Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick and Dale Jarrett will be up consideration for the NASCAR Hall of Fame along with 22 other nominees when the selection panel meets to deliberate and vote in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.
For the first time, NASCAR will be live-tweeting highlights from the Hall of Fame selection committee meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. Eastern. Fans can follow @NASCAR for live updates. Twitter users can chime in with their own opinions using the #NASCARHOF hashtag.
But NASCAR officials stress that nothing posted on Twitter will in any way compromise the debate or the voting. “We pride ourselves on how accessible we are,” NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer Brett Jewkes told Playbook Tuesday. “But we will not taint the process. This is to give the fans a flavor for what’s happening. We won’t post anything about any individual debate or positions. That’s sacred ground.”
Jewkes said the Twitter updates will “paint a picture” of what’s going in the room.
“We’ll have a ton of legends in the room. We believe people will have a lot of interest in this," he said. "Our fans are passionate and have an unquenchable thirst for content. It’s a wide open class. There doesn’t appear to be any lead-pipe locks.”
Racetrack owner O. Bruton Smith, former champion Rex White, short-track legend Larry Phillips and Maurice Petty, an engine builder for Richard Petty and Petty Enterprises, are the other first-time nominees with Jarrett.
Among the 20 returning nominees are owners Childress and Hendrick; legendary driver Fireball Roberts; former top series (now Sprint Cup) champions Red Byron, Joe Weatherly, Tim Flock, Rex White and Benny Parsons; and NASCAR trailblazer Wendell Scott, who was the first African-American driver to win a top series race.
Five nominees will be selected for enshrinement into the 2014 class and the results will be announced live on SPEED and streamed on NASCAR.com at 6 p.m. Eastern Wednesday.
A total of 55 votes will be cast to select the new Hall of Fame members. A 21-member Nominating Committee consisting of NASCAR officials (including Brian France and Mike Helton), Hall of Fame officials and track owners determined the nominees. That group is joined by 33 others, including Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett, Ricky Rudd, ESPN broadcaster Dr. Jerry Punch and SIRIUS/XM's Dave Moody, in choosing the new members. The final vote is determined by top five vote-getters among NASCAR.com fan ballots.
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