NASCAR Hall of Fame: My Comments on the Nominees and the Process

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NASCAR Hall of Fame: My Comments on the Nominees and the Process

When David Yeazell left a message on my bio page about the Creature Vs. Creature: Hall of Fame Edition, I certainly was interested in putting forward my proverbial two-cents. The problem was that I’ve been working on two articles, and what with working retail hours, well, I was tardy in replying to David.

So I finally sat down recently and put down my comments about the Hall of Fame nominees to send to David, and after I was done, I said “Holy Cow, I’ve got a new article for B/R!”

And so, after contacting David, it looks like what was originally intended to be an e-mail, is presented below for your consideration.

The piece that follows, with minor touch-ups (for clarification and continuity purposes), was put down in one-sitting and I’ve decided to leave it, as much as possible, as it went down.

As always, your comments are welcome.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Hall of Fame article written by Nate Powers inspired my first writing effort on B/R:

 

NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominees: Richard Petty, David Pearson, and...?

 

 

So you might say I find the HOF “interesting.”

 

As a foreword, I still believe that the HOF must be in the format of having, at least, two ‘wings.’

 

In fact, as I think about it, perhaps three “wings” would be the best way:

[1] Drivers,

[2] “Owners and others” (subject to a better name, suggestions welcome)

[3] Journalists.

 

With the exception of Journalists, ALL candidates MUST be retired.

 

(I would suggest that perhaps everyone read the short “bios” on the NASCAR site to get a background on my comments to follow.)

 

Bobby Allison: his record says it all, he should be in. In fact, it could be argued that Bobby and his family has “invested” [or whatever might be the proper word] more in the sport (considering Bobby’s terrible accident and the death of both of his sons) than anyone.

 

Buck Baker: he should be in.  Just read the bio in the official NASCAR release and the reasons a self-explanatory.

 

Red Byron: he should be in.  He was the first Champion, twice. The fact that Red was not a bootlegger, when most drivers [and Red’s owner] were involved in bootlegging (the training ground for so many drivers and mechanics) says a lot for his skill.

 

Richard Childress: Disqualified, still active owner. He was a driver, but even when his status as an ‘independent’ is taken into account his driving career was undistinguished.

 

Dale Earnhardt: he will get in. I feel I would be ‘forced’ to vote for him even though I could not stand him as a driver, I respected his skill. I, however, am made nauseous by the continued god-hood bestowed upon him by so many. His widow’s continued efforts to make as much money as possible off the dead man are in extremely poor taste. Elvis and Earnhardt? Please!

 

Richie Evans: he should be in.  His bio in the news release says it all; and in fact, the recent TV show about the nominees mentioned that Evans is the only driver [in a NASCAR major touring series] to have his car number (61) retired.

 

Tim Flock: he should be in. Again, refer to the short news release bio. Tim’s single season win record (later broken by R. Petty) say a lot about him.

 

“Bill France Jr.”  (William Clifton France): As an “Other” he will get in. He was not a strong as his father, but then who was? Probably the best man for the job, due to experience, not blood lines. {As a personal comment, Brian France is not the right man.}

 

William H. G. France: no matter what your personal opinion of this man is, “Big Bill” will get in, again, as an “Other.”

 

Rick Hendrick: disqualified, still active owner. And please, would everyone PLEASE Stop kissing this guys’ butt??? It is really getting sickening. It is beginning to approach Earnhardt “god worship.” ENOUGH!

 

 

Ned Jarrett: this is a tough one.

(I’m a fan of Ned, but I don’t know if he’s strong enough to get in with the first “class.”)

His championships, win total and membership in the “50 greatest club” would probably put him in. The first driver to seriously attempt to be “media friendly”; he certainly has strong credentials for induction into the Journalists wing as well.

 

Junior Johnson: he would certainly be in as a car owner. He would be strong in the Driver category. If BOTH his driving and owner careers were considered together he would crush any other candidate in the ‘other’ category. ‘Other’ simply from the fact that no one had the kind of success that Junior had as a driver AND as an owner.

 

Bud Moore: another tough one. I’m a Bud Moore fan, and three championships are significant; but I’m not sure, especially considering the strength of the first nominees, if he would make it in on the first ballot. [This strength is to be expected, after all, it is the first year.]

 

Raymond Parks: he should be in.  The first Championship owner [twice!] and he showed everyone how the sport, the teams, and the officials, how it should be done: with class. To see my comments on both Parks and Byron see my article: Raymond Parks: NASCAR's Double Inaugural Championship Car Owner

 

 

Benny Parsons: Sorry, as nice a man as the late Mr. Parsons was, his driving does not qualify him for the Hall, despite the one championship.  Perhaps as a TV reporter in the Journalist wing?

 

David Pearson: he should be in. He never ran a full season, but won three championships in the three seasons in which he competed in a majority of the races. His dominance when he was with the Wood Brothers team was truly legendary.

 

Lee Petty: will probably get in, but others, including his son, should go in before him.

 

Richard Petty: It goes without saying he’ll be in the HOF.

 

Glenn "Fireball" Roberts: Should be in, but may not be in on the first ballot. Could have been a champion, but he chased the money, like many of his day. Certainly the first NASCAR superstar, the first driver to have endorsements, and might have been the first in Hollywood, if racing hadn’t killed him.

 

Herb Thomas: another strong candidate, but there are probably others who would beat him out on the first ballot.

 

Curtis Turner: certainly a crowd favorite. A driver with more natural talent than perhaps anyone before or since. Turner’s win record in the Convertible Series is incredible. A personal favorite, but he had too many business interests, and other interests, to bother with chasing a championship.

 

Darrell Waltrip: can’t stand the guy, I wouldn’t vote for him for dog catcher.

 

Joe Weatherly: Another favorite of mine, even if I only saw him in one race. Could have had three championships, but others may be stronger in the first ballot.

 

Glen Wood: others may be stronger in the first ballot. But should be a shoo-in if there were an owner’s wing.

 

Cale Yarborough: He should be in. His bio says it all. First triple champion and in the 50 all-time drivers.

 

Who would I pick, with only five votes? Now that is a good question!

 

I’d probably go with all drivers as my votes, as I don’t like the format as it is now constituted.

 

How dare they not ask me what they should have done?

 

Read my comments on the first "Class" of the NASCAR HOF here:

 

NASCAR Hall Of Fame's First Class a No-Brainer... and That's the Problem

 

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