CHARLOTTE — Bill Elliott received an awesome honor in his first try.
Elliott was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday, highlighting the Hall's sixth five-member class and bringing the total membership to 30.
"Awesome Bill" was joined by Wendell Scott, the only African-American driver to win a Cup Series race, two-time champion Joe Weatherly, 1960 champion Rex White and 26-time winner Fred Lorenzen.
Elliott, the 1988 Cup Series champion who won 44 races along with a record 16 Most Popular Driver awards, said he was floored when his name was announced. He received a pat on the back from his son, Chase, as the family sat in the audience at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
"I'm just totally speechless over this whole thing," Elliott said. "I just never imagined being in the Hall of Fame. I never imagined it in a million years that I'd ever end up here.
"I was shocked more than anybody, I would guess, but very much happy."
He wasn't the only one. Members of Scott's family jumped out of their seats with joy after NASCAR Chairman Brian France read his name.
Scott, who died in 1990, won just one race and one pole in nearly 500 starts — but he faced tremendous adversity in breaking NASCAR's color barrier.
Daughter Sybil Scott said her father would have been "humbled" and would have needed a few minutes to cry at the news. She was optimistic Wednesday would be the day, she said.
"I kind of felt like it was his moment and the people who were making that decision probably felt that, too," she said. "… I'm thankful to those who made the final decision that they opened up their minds and did their research — and maybe some of them opened up their hearts."
PHOTOS: 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees