CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte and speedway mogul Bruton Smith will headline the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame class, where they will be joined by former drivers Curtis Turner, Bobby Isaac and Jerry Cook.
The five-member class, the seventh since the NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in 2010, will be inducted Jan. 22, 2016. The five were selected Wednesday from a group of 20 candidates by a 57-member panel, who each voted for five individuals; the five named on the most ballots make up the 2016 class.
Smith, who helped build Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1959, is chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns eight tracks that play host to Sprint Cup races. He was the top vote-getter, being named on 68 percent of the ballots.
"It will truly be an honor to be remembered at the Hall of Fame along with people like Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Glen Wood, Junior Johnson, Darrell Waltrip and so many others who helped build this sport," Smith said in a statement. "That's what I've tried to do my entire life. I'm a frustrated builder who had a knack for promoting races, and it's been fun to always try to push the sport to greater heights for the fans."
Labonte competed in select races up until last season. The winner of the 1984 and 1996 Cup titles, Labonte was the only retired driver who had won multiple championships not in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He was on 61 percent of the ballots.
Labonte said he wasn't even watching the ceremony and didn't realize the announcement was being broadcast live on television. He was in a hotel room in Dallas and found out when he started getting texts from friends.
"It's quite an honor to be in the group of people that are in the Hall of Fame," Labonte said. "A lot of these people are people that I looked up to. ... I didn't expect it or anything. It was a surprise to me and it was very, very exciting to be selection."
Turner, one of the sport's early personalities, had 17 career Cup wins and also was successful in NASCAR's convertible series. He also helped build CMS with Smith. He was on 60 percent of the ballots.
Cook, who was on 47 percent of the ballots, won six NASCAR modified division championships and remains as a NASCAR competition administrator.
Isaac, the 1970 Cup champion, had 37 career Cup wins. He was on 44 percent of the ballots.
The panel that voted includes NASCAR executives, track promoters, media members, former drivers, crew chiefs and other industry leaders. Fans also voted, with their online votes combined into one ballot of the 57-member panel.