Donnie Allison, Chad Knaus, and Jimmie Johnson were inducted at the 2024 NASCAR Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, January 19th in Charlotte.
A two-hour broadcast of the event took place live on Peacock. NBC NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series pit reporter Kim Coon and NBC play-by-play announcer Rick Allen served as the two hosts for the evening of appreciation. See here for a look into last year’s NASCAR Hall of Fame event.
Twenty of the 61 inductees from the Class of 2010 to 2023 (minus the canceled Class of 2022) were in attendance for the event: Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Dale Inman, Rusty Wallace, Leonard Wood, Dale Jarett, Jerry Cook, Terry Labonte, Rick Hendricks, Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr., Jeff Gordon, Roger Penske, Waddell Wilson, Joe Gibbs, Bobby Labonte, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Red Farmer, Matt Kenseth, and Kirk Shelmerdine. All members inducted by the Voting Panel receive a finely designed Blue Jacket fashioned by Taylor Richards & Conger and a 25-studded diamond ring with blue sapphires crafted by Jostens.
Executive Director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Winston Kelly, took center stage to honor two lives lost during the latter portion of the 2023 calendar year: three-time Cup Series Champion and 2012 inductee Cale Yarborough, 84, and legendary broadcaster and 2018 inductee Ken Squier, 88. The two passed in November and December, respectively, leaving behind memories and legacies forever etched in motorsports history.
Squier-Hall Media Excellence Award
2013 saw the inception of the Squier-Hall Media Excellence Award given to those for their media contributions within the racing industry. Ken Squier and Barney Hall were the first winners of the award.
This year’s NASCAR Hall of Fame Squier-Hall Media Excellence Award went to Shav Glick, a 37-year writer for the Los Angeles Times bringing detailed recognition and water to a blossoming form of racing to the West Coast and masses across the nation. “You know you’re talking to a titan of motorsports writing and of journalism when you talk to Shav,” Kyle Petty said in a pre-recorded interview. Glick retired in 2006 and passed away in 2007 at age 87.
Also created in 2013 was the Landmark Award for those who have played a significant role in NASCAR’s growth and development.
Janet Guthrie was the recipient of the 2024 NASCAR Hall of Fame Landmark Award. She became the first female to start in the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 (both in 1977). Guthrie captured five Top 10s in only 33 Cup Series races with a career-best 6th at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1977 and a 9th place finish in the 1979 Indianapolis 500. Guthrie thanked former team owner Lynda Ferrari, former Charlotte Motor Speedway General Manager Humpy Wheeler, and racers Cale Yarborough, Junior Johnson, and Donnie Allison in a pre-recorded acceptance interview for their assistance in assisting her racing career.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee: Donnie Allison
RING PRESENTATION – Jimmy Creed (former sports editor, Donnie Allison: As I Recall” author)
First inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame was Donnie Allison.
A member of the original “Alabama Gang” alongside brother Bobby Allison and friend Red Farmer, Allison dominated the regional scene before joining the formerly titled Grand National Series. His first win came at North Carolina Speedway in 1968 and accumulated ten victories in 242 starts. Allison started in the 1970 and 1971 Indianapolis 500 finishing 4th and 6th, respectively, in his two IndyCar appearances. His last-lap crash-turned-fight with Cale Yarborough in the 1979 Daytona 500 was the first televised race from green to checkered and is considered one of the most influential races in NASCAR history.
Allison remains an ambassador for auto racing and consulted for many drivers including active Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and John Hunter Nemechek.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee: Chad Knaus
RING PRESENTATION – Brooke Knaus (wife), Vivienne Knaus (daughter), Kipling Knaus (son)
Chad Knaus took the stage second with his NASCAR Hall of Fame induction.
His Cup Series career began as a rear-tire changer for Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 pit crew under Ray Evernham before advancing his way up the ladder and becoming Stacy Compton’s full-time crew chief in 2001. Knaus returned to Rick Hendrick’s team in 2002 and was paired with rookie Jimmie Johnson. The two went on to become one of the greatest and most dominant duos in motorsports history. His analytical approach, leadership, and ingenuity between the lines with Johnson resulted in 81 Cup Series wins and seven Championships with Johnson across 17 years.
His crew chief career ended atop William Byron with a final win in the 2020 fall race at Daytona Motor Speedway, and he has since served as the Vice President of Competition for Hendrick Motorsports.
NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee: Jimmie Johnson
RING PRESENTATION – Chandra Johnson (wife), Genevieve Johnson (daughter), Lydia Johnson (daughter)
The last inducted into the 2024 NASCAR Hall of Fame was Jimmie Johnson.
Jeff Gordon and Ricky Hendrick saw talent in the motorcycle-turned-asphalt driver before bringing him on full-time for the 2002 NASCAR Cup Series season. Johnson won at his hometown track of Auto Club Speedway in only his 13th Cup Series start and went on to one of the greatest careers in all of racing. Under crew chief Chad Knaus, the two claimed numerous accolades including five consecutive Championships from 2006 to 2010 and seven total with the addition of the 2013 and 2016 Cup Series Title. He is a winner of two Daytona 500’s (2016, 2013), four Coca-Cola 600’s (2003, 2004, 2005, 2014), and four Brickyard 400’s (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012), and two Southern 500’s (2004, 2012).
Johnson is considered by many the greatest driver in NASCAR history.