CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Stock car racing giants ranging from Bill France Sr. and Junior Johnson to Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt are among the 25 nominees for NASCAR's first Hall of Fame class.
The announcement Thursday night comes 10 months before the Hall of Fame's scheduled opening in downtown Charlotte. An inaugural class of five will be chosen from the group that includes the bootleggers who helped create the sport to the drivers, owners and officials who made it popular.
NASCAR patriarch France and his son, Bill France Jr., were among the candidates selected by a 21-member panel. The drivers include Petty, Earnhardt, Johnson, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarbrough and Glenn "Fireball" Roberts.