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January 20, 2017

Dale Jarrett

Brad Keselowski

Terri Parsons

Charlotte, North Carolina

BRAD KESELOWSKI: What an honor. Thank you guys. I want to start off by talking about a really cool guy we're going to induct tonight. A really special guy to me. He's from Detroit, and he came from being a Michigan taxi driver to a NASCAR champion. Think about that. That seems like the script from a Hollywood movie. But that is exactly what Benny Parsons accomplished in 1973.
The people of Michigan love their champions, and as I can attest and Benny can attest, he was a champion that made everyone in the state very proud. And racers in Michigan were a tight‑knit community, and the automotive hub of Detroit, starting with Benny and my grandfather, incredible relationship, and the Keselowskis and Parsons that developed a bond that still exists today. That's why it's such an honor for me to be here tonight. But beyond Benny's work behind the wheel, it was his work in the broadcast booth that really stood out and brought his knowledge and love of the sport to the rest of America.
Today, the legacy of one of the finest ambassadors in our sport's history gets to live on forever in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
(Video shown.)
Accepting today on behalf of 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Benny Parsons, please welcome his wife, Terri Parsons.
DALE JARRETT: Congratulations to all of the 2017 inductees. Enjoy your night. Have a great time.
You know, this is truly an honor for me because I'm one of the many that can call Benny a friend. Benny had the rare qualities of being a competitor, a champion, a professional, but most of all, a really good person. If only our world had more like him.
It is now my honor on this 20th day of January, 2017, to present the NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee ring and officially induct Benny Parsons into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Congratulations.
KRISTA VODA: Well, Benny was such a popular guy in and out of the garage and never lacked for words, so what would he say to this crowd?
TERRI PARSONS: Well, the first thing he would say is there's so many people here he'd like to thank. A lot of you are here from the ARCA days, and I know Benny would really appreciate that.
KRISTA VODA: Is there anyone left in Detroit? How many are here from Detroit?
TERRI PARSONS: I don't know, there's quite a few right out there, and there's a lot of old crew members that worked on numerous cars that he drove that are here, and I talked to a lot of you tonight, as well. Most of all, the most important thing about tonight for him would be the people and especially the fans, understand how much they meant to him and how much he loved each and every one of you. You all have such great stories, and tonight is really a celebration of his life. This is not sad, this is happy. I'm the only one that's sad.
KRISTA VODA: Terri told me, don't let me get emotional up there. I said, that's what it's all about. You have a very special ring. What's going to happen‑‑ where is that going to go?
TERRI PARSONS: Well, all this is shared with all the family and the crew members and the car owners that are here. We're going to put it in the Hall of Fame, because we think about it, the people at home, the fans that are visiting the Hall of Fame, never get to see a ring because we all take them home with us, so we thought we'd like to share this with the people that come through the Hall of Fame so they can see what an actual Hall of Fame ring looks like.
KRISTA VODA: No question you can tell by the reaction, such a sweet and special gesture. Terri, congratulations to your family. The every man is now one of 40 men, Benny Parsons is in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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