Creature Vs. Creature: Hall of Fame Edition

David YeazellSenior Analyst IJuly 14, 2009

It has been two weeks since NASCAR announced their 25 nominees for the inaugural Hall of Fame Class.

Fan voting has started at NASCAR.com, and the other 49 members of the induction committee are certainly evaluating the nominees and processing their votes.

Writers at Bleacher Report, known as Bleacher Creatures, should also have their own opinions of who the five inductees might be.

While the fan votes are completely anonymous and tabulated electronically, I thought we could have our own debate and voting in a public forum.

Acting as a moderator, and starting with this article, I invite Bleacher Creatures to come forth with their picks of who should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Do not, however, come empty handed.

Consider why your picks are viable, and be prepared to explain what criteria you have to support your choices.

The format is going to be simple. Each Creature will e-mail me, dyeazell@bleacherreport.com, with their picks and supporting arguments.

As e-mails come in, I will then publish an article with that Creature's picks and supporting criteria. In the article, I will interject my own support or non-support of those picks.

It will then be time for others to accept or deny the picks by using the comment section.

Be sure to only comment on that article's picks and not give away your picks, or your supporting arguments.

This miniseries is open to all members, and non-members, of Bleacher Report.

As moderator, I will start off first.

The nominating committee did a great job of finding 25 suitable candidates. What jumped out at me right away was who they did not nominate.

There is a huge difference between nominations and inductions. When someone is nominated, it at least says that person is worthy of some respect in that field.

Wendell Scott raced in the Grand National Division, what is now the Sprint Cup Division, from 1961 to 1973, finishing sixth in the 1964 standings.

Scott had one win, one pole, and an impressive 147 top 10s in 495 starts.

Scott was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1999. Wendell Scott was the first African American stock car driver, and could easily be considered the Jackie Robinson of NASCAR.

Waddell Wilson will go down in history as the best engine builder in NASCAR. His resume of race-winning engines reads like a "who’s who" of IRL and NASCAR drivers.

Wilson’s engines tabulated 109 race victories and three championships.

When Benny Parsons broke the 200 mph barrier at Talladega, it was Waddell Wilson who built the engine.

Both of these men deserved a nomination nod for their contributions to NASCAR.

I have my picks listed in order of how I voted.

1) Richard Petty—Petty holds the two most coveted NASCAR records. Most wins, 200, and tied for most championships at seven. Those two statistics alone should guarantee his spot on the Hall of Fame.

The only downside of Petty’s records is that he had mega-bucks sponsorship during a time when the majority of teams could barely scrape together money to race. This certainly gave Petty a huge advantage with equipment, crew members, and technology.

2) Dale Earnhardt, Sr.—Earnhardt had seven Winston Cup championships, 76 wins, and two IROC championships.

Like Petty, there is no doubt Earnhardt deserves a spot in the HOF.  

3) Bill France, Sr.—Without Big Bill France, there would be no NASCAR. Some say that might be a good thing.

France, Sr. dedicated his life to this sport. He brought racing out of the woods and onto Main Street. Without him, there would not be a place for Petty or Earnhardt.

4) Red Byron—Byron was the first NASCAR champion.

Enough said.

5) Raymond Parks—Parks was the first NASCAR champion car owner.

Enough said.

Now you have it—a breakdown of my top five votes.

With only five choices, I tried to be diverse and vote people NASCAR’s beginnings as well as record holders.

My pick of Bill France, Sr. is not without prejudice.

He is very deserving of a spot on the first ballot, but I think there should be a separate category for drivers, owners, founders, and crew members.

This would certainly enhance opportunities for those more deserving to take their place in the HOF sooner.

Source: Wikipedia