Three-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart headlines the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2020 announced Wednesday.
Longtime team owner Joe Gibbs, whose team has won four NASCAR Cup championships – two of them with Stewart – will also be inducted. Bobby Labonte, who drove a Joe Gibbs Racing car to the 2000 NASCAR Cup championship, was also voted in, giving the class a strong JGR flavor.
Longtime NASCAR Cup driver Buddy Baker, who won 19 races including the 1980 Daytona 500, was also voted in from the list of 20 nominees, along with legendary crew chief and engine builder Waddell Wilson.
Stewart, who retired in 2016 after 18 seasons, won 49 Cup races and series titles in 2002, 2005 and 2011. He’s now co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, one of the sport’s most successful teams.
Gibbs, who won three Super Bowl championships as coach of the Washington Redskins, started JGR in 1991. The team has won 164 Cup races, and added its fourth Cup title with Kyle Busch in 2015.
Labonte won 21 Cup races in a 25-year career that ended in 2016. He finished in the top 10 in the standings seven times in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Baker, son of fellow hall of fame driver Buck Baker, drove in five different decades in a career that ran from 1959 through 1994. He won 19 races and finished in the top 10 of the standings five times. He died in 2015 at age 74.
Wilson, 82, is regarded as one of the greatest crew chiefs and engine builders in NASCAR history. As crew chief, he won three Daytona 500s in the early 1980s, and he worked as engine builder or crew chief with some of the top drivers in the sport’s history, including Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Baker, Junior Johnson and Fred Lorenzen.
Stewart was picked on 88 percent of the ballots, followed by Gibbs and Wilson (72 percent), Baker (70 percent) and Labonte (67 percent).
The new class will be inducted into the hall of fame in Charlotte on Jan. 31, 2020.
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