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Families highlight NASCAR Hall of Fame ceremonies

January 29th, 2014 9:59 pm by Jeff Birchfield

Families highlight NASCAR Hall of Fame ceremonies

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dale Jarrett became part of the second father-son combination to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and Maurice Petty became the fourth member of his family-owned team so honored.
Early Cup Series stars Glenn “Fireball” Roberts, Tim Flock and five-time national sportsman champion Jack Ingram were also inducted during ceremonies Wednesday at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Jarrett, 57, joined his father, Ned, in the Hall of Fame. The 1999 series champion thrived at the biggest events. Of his 32 career victories, he had three in the Daytona 500, two in the Brickyard 400  and one win apiece in the Coca-Cola 600 and Bristol night race.
He also won 11 times in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Jarrett retired from competition in 2008 and currently is a NASCAR commentator for ESPN and ABC.
“My dad was and still is my hero,” Jarrett said. “That’s what makes this night so very special. I’m joining my father in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”
Ned Jarrett, a 2011 inductee, talked about the night from his perspective. He was the first father of a Hall of Fame inductee still living.
“We all like to see our children do well,” Ned Jarrett said. “This is the ultimate. I was the first dad to see his son inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame and I can’t tell you how special that is. He has made us proud in a lot of ways, but this tops us all.”
Petty, 73, built engines for all of his brother Richard’s seven Cup Series championships and 198 of his 200 victories.
Nicknamed “Chief,” his induction is the fourth for Petty Enterprises and the Petty family. Richard Petty was in the Hall of Fame’s first group of inductees, while the family’s patriarch Lee Petty was in the second group. Their cousin and crew chief Dale Inman was honored in 2012.
Maurice Petty, who had 26 career starts as a driver, also built winning engines for Jim Paschal, Buddy Baker and Pete Hamilton. He also served as crew chief on Hamilton’s winning Plymouth Superbird in the 1970 Daytona 500.
“Who would ever think about the whole family being in the NASCAR Hall of Fame?,” said Maurice Petty. “Here we were out in the country and we all lived within a quarter-mile of each other, we send four people in the Hall of Fame. I really thought it would be reserved for the drivers. It was quite a surprise when I found out I was going in, but I’m really proud of it.”
Roberts, often referred to as NASCAR’s first superstar, had 33 wins and 32 poles in 207 Cup Series starts. He won six of 10 races he entered in 1958.
He won seven races at Daytona, including the 1962 Daytona 500. He also had two wins in the Southern 500 and a win in the 1963 Southeastern 500 at Bristol. His last victory came driving a Holman-Moody Ford in 1963 on a three-time road course in Augusta, Ga.  
Roberts suffered fatal burns in a crash at the 1964 World 600 in Charlotte. He died weeks later at age 35.
Flock, who was 73 when he died in 1998 , won 21 percent of the Cup Series races he entered (39 wins in 187 starts). It is still the highest winning percentage ever for a full-time NASCAR driver.
Famous for his antics as well as being a two-time series champion, Flock was well known for having a Rhesus monkey nicknamed “Jocko Flocko” as a passenger in his car for eight races in 1953.
Coming from a family of daredevils, his father was a tightrope walker. His brothers, Bob and Fonty, combined to win 22 races and 36 poles, and his sister, Ethel, had two starts in the top series.
Ingram, 77, won two Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) and three Late Model Sportsman national championships.
Nicknamed the “Iron Man,” the Asheville, N.C. driver captured 31 Busch Series victories, a record broken by Mark Martin in 1997. Overall, Ingram won 317 NASCAR-sanctioned races including the 1975 Permatex 300 at Daytona. He won 12 track championships at speedways in three states. They included back-to-back titles in 1980-81 at Kingsport Speedway.
He also competed in 19 Sprint Cup Series races from 1965-81 with his best finish, a runner-up to Richard Petty at Hickory in 1967.
“This is a major lifetime achievement for me,” Ingram said. “I was able to win championships in different states, 317 NASCAR point races and I’m not counting those outlaw races.
“I won Daytona in 1975 on “Wide World of Sports” and I started getting letters from everywhere. They’d write a letter to Jack Ingram, Asheville, USA, and I’d get it. That was really something that made my whole racing career. I’m thankful to people all over who enjoyed NASCAR racing.”

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