Kingsport Times-News: Gordon, Farmer chosen as NMPA Hall of Fame inductees
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Gordon, Farmer chosen as NMPA Hall of Fame inductees

Jeff Birchfield • Dec 13, 2018 at 12:40 AM

Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and legendary "Alabama Gang" member Charles "Red" Farmer have been chosen as the newest members of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame.

They will be officially inducted during ceremonies scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 27 in Charlotte.

Gordon, 47, ranks third all-time in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series in both wins (93) and pole positions (81). He won a first championship in 1995, becoming the youngest driver in the modern era to do so at 24 years old. He won championships in 1997, ’98 and 2001. In 1998, he tied Richard Petty's modern-era record of 13 wins in a season.

Gordon made 805 career starts between 1992-2016 and was a three-time winner of the Daytona 500 and a record five-time winner of the Brickyard 400. He won four consecutive Food City 500s at Bristol Motor Speedway between 1995-98, and he added a fifth Bristol victory at the 2002 August Night Race.

Now an analyst for Fox Sports, Gordon qualified for the championship race in his final full season of 2015.

Prior to his NASCAR career, Gordon won the 1990 USAC Midget championship and the 1991 USAC Silver Crown championship. In 1992 as a rookie in the NASCAR Busch Series (now Xfinity Series), Gordon won a series-record 11 poles in a season.

After retiring from the Cup Series, Gordon was part of the winning team at the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, joining A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and Jamie McMurray as the only drivers to win both that event and the Daytona 500.

CULTIVATING WINS

Farmer, 86, ran in NASCAR's major series from 1953 to 1975 and again in select events in 1991 and 1992.

He moved from Florida to Hueytown, Alabama, with fellow racers Bobby and Donnie Allison in the 1960s. Along with Neil Bonnett, they formed the famed "Alabama Gang," as nicknamed by NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Jack Ingram.

Farmer won a NASCAR Modified championship in 1956 and three consecutive NASCAR Late Model Sportsman championships from 1969-71. Farmer ran 36 NASCAR Cup Series races with his best finishes, fourth-place runs at the half-mile Middle Georgia Speedway in Macon, Georgia, and Talladega Speedway.

He won two ARCA races at Talladega and another at Nashville, where he was originally from. While a frequent competitor at Talladega Short Track, he never raced at Talladega Superspeedway after being a passenger in the July 1993 helicopter crash in the track's infield that claimed the life of Davey Allison.

Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, Farmer is credited with as many as 800 short track wins. In his 80s, he remains an active racer on the Alabama dirt tracks.

The NMPA Hall of Fame is the sixth Hall of Fame that Farmer has been named to. He is a member of both the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the National Dirt Racing Hall of Fame. The NMPA Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway and has been in operation since 1965.

MCMURRAY MOVING TO TV

Fox Sports put out a release Wednesday that Jamie McMurray will be joining the network as an analyst on the NASCAR RACE HUB and NASCAR RACEDAY programs.

It is yet to be seen if McMurray will be part of the broadcast team for 2019, and it’s unclear how it will affect an original announcement that McMurray would compete in his final race for Chip Ganassi Racing at the 2019 Dayton 500.

McMurray has seven career Cup Series wins. His best season was in 2010, when he was just the third driver to win both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season. He also won the NASCAR All-Star Race in 2014.

Former series champion Kurt Busch was recently named to take over McMurray’s old ride in the No. 1 Chevrolet next season.

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