ThatsRacin

Ray Evernham, Harry Hyde among NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees

Brad Keselowski signs autographs for fans as he walks to his hauler after practice Friday at Daytona. Keselowski was fourth fastest in the first session with a top speed of 192.279 mph.
Brad Keselowski signs autographs for fans as he walks to his hauler after practice Friday at Daytona. Keselowski was fourth fastest in the first session with a top speed of 192.279 mph. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Legendary crew chiefs Ray Evernham and Harry Hyde are among the 20 newest nominees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced Friday.

Evernham, who won three championships in NASCAR’s premier Cup series with driver Jeff Gordon, and Hyde, who won the 1970 series championship with Bobby Isaac are among five first-time nominees.

The others are: 1992 Cup champion Alan Kulwicki; Mark Martin, who won 96 races across NASCAR’s three national series; and Hershel McGriff, the 1986 NASCAR West series champion.

The new group of nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the Hall of Fame, track owners and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

From the list of 20 nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com.

Voting Day for the 2016 class will be May 20 in Charlotte.

The remaining members of the 20-member nominee class are: Isaac, Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Terry Labonte, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Bruton Smith, Mike Stefanik, Curtis Turner and Robert Yates.

Five nominees were also named for the Landmark Award for outstanding contributions to NASCAR.

The nominees are Parks, Harold Brasington, H. Clay Earles, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier.

NASCAR class is in session

NASCAR launched its “NASCAR Acceleration Nation” on Friday, the sport’s first national learning and entertainment platform created for kids.

Acceleration Nation features an in-school Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) program, created together with Scholastic. Classroom content will focus on teaching the aerodynamic principles of drag, downforce and drafting, the “NASCAR Three D’s of Speed.”

The STEM supplemental materials were designed for elementary and middle-school students and will be distributed as kits to 7,400 classrooms nationwide in the program’s first year.

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

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