Stewart headlines nominees for NASCAR Hall of Fame

Staff Reports

Tony Stewart headlines a list of 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2020, which were announced by NASCAR on Wednesday.

Five of the nominees will be elected by the 24-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel. Voting Day for the 2020 Hall of Fame Class will be on May 22.

This is Stewart’s first year of eligibility. The Columbus native could join Jeff Gordon as a second consecutive first-ballot Hall of Famer.

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Stewart is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and a two-time Brickyard 400 winner. He retired from Cup Series racing following the 2016 season, but remains an owner with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Earlier this week, Stewart, who has had a decorated sprint car racing career, was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is separate from the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

“I think the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is the amount of cars I’ve been able to drive along the way, from IndyCar to NASCAR,” Stewart told The Republic in an interview last month. “Between winning an Indy Car Championship, the three Cup championships, the Triple Crown in 1995, winning the Brickyard, winning the Chili Bowl twice. Winning an Indy Car championship to NASCAR fans doesn’t mean as much. We’ve just been fortunate to have some pretty cool moments along the way.”

Stewart’s former car owner, Joe Gibbs, also is on this year’s NASCAR Hall of Fame Ballot. The others include Sam Ard, Buddy Baker, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer, Ray Fox, Harry Gant, John Holman, Harry Hyde, Bobby Labonte, Herschel McGriff, Ralph Moody, Marvin Panch, Jim Paschal, Larry Phillips, Ricky Rudd, Mike Stefanik, Red Vogt and Waddell Wilson.