Who would be in your Top Five for the NASCAR Hall of Fame?

They are due to come out with the Top 25 names, later today, that will form the nominations for the first class for the new NASCAR Hall of Fame down in Charlotte.

We have been seeing many of the first class nominees in recent days and if you were in charge of the selection committee, who would you put in the very first class?

Here’s my Top Five and although I don’t know alot about auto racing I still have formed some opinion about the names that have really influenced the sport over the years and here is my Top 5 and I’d like to get your Top 5 so we can start comparing lists when the official list is released.

Here’s my Top 5 and I’ll include one honorable mention:
1)Richard Petty(How do you leave out “The King”, and did Lee Petty really influence the sport as much as his son did?)
2)Dale Earnhardt Sr.(The greatest competitor of all time in NASCAR. The guy died doing what he loved.)
3)Junior Johnson(This man was a character and he added character to the sport. Junior Johnson drank moonshine and Richard Childress drinks vineyard wines. Give it to Junior.)
4)Bill France Sr.(The man pioneered the sport, from what I have read and heard.)
5)Bobby Allison(He challenged Richard Petty and made him work to earn some of those checkered flags back in 60’s and 70’s.)

Honorable Mention:
Cale Yarborough(He was great on those Hardees commercials back in the day, when he beat Richard Petty, who was spinning out in the Ray’s Burgers parking lot.)

*****As far as the rest of the drivers/owners go, they can all go jump in a greasepit.*****

Here are the 25 nominees and the Final Five will be announced in October. The list is from the News and Record and Dustin Long, N&R NASCAR writer, has his picks and comments along side the nominees……To get the full report from Dustin Long and the N&R Click Here.


Hometown: Hueytown, Ala.

Notable: Tied for third on all-time list with 84 wins. Won 1983 series title and is a three-time Daytona 500 champ.

First-ballot chances: Good

Hello to Hall: Should be in by second year


Hometown: Charlotte

Notable: First two-time champion (1956, ’57). Finished first or second in points each year from 1955-58. Won 46 races.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Likely four or more years away


Hometown: Anniston, Ala.

Notable: Inaugural series champion (1949) and winner of the first NASCAR-sanctioned race.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Might be five years off


Hometown: Winston-Salem

Notable: Independent driver who was nominated as a car owner. Has six titles as an owner and finished second three times.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Chances improve after five years


Hometown: Kannapolis

Notable: Seven-time champion who won 76 races. All-time leader in total victories at Daytona International Speedway (34).

First-ballot chances: Lock


Hometown: Rome, N.Y.

Notable: Nine-time NASCAR Modifieds champion. Considered series’ greatest Modifieds driver before his death at Martinsville.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Maybe in five years or so


Hometown: Fort Payne, Ala.

Notable: Won 39 races in 187 starts (20.8 percent winning percentage). Two-time champion. Drove at times with a monkey in the car.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Doors open in three to four years


Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Notable: Driving force behind NASCAR’s creation and ran the sport from its beginnings in 1949 until 1972.

First-ballot chances: Count on it


Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Notable: Took over sport from his father in 1972 and led it until 2000 as NASCAR grew from a regional to a national sport.

First-ballot chances: Possible

Hello to Hall: No later than Year 2


Hometown: Palmer Springs, Va.

Notable: Sport’s top car owner. Tied with Richard Childress with 11 total NASCAR titles as an owner. Has eight Cup titles.

First-ballot chances: Try again

Hello to Hall: May be five years or so away


Hometown: Newton

Notable: Two-time champ who won 50 races. Retired before age 35.

First-ballot chances: Try again

Hello to Hall: Three to four years away


Hometown: Ronda

Notable: Won 50 races as a driver and 139 races and six titles as a car owner.

First-ballot chances: Fans might be drinking moonshine with him in May

Hello to Hall: If not in Year 1, then in Year 2


Hometown: Spartanburg, S.C.

Notable: Car owner for Joe Weatherly’s two titles and revolutionized the sport as the first owner to use two-way radio communication. Car owner for 37 years.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Might have a to wait awhile


Hometown: Dawson County, Ga.

Notable: One of the sport’s earliest car owners. His car won the first series race and title.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Also might have to wait awhile


Hometown: Detroit

Notable: Won the 1973 title and collected 21 career wins. First driver to qualify a stock car at more than 200 mph.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Likely four years away or longer


Hometown: Spartanburg, S.C.

Notable: Three-time champion ranks second all-time with 105 wins. Ranks second with 113 poles.

First-ballot chances: He’ll be in Charlotte in May


Hometown: Level Cross

Notable: First driver to win three series titles. His 54 wins ranked first all-time until son Richard surpassed his total.

First-ballot chances: Deserving, but unlikely

Hello to Hall: Year 2 he makes it


Hometown: Level Cross

Notable: Seven-time champion who has a series-record 200 wins and was known just as much for how he treated fans.

First-ballot chances: Everyone get your cowboy hats ready


Hometown: Daytona Beach, Fla.

Notable: Won 33 races and often is described as the sport’s greatest driver without a title. Died from injuries suffered in fiery crash in 1964 during the World 600.

First-ballot chances: May get a few votes

Hello to Hall: Definitely by Year 3


Hometown: Sanford

Notable: First two-time series champ who won 48 races. First three-time winner of the Southern 500. Career winning percentage of 21.0 — highest among those with at least 100 starts.

First-ballot chances: Slim

Hello to Hall: Should be in by Year 3


Hometown: Roanoke, Va.

Notable: Won only 17 races, but is considered one of the sport’s greatest drivers. He was suspended for nearly five seasons for attempting to unionize drivers.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: May have to wait 4 or more years


Hometown: Owensboro, Ky.

Notable: Three-time champion whose 84 wins are tied for third all-time.

First-ballot chances: Outside shot

Hello to Hall: Expect “Boogity, boogity, boogity” by Year 2


Hometown: Norfolk, Va.

Notable: Won 25 races and claimed titles in 1962 and ’63 before his death in a crash early in the 1964 season.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: Check back in about four years


Hometown: Stuart, Va.

Notable: Although a driver, he’s known more as one of the leaders of the Wood Brothers team. Helped revolutionize pit stops.

First-ballot chances: None

Hello to Hall: In about three years


Hometown: Sardis, S.C.

Notable: First driver to win three consecutive series titles. Collected 83 wins, including four Daytona 500s.

First-ballot chances: Could slip in

Hello to Hall: Lock by Year 2.

Contact Dustin Long at 373-7062 or dustin.long@news-record.com

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