The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. is the Mecca to which fans and anyone who has been involved with NASCAR can visit and pay homage to those who have made NASCAR the sport that it is today.
Every facet of NASCAR is addressed in the spectacular attraction opened in May of this year. History from the last 60 years is displayed, as racing artifacts, actual race cars and most importantly the Hall of Fame honoring drivers, owners, crew chiefs and others who have made tremendous impact on the sport.
The first class was inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May. The five inductees were Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Junior Johnson.
On July 1, 2010, 25 nominees were announced to be eligible for the second class to be inducted. On October 13 the Hall of Fame voting panel will meet to determine the five new inductees who will forever be enshrined at the HOF at a ceremony in 2011 and they will be announced that same day.
Fifty three ballots will be cast based on decisions made by 21 members of the nominating committee, 14 media representatives, one representative from Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota respectively, four retired drivers, three retired owners, three retired crew chiefs, four recognized industry leaders and one vote from the fans.
Eligibility for the HOF requires drivers and non-drivers to have been involved in NASCAR for 10 years and retired for at least three years.
One former driver certain to be part of the second class is David Pearson. The Spartanburg, S.C. driver known as the “Silver Fox” has 105 wins and 113 poles to his credit.
Pearson has three Winston Cup (Sprint Cup) Championships and never ran every race in any one season. Only Richard Petty had more wins and the two battled fiercely against one another.
Another good bet to be inducted is Raymond Parks. Parks was one of the participants at a meeting with Bill France, Sr. and others in the Streamline Hotel on Daytona Beach in 1947 that resulted in the formation of NASCAR.
The Georgia businessman fielded a car driven by Red Byron which won the first Cup Series Championship in 1949 which was also the first season for NASCAR.
Parks was an integral part of NASCAR and donated a great deal to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Some think he should have been inducted in the first class and sadly he died June 20, 2010 at the age of 96.
Bobby Allison is another driver who may well be in the second class of inductees. Allison was the 1983 Series Cup Champion and has 84 career wins. He was forced into retirement in 1988 after a crash at Pocono Speedway in Pocono, Pa. that
nearly took his life.
Allison was one of the NASCAR’s favorite drivers. He lost his son Clifford Allison in a racing accident during practice for the Busch series (Nationwide) in 1992 and his son Davey Allison was killed in a helicopter accident at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993 when his helicopter crashed.
Bud Moore is a car owner who quite possibly will make the second class of inductees. He ran cars in NASCAR’s top tier some 37 years and amassed 63 wins and 298 top-five finishes with drivers including Fireball Roberts, David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison and others.
Known as a country mechanic who could “make em’ run fast,” he was and is highly respected by those in NASCAR, having contributed much to the sport.
Dale Inman was Richard Petty’s crew chief for some 30 years. He just may be the first crew chief to be inducted in to the NASCAR Hall of Fame with his time coming in the second class.
Inman was innovative as a crew chief and brought status to the position especially after 1967 when he and Petty won 27 races, ten of them consecutively.
Those five men may be the best bets to be inducted in the second class. Other’s who will absolutely be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame are Lee Petty, Glen Wood and T. Wayne Robertson. Should any of the five picks listed above not make the upcoming induction, one or two could come out of these three men who are certainly worthy of going in the second or third class.
This list of best bets to be announced October 13 are based solely on the opinion of the writer.