May 20, 2014, 12:49 PM EDT
Who will be the next five NASCAR legends to join the sport’s Hall of Fame? We’re one day away from finding out.
The Class of 2015 will be chosen tomorrow in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Hall of Fame’s voting panel is charged with picking from a field of 20 inductees. One of the 55 ballots cast is a collective fan vote that officially closed earlier this afternoon.
As part of several changes to the Hall of Fame’s eligibility and voting process, the defending Sprint Cup Series champion now has a vote at his/her disposal.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson, who claimed his sixth Cup championship last fall, has used the opportunity as a learning experience.
“I definitely have an opinion and look forward to understanding the process,” Johnson told Yahoo Sports recently. “Some (nominees) I knew, I knew their background but I learned a little bit more.
“Others, I’m getting a nice little glimpse into their part of NASCAR and their history in NASCAR.”
The announcement will take place tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET, with NASCAR AMERICA broadcasting live at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN from the Hall of Fame.
Here’s the list of 20 potential inductees that could be chosen for induction tomorrow. Many of them are former drivers, with others having excelled in roles such as team ownership, track ownership, and engine building:
- Buddy Baker
- Red Byron
- Richard Childress
- Jerry Cook
- Bill Elliott
- Ray Fox
- Rick Hendrick
- Bobby Isaac
- Terry Labonte
- Fred Lorenzen
- Raymond Parks
- Benny Parsons
- Larry Phillips
- Wendell Scott
- Bruton Smith
- Mike Stefanik
- Curtis Turner
- Joe Weatherly
- Rex White
- Robert Yates
Also up for grabs tomorrow is the inaugural Landmark Award for outstanding contributions to the sport.
The nominees for this special honor are: TV/radio broadcaster Ken Squier; Parks, the sport’s first championship-winning team owner; H. Clay Earles, the late creator of Martinsville Speedway; Anne B. France, the wife of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.; and Ralph Seagraves, who brought R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and its Winston brand to the sport as a sponsor in the 1970s.
The Landmark nominees are also eligible for the Hall of Fame itself.