Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart Go Into Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame
Indianapolis Motor Speedway expanded its Hall of Fame options, and two NASCAR legends with Indiana ties are the first to be added under new criteria.
Retired NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, both with ties to Indiana, will be inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame on May 24. the announcement of their upcoming enshrinement was made Tuesday, the 109th anniversary of the creation of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Company.
With Indianapolis 500 competitors only considered for IMS Hall of Fame induction previously, Gordon and Stewart will be the first inductees under the Hall’s new criteria that includes Brickyard 400 and United States Grand Prix participants.
“We are thrilled that the first class of inductees with our new name and election criteria honor two drivers who mean so much to fans in Central Indiana and around the world,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation President Tony George said, as quoted in a press release.
Gordon, who moved to Pittsboro, Ind., as a child, and Stewart, who is a native of Columbus, Ind., combined to win the Brickyard 400 seven times before they made their final NASCAR starts at IMS in 2016. Stewart retired from competition as a NASCAR driver at the end of the 2016 season but remains a fixture in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as co-owner of the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing. Gordon officially retired at the end of the 2015 season but returned in the second half of the 2016 season as a part-time substitute driver for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Gordon is the winningest driver of the Brickyard 400 with five, including the inaugural event in 1994. He also won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2014. Stewart was the Brickyard 400 winner in 2005 and 2007. Gordon and Stewart are two of five drivers with multiple Brickyard 400 victories.
Stewart also competed in the Indianapolis 500 five times, three of those as a full-time IndyCar Series driver in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and two as part of a same-day double-duty effort, running the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend in 1999 and 2001. He was the 1996 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter and posted a best finish of fifth in the 1997 race. In his two double-duty attempts, he posted a best finish of ninth in his last time running the Indy 500 in 2001.