In years past I’ve had a pretty strong opinion about who I thought should be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, this year however, I’ve really got to dig deep and do my research to come up with five people. Not because there aren’t five that are worthy, there are at least ten that deserve to go in now, that’s just the problem, its getting harder and harder to narrow it down to five. But after lots of thought I’ve gotten my list down to five. But first off, here are my top five that didn’t get in on my list. 6-10 I guess you could say.
10. Raymond Parks- While his time at the top level of NASCAR was short lived, he did pioneer the multicar team idea that is so popular and effective today. He is a piece of early NASCAR history that needs to be preserved in the Hall Of Fame.
9. Les Ritcher- College Football Hall Of Fame, NFL Hall Of Fame, why not add NASCAR Hall Of Fame to that. His roll behind the scenes of NASCAR in the 80’s was great and he played a big roll in getting the sport to where it is today.
8.Curtis Turner– A colorful character on the NASCAR circuit, Turner was very successful while only running a limited schedule. Turned missed several years on the circuit while being banner for standing up to NASCAR and starting a driver’s union. I say Turner goes in for the history, but who knows if NASCAR will ever allow it because of the union.
7.Ralph Segraves- A key player at bringing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to NASCAR and making this sport what it is today, he deserves a spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame for all his work.
6. Jack Ingram- A legend in the Busch Series and across the short tracks of the nation. His time will come in the haul of fame. But I think while it is the NASCAR Hall Of Fame, we need to keep a tight limit on the number of “non-cup” drivers on the list. But in 2015 I think there might just be a spot for another one.
And now my five picks for the 2014 NASCAR Hall Of Fame.
5. Benny Parsons
Benny Parson’s character and personality behind the microphone is enough to earn him a spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame, not to mention his 21 wins and 1973 championship. Benny was well liked by all and is a character that both the older generation who watched him on track and the newer generation who listened to him on the television can relate to. It’s time to put him in the Hall of Fame.
4. Bobby Issac
It could be said that Bobby Issac is one of the fastest race car drivers of all time. In 1969 he captured 19 poles, a record that still stands today. He also won 17 races that year. His 49 career poles has him tied for 9th all time. In September of 1971 he sat 28 world records in his Dodge at the Bonneville Salt Flats. But his most impressive year would come in 1970. 11 wins and 13 poles would be enough to carry him to the 1970 Championship and in my opinion earn him a spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.
3.Anne B France
The old saying goes behind every good man, there is a great woman. Never has that been more true than with Anne France. She played an important role in the financial side of both NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation. Without her handling the money and the books, Big Bill might not have had the clear head to bring NASCAR to where it is today. She has defiantly earned her spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame beside her husband and son.
2. Joe Weatherly
A two time NASCAR Champion and a 25 race winner. Hall of fame statistics in their own. Not to mention his 1962 and 1963 titles were the only two years that he competed full time, making him 100% in championship tries. But more impressive than that may be Joe’s 101 NASCAR Modified race wins along with one championship in 1953. He also won twelve races in the short lived convertible series. Not only was Weatherly a winner, but he was one of the sports early personality’s, often called “The Clown Prince Of Stock Car Racing”. In my opinion Weatherly has all the credentials to sit in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.
1. Fireball Roberts
Nascar’s first superstar and often called the greatest driver to never win a championship, Fireball Roberts did however win his share of races. Including one Daytona 500 and two Southern 500’s along with 30 other races during his career. Roberts was killed in a fiery crash at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the 1964 World 600, cutting his career short. I feel that with the on track record and off track personality, Roberts has earned his spot in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.
There time will come….
11. Red Byron- The first winner, the first champion, he deserves a place in the Hall Of Fame
12. Dale Jarrett- While defiantly worthy of being a first ballot inductee, I believe Jarrett is still making his mark on the sport as a broadcaster, but as a Champion and multiple time Daytona 500 winner, his time will come in the Hall Of Fame.
13. Maurice Petty- Legendary engine builder, he was a key part in many wins, while not a first or second ballot inductee in my opinion, he does deserve a spot in the hall.
14. T. Wayne Robertson- Like Ralph Seagraves his work was very crucial in bringing in the Winston money and growing the sport to where it is today. He deserves a spot at some point in the Hall Of Fame.
15. Bruton Smith- While part of me feels like his legacy is still being written, he is deep into his 80’s and at some point it would be nice to see Bruton go in while he is still alive to really enjoy the honor. There is no doubt he deserves the spot, in fact I’m surprised it took him this long to find his way to the ballot.