Kenseth, Labonte Win Fan Voting To Be Inducted Into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame
Fan voting closed this past weekend for 2007 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees, and on Saturday, Oct. 6 during Talladega Superspeedway's upcoming UAW-Ford 500 weekend, two new names will be added to this prestigious list: Matt Kenseth and Terry Labonte.
The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCAR's greatest names and a tribute to one of racing's brightest stars - the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans' vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines.
This year's active driver honoree, Kenseth, 35, of Cambridge, Wis., is the 2003 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion. In 2000, driving for Roush-Fenway Racing in his first full NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, Kenseth won Rookie of the Year honors. He won only once in NASCAR's top series that year but posted 11 top-10 finishes to secure the award over such notables as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Dave Blaney. Three seasons later, in route to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship, Kenseth showed the same remarkable consistency securing a series-high 25 top 10s. During the season, Kenseth held the points lead for 33 consecutive weeks, a modern record.
Labonte, 50, a native of Corpus Christi, TX is being inducted as an inactive driver in his first year of eligibility. The two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion (1984,1996) has been named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers, being one of only 14 drivers to win multiple titles in NASCAR's premier division. Labonte also holds the distinction of most years between championships (12).
Fan voting for the 2007 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame began on April 15. In addition to Kenseth, active driver nominees this year included: Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton, Ward Burton, Morgan Shepherd, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Robby Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Bobby Labonte, Sterling Marlin, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Ken Schrader and Carl Edwards. In addition to Labonte, inactive driver nominees for 2007 included: Jim Paschal, Bill Rexford, Jack Smith, Rex White, Red Byron and Speedy Thompson.
Past active driver inductees have included Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Hamilton, Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Kevin Harvick. Richard Petty and Benny Parsons were the first inactive drivers to be inducted, later joined by Alan Kulwicki, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, Junior Johnson, Harry Gant, Lee Petty, Tim Flock, Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Red Byron, Bobby Isaac, Fred Lorenzen, Fonty Flock and Herb Thomas.
The first inductees - " Alabama Gang" drivers Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Red Farmer and Neil Bonnett - were inducted by decree of the board.
In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway. For additional information, visit www.talladegawalk.com.
The 2007 UAW-Ford 500 weekend at Talladega Superspeedway will be held on Oct. 5-7 and will consist of the ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 on Friday, followed by the Mountain Dew 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Car of Tomorrow will make its first appearance in a superspeedway race on Sunday, Oct. 7, which is also the fourth race in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Kids age 11 and younger are admitted free of charge on Friday and Saturday of race weekends in the general admission grandstands at Talladega Superspeedway. To order tickets, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA (1-877-462-3342).
For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available online at www.racetickets.com or in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. CDT, Monday - Friday.