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Bruton Smith, Terry Labonte, Curtis Turner, Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac elected to NASCAR Hall of Fame (VIDEO)


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The 2016 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a diverse group of personalities spanning multiple eras, roles and series.

Voters elected two-time premier series champion Terry Labonte, 1970 champion Bobby Isaac, early star Curtis Turner, six-time modified series champion Jerry Cook and track mogul Bruton Smith to the Hall of Fame.

The seventh class of the Hall of Fame will be inducted at a January 2016 ceremony.

Fifty-seven votes and a fan vote were cast. Hall of Fame candidates Cook and Robert Yates were recused as voters.

Those who just missed making this class were inaugural champion Red Byron, former champion Benny Parsons and car owner Rick Hendrick.

The winner of the second annual Landmark Award was Darlington Raceway founder Harold Brasington, who was chosen over RJR executive Ralph Seagraves and legendary broadcast Ken Squier.

Here’s more on the list of inductees:


Born: March 3, 1927

Hometown: Oakboro, N.C.

Percentage of votes: 68 percent

Founder and majority stockholder of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., which operates eight tracks that host NASCAR Sprint Cup races. … His company’s promotions and fan amenities have been credited with providing fans better experiences at races. … Smith took SMI public in 1995, making it the first motorsports company to be traded at the New York Stock Exchange. … Partnered with Curtis Turner in building Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1960. … Went bankrupt two years later … Became majority stockholder in track in 1975, regaining control of day-to-day operations. … Became interested in automobile racing when his dad took he and his brother to a race at the Charlotte Fairgrounds when Smith was 8 years old. Smith said he was hooked from that moment.


Born: Nov. 16, 1958

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

Percentage of votes: 61

Two-time champion of what is now the Sprint Cup Series. … Won his titles in 1984 and ’96. … Two-time Southern 500 champion, winning the race in 1980 and 2003. … Scored 22 career wins and 27 poles in 890 career starts. … Nicknamed the “Iceman” for his coolness under pressure. … Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. … Older brother to 2000 series champion Bobby Labonte.


Born: April 12, 1924

Died: Oct. 4, 1970

Hometown: Roanoke, Va.

Percentage of votes: 60

Called the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing,” Turner was among the most colorful competitors in NASCAR’s early years. … He competed in the first Strictly Stock race in 1949 at Charlotte. … He posted the first of his 17 career wins on Sept. 11, 1949, at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway. … He also won 38 of 79 races in which he competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division. … He was barred from the sport from 1961-65 for trying to unionize the drivers. … Turner was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.


Born: June 20, 1943

Hometown: Rome, N.Y.

Percentage of votes: 47

Six-time NASCAR modified champion, winning titles from 1971-72 and ’74-77. … Won those titles while competing against NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, a nine-time modified champion. … Scored 342 wins in 1,476 starts. … After retiring from racing in 1982, Cook stayed in the sport and helped shape the NASCAR Whelen Modifed Tour and served as its series director when it began in 1985. … He remains with NASCAR as a competition administrator.


Born: Aug. 1, 1932

Died: Aug. 14, 1977

Hometown: Catawba, N.C.

Percentage of votes: 44

Won the 1970 championship in what is now the Sprint Cup series, beating Hall of Famer Bobby Allison for the title by 51 points … Isaac won 37 races and 49 poles in his career. … In his 1970 title season, Isaac won 11 races and had 32 top-five finishes in 47 starts. … He was regarded as Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s favorite driver. … Isaac was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. … Second youngest of nine children, Isaac grew up on a farm. His father died when he was 13 years old, and Isaac dropped out of school.