The "Silver Fox" was a shoo-in to be in NASCAR's first class Hall of Fame. But the voting panel disagreed, leaving David Pearson to wait another year.
Pearson was one of the first superstars of the sport next to rival Richard Petty, who earned a spot in the Hall of Fame. He racked up 105 wins, second all-time next to Petty, and three championships in the No. 21 Wood Brothers machine.
All this leaves me to wonder...
NASCAR has many members, from the founders and operators to the drivers, crew chiefs, owners, and media personnel alike. Many, rightfully so, should be inducted in the Hall. But nominating just five to be in increases the chances of a deserving candidate being left out, such as David Pearson.
Pearson almost for sure will be in the second class of five. Yes, the second class can only be good as the first—being in the HoF is better than not being in it at all. Pearson was a superstar in NASCAR's early days and helped pioneer and grow attention for the sport.
The pioneers of the sport, guys whose names wouldn't look familiar to a new fan—these are people that came to the track and raced their hearts out. They didn't do it for the money or fame; they did it because their destiny was to be in a race car and grow this sport. Without those guys, we wouldn't be watching this sport on Sundays.
The Hall of Fame is great for our sport, which has been long overdue for one. If there is a change to be made, increase the chances of a lesser-known name people may not be familiar with that paved NASCAR'S history.
In my opinion NASCAR should categorize the HoF in sections to increase the chances so we don't exclude a great figure like David Pearson, who worked his tail off to be in. Everyone was successful in different aspects of NASCAR, not just driving the car.
The sections should be arranged like this:
Five crew chiefs/pit crew
Five broadcasters/writers or other media