NASCAR Hall of Fame: Darrell Waltrip and 10 to Enshrine Next Time

Ryan Papaserge@@RyanPapasergeCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2010

NASCAR Hall of Fame: Darrell Waltrip and 10 to Enshrine Next Time

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    (From left to right) Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison, and Bud Moore are three of the five 2011 inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    (From left to right) Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison, and Bud Moore are three of the five 2011 inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.John Harrelson/Getty Images

    In May, Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison, Bud Moore, Lee Petty and David Pearson will form the second class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

    While the group's collective merits are certainly worthy of induction, at least one notable driver will have to wait one more year to earn his rightful reward.

    It could be argued that Ned Jarrett's induction next year will be a result of his lengthy television career rather than his 55 wins and two Sprint Cup titles. Despite 37 years as a car owner, Bud Moore's 63 wins and two Sprint Cup championships seem insignificant compared to what Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick have done in seasons with much shorter schedules.

    Regardless, here are 11 personalities that should be considered by the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction committee for the 2012 class.

Darrell Waltrip

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Darrell Waltrip speaks to the media about the unveiling of his Championship-winning No. 11 Mountain Dew Buick during the kick off of the final 50 days before the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on M
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    A case can be made for Darrell Waltrip to have been part of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural class.

    However, despite 84 wins and three Sprint Cup championships, "Ol' DW" is still on the outside looking in, and should earn his rightful due next year.

    The Owensboro, KY native's accomplishments speak for themselves—a Daytona 500 victory, five Coca-Cola 600 wins, 59 poles, 35 short-track victories and the first driver to earn $10 million in career earnings.

    He also shares Jarrett's broadcasting credentials, serving as a color commentator for NASCAR on Fox.

    Maybe his notoriety as the outspoken "Jaws" in the early portions of his Sprint Cup career—including a feud with Dale Earnhardt—played a factor in his inability to get inducted.

    If so, it is certainly unfair.

Cale Yarborough

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    DARLINGTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 26:  NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough speaks to fans during the Darlington Historic Racing Festival on September 26, 2009 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)
    Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

    Before Jimmie Johnson did the unprecedented four-peat, Cale Yarborough did the three-peat. 

    He won a trio of consecutive Sprint Cup titles from 1976-78, just one of many qualifications for his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

    The Timmonsville, SC, native won 83 races and four Daytona 500s, with one International Race of Champions (IROC) to add to his credit.

    It seems as if the induction committee's decision to select Moore, Jarrett and Lee Petty has come at Yarborough's expense, as he is certainly deserving of a place in Charlotte.

Tim Flock

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    Tim Flock is one of the pioneers of NASCAR, winning a pair of Sprint Cup titles and 40 races in the sport's early days.

    Infamously known for his monkey co-driver "Jocko Flocko," Flock won 18 races and 19 poles in 45 races during the 1955 season. While that win mark was shattered by Richard Petty in 1967, his pole tally remains unmatched to this day.

Buck Baker

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    The father of Daytona 500 champion and broadcaster Buddy Baker, Buck Baker is the first driver in NASCAR history to win consecutive Sprint Cup titles, in 1956 and 1957.

    With 46 wins and 43 poles to his credit, the Richburg, S.C. native's ticket to Charlotte should be punched very soon.

Joe Weatherly

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    Joe Weatherly was one of the first Sprint Cup drivers to excel in multiple disciplines, winning three American Motorcycle Association (AMA) championships between 1946 and 1950—long before the days of Ricky Carmichael.

    The Norfolk, VA native made the jump to stock cars in 1950, winning two consecutive Sprint Cup titles in 1962 and 1963 before losing his life in a 1964 crash at Riverside, CA.

    Weatherly was named to the AMA Hall of Fame in 1998. A NASCAR Hall of Fame nod should soon come his way.

Glenn Roberts

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    DARLINGTON, SC - AUGUST 31: A display to remember driver Fireball Roberts in the garage area during the Darlington Vintage Racing Festival at Darlington  Raceway on August 31, 2008 in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)
    Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

    Glenn "Fireball" Roberts was one of NASCAR's first young stars, on his way to a legendary career before his life was tragically cut short at the 1964 Coca-Cola 600, just months after the death of Weatherly.

    While the 1962 Daytona 500 champion will no doubt be remembered for his on-track efforts, the legacy following his death is more notable, leading to the creation of fireproof firesuits and protected fuel cells.

Benny Parsons

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    CONCORD, NC - OCTOBER 13:  Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, talks with TV Analyst Benny Parsons, in the garage, during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Bank of America 500 on October 13, 2006 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Known for spending almost twenty years as a broadcaster with ABC, ESPN, NBC and TNT, Benny Parsons was the John Madden of NASCAR—known more for his contributions following his retirement than in his actual career.

    A former Detroit cab driver, Parsons won the 1973 Sprint Cup title while winning one race, a model of consistency before Matt Kenseth inspired the creation of the Chase for the Cup.

    With a Daytona 500 victory and two Coca-Cola 600 wins to his credit, Parsons deserves a spot in Charlotte.

Alan Kulwicki

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    DAYTONA - FEBRUARY: Driver Alan Kulwicki looks on before the 1991 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February,1991 in Daytona. Florida. ( Photo by: Getty Images/Getty Images)
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Before his untimely death in a helicopter crash in 1993, Alan Kulwicki accomplished incredible feats as a driver/owner in the Sprint Cup Series.

    Running on a limited budget, the Wisconsin native won the 1986 Raybestos Rookie of the Year and the 1992 Sprint Cup title—the last of his kind to pull off both accomplishments.

    While we will never know how successful he could have been driving for a well-funded operation, his accomplishments are certainly worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Richard Childress

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    DOVER, DE - SEPTEMBER 24:  Team owner Richard Childress speaks to the media after practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 24, 2010 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCA
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    If Dale Earnhardt is in the Hall of Fame, Richard Childress should be in very soon.

    As an owner, the North Carolina native has six Sprint Cup titles, two Nationwide Series titles, one Camping World Truck Series title and his drivers have tallied 171 wins over the years.

    Enough said for his bid.

Rick Hendrick

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 23:  Team owner Rick Hendrick speaks during the 2010 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Charlotte Convention Center on May 23, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Rick Hendrick should follow right behind Childress in the Hall of Fame.

    A staggering 238 wins among NASCAR's three national touring series, along with nine Sprint Cup titles and three Camping World Truck Series titles, should have him immortalized in Charlotte very soon.

Ken Squier

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    While this is probably a long-shot for at least the next few years, Ken Squier (along with Chris Economaki) deserve his place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

    The play-by-play announcer for NASCAR coverage on CBS and TBS from 1979-2000, Squier provided the call for the 1979 Daytona 500, a moment that needs no further explanation to even the newest of fans.

    He was in Victory Lane when Dale Earnhardt "got that monkey off (his) back" and won the 1998 Daytona 500, as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s first career victory at Texas Motor Speedway two years later.

    Squier was a major part of NASCAR's rise as a televised sport, and deserves a place in Charlotte.

    Agree with these picks? Is there anyone you would like to see in the NASCAR Hall of Fame? Comment below.

    Ryan Papaserge is a junior Journalism/Mass Communication student at St. Bonaventure University and a writing intern at Bleacher Report.


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