(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Rusty Wallace was inducted into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame on Friday night. During his career, Wallace won 55 races and the 1989 championship.
During his speech, Wallace was thankful to Roger Penske Racing for giving him an opportunity to race for such a great team.
“The thing I learned and I said it at the driver meeting in 2005 the day I retired and walked out, I said: ‘This is a privilege. This is a privilege to race in NASCAR. You don’t have to do it. We’re not making you do it. It’s a privilege to race in NASCAR, and it’s a blessing for me to be in this sport and do what I’ve done,’” Wallace said.
“I just hope all the young drivers respect NASCAR as much as I respect it and go out there and say nice things about NASCAR and help build this sport,” Wallace continued.
Along with Wallace, mechanic and crew chief Leonard Wood, former series champions Buck Baker and Herb Thomas and former car owner Cotton Owens, also got the call into the Hall of Fame.
Wood was the only other current living member inducted with Wallace.
“If it wasn’t for Ford Motor Company and my brother, Glenn, I wouldn’t be up here,” said Wood.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN