Fans Vote Kasey Kahne and Jim Paschal To Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame
The fans have spoken... and Kasey Kahne and Jim Paschal will be the next drivers enshrined to the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 30.
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 nominee, Kasey Kahne, has thrived in the NASCAR ranks, but his early career began in open-wheel cars. Hailing from Enumclaw, Wash., Kahne tore through the open-wheel world earning a 2000 USAC Midget Series championship and National Midget Driver of the Year honors. His success caught the attention of owners in NASCAR and in 2002 he made his rookie campaign in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In 2004 he raced his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, earning the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title and finished 13th in the driver point standings. His most successful season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series came in 2006 when he won six races and six pole awards to finish eighth in the final season standings. Now in his seventh year at the Sprint Cup level campaigning for Richard Petty Motorsports, Kahne has amassed 11 career wins and 18 career pole awards.
Inactive driver nominee, James Roy Paschal, Jr. known to fans as Jim Paschal, was a driver during NASCAR’s formative years. Originally from Highpoint, North Carolina, Paschal competed in his first race at the Charlotte Fairgrounds on June 19, 1949. He won 25 races and 12 poles during his 23-year career. He won the World 600 twice, now known as the Coca Cola 600, in 1964 and 1967.
His remaining wins came on short tracks, less than a mile and a half in length. He competed in his last race in 1972, shortly after; Paschal was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. Paschal passed away in 2004 at the age of 77.
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, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Morgan Shepherd. 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, Terry Labonte, Rex White and Jack Smith.
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.
Will more NASCAR history be made when NASCAR returns to Talladega Superspeedway for the AMP Energy 500 weekend? Race fans will have to be here to find out. NASCAR action returns with the Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Race Number Seven in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the AMP Energy 500, Oct. 29 - 31. To experience it all, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.
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