A look at the five honorees set to join NASCAR Hall of Fame – USA TODAY
Five new members will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday night in a ceremony in Charlotte.
A look at the drivers and team owners that make up the class of 2017:
Born: July 12, 1949
Hometown: Palmer Springs, Va.
Claim to fame: Owner of the most successful team in NASCAR history with 12 championships at the premier level, including a record-tying seven by Jimmie Johnson and four by Jeff Gordon. Hendrick Motorsports drivers have earned a combined 299 victories across NASCAR’s top three national series (Cup, Xfinity, Trucks) through 2016.
Quote: âI think it’s the passion and being able to compete, and it just fuels you getting up and coming out here and trying to do it again.â
PHOTOS: Memorable moments of Rick Hendrick’s careeer
Born:Â Sept.Â 21, 1945
Hometown: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Claim to fame: A hard-scrabble racer who was winless in 285 starts at NASCARâs highest level, he ceded the wheel of the No. 3 car to an up-and-coming hard-charger named Dale Earnhardt in 1981. Together they won six championships and set the foundation for Richard Childress Racing and a NASCAR legend.
Quote: Â âYou look at life, I’m sure y’all have heard that old song, don’t blink, 100 years goes by fast.â
Born:Â Jan.Â 9, 1959
Hometown: Batesville, Ark.
Claim to fame: Adorned with the double-edged descriptor of best driver to never win a NASCAR championship, the popular Martin claimed 40 wins in the Cup Series andÂ 49 wins in what is now called the Xfinity Series. Despite winning neither a title nor a Daytona 500, his body of work convinced voters of his qualification after finishing as a championship runner-up five times.
Quote: âThere are so many things in the world I donât know, itâs ridiculous, but I knew racing pretty well.â
PHOTOS: Mark Martin through the years
Born:Â July 12, 1941. Died: Jan.Â 16, 2007
Hometown: Wilkes County, N.C.
Claim to fame: His drama-filled title run in the 1973 Cup series helped mint the former Detroit taxi driver as an everyman champion and weekly threat. A Daytona 500 winner and the first NASCAR driver to pierce 200 mph, he later became a popular broadcaster.
Quote: “Benny Parsons was the kindest, sweetest, most considerate person I have ever known. He was almost too nice to be a race car driver, and I say that as a compliment. In my 30 odd years of racing Benny Parsons, I never knew of anyone being mad at Benny.” â Darrell Waltrip (2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee)
Born: June 5, 1914. Died: June 20, 2010
Hometown: Dawsonville, Ga.
Claim to fame: The former moonshiner is regarded as NASCARâs first team owner, running the car used by Red Byron to win the sportâs first championship in 1949.
Quote: Raymond Parks, on how to make a small fortune: âYou take a huge fortune, and then you go racing.â
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PHOTOS: NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2017