January 16, 2024 | Allison Robertson

NASCAR's New Hall Of Fame


NASCAR Hall of Fame 2024

NASCAR is a popular sporting event due to its deep-rooted American culture, capturing the attention of people all over the world who share a love for speed and competition.

Drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and have been retired for two years are eligible for nomination to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The votes have been counted and the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2024 has now been elected. Let’s find out who made the cut.

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NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees

The Hall of Fame was created to honor and celebrate the history and achievements of NASCAR, its drivers, teams, and contributors.

According to NASCAR, “enshrinement as an inductee in the NASCAR Hall of Fame marks the pinnacle of a career.” These are the true legends of the sport.

Each year, a select group of individuals from the world of NASCAR is inducted into the Hall of Fame. This includes drivers, team owners, crew chiefs, and other significant figures who have made a lasting impact on the sport.

The number of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame can vary from year to year. Typically, there are 3-5 inductees selected each year.

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NASCAR Hall of Famers 2024

There were 15 nominees this year, but only three made the cut.

Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and Donnie Allison are the latest NASCAR heroes and legends to join the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Enshrinement as an inductee in the NASCAR Hall of Fame recognizes exceptional contributions to the sport. Let’s get personal and find out why Johnson, Knaus and Allison made the cut.

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Jimmie Johnson: Cup Series Champion

Jimmie Johnson is a Southern California native and is only the third driver to win seven Cup Series championships.

He is also the only driver to win five consecutive championships and he ranks sixth all-time with 83 race victories.

Johnson has won all of NASCAR’s major races, most more than once.

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Jimmie Johnson’s Beginning

Johnson got his first dirt bike at the young age of four and won his first dirt bike championship at only eight years old.

As a teenager, he became interested in off-road trucks, and then in 1998 he switched to pavement racing in the old American Speed Association series.

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Jimmie Johnson’s Signing

After running a handful of races in the Busch Grand National (now Xfinity) Series in 1998-99, Johnson ran full-time in the series with Herzog Motorsports in 2000-01, winning one race.

In late 2001, on the advice of Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon, Johnson was signed by team owner Rock Henrick. And in 2002, as rookie Cup Series driver, Johnson won three races and finished an impressive fifth in points.

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Jimmie Johnson’s Breakthrough

2006 was a breakthrough season for Johnson. His five race victories and 13 top-five finishes earned him his first Cup Series championship.

From there, he went on to set a NASCAR record by winning five consecutive titles.

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Jimmie Johnson’s Record-Breaking Championships

After winning five consecutive championships, Johnson wasn’t finished yet. He added his sixth title in 2013, and his record-tying seventh in 2016.

During this, Johnson won every NASCAR major, including a pair of Daytona 500s, a record four NASCAR All-Star Races, three consecutive Coca-Cola 600s, four Brickyard 400s and a pair of Southern 500s.

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Jimmie Johnson’s Retirement

Jimmie Johnson retired from full-time NASCAR competition after the 2020 season.

He then drove in the NTT IndyCar Series for two years, and returned to NASCAR in late 2022 as a co-owner of the Legacy Motor Club team, where he drove in a handful of races in 2023.

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Jimmie Johnson’s Personal Life

Jimmie Johnson does more than just race. He is a dedicated fitness enthusiast and was named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 2009. He has appeared in many TV and film series.

The best part of Johnson though, is his involvement in philanthropic efforts for causes benefitting children.

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Chad Knaus: Crew Chief

Chad Knaus ranks second all-time among crew chiefs, with sevel NASCAR Cup Series championships to his credit. Knaus is the only crew chief in NASCAR history to win five consecutive titles.

Over the last two decades, Knaus made a name for himself at the Hendrick organization, where he was Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief from 2002-2018 and William Byron’s from 2019-20. He shared in 81 race victories with Johnson and one more with Byron.

In 20202, Knaus was promoted to Vice President of Competition at Hendrick Motorsports.

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Chad Knaus’s Beginning

Before his success in NASCAR, Knaus started on the short tracks of the Midwest. He was only 14 years old when he came crew chief for his father, John, in Illinois where he grew up.

John won seven track championships at Rockford Speedway, including four consecutive titles from 1987-90, when he raced against other Hall of Famers.

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Chad Knaus’s Early Career

After graduating high school, Knaus left Illinois to move south to pursue a career in NASCAR.

From 1993-1997 Knaus joined Henrick Motorsports to work in the body shop and the fabrication department before being promoted to lead the body development efforts for the team.

He also served on the pit crew assembled by Gordon’s crew chief, Ray Evernham.

Between 1998 and 2001 he served as a car chief for Steve Park at Dale Earnhardt Inc., then worked at Evernham Motorsports with driver Casey Atwood.

Next, he became Stacy Compton’s crew chief at Melling Racing before returning to the Hendrick organization in 2002.

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Chad Knaus’s Breakthrough

Knaus returned to the Henrick organization in 2002 and was paired with rookie Jimmie Johnson. This is when the game changed. 

Knaus and Johnson were the dominant force of the 2000s and 2010s, winning seven titles and every major race on the NASCAR schedule. 

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Donnie Allison: Winner of the HOF Pioneer Ballot

Donnie Allison was a charter member of the “Alabama Gang” of racers along with fellow Hall of Famers brother Bobby Allison (Class of 2011), nephew Davey Allison (Class of 2019) and longtime family friend Red Farmer (Class of 2021).

He was voted as the winner of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Pioneer Ballot for 2024.

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Donnie Allison’s Beginning

Allison started his racing career in 1958 and got his first NASCAR license two years later. At first, he focused on racing the short tracks of the Southeast, where he won more than 500 races.

He made his Cup Series debut in 1966, when he ran just two races.

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Donnie Allison’s Victory

Allison started driving for legendary chassis builder and team owner Banjo Matthews and scored his first Cup Series race victory in the 1968 Carolina 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham.

That race, along with two more triumphs in 1969 and 1970 were Allison’s first three Cup victories. In all three races the runner-up was his older brother Bobby.

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Donnie Allison’s Successes

Donnie Allison never ran a full Cup Series schedule, but he did win 10 races, and scored 78 top-five and 115 top-10 finishes in 242 starts over parts of 21 seasons.

Proving that he was at his best on longer, faster tracks, Allison won twice at Talladega Superspeedway, three times at Charlotte Motor Speedway and once each at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway.

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Donnie Allison’s Most Famous Race

Allison’s most famous race was one he didn’t win.

During the 1979 Daytona 500, Allison was in the lead on the last lap when he was hit by Cale Yarborough. Both cars were knocked into the wall and out of the race. The crash resulted in a brawl in the infield, with brother Bobby Allison stopping to join in.

The race was featured live on television, catching the brawl in all of its glory, making the event one of the most famous in NASCAR history. It is estimated that 15 million viewers were tuning in at the time.

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Final Thoughts

There you have it, NASCAR’s Hall of Fame Class of 2024, and what a class it is!

Jimmie Johnson, Chad Knaus and Donnie Allison have rightfully earned their place in NASCAR history making up the Hall of Fame’s 14th class.

In addition to the Hall of Famers, Janet Guthrie was named as the recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

Induction weekend will take place in January of 2024 which will provide a variety of events and special programming for fans, family and friends to enjoy.

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