Blog Entry

NASCAR Hall of Fame voters get it right

Posted on: October 14, 2009 6:40 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2009 11:26 pm

Well, I called it.

Back in July we debated about the five who should be inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in an edition of the Feud of the Week. I figured the Frances, Earnhardt and Petty were no brainers, while I chose Junior Johnson based on his contributions as an owner and driver.

Sure enough, those that actually had a voice in the matter agreed.

But you can't please everybody, and there are some out there unhappy with some of the selections. Johnson is the only one I think you could possibly quibble with, but you're really picking nits.

Our own Pete Pistone doesn't believe Earnhardt should have been in the first class, an opinion with which I strongly disagree. I don't get the argument that NASCAR needed to recognize the pioneers of the sport in its first class. The contributions, accomplishments and impact of the chosen five on NASCAR were really unparalleled.

It's a wonderful accomplishment to be the first NASCAR winner, first NASCAR champion or first Daytona 500 winner, but I don't believe that trumps the career feats of others that came down the line.

David Pearson's omission seems to be drawing the biggest outcry. He's a great driver -- arguably the greatest of all-time -- but here's my problem with making him a first-ballot Hall of Famer -- he was only a part-timer most of his career. Had he driven full-time he -- not Petty -- would probably have owned all the records. But he didn't race full-time and thus he doesn't own a record 200 wins or seven championships.

Pearson, no doubt, will have his day next year. And I'm sure Lee Petty, Red Byron, Glen Wood will join him, if not next year, shortly thereafter.

But I wouldn't change a thing about this inaugural class.

Category: Auto Racing

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2009 8:51 am

NASCAR Hall of Fame voters get it right

Mikey - I work with numbers so I know you can take stats, and put them out there to support any arguement you want to make. The term "Greatest" is totally debateable since it is the opinion of the person making it. You added stats for Pearson Yarborough and Allison, but your arguement is really Dale vs. Darrell. If you compare the two in H2H competition, Dale beats Darrell 76 - 69. You also can't dismiss the time he wasn't in a competitive car. Dale wasn't in a competitive car for a a few years in the early 80's, but the difference was, he won in non-competitive cars.
DW is a definite HOFer, and his time will come. Just because some people believe that Dale was the Greatest ever, doesn't make them wrong, it just means their opinion isn't the same as yours.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2009 7:08 am

NASCAR Hall of Fame voters get it right

Brian, I know everyone thinks Dale is one of the greatest and is why he should have been elected into the Hall on the first ballot.  But let me throw these stats at you and you will see he wasn't the "Greatest' drivers since Petty. 

Dale Earnhardt - 27 years Racing - 76 wins - 676 Starts

David Pearson - 27 years Racing - 105 wins - 575 Starts

Cale Yarborough - 31 years Racing - 83 wins - 560 Starts

Bobby Allison - 25 years Racing - 84 wins - 718 Starts

Darrell Waltrip - 29 years Racing - 84 wins - 801 Starts, however if you dismiss his last 4 years from 1996 when he no longer had a competitive car his stats would look like this - 25 Years - 84 Wins 658 starts.

Too many people are looking at Dale's championship and saying that makes him the greatest or they are going on about the legend and what they have heard people say and base their opinions on that.  And while taking nothing away from Dale, he is an outstanding driver, he wasn't the second best driver either.  Also, too many people who don't really know the past drivers keep saying Dale brought this sport to where it is today.  Again that is false.  If you have to point to one driver who brought the sport to where it is today, you'd have to give strong consideration to Darrell Waltrip.  Why, because when other drivers ducked the Press and TV Cameras, as Dale did a lot of times, there was ol' DW seeking the cameras out.  So without the story the major networks would have left it alone.  So DW was actually the pioneer of bring us the stories of racing to the public and wore the bad guy hat for a long time, and it wasn't until 1987, when DW left Junior Johnson, that Dales star really started to shine and by that time, Television had a strong audience foundation to build with and the sport continued to prosper. 

Since: Sep 2, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2009 12:48 pm

NASCAR Hall of Fame voters get it right

Junior Johnson is a pig and a felon, and as such, a perfect representative of NASCAR. Yeah, they got it right, but for the wrong reasons.  And let's not forget that his last hurrah as an owner was screwing his own team out of a championship in 1992, by screwing a woman half his age not his wife, and letting that mess interfere with decisions regarding his team.  What a legacy!

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