Dawsonville's Bill Elliott, the 1988 Winston Cup Champion, is among 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's sixth induction class.
Five will be voted in on May 21.
The 16-time most popular driver has been considered a frontrunner for inclusion since NASCAR made rule changes that allow any driver that competed for 30 years eligible for induction, as well as drivers that have reached their 55th birthday.
The previous rule made drivers eligible after they had been retired for three years.
At 58, Elliott meets both criteria.
With 44 wins in the series, including two Daytona 500 victories and a record four consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway, Elliott holds the track records for fastest qualifying speed at Daytona and Talladega.
Although semi-retired for more than a decade, Elliott recently tested at Daytona for JR Motorsports, alongside son Chase Elliott.
Raymond Parks, NASCAR's first championship car owner, was also announced Friday as a nominee.
He was also nominated for the sport's inaugural Landmark Award.
In addition to being among the group that gathered in a hotel room in Daytona to create the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing in December 1947, Parks was the owner of Red Byron's car that won NASCAR's first Strictly Stock championship in 1949.
Born in Dawsonville, Parks died in June 2010 at 96 years old.