Monday, October 4, 2010

Here's my picks for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2011

   Next week, those with much more say than I have will make their selections to determine the next five members that will be inducted in NASCAR's Hall of Fame in May 2011. Since I have no vote in the "official" process, I decided to get a jump and tell you what my own five-member class would be.
   Bobby Allison - A native of Miami, Allison uprooted to Hueytown, Ala., and became the leader of the heralded "Alabama Gang." He scored 84 career wins in what is know called the Sprint Cup series, tying him for third on the all-time win list. He won 57 poles, three Daytona 500s and the 1983 Cup championship.

   Red Byron - All the focus these days in NASCAR is on the Cup champion and Byron was NASCAR's first, becoming the then-Grand National stock car racing’s first points champion in 1949. He also won the first NASCAR-sanctioned race on Feb. 15, 1948 in a Dodge prepared by Red Vogt. Byron won the Modified championship in 1948 after winning 11 races and finishing second five times.

   David Pearson - Pearson won three Cup championships and 105 races, ranking him second on the all-time list. He is the all-time leading pole winner on superspeedways with 64, including at least one every year from 1963 to 1982. He won a record 11 consecutive poles at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His best Cup season came in 1968 when he won 16 races and finished in the top five 36 times in 48 starts.

   Darrell Waltrip - One of nine drivers to win three or more Cup championships (1981-82, ’85), Waltrip won 84 times in 809 starts. He is tied with Bobby Allison for third place on the all-time win list. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers as part of the sport's 50th anniversary celebration and is now a TV commentator for Fox Sports.

   Cale Yarborough - Yarborough was the first driver to capture three successive Cup championships (1976-78). He retired in 1988 with 83 race wins, 198 poles and more than $5 million in winnings. Among his 50 superspeedway victories were five Southern 500s and four Daytona 500s. He drove legendary owners the Wood Brothers, Harry Ranier and Junior Johnson.

   That's my Class of 2011. What's yours?


  1. 1 - Raymond Parks - he deserved to be in inaugural class. Sadly, he's now gone before having been inducted. Yet he belongs in the 2011 class.
    2 - Lee Petty - 1st 3x champ, had most GN wins before his son broke the record, inaugural D500 winner
    3 - David Pearson
    4 - Cale Yarborough
    5 - Bobby Allison

    DW should wait until 2012 in my opinion. My 2012 class is Waltrip, Dale Inman, Bruton Smith, Ned Jarrett, and Herb Thomas.

  2. Anyone who needs help deciding please check out my book, "Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR," which tells the largely overlooked story about the crucial roles played by ex-moonshiner Raymond Parks, racer and first champ Red Byron, and mechanic Red Vogt. (
    Neal Thompson

  3. Chiming in again here. Neal is self-promoting his book, and I don't blame him one bit. His book is a FANTASTIC one. I'm a 30+ NASCAR fan. Yet I knew little to nothing about Parks, Byron, Vogt, Lloyd Seay, and Roy Hall until reading Neal's book. It opened my eyes a lot about how NASCAR's start was underpinned by the contributions of these men. Parks, Byron and Vogt all belong in the HOF eventually.

  4. Couldn't agree more with Neal Thompson and toomuchcountry. "Driving With the Devil" is a fantastic book; you don't know the history of NASCAR if you haven't read it. Neal, are you coming out with a sequel?

  5. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with Scott Fowler - David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip and Lee Petty.

    But I have a feeling only Pearson, Allison and Waltrip will get in and 2 France family members or groupies will get voted in, like Brian France, John Darby, Gary Nelson or Robin Pemberton. I refuse to believe the First Family had no role in getting both Bill Frances in the first class. After all, FRANCE IS THE BOSS, AND NO QUESTIONING OF HIM WILL BE TOLERATED!!!!!!!!!!