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Hall of Legends

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Glen Wood

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1953-61, 1963-64

Before the Wood name became synonymous with that of dominant teams, Glen Wood tried his hand as a competitor on NASCAR’s Cup Series division. He proved to be quite a competitor during his 11-year career — notching 34 top-10 finishes in just 62 starts. In 1960, Wood claimed three of his four wins and four pole positions while competing in just nine races.

After his driving career, Glen and his brother Leonard combined to make the Wood Brothers team one of the most formidable programs in NASCAR Cup Series history with 97 wins to its credit. In 1995, the Wood Brothers were inducted into Lowe’s Motor Speedway‘s Court of Legends.

Robert ‘Junior’ Johnson

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1953-66

Junior Johnson was one of the early drivers competing in NASCAR races, who honed his skills on the back roads of rural North Carolina. His aggressive driving style earned him 50 NASCAR Cup Series wins. He also earned 47 pole positions in his career.

Johnson led the field in 1961 and ’65 in both laps led and races led (2,373 laps and 23 races; 3,998 laps and 30 races, respectively). Johnson also found success as a car owner, winning 119 races and six NASCAR Cup Series championships.

In 1973, Johnson was inducted in the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame at Darlington Raceway. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala. Johnson was also inducted into Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Court of Legends in 1996. The following year, he was inducted into Bristol Speedway’s Heroes of Bristol Hall of Fame.

Fred Lorenzen

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1956, 1960-67, 1970-72

Equally adept at racing on short tracks and superspeedways, Fred Lorenzen was one of the most capable drivers in NASCAR history.

An example of Lorenzen’s driving skills came in 1964 when he won eight of the 16 races he entered, and finished 13th in NASCAR Cup Series points despite not competing in 45 of the 61 races held that year.

Lorenzen scored wins in seven of the 12 years he competed in NASCAR Cup Series competition. He was the first driver in NASCAR history to earn more than $100,000 in one season ($122,588 in 1963).

In 1978, Lorenzen was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame at Darlington Raceway. In 1991, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala.

Quote by Fred: “Fans are my heroes, fans make you go fast”

Cale Yarborough

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1957, 1959-88

The one of only two NASCAR Cup Series drivers to win three consecutive championships (1976, ’77 and ’78), Cale Yarborough earned 83 NASCAR Cup Series victories and 70 pole positions in a career that spanned four decades.

Yarborough was second on the list of most laps led (31,776), led 340 races and run 171,927 miles. He is a four-time winner of the Daytona 500 and a five-time winner of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. In 1984, he became the first driver to qualify for the Daytona 500 at more than 200 mph. His 14 pole positions in 1980 and five consecutive victories in 1976 still stand as single-season records.

Yarborough was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993, the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Court of Legends at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1996.

Richard Petty

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1958-92

The undisputed “King” of stock-car racing with 200 NASCAR Cup Series wins, Petty won seven series championships during his 35-year career.

In the most remarkable season in NASCAR history, Petty won 27 of 48 races — including a record 10 in a row — and finished second seven times in cruising to the 1967 title. Petty led 41 of the 48 races in the 1967 season and of the 12,739 laps he completed, 5,537 were leading the field.

Seven of Petty’s 200 wins were in the Daytona 500, and he notched the final win of his career in the Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 1984.

Petty ranks first in numerous NASCAR Cup Series all-time categories: all-time wins (200), races started (1,184), top-five finishes (555), top-10 finishes (712), pole positions (126), laps completed (307,836), laps led (52,194), races led (599) and consecutive races won (10).

In 1992, Petty was inducted into Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Court of Legends. Five years later, Petty was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala.

David Pearson

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1960-86

David Pearson, a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, is second on the all-time win list with 105, trailing only Richard Petty.

Pearson, or the “Silver Fox” as he became known, set an unprecedented superspeedway qualifying record by winning 11 consecutive pole positions at Charlotte Motor Speedway form 1973-78. He won the 1976 Daytona 500.

When he retired, Pearson ranked second in NASCAR’s all-time pole positions earned with 113, fourth in laps led with 25,425 and sixth overall in races led with 329 races. He won 11 of the 18 NASCAR Cup Series events he entered in 1973. Pearson won 43 races from 1972-79 while driving for the famous Wood Brothers.

For his efforts, he was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame at Darlington Raceway in 1991. Two years later, in 1993, Pearson was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala. Then in 1995, Pearson was inducted into Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Court of Legends, and in 1998, Pearson was also inducted in the Bristol Motor Speedway’s Heroes of Bristol.

Darrell Waltrip

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1972-2000

One of the enduring figures on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit and a three-time series champion (1981, ’82, ’85), Darrell Waltrip became the elder spokesman for the sport prior to his retirement “Victory Tour” in 2000. His 809 starts ranked third-best at the time, his 84 victories tied him for third (with Bobby Allison) on the all-time list when he retired, and he recorded 59 pole positions in is career.

Waltrip won the 1989 Daytona 500 in his 17th attempt. He is the only five-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and won the inaugural The Winston in 1985. Waltrip holds the modern-era record for wins from the pole position with eight in 1981. He was the first NASCAR Cup Series driver to win $6 million, $7 million, $8 million, $9 million and $10 million in prize money and was the third driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to surpass the $15 million mark.

Waltrip was the winner of the NASCAR Most Popular Driver award in 1989 and 1990 and the National Motorsports Press Association Driver of the year in 1977, 1981 and 1982. Waltrip continued to reap the respect he cultivated as a motorsports broadcast analyst. He was inducted into the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Court of Legends and Bristol Motor Speedway’s Heroes of Bristol Hall of Fame in 1997.

Alan Kulwicki

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1985-91

The most recent owner/driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series championship, Alan Kulwicki claimed the 1992 title by the closest margin in the series history at the time — edging Bill Elliott by 10 points.

During that championship season, Kulwicki also led the most races (20). He was killed in a 1993 airplane accident while flying to a race in Bristol, Tenn. In 1993, Kulwicki was inducted into Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Court of Legends.

Four years later, in 1997, Kulwicki was inducted into Bristol Motor Speedway’s Heroes of Bristol Hall of Fame.

Jeff Gordon

NASCAR Cup Series Career: 1992-present

made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the 1992 season finale, the final race of Richard Petty‘s driving career. Since then, Gordon has won four NASCAR Cup Series championships (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001), more than 80 Cup Series victories, more than 65 Cup Series pole positions and the 1993 NASCAR Cup Series rookie of the year award.

He seems to rise to the challenge of the biggest races of the season; his first win came at the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, an event he won again in 1997 and 1998. Other major victories include the 1997, 1999 and 2005 Daytona 500s, the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994 and again in 1998, four consecutive Southern 500’s at Darlington Raceway (1995-98), The Winston in 1995 and ’97 and the Busch Clash (now the Bud Shootout) in 1994 and ’97.

In 1997, he also became only the second driver to win The Winston Million. He is the only driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to win four consecutive Southern 500s at Darlington Raceway. Gordon was the first driver in NASCAR history to exceed $4 million (1995) and $6 million (1997) in single-season earnings.

He was named the Driver of the Year in 1995 and 1997. Gordon was also named the National Motorsports Press Association’s and Eastern Motorsports Press Association Driver of the Year in 1995 and the True Value Man of the Year in 1996.

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