NASCAR announced Tuesday the list of 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's third induction class to be enshrined in January 2012. From that list, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.COM.
Of the 25 nominees, 20 return from last year's group. Five are first-timers: H. Clay Earles, Bobby Isaac, Cotton Owens, Les Richter and Leonard Wood.
This round of nominees, which again includes many of the sport's legendary names, were selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.
The HOF inductees will be determined by the voting panel, which has 54 members -- the entire nominating committee, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs) and recognized industry leaders. In addition, the fan vote will result in the voting panel's 55th and final ballot. Fan voting on NASCAR.COM opens on April 28 and closes June 12.
Following are the 25 nominees, listed alphabetically:
* Buck Baker, first driver to win consecutive Cup Series championships (1956-57)
* Red Byron, first Cup Series champion, in 1949
* Richard Childress, 11-time car owner and champion in NASCAR's three national series
* Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
* H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
* Richie Evans, nine-time NASCAR Modified champion
* Tim Flock, two-time Cup Series champion
* Rick Hendrick, 13-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series
* Jack Ingram, two-time Busch Series champion
* Dale Inman, eight-time Cup Series championship crew chief
* Bobby Isaac, 1970 Cup Series champion
* Fred Lorenzen, 26 wins and winner of the Daytona 500 and World 600
* Cotton Owens, driver-owner, won 1966 owner championship with David Pearson
* Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first champion car owner
* Benny Parsons, 1973 Cup Series champion
* Les Richter, former NASCAR executive; former president of Riverside International Raceway
* Fireball Roberts, won 33 Cup Series races, including the 1962 Daytona 500
* T. Wayne Robertson, helped raise NASCAR popularity as R.J. Reynolds Senior VP
* Herb Thomas, first two-time Cup Series champion (1951, '53)
* Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing"
* Darrell Waltrip, 84 wins and three Cup Series championships
* Joe Weatherly, two-time Cup Series champion
* Glen Wood, as driver, laid foundation for Wood Brothers' future team success
* Leonard Wood, part-owner and former crew chief for Wood Brothers, revolutionized pit stops
* Cale Yarborough, three consecutive Cup Series titles (1976-78)
The Class of 2012 will be announced live on SPEED on June 14 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., and inducted next January. The 2011 class, which includes David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Lee Petty, and Bud Moore will be enshrined at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Monday, May 23.