MOORESVILLE, N.C. – The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall Of Fame will honor Terry Labonte and Bill Elliott during a special ceremony on Oct. 3, in front of The Charles Mack Citizens Center in downtown Mooresville, N.C.
Terry Labonte earned his Walk of Fame in-ground plaque after his outstanding 37 years of competing in NASCAR’s top class. The native of Corpus Christi, Texas, began his NASCAR Cup career at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in 1978 and finished fourth in the race despite just coming off the local dirt tracks in his native Texas.
Ironically, the first of Labonte’s NASCAR Cup wins came in the Southern 500 at Darlington and his last NASCAR Cup win came in the same event at Darlington in 2003. Labonte won the NASCAR Cup titles in 1984 and in 1996.
He earned the nickname ‘The Ironman’ by competing in 655 consecutive Cup races before an injury sidelined him in 2001. Labonte also competed in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, winning 11 races. He also won the International Race of Champions title in 1989 and 1993.
Labonte retired from full-time competition in 2004 and ran a part-time Cup schedule for a variety of car owners before leaving the driver’s seat permanently in 2014 after competing in 890 Cup races.
He finished in the top-10 in Cup Series points an astonishing 17 times in his career. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998 and was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2016.
Bill Elliott, one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR history, will be honored this year with his in-ground plaque after his successful 37 years in NASCAR’s Cup Series. Nicknamed ‘Awesome Bill from Dawsonville,’ he competed in 828 Cup races, winning 44 races and was the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series Champion.
He won two Daytona 500 races and the 2002 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He still hold the fastest qualifying lap in NASCAR history with a speed of more than 212 mph at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Elliott’s homespun manner — together with his father, George, his brother, Ernie, and their family owned, independent race team — made him a fan favorite. He was voted NASCAR’s Most Popular driver 16 times before he retired from full-time competition in 2003. He ran a part time schedule for a variety of car owners before retiring for good in July of 2012.
He earned another nickname, ‘Million Dollar Bill,’ for his outstanding 1985 season, when he won 11 races and had 11 pole positions during the 28-race schedule. He won the $1,000,000 Winston Million bonus that year by winning three of the four major NASCAR races in one season.
Elliott was voted one of NASCAR’s Greatest 50 Drivers in 1998 and was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015. Bill’s son Chase now competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports.
“Terry Labonte earned the NASCAR Championship twice and posted 11 victories. Terry was always a tough competitor and cool under pressure, the original ‘Ice Man,’” said Don Miller of the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall Of Fame.
“Bill Elliott was America’s race car driver, a true competitor, and a fan favorite. Bill posted 44 victories and a NASCAR championship, while garnering the Winston Million. ‘Awesome Bill’ is definitely the real deal. Congratulations to both men.”
Open to the public, the dedication of the Terry Labonte and Bill Elliott in-ground plaques will be held outside The Charles Mack Citizen Center on the Walk of Fame, located at 215 North Main Street in downtown Mooresville, N.C., starting at 3 p.m. on Oct. 3.
There will be an invitation-only VIP reception after the dedication inside the Charles Mack Citizen Center.
CREDIT: N.C. Auto Racing Hall of Fame