There were many surprised by the unveiling of Nascar's first five hall of fame inductees. Including one who was a virtual lock, The King Richard Petty.
"That wouldn't have been my pick, Anybody that won 105 races and didn't make the cut — somebody ain't adding right," Petty said of Pearson.
Former driver and now TV analyst Ned Jarrett, also a finalist, said he voted for Pearson.
“He had to be next on the list,” Jarrett said. “I was surprised that he did not make it. My thought all along was there should be more inductees in the first class. They formed a committee about a year and a half a go and asked people what they thought it should be.
"They interviewed (son) Dale and I together and we both thought there should be more.David Pearson is hall-of-fame material no matter how many people go in. It’s sad that he didn’t make it.”
Although it can't be argued that all of the inductees were deserving, many were surprised that Both Bill Frances were chosen at the same time."When I seen the two Frances was in, I knew I didn't have a chance," Pearson said moments after the ceremony ended.
It was hard to tell for sure if Pearson was upset by the final result but, he didn't stay long after the ceremony."The same people don't like everybody," Pearson said. "So there got to be some people voting for other people. If they don't like me, they're going to vote for somebody else anyway, so that's all right. I'm happy."
Its hard to argue against the "silver fox" getting in with the first class when you look at his numbers. As mentioned by Petty, he has 105 wins which is second only to the king himself. When you consider that he never ran a full season, its even more incredible.
Pearson's achievements included, 301 top fives,366 top ten's and 113 poles. His winning percentage of 18.6 is third all-time behind Herb Thomas and Tim Flock. And lets not forget those three championships.
So, while its almost a lock that David Pearson will get into the Nascar Hall of Fame in the next couple of years, it would have given Nascar a much needed shot of legitimacy in these days of falling ratings and questionable leadership to put him in his rightful place now.
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