Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NASCAR Hall of Fame Class

The nominee list will be announced Thursday, but just off the top of my head, here are just 3 picks for the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.

1-Bill France, Sr. This is a no-brainer. There is no NASCAR without Bill France, Sr. If he doesn't go in with the first class, this Hall is a sham. Period.

2-Richard Petty. Won 200 races as a driver, and has a few more as an owner. Petty has been the face of NASCAR for some 40 years. Most wins, that signature cowboy hat, the country boy smile, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. The Petty name is synonymous with NASCAR. Again, no King, no credibility.

3-Dale Earnhardt, Sr. 7-time champion, and had maybe the largest legion of fans in all of motorsports. His driving style set him apart from the others, and his ability to become a household name when NASCAR was just beginning its meteoric climb into the national mainstream did more to give NASCAR that image that people could identify with, and ultimately, corporate America could support. Yes, he was rough around the edges--that sold sponsorships.

NASCAR also released Richard Childress and Glen Wood as part of their nominee list. Wood has been one of NASCAR's legendary owners, and deserves consideration. There have been other drivers that have contributed to the fabric of NASCAR. Guys like Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, Fireball Roberts, Lee Petty, Tim Flock, and so on. Selecting just 5 will be a difficult task.

The series heads off to Daytona for the 2nd time this season for the race formerly known as the Firecracker 400--now known as the Coke Zero 400. Should be a great night under the lights on the 4th of July.

Winston-Salem Dash skipper Joe McEwing visited with us earlier today, and you'll see that interview tonight on Sports Night at 10.

Mike Solarte

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