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Mario Andretti leads 2013 Hall of Fame class

Mario Andretti, the only driver to capture the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and a Formula One world championship, headlines this year’s inductees into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame.

Joining Andretti is NASCAR championship-winning crew chief Ray Evernham and veteran motorsports writer Steve Waid. The 2013 class will be inducted Jan. 25, 2014, in Concord.

During a career spanning four decades, Andretti won 33 times in IndyCar, 19 in CART and 12 in Formula One. He won the 1967 Daytona 500 in only his second start in the race.

Evernham, a race-day analyst for ESPN, was the crew chief for driver Jeff Gordon when the Hendrick Motorsports tandem won NASCAR titles in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Evernham also helped usher Dodge back into NASCAR competition in 2000, along with becoming a team owner.

Waid, who has covered NASCAR for more than four decades, began reporting on NASCAR for daily newspapers before joining the staff of Grand National Scene and eventually GN Illustrated, where he held the position of publisher. He was presented the Henry T. McLemore Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in motorsports journalism in 1989.

Addington joins Phoenix Racing

Steve Addington, who most recently was crew chief for three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart, has joined Phoenix Racing as competition director and will serve as crew chief for its No. 51 team in the Cup series.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Phoenix Racing team and working with (team owner) Harry (Scott Jr.),” said Addington. “Harry has a vision to make this team a championship contender and I am excited to be part of it.”

Addington has served as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for 10 years and has amassed 20 wins, 66 top-fives and 105 top-10s during that time.

Short-track racing at Daytona

The UNOH Battle At The Beach, a short-track event held for the first time this season at Daytona International Speedway, will return next season with a pair of 150-lap races Feb. 18.

The first race will be a points-paying race for competitors in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The 150-lap race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be a non-points race.

The races are run on a quarter-mile track on the backstretch of DIS.

NASCAR receives diversity award

NASCAR recently was awarded the 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Award for its efforts in fostering diversity throughout the sport.

Founded in 2012, the DANDI Award recognizes exemplary commitment and focus on diversity and inclusion. Major League Baseball, as well as the United States Tennis Association, were nominated for the award’s Sports category.

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter.
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