Allison, Elder, Labonte, Parrott tabbed for NMPA Hall honor
DARLINGTON, S.C. - Legendary drivers Donnie Allison and Terry Labonte, along with celebrated crew chiefs Jake Elder and Buddy Parrott, make up the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame Class for 2018.
The four will be officially inducted during ceremonies scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 21 in Charlotte, N.C.
• Allison, 78, won 10 times as a driver in 242 career starts in NASCAR's premier series, posting 78 top-five and 115 top-10 finishes. He also won 18 poles. NASCAR's rookie of the year in 1967, Allison also competed in USAC, finishing fourth in the 1970 Indianapolis 500 and sixth the following season. His '70 effort earned him rookie of the race honors. Allison is the younger brother of 1983 series champion Bobby Allison.
• Elder is credited with 43 victories in NASCAR's premier series during a 24-year career atop the pit box. As crew chief for Holman-Moody, he helped guide David Pearson to the 1968 championship, he was crew chief for Darrell Waltrip's first and last career wins and he was instrumental in the early success of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. Elder passed away in 2010.
• Labonte, 61, won two premier series championships, in 1984 with team owner Billy Hagan and again in 1996 with owner Rick Hendrick. The Corpus Christi, Texas native won 22 times at the top level; he also won 11 times in NASCAR's XFINITY Series and once in the Truck Series. His first win came in the legendary Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in 1980; his final victory came in the same event more than two decades later.
• Parrott, 78, began his role as NASCAR crew chief in 1977 with DiGard Racing and driver Darrell Waltrip. By the time he retired in 1997, he had amassed 47 wins with a variety of drivers. He led Waltrip to 22 wins during a four-year span; he was the crew chief for Richard Petty when the King won his 200th and final race at Daytona in 1984; Derrike Cope's stunning Daytona 500 victory in 1990 came with Parrott calling the shots; and Rusty Wallace won 18 times between 1993-94 with Parrott at Team Penske. Parrott's sons Todd and Brad have also served as NASCAR crew chiefs.
Labonte was named on 90 percent of the votes cast by the NMPA membership. Parrott was named on 72 percent while Allison and Elder were named on 65 percent each.
Nominated but failing to receive the required percentage for induction was former Charlotte Motor Speedway official and car owner Richard Howard.
The NMPA Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway and has been in operation since 1965.