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Many Winning IMS Ties to Nominees for NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2019

Five-time Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon leads a list of drivers and team owners with winning connections to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway among the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019.

Gordon is among the new nominees for enshrinement in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Four-time Cup Series champion Gordon, who grew up in nearby Pittsboro, Indiana, won the inaugural NASCAR race at IMS in 1994 and also added victories in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2014.

The nominees were selected by a committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on Voting Day for the 2019 class will be Wednesday, May 23. 

Other 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees with winning ties to IMS:

• Joe Gibbs: Former Washington Redskins head coach Gibbs has won the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard five times as a team owner, twice each with Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch and once with Bobby Labonte.

• Bobby Labonte: Texas native Labonte won the 2000 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard en route to the Cup Series championship in the same season.

• Roger Penske: Iconic team owner Penske still is searching for his first Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard victory, but his Team Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil a record 16 times.

• Ricky Rudd: Popular Virginia native Rudd earned a stunning victory in the 1997 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard, becoming the first owner-driver to take the checkered flag in the NASCAR race at IMS.

Janet Guthrie, the first female starter in the Indianapolis 500, was among five nominees for the Landmark Award. Guthrie also was the first female to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race.

The 25th Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9 at IMS and will serve as the exciting regular-season finale of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, setting the field for the Playoffs. The annual NASCAR classic is moving to the cooler temperatures of early September after running in the heat of late July or early August since the inaugural race in 1994.

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