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Motorsports Hall of Fame of America reveals finalists for 2016 Class

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The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on Wednesday announced the finalists for the 2016 induction class.

A number of motorsports luminaries are under consideration, including from the worlds of open-wheel racing, drag racing, stock car racing, the historic category and motorcycle racing.

The seven inductees will be named Friday. The museum has previously been based in Novi and Detroit, Michigan, but has relocated and is slated to open near Daytona International Speedway in central Florida in the near future.

Here’s a breakdown of those who are in the running for the prestigious inclusion into the Hall:

Open-wheel racing: two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever, veteran driver and official Wally Dallenbach Sr., 11-time IndyCar Series winning owner Chip Ganassi, innovative designer and safety pioneer Ted Halibrand and 3-time Indy 500 winning owner Pat Patrick.

Drag racing: Funny Car designer John Buttera, veteran NHRA announcer Dave McClelland, pioneer Paula Murphy, Pro Stock legend Lee Shepherd and Top Fuel innovators The Surfers.

Stock car racing: the late Davey Allison, six-time NASCAR championship owner Richard Childress, two-time NASCAR champ and recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Terry Labonte, legendary car builder Banjo Matthews, “King of the Modifieds” Cotton Owens and 1969 Daytona 500 winner LeeRoy Yarbrough.

Motorcycle racing: 15-time AMA Grand National race winner Everett Brashear, two-time flat track national champion Randy Goss, three-time Daytona 200 winner Dick Klamfoth, two-time world Superbike champion Fred Merkel, two-time Baja 1000 winner J.N. Roberts and 13-time national champion mechanic Bill Werner.

Historic category: NACAR’s first champion Red Byron, 1963 Daytona 500 winner Tiny Lund, mechanic and builder Ray Nichels, midget / sprint car king Bob Sweikert, first two-time NASCAR champ Herb Thomas and short track specialist Rex White.

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