titles should be weighed against titles in lesser series.
Hornaday and Kulwicki also tied with 38 percent of the vote. Perhaps it’s time for NASCAR to establish a simple majority threshold for inductees to clear during the voting process.
Byron is NASCAR’s first Cup Series champion. He had two wins and four top 10s in six races in 1949, the first season of NASCAR’s existence.
Evernham won three championships as Jeff Gordon’s crew chief. After leaving Gordon’s pit box, Evernham became a car owner and was one of the flagship owners for Dodge’s return to NASCAR in 2001.
Evernham and Gordon won 49 races together, including 33 from 1996-1998. As a car owner, Evernham’s teams had 13 wins from 2001-2006.
Squier is a longtime NASCAR broadcaster whose voice is ingrained in the heads of many longtime NASCAR fans. The Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR broadcasters is named after Squier and longtime radio announcer Barney Hall.
Yates won the 1999 Cup Series championship as Dale Jarrett’s car owner and his teams won 57 races from 1989 to 2005. Yates is famed for his engine building prowess and all Ford engines are currently branded as Roush-Yates engines. Yates, who has been battling liver cancer, received 94 percent of the votes. His tally was the most of any inductee.
The five will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January.
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