Woody: It Will Be A Hollow Hall Without D.W.
By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
Which of the 25 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012 should be inducted?
Every one of ‘em.
But since Oz, or whoever’s behind the curtain, is adamant about restricting each class to five, here’s my choices for the third round:
How there can be a NASCAR Hall of Fame without those five already in it is baffling, just as it was baffling when David Pearson wasn’t included in the inaugural class.
This is not to say that the 10 inductees in the first two classes weren’t deserving. Every one should be in. But where the mistake was made – and continues to be made – was limiting each class of inductees to five members.
Six decades of history and heroes can’t be condensed into such a small package. It was a mistake from start.
As I said, each of the 25 nominees for 2012 deserves to be enshrined. But at the current rate it would
take FIVE YEARS for all of them to make it. And that won’t happen for all of them, of course, because each year more new nominees will be added to the mix.
Twenty years from now there will be deserving Hall of Famers still waiting in line. Many NASCAR fans won’t live to see their favorites get their due recognition.
I thought Waltrip should have been considered for the inaugural class. Certainly he should have been included among the second group. If he’s left out in the third round …? It’ll be a total farce.
Except for Petty, no individual has exerted a greater impact on stock car racing in an on-and-off-the track combination than D.W. Only two drivers (Petty and Pearson) won more races and none other than Petty and Dale Earnhardt had a greater media/marketing impact.
I’m not a Hall of Fame voter and I’m not privy to the criteria used to decide who gets in. But I covered the sport for 40 years and I share the sentiments of many fans who have been rankled by the process. That might help explain the Hall’s disappointing attendance.
As I said from the outset, a NASCAR Hall of Fame was a wonderful idea and long overdue. The heroes and builders of the sport deserve to be recognized and honored. But at times it seems there is as much jeering about who’s been snubbed as cheering for who’s gone in.
At the current rate of inductions, the grousing is destined to continue for, oh, about 20 more years.
– Larry Woody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments