NASCAR Ready To Accelerate Into 2013 Season
Squier-Hall Award Part Of Feb. 8 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Induction
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2013) – A new NASCAR season is just over the horizon.
But before the engines are fired next month at Daytona International Speedway, there’s unfinished business – the celebration of those who built the foundations of the sport.
The 2013 NASCAR racing season officially begins on Friday, Feb. 8 with the induction of five legendary men into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. – NASCAR premier series champions Buck Baker, Herb Thomas and Rusty Wallace; championship car owner Cotton Owens and crew chief extraordinaire Leonard Wood.
Baker and Thomas won two championships apiece in the rough and tumble 1950s. Wallace, now an ESPN analyst, became champion in 1989 as the sport’s footprint broadened through the medium of network and cable television.
Owens supplied the cars and horsepower that carried many famous drivers into Victory Lane – and NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson to his first of three championships in 1966.
Wood, the architect of the lightning quick pit stop, follows his older brother Glen into the NASCAR Hall of Fame – a pioneer whose family has fielded winners through five generations of NASCAR Sprint Cup cars.
And – for the first time – media members who have contributed to the growth of NASCAR over more than six decades will be honored by NASCAR. This year’s induction events will feature the presentation of the first Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence – named in honor of its first recipients, pioneer NASCAR industry radio and television personalities Ken Squier and Barney Hall.
Squier and Hall’s careers have been intertwined since intersecting with the creation of the longtime Voice of NASCAR, the Motor Racing Network in 1970. Their expert observations on the sport have thrilled generations of NASCAR fans for more than 40 years and continue to do so today.
Vermont native Squier began his career as a race track public address announcer at the age of 14 and is a longtime New England radio station and track owner. Squier joined the Motor Racing Network in 1970 and for nearly two decades anchored NASCAR on CBS broadcasts before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000.
Squier, who called CBS’ first flag-to-flag coverage of the Daytona 500 in 1979 – and the post-race fight involving Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison – is credited with naming the event the “Great American Race.” He continues to enlighten NASCAR fans through periodic appearances on SPEED.
Hall, a native of Elkin, N.C., began his broadcast career in the 1950s working at local radio stations in North Carolina. He served as Bristol Motor Speedway’s first public address announcer when the track opened and called his first Daytona 500 in 1960 – missing only three broadcasts in the 54-year history of the classic event.
Hall joined the Motor Racing Network as an original announcer at the network’s inception in 1970, first as a turn announcer and then moving to the broadcast booth in the late 70s – from which he continues to provide word pictures for NASCAR’s many radio fans. Hall is widely known for his calm voice and unmatched story telling.
Induction of the fourth class brings the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s membership to 20. Ceremonies will take place at 7:30 p.m. ET in the Crown Ball Room at the Charlotte Convention Center and will air live on SPEED. The event is the first half of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend followed on Saturday, Feb. 9 by NASCAR Preview 2013.
Appearances by members of the classes of 2010, 2011 and 2012 are set for 4 p.m. at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, followed by 5 p.m. Induction Reception and 6 p.m. NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Jacket Presentation, the latter two events taking place in the Charlotte Convention Center Ballroom.
Tickets for the ceremonies start at $45 (available at www.nascaracceleration.com) and the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office. In addition, a $20 ticket will gain fans all-day access into NASCAR Preview 2013 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Fame on Saturday, Feb. 9.
More than 50 drivers across NASCAR’s three national series – NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – are scheduled to participate in the all-day NASCAR Preview 2013 event. Fans will have the opportunity to interact with drivers and secure autographs, participate in driver Q&A sessions, get a first-look at the new sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race cars and paint schemes and check out various interactive displays, among other activities.
Drivers include 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, five-time premier series winner Jimmie Johnson and NASCAR’s 10-time Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, three-time series champion Tony Stewart, two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series most popular driver Danica Patrick, and 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher also will be on hand.
The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season kicks off Saturday, Feb. 16 with the Shootout at Daytona, a non-points race for 2012 Coors Light Pole winners. The 55th Daytona 500 is scheduled for 1 p.m. ETC Sunday, Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway with coverage by FOX Sports, MRN and SIRIUSXM.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America's premier sports. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 175 countries and in 25 languages. In the U.S., races are broadcast on FOX, TNT, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, SPEED, Motor Racing Network, Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Radio. NASCAR fans are among the most brand loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, and one local grassroots series, as well as three international series. Also part of NASCAR is GRAND-AM Road Racing, known for its competition on road courses with multiple classes of cars. NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races at 100 tracks in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla.,
NASCAR has offices in eight cities across North America. The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be the Shootout at Daytona on Feb. 16 on FOX. For more information and a complete schedule, visit www.nascar.com. Follow NASCAR on www.facebook.com/NASCAR or on Twitter: @NASCAR.
About NASCAR Hall of Fame
Conveniently located in uptown Charlotte, N.C., the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, opened May 11, 2010 and includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits, 278-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Media Group-operated broadcast studio.
The venue is opened 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week and has an attached parking garage on
Brevard Street. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000- square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000 square-foot ballroom.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. www.NASCARHall.com.