Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NASCAR Hall-of-Fame: Round 2

Tonight NASCAR honors its second group of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.  This year's class consists of three championship patriarchs, the old soldier, and that other guy.

Lee Petty, of course, is father of Richard and Maurice Petty, three time champ and tied with Jimmie Johnson for 9th in victories at 54 wins. His son, Richard, of course is arguably the sports' greatest driver.

The next patriarch, Ned Jarrett, won two championships, 11th in wins with 50, tied with Junior Johnson. Ned retired at age 35 to become a successful track promoter at Hickory and a pioneer in NASCAR television broadcasting, His son, Dale, is also a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.

Bobby Allison, 3rd in wins with 105 wins and also winner of three championships, was father of two racers, Davey and Clifford. What a sight for the ages beating his son in 1988 to win the Daytona 500.

How sad it is that now death in racing families extends even further in that Dale Earnhardt Jr. carries on losing his father to the 2001 Daytona 500. The Allision family suffered two losses, and while Davey Allison was not engaged in competition, he was taken by a helicopter accident at the Talladega Super Speedway. With the Petty's, now two members, Richard and Lee Petty have their legacy footnoted by the death of Adam Petty, killed in a misahp in Loudon, New Hampshire in 2000.

Bud Moore is the good solider turned crew chief and car owner who helped develop some of NASCAR's biggest stars including Buck Baker, Fireball Roberts, David Pearson, Cale Yarbourough, Bobby Isaac, Dale Earnhardt,  Darrell Waltrip, Donnie Allison, Geoff Bodine, and bobby Allison who won a Daytona 500 racing for Moore.

David Pearson is the "other guy," the fellow who was chaulking up huge victories held back only by racing concurrently with Richard Petty. Pearson remains the runaway second most winning drivers despite often not running full season schedules. He stands twenty wins ahead of Bobby Allison with Jeff Gordon needing twenty two more career wins to surpass him, a task once seen as given but suddenly seeming much more difficult today.

These five men represent NASCAR well and are most worthy of being part of the second class of Hall of Fame inductees.


No comments: