Baker won 46 Cup races and was the series' first back-to-back champion. His career spanned portions of four decades and began in part because he honed his skills running alcohol after he couldn't find a job following his discharge from the Navy.
His final victory came at age 44 in the 1964 Southern 500, and Baker was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
Thomas won premier series titles in 1951 and 1953, and finished second in two other seasons including 1954, the first of Hall of Famer Lee Petty's three championship seasons.
"He was as good as they come," said Richard Petty, who headlined the first Hall of Fame class. "There have been very few guys who had more confidence in what he could do than Herb. He was so strong-minded that he 'willed' his wins and what he was doing on the track. He was going to beat the guys on the track no matter what was going on. That was his mindset."
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