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.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.