Thursday, May 24, 2012

NASCAR: The Votes Are In...

Rusty Wallace, Hall's youngest member

The votes are in for this year’s NASCAR Hall of Fame class.  None of the new inductees were on my list, but I can’t really argue with them either. Well, at least four of the five.           
Herb Thomas, Leonard Wood, Cotton Owens and Buck Baker, were all heroes from the early days of NASCAR. That’s good. I put Curtis Turner in that same class. But Turner continues to fight an uphill battle against the NASCAR voting bloc with which he was often at odds. Hopefully it won’t be much longer. 

Fireball Roberts and Joe Weatherly could be put in the next generation of drivers.  Roberts actually finished in a tie with Baker, who won on the re-vote.  OK.  But Fireball better make it next year.  And hopefully Smokey Yunick will at least be nominated next year.  Owens was a pretty good driver, a pretty good mechanic and a pretty good car owner.  But Yunick was a great mechanic and a great car owner. 

I guess the only one I have a problem with is Rusty Wallace.  No doubt Rusty is a Hall of Famer.  His 55 wins were more than any other eligible driver not already in the Hall.  And he has a championship.  He's also now the youngest member of the Hall.  the youngest living member by a wide margin.  Would just rather see all the worthy drivers from the early years take their place in the Hall before we inductee just now becoming eligible.

To his credit, Rusty seemed to feel the same way.  No one seemed more surprised than him when they announced the winners.  And Rusty openly campaigned for Fred Lorenzen and Benny Parsons before the votes were announced. 

Next year Rusty can champion their cause. 

1 comment:

  1. Now that all of the loudmouth drivers are in, maybe the other Winston Cup drivers will decline the nomination. I can imagine someone like Bill Elliot saying that he is proud to be nominated but will refuse entry until Fireball (or Kulwicki) gets in.