Tony Stewart, Joe Gibbs headline 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame class
Bobby Labonte, Buddy Baker and Waddell Wilson round out the group of five
NASCAR announced its 2020 Hall of Fame class on Wednesday, with Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs headlining the group of five. Bobby Labonte, Buddy Baker and Waddell Wilson round out the inductees.
Stewart earned the highest percentage of votes, appearing on 88 percent of ballots. Gibbs and Wilson came it at 72 percent followed by Baker at 70 percent and Labonte at 67 percent. The next-top vote getters were Mike Stefanik, Ray Fox and Hershel McGriff.
Only four drivers have more NASCAR Cup Series championships than Stewart, who finished his career with three (2002, 2005, 2011). Stewart won the first two of those titles while driving for Gibbs in the No. 20, and his final championship as a driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in the No. 14.
Two of Stewart's 49 career wins came at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400, however he was never able to win NASCAR's premier race, The Daytona 500, at least as a driver. As an owner, Stewart won The Great American Race with driver Kurt Busch, a driver Stewart spent the early part of his career feuding with on the track.
Gibbs joins the NASCAR Hall of Fame one year after team owner Roger Penske earned the nod. Gibbs has combined for nine car owner championships in the Cup and Xfinity Series, including four at the highest level of competition. Gibbs also won the Daytona 500 three times, including the 2019 season opener with Denny Hamlin.
Gibbs is now in two major halls of fame. The three-time Super Bowl winning coach with the Washington Redskins was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996. The 78-year-old went 195-115 in his career as a head coach including a 17-7 record in the postseason.
Waddell Wilson was the third name announced at the ceremony on Wednesday. Wilson was a dual-threat in NASCAR garages serving as both a crew chief and engine builder. He won three Cup Series championships and three Daytona 500s as an engine builder.
As for Buddy Baker, he won 19 career NASCAR Cup Series races including two of the most prestigious in the Daytona 500 and Southern 500. Baker's 1980 Daytona 500 was the fastest ever run, with an average speed of 177.602 mph.
The final Hall of Fame member announced was Bobby Labonte, who joins his brother Terry Labonte in NASCAR immortality. Bobby Labonte only won 21 races, but did win both a NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series championship. Labonte also won the 1995 Coca-Cola 600, 2000 Brickyard 400 and 2000 Southern 500.
Edsel Ford won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, serves as a member of the board of directors for Ford Motor Company and has been a long-time NASCAR supporter.
The Class of 2020 Induction Weekend will take place January 30th, 2020 through February 1st, 2020 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte. The Class of 2020 is the Hall's 11th class and with the inductees growing to 55 members.
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