Fan balloting for NASCAR hall ends on Sunday

CHARLOTTE - Today is the final day for fans to cast their votes for the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, with the five inductees to be announced Oct. 14.

After today's fan voting is concluded, the hall's voting panel will meet in Charlotte in the days leading up to the NASCAR race weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. That group will meet behind closed door to debate and vote on the 25 nominees.

A formal announcement will follow in a news conference at the Charlotte Convention Center on Oct. 14. Speed's coverage begins at 10 a.m. with a live show and candidate features. Programming is scheduled throughout the day, including live coverage at 4 p.m. news conference.

The voting panel includes representatives of NASCAR, the hall, track ownership groups, retired drivers, team owners, crew chiefs and members of the working media.

The nominees: Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Bill France Jr. and Bill France Sr., Rick Hendrick, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte is scheduled to open May 11, 2010. Expected to cost more than $195 million, it will feature a theater, memorabilia and interactive exhibits. The city is paying for most of the building construction through a hotel/motel tax. The remainder of the funding comes from bank loans backed by sponsorships and sales of commemorative bricks.