Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Fast Facts: 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Ken Squier

credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Ken Squier is now a two-time member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame – only fitting for a man who has meant so much to sport. Squier and fellow 2018 inductees Robert Yates, Red Byron, Ray Evernham and Ron Hornaday Jr. were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Here are the Fast Facts on this legendary broadcaster.
  • Kenley Dean Squier was born April 10, 1935 in Waterbury, VT. His father, Lloyd, owned radio station WDEV in town, and Squier began working on-air at age 12; Squier remains principal owner and CEO of the station.
  • At age 14, Squier called his first stock car race at a Vermont dirt track, and went on to announce at numerous tracks around Vermont.
  • In 1969, Squier co-founded the Motor Racing Network (MRN), announcing there for several years before moving to television in the 1970s. He served as a pit reporter for the first live “flag-to-flag” race covered on ABC in 1971 and joined CBS Sports that same year.
  • Squier went on to cover the sport as a lap-by-lap commentator for both CBS and TBS in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s before moving to a job as studio host from 1997-2000. He announced every Daytona 500 from 1979-1997.
  • Squier has most recently been part of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 throwback broadcasts since 2015, working with Ned and Dale Jarrett.
  • Squier was already a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame: in 2012, he, along with fellow journalist Barney Hall, received the very first Squier-Hall Awards, created to honor media contributors of the sport.
  • Find out more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and its inductees at www.nascarhall.com

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Fast Facts: 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Ray Evernham

The dynamic duo of Jeff Gordon (l) and Ray Evernham in the 2018
NASCAR Hall of Fame portraits
credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Ray Evernham’s list of “hats worn” during his career is more than impressive: Modified driver, chassis specialist, crew chief, team owner, race analyst, television show host – and now member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Evernham and fellow 2018 inductees Robert Yates, Red Byron, Ken Squier and Ron Hornaday Jr. were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Here are the Fast Facts on this multi-faceted personality.
  • Ray Evernham was born Aug. 26, 1957 in Hazlet, NJ. He began working on short-track race cars as a teenager, and eventually found his way into the driver’s seat of northeastern Modifieds. Along the way, he also worked with the International Race of Champions (IROC) as a chassis specialist and worked with Alan Kulwicki – a relationship that lasted only six weeks as their personalities clashed.
  • A racing injury took Evernham from the driver’s seat, but his chassis setups for a young Jeff Gordon in 1990 impressed both Gordon and Ford executives, who teamed the pair up at Bill Davis Racing in the Busch (now Xfinity) Series in 1992. Evernham followed Gordon to Hendrick Motorsports at the end of that season, making their driver/crew chief debut in the Cup Series in the 1992 season finale.
  • Evernham – leader of the “Rainbow Warriors,” as Gordon’s pit crew was nicknamed – remained as Gordon’s crew chief through the 1999 season, combining to win 47 races and three Cup Series championships (1995, 1997 and 1998). In 2006, Evernham was voted on by media as the greatest crew chief of all time.
  • Evernham left Hendrick Motorsports following the 1999 season to become a team owner in the Cup Series, bringing Dodge back into the NASCAR fold in 2001 with another Cup Series champion, Bill Elliott, behind the wheel. Evernham Motorsports would eventually field teams in all three of NASCAR’s top-tier series as well as the ARCA Racing Series.
  • Evernham has worked as a television analyst on a number of occasions, including three stints with ESPN/ABC and currently for NBCSN. He is also the host of the show AmeriCarna on Velocity.
  • Evernham married former driver Erin Crocker in Aug. 2009. They have a daughter, Cate Susan, born in July 2015; Evernham also has a son, Ray J., from his previous marriage.
  • Find out more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and its inductees at www.nascarhall.com.



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Fast Facts: 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Robert Yates

Davey Allison (l) with team owner Robert Yates
credit: ISC Archives via Getty Images
It will be a bittersweet celebration of a racing career for the family of 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Robert Yates this weekend, as the long-time team owner and engine builder passed away in Oct. 2017, just a few months shy of the induction ceremony. Yates and fellow 2018 inductees Ray Evernham, Red Byron, Ken Squier and Ron Hornaday Jr. will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Here are the Fast Facts on this Cup Series championship team owner.
  • James Robert Yates was born April 19, 1943 in Charlotte, NC, one of nine children along with his twin brother, Richard. He lived with his sister’s family in Wake Forest as a teenager, graduating from high school there in 1961 as a straight-A student; he graduated from Wilson Technical College in 1964 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
  • Yates’ association with Ford dates back to 1967, when he landed a job with Holman-Moody; he later moved to positions with Junior Johnson and DiGard Racing. He jumped into team ownership after purchasing Ranier-Lundy Racing, which he had worked for, and formed Robert Yates Racing with Davey Allison as the driver.
  • Yates was rewarded with a Cup Series championship in 1999 with Dale Jarrett behind the wheel of the No. 88. Yates retired from team ownership following the 2007 season (son Doug took over the reins of the team), but stayed in racing as part of Yates Racing Engines (now Roush Yates Engines).
  • In addition to his Hall of Fame induction, Yates was given the Bill France Award of Excellence in 2000 and the Buddy Shuman Award for Lifetime Achievement in NASCAR in 2007. He was named on 94-percent of the ballots on Hall of Fame Voting Day in May 2017.
  • Yates was diagnosed with liver cancer in Aug. 2016 and began treatment in November of that year; he passed away from the disease on Oct. 2, 2017.
  • Find out more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and its inductees at www.nascarhall.com


