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Fans help decide 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees

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On Wednesday, April 2, fan voting for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 opened, and will run through Tuesday, May 20 at noon ET. The process of having NASCAR fans decide at least some of the nominations to the hall is unique to the sport, and helps to give the average fan a feeling of ownership in the sport.

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"The NASCAR Hall of Fame is the only hall of its kind where fans have had a voice in the induction process since its inception,” said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR chief communications officer. “And the reason is simple. NASCAR fans are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the sport and its history, and have demonstrated that with their selections for the first five classes.”

The five nominees receiving the highest percentage of votes will comprise the Fan Vote ballot. This ballot will be included among the 54 submitted by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel to determine the Class of 2015. Last year, Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Dale Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Fireball Roberts were on the Fan Vote ballot. Jarrett and Roberts were enshrined as part of the Class of 2014.

The following 20 nominees were voted upon by the 22-person Nominating Committee at its first-ever in-person meeting Feb. 21, and appear on the Fan Vote ballot.

Buddy Baker won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500. Red Byron was the first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949. Richard Childress is an 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series. Jerry Cook was a six-time NASCAR Modified champion. Bill Elliott was the 1988 premier series champion, two-time Daytona 500 winner and 16-time Most Popular Driver. Ray Fox was a legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others. Rick Hendrick is a 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series. Bobby Isaac, was the 1970 NASCAR premier series champion. Terry Labonte is a two-time NASCAR premier series champion. Fred Lorenzen had 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600. Raymond Parks was NASCAR’s first champion car owner. Benny Parsons was the 1973 NASCAR premier series champion, and a world class announcer. Larry Phillips is the only five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion. Wendell Scott was a NASCAR trailblazer was the first African-American NASCAR premier series race winner, and first to be nominated for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. O. Bruton Smith is the builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc. Mike Stefanik is a winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships. Curtis Turner was an early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing." Joe Weatherly was a two-time NASCAR premier series champion. Rex White was the 1960 NASCAR premier series champion. Robert Yates won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner.

Do you agree with the people put into nomination for 2015? What names would you add to the list? Who would you take out? Be sure to vote for your favorite drivers and NASCAR pioneers, and let your voice be heard in Charlotte!

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