Six inducted to International Hall

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA (TICKER) —Former NASCAR champion Robert “Red” Byron was one of six members named Thursday to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction class for 2008.

Selected by a panel of 125 voters from the international media, the inductees will be officially enshrined April 24, 2008.

Byron was NASCAR’s first Modified champion in 1948 and won the inaugural Strictly Stock title the following year. The Strictly Stock circuit was a predecessor to NASCAR’s premier series, now named the Sprint Cup Series.

Byron won the first NASCAR-sanctioned race held February 15, 1948 at the Daytona Beach road course. He died of a heart attack November 11, 1960 at the age of 45.

Everett “Cotton” Owens, one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers, also was named Thursday.

Owens was a two-time Modified champion and recorded 100 victories in that series. Like Byron, he also captured a victory in NASCAR’s premier race, winning at the Daytona Beach road course in 1957.

Art Arfons, Ralph Seagraves, Frank Kurtis and Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins also were among the new Hall of Fame members.

“This induction class is a perfect example of what makes the International Motorsports Hall of Fame so unique,” executive director Rick Humphrey said. “With this class, we are honoring drivers, an owner, a fabricator, an engine builder and a promoter.

“These men comprise the building blocks of all motorsports.”

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Updated Thursday, Dec 6, 2007