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Waltrip headlines NASCAR’s 3rd Hall of Fame class
Inman led his cousin, Hall of Famer Richard Petty, to a record seven championships. The crew chief won an eighth title with Terry Labonte. From 1958 to 1992, he led drivers to 193 wins and 129 poles.
His standout year was 1967 when he guided Petty to a NASCAR-record, 27 races _ including 10-straight _ in a single car built a year earlier.
“Dale was a racing benchmark,” Petty said. “He was the sport’s first official crew chief and people modeled themselves after him. He knew what, when and where _ and when he made a mistake he wasn’t afraid to admit it. Everyone respected him for that. Nobody even comes close to the number of wins that Dale has recorded.”
Wood, at 86 the oldest member of this incoming class, formed a race team that still competes today in Stuart, Va., with his four brothers. Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 last year for the Wood Brothers, giving the team its 98th victory spanning seven different decades. Bayne’s win was the team’s fifth Daytona 500 victory, and the Wood Brothers also won the 1965 Indianapolis 500 with Jim Clark.
Wood’s brother, Leonard, choreographer of the modern pit stop, is a NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee.
“It’s such a long trip from 1950 to now. It’s sort of hard to believe,” Wood said. “It’s one of the biggest honors you could have. I didn’t come here alone; I had a lot of help. There’s five of us brothers. All of those helped at one time or another.”
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