Fans Vote Bobby Labonte, Rex White Into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame
The votes are in for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees. Bobby Labonte won by the closest margin in history for active driver, while Rex White won the inactive driver category by a landslide. Labonte and White will be enshrined to the Walk of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 4, during the AMP Energy 500 weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
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, Labonte, 44, of Corpus Christi, Texas, began his career racing quarter midgets at age five. Labonte found great success in NASCAR as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), capturing 21 Sprint Cup victories and claiming the 2000 Sprint Cup Championship. He and brother Terry, who was inducted to the Walk of Fame as the 2007 inactive driver, are the only brothers in history to each win championships in NASCAR’s premier division. Labonte also won a NASCAR Nationwide series championship in 1991 and an IROC championship in 2001.
After parting ways with JGR in 2006, Labonte now drives the famed No. 43 for Petty Enterprises. In addition to his driving duties, Labonte is president of a full-service marketing agency, Breaking Limits, LLC.
White, 78, of Fayetteville, Georgia, will be inducted as this year’s inactive driver. White won the 1960 NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) championship as a driver/owner, recording six wins and 35 top 10s in 41 starts. He is one of just six driver/owners in history to win a series championship.
While he only competed in NASCAR’s top series for nine years, White finished in the top 10 in points six times. In 233 starts, White scored 28 career victories, 36 poles and finished in the top five an impressive 110 times. In 1998, White was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
Fan voting for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame began on April 15. In addition to Labonte, active driver nominees this year included: Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton, Morgan Shepherd, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Robby Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Ken Schrader and Carl Edwards. White competed against inactive drivers, Jim Paschal, Bill Rexford, Jack Smith and Speedy Thompson.
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.
Talladega Superspeedway is busy preparing for the AMP Energy 500 event weekend, featuring 1,000 miles of racing at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track with the ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 on Friday, Oct. 3, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Mountain Dew 250 on Saturday, Oct. 4 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500, race number four in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, on Sunday, Oct. 5. Tickets are available at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, Monday- Friday.