Herb Thomas was remembered as a hard worker who never forgot his farming roots during his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Thomas was the first of the five inductees honored during Friday night's ceremony.
His induction was opened by current NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, and was accepted by Thomas' son, Joel.
Thomas, the first driver to win two NASCAR championships, died in 2000. A two-time champion at NASCAR's top level, he also finished second in points twice and ended the year in the top two in four consecutive seasons from 1951-54.
Thomas won 48 races and ranks 13th on the career wins list.
Joel Thomas said his father returned to working on the family tobacco farm in Olivia after his retirement.
Thomas also operated a saw mill.