Tag:NASCAR Hall of Fame
Posted on: October 14, 2010 3:17 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2010 3:54 pm

Rethinking the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting process

When the NASCAR Hall of Fame decided it would induct a five-man class each year upon opening, I was on board. Though some thougt the first class should be 10 to 15 deep, I didn't see a problem.

Now I do.

With the announcement of the second class -- a class that doesn't include arguably NASCAR's greatest crew chief (at least statistically) Dale Inman and two of the top five drivers in all-time Cup wins and championships (Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough), I'm now fairly certain that the NASCAR HOF has goofed.

Mike Mulhern makes an excellent point that with 60 years of history, the HOF has a lot of catching up to do to induct all the deserving honorees -- http://www.mikemulhern.net/MikesTak

Consider that it's going to be at least three years from its opening before Waltrip and Yarborough get honored. Perhaps attendance is struggling because fans are waiting for more of the greats that they know to be inducted before they bother to make the trek.

It's all hindsight now of course, what's done is done. But there's no reason the HOF has to continue on this path. Officials are certainly in their right to decide that next year that 10 enshrinees will be chosen. It doesn't have to be an every year thing, but maybe the next year or two to get a good solid base in the Hall. Otherwise its going to be a long, slow road to see the Hall.
Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: October 13, 2010 9:24 am
Edited on: October 13, 2010 9:58 am

My picks for the NASCAR HOF second class

Last year I thought it was pretty clear who should be chosen for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class. The five chosen -- Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr. and Junior Johnson -- were the five I had pegged for the honor.

The selection of the second class seems a bit tougher. I'm not sure what the voting committee might be thinking, but here are the five I'd choose if I had a vote.

2011 NASCAR all of Fame nominees photo gallery

David Pearson -- Many felt the three-time Cup champion and winner of 105 races (second all-time) deserved to be recognized as part of the inaugural class. It would be a stunner if he wasn't chosen for the second class.

Dale Inman -- Richard Petty made the inaugural class, why not the crew chief who helped him to a majority of his 200 wins as part of the second class? He has more wins (193) and championships (8) than any other crew chief.

Red Byron -- He had a brief, but impactful career. Among NASCAR's pioneers, he captured the first series championship in 1949.

Lee Petty -- And if you recognize the series' first champion, it's probably not a bad idea to recognize the first winner of its greatest race. The father of Richard, Lee won the first Daytona 500 in 1959. He also won three series titles, the first driver to accomplish that feat.

Cale Yarborough -- Before Jimmie Johnson began his assault on the record books, Yarborough had been the only driver to win three consecutive championships. His 83 victories -- fifth all-time -- include four victories in the Daytona 500 (second all-time behind Richard Petty's seven).

Just missing my cut -- Darrell Waltrip, Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, T. Wayne Robertson and Richie Evans.

Among my picks, I'd say Byron and/or Inman could get left out in favor of Waltrip, who certainly has the greater notoriety and could be a bigger draw for the Hall.

I don't think there's room for both Childress and Hendrick in this class. If one of them gets in, I'd go with Childress over Hendrick at this time just based on the fact he accomplished his greatest success at a much earlier time than Hendrick, who's still in the midst of his organization's dominance. Childress was the first owner to win titles in all three NASCAR national series. (Personally, I don't think anybody currently active in the role for which he is predominantly being nominated for should be up for induction, but I digress).

Robertson is an interesting nominee and very deserving choice, but after the Hall inducted two executives (Bill France Sr. and Jr.) last year, I don't believe he'll make the cut.

I'm not sure what to make of Evans, who was a great and highly respected driver, but accomplished all his success in the NASCAR modified series. He's my darkhorse, though I think next year might be more likely for him.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: October 14, 2009 6:40 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 11:26 pm

NASCAR Hall of Fame voters get it right

Well, I called it.

Back in July we debated about the five who should be inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in an edition of the Feud of the Week. I figured the Frances, Earnhardt and Petty were no brainers, while I chose Junior Johnson based on his contributions as an owner and driver.

Sure enough, those that actually had a voice in the matter agreed.

But you can't please everybody, and there are some out there unhappy with some of the selections. Johnson is the only one I think you could possibly quibble with, but you're really picking nits.

Our own Pete Pistone doesn't believe Earnhardt should have been in the first class, an opinion with which I strongly disagree. I don't get the argument that NASCAR needed to recognize the pioneers of the sport in its first class. The contributions, accomplishments and impact of the chosen five on NASCAR were really unparalleled.

It's a wonderful accomplishment to be the first NASCAR winner, first NASCAR champion or first Daytona 500 winner, but I don't believe that trumps the career feats of others that came down the line.

David Pearson's omission seems to be drawing the biggest outcry. He's a great driver -- arguably the greatest of all-time -- but here's my problem with making him a first-ballot Hall of Famer -- he was only a part-timer most of his career. Had he driven full-time he -- not Petty -- would probably have owned all the records. But he didn't race full-time and thus he doesn't own a record 200 wins or seven championships.

Pearson, no doubt, will have his day next year. And I'm sure Lee Petty, Red Byron, Glen Wood will join him, if not next year, shortly thereafter.

But I wouldn't change a thing about this inaugural class.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: September 10, 2009 11:50 am

NASCAR Hall of Fame class to be announced Oct. 14

In case you were wondering when NASCAR was planning to announce the inaugural class for its new Hall of Fame, mark down Oct. 14 on your calendar.

From NASCAR press release:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept 10, 2009) – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has announced that “Voting Day” for the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be Oct. 14 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 29 others representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives, will meet in a closed session to deliberate and vote on the 25 candidates eligible for this first class. The vote will be followed by a press conference announcing the inaugural class of 2010.

The class will be chosen from the 51 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote – which ends Sept. 27 – conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young will preside over the tabulation of the votes.

The hall’s inaugural class will consist of five members and are scheduled to be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2010.

The nominees, which include many of the sport’s legendary names and were announced in July, include:
Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr., Rick Hendrick, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame broke ground in Charlotte on Jan. 25, 2007 and will open May 11, 2010. The facility honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of NASCAR.

Category: Auto Racing
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