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Bush lauded Lee Petty as “the patriarch of what would be one of the most famous families, not only in NASCAR, but in all of American sports.”

Lee Petty set a standard of excellence that helped define the sport through the years, a standard few drivers would ever match,” Bush said via video. “It’s no coincidence that one driver who did was Lee’s son, seven-time champion Richard Petty, my friend.”

Lee Petty, who died in 2000 and is the only deceased member of the class, was inducted by his grandchildren and the honor was accepted by sons Richard and Maurice, who spoke of Lee Petty’s single-minded focus on working hard to provide for his family.

“His big deal was to take care of his own. And if you got in the way, he got you out of the way,” Richard Petty said. “Hopefully, he’s up there somewhere saying, ‘OK, I knew I’d get there. I might have had to push somebody out of the way to get there.’ “

Brokaw honored Moore as a member of “The Greatest Generation,” who was part of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, earning five purple hearts and two bronze stars during his service. Moore, who was inducted by broadcaster Barney Hall, then told a story of his daughter once asking him how he’d like to be remembered.

“The answer is simple,” he said. “One who made many contributions to the sport. One who’s firm handshake was as good as any contract. One who always gave a straight answer. Most of all, to be remembered as a man who loved his family, his country and the sport of racing.”

Alabama football coach Nick Saban narrated Allison’s video, closing with “Roll Tide and Roll Bobby” in a nod to the leader of racing’s “Alabama Gang.”

Jarrett selected broadcaster Ken Squier to introduce him, and was inducted by his children Dale Jarrett, Glenn Jarrett and Patti Makar. Dale Jarrett is a former Cup champion and current ESPN broadcaster.

The twist was for Pearson, who was introduced by Richard Petty, his longtime rival. The two still bicker about their on-track competitions, and shared a testy moment on stage last week at a nominees dinner over the 1976 Daytona 500 finishes. Pearson passed Petty on the last lap, and as Petty tried to reclaim the lead, they touched and both spun, but Pearson was able to cross the finish line ahead of Petty.

“I’m not going to tell you that David Pearson was the best driver in NASCAR,” Petty said in his introduction. “But I am going to tell you he was the best driver I ever raced against.”


AP Sports Writer Mike Cranston contributed to this report.

Jenna Fryer can be reached at