Thomas was remembered as a hard worker who never forgot his farming roots during his induction.
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.
‘‘He was always kind and fair to everyone, and wasn’t afraid of hard work,’’ Joel Thomas said. ‘‘He operated his own saw mill and almost 50 years later was excited to teach me how to run it. When dad finally retired from racing in 1962, he worked on the farm with his family for many years. Those were wonderful years.’’