Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame officials announced today that Dr. Jerry Punch, lead announcer and host of ESPN/ABC sports coverage, will make his second appearance as emcee for the Induction Ceremony. This year’s honorees are Bobby Labonte and Rex White.
Punch took over emcee duties last year after the passing of Benny Parsons. Parsons was a longtime supporter and significant part of the event. He is also credited with being one of the first inactive drivers to be inducted. During this year’s event, Phil Parsons, Benny’s brother, will help unveil a permanent plaque honoring Benny’s longtime duties.
“We are very thankful that Dr. Punch could again join us for the Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony, and to have Phil Parsons help honor his brother makes this year’s ceremony all the more special,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Rick Humphrey. “We are also pleased to welcome Bobby Labonte and Rex White as our new inductees to the Walk of Fame.”
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.
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, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth. 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, Herb Thomas and Terry Labonte.
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.