Darrell Waltrip, who cut his teeth at the Nashville Speedway and later became the first NASCAR driver to earn $10 million, was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Waltrip, who currently lives in Franklin, is one of five members of the Class of 2012, which formally will be inducted the weekend of Jan. 20. Cale Yarborough, Dale Inman, Richie Evans and Glen Wood comprise the rest of the class chosen by a 55-member voting panel.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announced the inductees, who were selected from a group of 25 nominees. The 2012 class is the third in the history of the hall, which opened in 2010.
Waltrip was named on 82 percent of the ballots, second to Yarborough, and was fourth in online fan voting, which also was part of the process.
He was a three-time premier series champion and won 84 career races, tied for third all-time. His signature victory during a 19-year career was the 1989 Daytona 500.
Before he climbed to the upper echelon of the sport, Waltrip won two track championships in Nashville. He also won his first Winston Cup race there, the Music City 420 on May 10, 1975.
In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers.
Waltrip previously was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (2003) and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2005).