With a week off from the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, the writers from Frontstretch decided to take a look at the 25 names nominated for consideration to be one of the first five selections to be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Since none of your Frontstretch faithful were picked to be part of the official voting committee, we decided to have a little informal poll of our own to see who some of the staff thinks the top-15 picks should be for the inaugural classes in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
We admit the final results may get you talking at the office tomorrow; I can tell you there’s no doubt this whole exercise brought up some lively debate amongst our staff. When all was said and done, the top-10 selections seem to be the consensus picks from most of the polls that have been published since the names were released.
However, the next group of five brought a few surprises into the mix that I think no one ever expected. Were your top selections the same as our own, or did your favorite legend get stuck in detention when the first class was called into session? Read this week’s edition of the Power Rankings to see which men we bet will be cast in bronze within the next three years.
How the Rankings Are Calculated: Frontstretch does their power rankings somewhat similar to how the Associated Press does them for basketball or football – writers on our staff will vote for the top 20 on a 20-19-18-17-16-15… 3-2-1 basis, giving 20 points to their first-place driver, 19 for their second and so on. In the end, Mike Neff calculates the points, adds some funny one-liners and… voila! You have the Power Rankings from our dedicated staff.
|FRONTSTRETCH TOP-15 PICKS FOR THE HALL OF FAME|
|Rank||Nominee (First-Place Votes)||Votes||Career Cup Wins|
|1||Richard Petty (6)||195||200|
|There’s no question NASCAR’s King will have himself a public coronation in May.|
|2||Bill France Sr. (3)||181||0|
|This list would not even exist if it were not for the hard work, vision and ideas of the original founder of NASCAR.|
|Not only is he a seven-time champion, the man they called The Intimidator intimidated all his opponents when it came to knowing how to market the sport to a national audience.|
|4||David Pearson (1)||152||105|
|If he ran more full seasons in his prime, there’s no question Petty wouldn’t have seven championships.|
|5||Bill France Jr.||142||0|
|The No. 1 reason NASCAR moved from a regional, niche sport to the most popular form of racing in the country.|
|This guy was so competitive, he actually protested victories by his own son.|
|He was one of the best ever when it comes to winning championships, but will always be famous for his fists instead in taking on the entire Allison clan in the infield at Daytona.|
|When you talk about the foundation of this sport, this former moonshiner’s building block contributions as both driver and owner put him right next to the cornerstone of the Frances themselves.|
|Sure, the record book says 84, but everyone knows it was really 85. One of the sport’s good guys who had to endure the worst of tragedies late in life.|
|His enshrinement in the Hall of Fame will let a lot of the new fans of NASCAR realize ol’ DW is a heck of a lot more than boogity, boogity, boogity.|
|11||Glen Wood||72||4 as a driver, 97 as an owner|
|Imagine how different history would have been if the Wood Brothers had never existed. Foyt, Pearson, Baker, all the big names spent some of their best years in NASCAR behind the wheel of the No. 21.|
|A remarkable man responsible for altering the sport even in death. His tragic crash singlehandedly convinced all the other drivers that fireproof clothing was a necessity.|
|13||Richard Childress||61||0 as a driver, 89 as an owner|
|We may never have had a second seven-time champion if this man never realized that driving was just not in the cards for him.|
|The fact that he won the Southern 500 by 14 laps one year should be basis enough; but imagine how much more Jarrett would have accomplished if he hadn’t walked away at the top of his game. The fact he became one of the sport’s most beloved TV announcers was simply icing on the cake.|
|He was the largest of the “larger than life” heroes of the early years before he stood up to NASCAR, leading us to one of the first examples of how the sport was unafraid to flex its iron fist.|
|Also Receiving Votes: Rick Hendrick (51), Buck Baker (47), Bud Moore (42), Tim Flock (41), Herb Thomas (39), Richie Evans (38), Red Byron (38), Benny Parsons (35), Joe Weatherly (28), Raymond Parks (23).|
|Who Voted: Ren Jonsin, Thomas Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Matt Taliaferro, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, John Potts, S.D. Grady and Danny Peters.|
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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