O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


FORT WORTH, Texas (March 15, 2016) – As Texas Motor Speedway celebrates its 20th season of racing, it’s only appropriate that Jeff Burton, long synonymous with the speedway, will be inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. 

>Burton, the winner of the Texas Motor Speedway’s inaugural Sprint Cup Series race in 1997 and the first Cup driver with multiple victories at the 1.5-mile track, will become the 18th member inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. 

Burton will be honored Thursday, April 7, at the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala benefitting Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter that will be held in The Speedway Club’s Grand Ballroom during the Duck Commander 5000 NASCAR weekend. The event recognizes some of the most outstanding individuals in motorsports. 

In addition to Burton, NASCAR Hall of Famers Glen and Leonard Wood, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship contender Martin Truex Jr. and 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Erik Jones will be honored at the gala. 

Burton earned the first of his 21 career Sprint Cup Series wins at Texas Motor Speedway with his victory in the Interstate Batteries 500 in 1997. Ten years later, he became with first Sprint Cup Series driver with multiple victories at TMS when he led just one lap en route to the win in the 2007 Samsung 500. 

The Wood brothers will receive the Bruton Smith Legend Award for their contributions to the sport. Both Glen and Leonard have been instrumental to the success of NASCAR and Wood Brothers Racing, which was founded in 1950. Since that time, the organization has become cemented in the legacy of NASCAR. Still competing in the famed No. 21 car, the team holds the distinction of being the oldest active team in NASCAR. Some of NASCAR’s legendary drivers competed for Wood Brothers Racing including Glen Wood, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, Junior Johnson, Bob Welborn, Ralph Earnhardt, Ned Jarrett, Fireball Roberts, Tiny Lund, Marvin Panch, Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough, A.J. Foyt, David Pearson, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker and Dale Jarrett. 

Stewart will be honored with the prestigious Maj. General Thomas Sadler Award for his support of Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter. Stewart’s support as host of his annual “Smoke Show” fantasy camp and contributions with his parade lap for auctions has allowed Speedway Children’s Charities to raise more than $1.5 million, all of which is distributed to North Texas non-profit organizations benefitting children. 

Truex Jr. will receive the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award. Last year, Truex Jr. enjoyed a career year as he established career highs for top fives (8), top 10s (22) and points finish (4th). However, his on-track success came after dealing with news of his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex diagnoses of Stage III ovarian cancer in August 2014. Even before Pollex’s diagnoses, Truex Jr. dedicated himself to helping end cancer through his work with the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. The foundation, created by both Truex Jr. and Pollex, has a mission to help support underfunded cancer initiatives specific to ovarian and childhood cancers, and assist the individuals and families affected by them. 

Jones, one of NASCAR’s promising young stars, experienced breakout performances at Texas Motor Speedway in 2015. In April, he defeated the likes of Sprint Cup regulars Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 for his first career victory in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. His win came on the heels of qualifying on the pole for the race. He became the second-youngest XFINITY Series winner (18 years, 10 months) in the speedway’s history, trailing only Chase Elliott (18 years, 4 months) who the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 in 2014. Jones followed up his victory in April with a win in November’s WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. It was his first NCWTS victory at Texas Motor Speedway and it propelled him to his first truck series championship. 

The Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala will begin with dinner at 7:30 p.m. followed by the start of the ceremonies at approximately 8 p.m. 

Table sponsorships, beginning at $1,500, and individual tickets ($150) are available by calling the Speedway Children’s Charities at (817) 215-8421. 

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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