Tony Stewart didn’t have to wait very long to become a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The three-time Cup Series champion was one of five people announced as members of the 2020 class at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Joining Stewart, who was eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2019, are car owner Joe Gibbs, former crew chief and engine builder Waddell Wilson, and former drivers Buddy Baker and Bobby Labonte.
Stewart won the 2002, 2005 and 2011 Cup Series titles. The 2011 title is one of the more remarkable championships in NASCAR history. Stewart won five of the 10 playoff races that season to beat Carl Edwards to the title. By winning the final race of the season at Homestead Miami Speedway, Stewart tied Edwards in the points standings and won the championship because he had more wins.
The Indiana native won 49 races in 618 Cup Series starts. His last victory came at Sonoma in 2016, his final season in NASCAR. He also has a championship as a team co-owner as Kevin Harvick won the 2014 title while driving for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Stewart won his first two titles while driving for Gibbs. The former Washington Redskins coach founded his NASCAR team in the early 1990s and its gone from a single-car team to a four-car powerhouse. Gibbs drivers have won four titles overall and Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. have combined to win seven of the first 12 races of 2019.
Gibbs’ first title as a car owner came with Labonte at the wheel. Labonte won the 2000 Cup Series title with four wins and 24 top 10s in 34 races. He won 21 races throughout his Cup career and also won the 1991 Xfinity Series title. Gibbs, who coached the Washington Redskins to three Super Bowl victories, is also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Wilson won 19 races as a crew chief. Bobby Allison was second in the 1981 points standings with five wins and 26 top 10s in 31 races with Wilson as his crew chief that season. Before he started crew chiefing, Wilson made his name as an engine builder. Cars with Wilson-built engines won over 100 races in NASCAR.
Baker won 19 races a Cup Series career that went from 1959 to 1994. He finished in the top 10 of the points standings five times and also had a long career as a NASCAR broadcaster following his retirement from driving. Wilson was Baker’s crew chief when he won the 1980 Daytona 500.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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