Monday, January 15, 2018

Travel Tips: NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Fan Appreciation Day – Jan. 19-20, 2018

credit: NASCAR Media
This weekend, the NASCAR Hall of Fame – located at 400 East Martin Luther King Blvd. in Charlotte, NC – will bring the sport’s legends, heroes and up-and-coming stars together with fans as part of its 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Fan Appreciation Day. Hall of Fame activities begin on Friday, Jan. 19 with the Induction Ceremony, followed by NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day at the Hall on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Schedule for the weekend (all times ET):

Friday, Jan. 19
  • 8 p.m. – NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Crown Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center
Select tickets are still available for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – click here for more information.

Saturday, Jan. 20 –

Visit the Hall of Fame for free from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and celebrate Fan Appreciation Day with your favorite NASCAR drivers.

High Octane Theater question-and-answer sessions (tickets not required) –
  • 9:00 a.m. – Paul Menard, Cole Custer, Justin Haley
  • 10:00 a.m. – Kyle Larson, Matt Tifft, Noah Gragson
  • 11:00 a.m. – William Byron, Elliott Sadler, Michael Annett, Vinnie Miller
  • 12:00 p.m. – Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Spencer Gallagher, Cody Coughlin
  • 1:30 p.m. – Ryan Blaney, Ryan Reed, John Hunter Nemechek
  • 2:30 p.m. – Alex Bowman, Ryan Truex, Dalton Sargeant
  • 3:30 p.m. – Corey LaJoie, Tyler Reddick, Joey Gase
NASCAR Next driver question-and-answer sessions (tickets not required) –
  • 10:20 a.m. – Harrison Burton, Hailie Deegan, Chase Purdy, Zane Smith
  • 11:20 a.m. – Chase Cabre, Todd Gilliland, Riley Herbst, Cayden Lapcevich, Ty Majeski
NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 question-and-answer sessions (tickets not required) –
  • 10:40 a.m. – Ron Hornaday Jr., Ray Evernham, Ken Squier
There will also be a number of autograph sessions with the aforementioned drivers and personalities – tickets are required for many of these sessions, and some are sold out. Tickets are still available for a few of the sessions – click here to see the driver autograph session schedule and to find out which sessions are available.

Find out more about the Hall of Fame and the Induction Ceremony at www.nascarhall.com

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fast Facts: 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Ron Hornaday Jr.

credit: Getty Images/Todd Warshaw
2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Ron Hornaday Jr. got his big break from the late Dale Earnhardt and went on to become a multi-time NASCAR champ. Hornaday and fellow 2018 inductees Ray Evernham, Red Byron, Ken Squier and Robert Yates will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Here are the Fast Facts on the four-time Camping World Truck Series champ.
  • Ronald Lee Hornaday Jr. was born June 20, 1958 in Palmdale, CA. He is the son of two-time NASCAR Winston West champion Ron Hornaday Sr. and the father of former NASCAR participant Ron “Ronnie” Hornaday III.
  • Hornaday started out racing go-karts and motorcycles; he moved up to stock cars in his late teens. In 1992, he raced in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest  Series, winning both the Most Popular Driver award and the series championship, which he also won in 1993. In 1994, Hornaday participated in the ESPN Networks’ then-popular Winter Heat Series at Tucson (AZ) Raceway Park, where his aggressive style of driving impressed his future team owner Earnhardt.
  • Hornaday signed on to drive the Dale Earnhardt Inc. entry in the Craftsman (now Camping World) Truck Series in 1995; in the inaugural season, he won six times and finished third in points. In 1996, Hornaday won the first of his four Truck Series titles, a feat he repeated in 1998. In between his first two titles, he was named the Truck Series’ Most Popular Driver in 1997.
  • From 2000-2004, Hornaday competed in the Busch (now Xfinity) Series and Cup Series for various teams including DEI, AJ Foyt Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing; he also ran a few Truck Series races during that time. Hornaday was named the Busch Series’ Most Popular Driver in 2000.
  • In 2005, Hornaday signed with Kevin Harvick Inc. for a Truck Series return; he regained his top-tier status in the series quickly, winning at Atlanta, finishing fifth in points and earning his second Most Popular Driver Award in the series. In 2007 and 2009, Hornaday won his third and fourth Truck Series titles, the first four-time champ in the series. In 2009, he also joined the short list of drivers to win five NASCAR events in a row – the others on the list: legends Richard Petty and Bobby Allison.
  • Hornaday continued competing in the Xfinity Series and Truck Series through 2014, and in 2015 qualified for his first Cup Series race since 2003 at Atlanta in March – it ended up being his final NASCAR start.
  • Find out more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and its inductees at www.nascarhall.com