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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NASCAR Hall of Fame induction gala dinner was held Thursday night honoring the first five inductees.

The gala dinner honors the first Hall of Fame class and their families. Great stories were shared about all the inductees including Dale Earnhardt celebrating the first of seven cup titles. Earnhardt left that behind to go deer hunting.

Sprint cup driver Jeff Burton shared the story of being called to the hauler when he was younger by Bill France, Jr. one too many times.

NASCAR was here before you and it will be here long after you re gone. It will be up to you to determine how long you re going to be here and how soon you re going to leave. And I can help you with the second part, Burton said of their conversation.

The evening s festivities started earlier in the day with Richard Petty and Junior Johnson leading the way as the inductees granite signatures were unveiled in the Hall of Fame garden.

Dale Earnhardt's family represented the Intimidator for one more honor for racing's finest.

It s one more attraction for fans that will grow with the Hall of Fame.

(There are) five of us and two that s living. It s just unbelievable, Johnson said. I know Richard (Petty) told me that it was the biggest and best thing that s ever happened to him.

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