Nascar Hall Of Fame Inductees
January 22, 2012 by staff
Nascar Hall Of Fame Inductees, The 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class was inducted Friday Friday night, Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Darrell Waltrip, Richie Evans and Cale Yarborough were inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Here are the some highlights of their remarks. The induction ceremony will be broadcast on SPEED on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.
Evans won eight Modified Series championships in a row from 1978-1985. He passed away at a practice session in Martinsville in 1985 after he had already sealed the championship. Richie’s wife, Lynn, accepted the honor on Richie’s behalf. Richie was introduced by Billy Nacewicz, his long-time crew chief.
Lynn Evans: “Good evening. Rich, I’ve had to do a lot of things for you over the years, but this time I wish you could be here to accept this honor.
I know you’re here in spirit as the No. 61 appears often in my life, even as I checked into the hotel, the number 61 came up. I’d like to congratulate Dale Inman, Cale Yarborough, Glen Wood and Darrell Waltrip at being inducted in NASCAR’s Hall of Fame class 2012 with Rich. Rich would be so honored and humbled to be included with the inductees, past, present and future. What a great honor.
I’d also like to thank the nominating committee for including Rich. With so many deserving people the task must have been difficult. I’d especially like to thank the Hall of Fame voting panel for stepping outside the box and making Rich the first driver inductee not to have raced in NASCAR’s top series full-time. You have now given hope to thousands of NASCAR competitors throughout the country to maybe someday reach their dream.
I’d like to thank NASCAR for providing a stage for competitors to showcase their talents and for the media for bringing that stage to millions of fans. Every champion driver has a championship team. Rich started with the late Gene DeWitt, his longtime sponsor and friend, who along with the family, Byron, Linda and Jamie, helped fulfill his dream. I’d like to thank them along with crew chief Billy Nacewicz and all of Richie’s crews over the years, many whom are here tonight.”
Inman was Richard Petty’s crew chief, and together they won 193 races together and seven titles. And of course, The King introduced him.
Inman: “Richard hit on me and Maurice driving the race car to Riverside, California, in 1958. He didn’t clear that up very good. Him and Maurice was supposed to drive it, and he was out in the yard showing off and trying to walk on his hands and hurt his shoulder, so I was his substitute driver, and I won’t go into that much, but you didn’t race but you drove the race car to Riverside, California, run a 500-mile road course, then got home and rode down in Wilcox, Arizona, had to order a housing from another town, and it come in on the bus. I didn’t think this country boy would ever get home.
And then in today’s world, we talk about track conditions. We might have a ten-degree change in temperature. We might have a cloud cover. But I happen to be lucky enough to be with the Pettys on the beach in 1958, the last race on the beach. Four miles out — how many miles down the beach? A long way. And then you go through a sand bank, up the beach when the tide is out, and Junior has run there, but you’re talking about track conditions, now, that was some track conditions.
And then we still get back to 1958, and back then the drivers had to be 21 years old before they could drive, and that would affect a lot of it today. But Richard turned 21 July the 2nd, 1958, and ten days later, me and him and the Red Miler took a convertible to Columbia, South Carolina, eight miles of dirt, slick track. We get down there and Richard had never driven. We didn’t know whether he could last or not. Joe Willy was down there without a car, so we talked to Joe and said if Richard needs help, will you help him. He said, well, sure.
And of course this was before radios, so we had to communicate with black boards, and the signal for a driver was go to your head. Of course the drivers today with radios uses some gestures, but they’re pretty expensive. But Richard went to his head two or three times, and I’d go get Joe and Joe would come and put his helmet on, his little golfing gloves. Going home, I said, Richard what was you doing, he was wanting relief and you wouldn’t come in. He said, oh, my head was itching.
So it’s come a long way. And of course you probably haven’t raced until the mid ’60s when we’d leave home with a race car in a period of about ten days. We’d run five or six races where we’d come home, and that was — I guess it was fun. I don’t know.”
Waltrip, the current Fox broadcaster, won 84 Sprint Cup Series races. He was introduced by his long-time crew chief and Fox co-worker Jeff Hammond.
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