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Bill Elliott leads 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame class

Bill Elliott, center, is congratulated by Leonard Wood, left, and Glen Wood after being named as one of five inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2015, in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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Bill Elliott, center, is congratulated by Leonard Wood, left, and Glen Wood after being named as one of five inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2015, in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Bill Elliott didn't have to wait long to get in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

In just his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, Elliott got in during Wednesday's vote for the 2015 class of the NASCAR Hall and will be inducted in January.

Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly, Rex White and Fred Lorenzen are also going in with Elliott.

Elliott won 44 Sprint Cup Series throughout his career and the 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Elliott was eligible for the Hall of Fame in this class because of NASCAR's recently tweaked eligibility guidelines. In December, NASCAR announced that any driver 55 years old or older was immediately eligible, even if he was currently competing. He received 87 percent of the vote.

Scott was the first African-American to win a Sprint Cup Series race. He won at Jacksonville in 1964, leading 27 of 202 laps. He had 20 top-five finishes and 147 top 10s. He got 58 percent.

Weatherly won 25 races and the 1962 and 1963 Cup titles. He was killed when he sustained head injuries in a crash at Riverside in 1964. He got 53 percent.

White won 28 races and was the 1960 champion. In 1962, he won eight races in 37 starts. He got 43 percent.

Lorenzen won 26 Cup races including two Daytona 500s. His win in the 1967 Daytona 500 was the final victory of his career. He got 30 percent.

Notable exclusions from the 2015 Hall class were Rick Hendrick, Buddy Baker, Benny Parsons, Robert Yates, Bruton Smith and Terry Labonte. When NASCAR announced the new eligibility guidelines in December, it also cut the list of nominees from 25 to 20. Jerry Cook, Yates and Parsons were the next three highest vote getters.

One of the people who fell off the list in the cut down from 2014 to 2015 was Anne B. France. France was awarded the inaugural Landmark Award.

The relatively low vote totals of White and Lorenzen do raise an interesting question about future classes of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. How will candidates separate themselves from each other going forward for a case for the Hall? There aren't many slam dunk nominees going to be eligible in the future and the biographies of the 15 people people who will likely carry over to next year's list won't change much.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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