The Frontstretch: NASCAR Power Rankings: The 2011 Potential Hall of Fame Class by Frontstretch Staff -- Wednesday July 21, 2010

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NASCAR Power Rankings: The 2011 Potential Hall of Fame Class

Frontstretch Staff · Wednesday July 21, 2010


Frontstretch Power Rankings

With the Cup series off this weekend, the pollsters took a look at the recently announced list of nominees for the 2011 Hall of Fame induction class. The mix of names covers all aspects of NASCAR – drivers in various series, crew chiefs, car owners, and promoters. Some were there when the first green flag dropped, and some are still involved in the sport today. With the selection committee coming from an assortment of backgrounds, it is hard to predict where the votes will ultimately fall, but our group took the time to chime in with their choices.

David Pearson is second on the all-time wins list and considered by many to be the best driver to ever participate in the sport. Quite a few people thought he should have been in the inaugural class, and he most certainly will be in this one even though he asked to be left out of consideration in respect to Raymond Parks if he isn’t going to be inducted. Behind Pearson, there’s T. Wayne Robertson, who was almost personally responsible for RJ Reynolds taking the sport to new levels of popularity while Raymond Parks was not only the first championship car owner, but also fielded several other cars that originally competed in the series and even helped pay some of the first purses.

Richie Evans owns more championships than any other driver while Dale Inman has crew chiefed more championships than Chad Knaus and Ray Evernham combined. Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison battled it out on the track and in the infield, while Lee Petty went so far as to protest his own son in order to win a race.

It is going to be a heated debate over the next few months about who should be in the next induction class … so get a head start with us! Read this week’s Top 15 rankings to find out who our voters selected.

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.

Rank Nominee (First Place Votes) Votes Career Cup Wins
1 David Pearson (7) 193 105
Three championships and 105 wins on a part-time schedule … need we say more?
2 Cale Yarborough 159 83
Before the reigning four-time, before the original four-time, there was three-time … a record that may stand the test of time better than the Chase.
3 Lee Petty (2) 156 54
The patriarch of Petty Enterprises once protested his own son’s victory. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore…
4 Bobby Allison (1) 149 83
He may have lost some of his memory following a vicious 1988 crash, but the memories of the Allison – Petty rivalry, plus the 1979 Daytona 500, will live on the memory of fans’ hearts forever.
5 Dale Inman 141 N/A
Had more championships than Chad Knaus and Ray Evernham. When you spend a lifetime as Richard Petty’s right-hand man, you KNOW you’re doing something right.
6 Ned Jarrett 111 50
2 championships, 50 wins, and the voice and face of NASCAR broadcasting spanning four decades. One of the finest ambassadors and representatives of any sport.
7 Darrell Waltrip 105 84
No matter how bad he is behind the mic, DW was one hell of a race car driver.
8 Bud Moore 97
Championship winning crew chief better known as a car owner and one of the most important forces in Ford’s racing success for 30 years in all forms of motorsport. His driver resume alone is Hall of Fame material: Earnhardt, Waltrip, Isaac, and Fireball Roberts. But perhaps his most important contribution remains his efforts on June 6th, 1944 in Normandy, France.
9 Raymond Parks 92 N/A
Did a lot more for the sport than just own the first championship car.
T – 10 Fireball Roberts 85 33
A career cut much too short by, coincidentally, a horrific fiery accident at Charlotte in 1964. A driver ahead of his time and stuff that legends are made of.
T – 10 Richie Evans 85 0
It may have been modifieds, but nine championships deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
12 Herb Thomas 81 48
Talk all you want about Petty and Pearson dominating when they strapped behind the wheel; Thomas has a higher winning percentage than anyone who has ever run in the sport.
13 Glen Wood 78 4 as a driver
Figured out very early on that pit stops would be the difference between winning and losing..
14 Curtis Turner 74 17
Timber baron who broke the 180mph barrier at Daytona and the 15 minute barrier at Pikes Peak. Built Charlotte Motor Speedway against all odds with the help of a Smith & Wesson revolver. Once landed his plane on Main Street in Spartanburg just to pick up some stuff from his house. And he liked to party.
15 Buck Baker 71 46
First driver to win two consecutive championships at the NASCAR Cup level.
Also Receiving Votes: Red Byron (62), Tim Flock (59), T. Wayne Robertson (56), Joe Weatherly (51), Richard Childress (47), Rick Hendrick (38), Benny Parsons (38), Jack Ingram (28), Jerry Cook (23), Fred Lorenzen (21).
Who Voted: Thomas Bowles, Tony Lumbis, Mike Neff, Matt Taliaferro, Brock Beard, Mike Ravesi, Vito Pugliese, Bryan Davis Keith, Garrett Horton, and Phil Allaway.

Contact Mike Neff

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


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07/21/2010 11:41 AM

To not have DW in the top 5 is a crime. Here is the man who is the winniest driver in the modern era and he did more to put NASCAR in then media limelight than any other driver. Wasn’t a fan of his in his championship days, but that makes no difference now. David Pearson, DW and Dale Inman should be locks and the other 2 spots would be up for grabs.

07/21/2010 11:59 AM

David Pearson, Raymond Parks, Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett and Richie Evans are my choices. They spread across the early days into the modern era in different ways. They all have left a mark on a sport that was better off with them being a part of it. I figure Pearson, Yarborough and Allison will get in this year but they should be more cognizant of the early history. Raymond Parks was as responsible for NASCAR’s early days as Big Bill so they should be together in the Hall of Fame.

The Mad Man
07/21/2010 01:17 PM

Pearson and Parks are a definite for me. Red Byron is another definite for me. I think Bobby Allison with his 85 wins (record needs to be corrected) should be in there before Jaws as does Cale. One mechanic and crew chief who should’ve been on the list but isn’t is Red Vogt. He was the man behind Raymond Parks winning drivers for many years and also the man behind the term NASCAR.


Contact Mike Neff

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Want to find out more about Mike Neff? Maybe see all the articles he's written here at the Frontstetch? Check out his article archive and bio page then!