The International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum (IMHOF) announced the 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Class at Talladega Superspeedway. The five inductees, determined by a 125-person panel of international media, are: J.C. Agajanian, Donnie Allison, Jerry Cook, Bud Moore and Raymond Parks.
“Congratulations to our Class of 2009,” said Talladega Superspeedway President and IMHOF Executive Director Rick Humphrey. “Each of these inductees has shown a competitive fire and unmatched talent for their profession that brought each to the pinnacle of success. For Mr. Allison and Mr. Cook, it was their talent behind the wheel that earned them this esteemed honor. For Mr. Agajanian, Mr. Moore and Mr. Parks, it was their ability to sense and develop talent in drivers and crewmen that cemented their place among the greatest car owners of all time.”
About the 2009 Induction Class
J.C. Agajanian (1913 – 1984) – Agajanian was a highly respected car owner and race promoter. He began as an owner at age 18 after he was told by his father that he would be disowned if he wanted to drive himself. Agajanian went on to be a highly successful owner having his cars set four track records and win the Indianapolis 500 twice with drivers, Troy Ruttman and Parnelli Jones. Aside from his car owner and promoter duties, Agajanian was a key individual in the development of the air jack.
Donnie Allison (1939 – ) – Allison is an original member of the “Alabama Gang”, beginning his career when brother Bobby told him he would never be a race car driver. He proved him wrong claiming the Grand National Rookie of the Year Award in 1967. Allison’s best career season came in 1970 winning three races and claiming 10 top fives in just 19 starts. Allison is also credited with a 1970 World 600 victory and a fourth place finish in the Indianapolis 500 the same month, taking the race’s Rookie of the Year honor. He is considered one of the best cross-over drivers in racing.
Jerry Cook (1939 – ) – Jerry Cook is one of only a handful of drivers ever to win more than five driving titles in a single racing division, capturing six NASCAR Modified championships during the 1970’s. After two consecutive runner-up finishes in the Modifieds in 1969 and 1970, Cook won his first title in 1971, repeated the next year, was second in 1973, then reeled off four straight title wins ending in 1977. Since the points system then awarded points for every race, Cook raced 97 times during one championship year. During his run of championships, Cook finished in the top ten 81% of the time and the top five 60% of the time. After retiring in 1982, he became NASCAR’s full-time director of the Modifieds, the sanctioning body’s oldest circuit. Cook was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
Bud Moore (1925 – ) – Moore was a car owner for some of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history. He won his first NASCAR Grand National championship as crew chief for Buck Baker in 1957. In 1961, Moore’s career jump started as a car owner for Joe Weatherly winning eight races that season. Moore went on to win two more championships with Weatherly behind the wheel. Dale Earnhardt Sr., Darrell Waltrip and Donnie Allison are just three of the many notable drivers who drove for Moore. During his 37 years as a car owner, Moore won 63 races and his cars sat on the pole 43 times.
Raymond Parks (1914 – ) – Parks started his racing career as a car owner with driver Lloyd Seay. The pair won their first race in 1938 at a Lakewood, Ga. Speedway. After being called to duty in World War II, Parks had to shut down racing operations, but resumed again after being discharged in 1946. In 1949, Parks won the first ever NASCAR Grand National championship with Red Byron behind the wheel. Parks retired at the end of the 1951 season.
Opened in April of 1983, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of motorsports. Each year the annual International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is held on the grounds of the Museum to honor those men and women chosen for induction from among the greatest names in all of motorsports. The 2009 Induction Ceremony will be held Thursday, April 23, at the SPEED Dome, adjacent to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
For more information, visit www.motorsportshalloffame.com.
[Source: International Motorsports Hall of Fame]