Jarrett, Smith among new nominees for NASCAR Hall

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1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett (pictured, left, with current Cup champ Brad Keselowski) and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. CEO Bruton Smith are part of a group of five new nominees for the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Jarrett, Smith, five-time Whelen All-American Series champ Larry Phillips, 1960 Cup champ Rex White, and engine builder Maurice Petty (brother of seven-time Cup champ Richard Petty) are the latest additions to the nominees’ list, now at 25.

Maurice Petty is the fourth member of Petty Enterprises to be nominated, with brother Richard, father Lee, and cousin Dale Inman (an eight-time championship crew chief) having already been inducted into the Hall in previous years.

According to Nate Ryan of USA Today, five inductees will be named from this group by a panel that includes the nominating committee, media members, industry figures, and a fan vote from the series’ web site. Voting day for the Class of 2014 is slated for May 22, although fans can now make their voices heard through May 21.

It will be the fifth induction class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Twenty other nominees are holdovers from last year’s ballot, and this particular group features many big names in the sport. Among them are racing heroes from the past such as Fred Lorenzen and Fireball Roberts, as well as team owners such as Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress. A full list of nominees can be found here.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

Photo: IndyCar
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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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