NASCAR Hall of Fame Or Hall Of Fave?
Author's Note: My articles are based solely on my observations and thoughts. Very seldom are statistics offered but in this article I have listed a few. Enjoy...and feel free to comment afterwards.
In researching information for this article I found the following descriptions and definitions.
From Wikipedia I found this definition of a Hall of Fame:
A hall of fame is a structure housing memorials to famous or illustrious individuals in a certain field, usually chosen by a group of electors. The meaning of "fame" has changed over the years, originally meaning "renown" as opposed to today's more common meaning of "celebrity".
Below are the dictionary definitions I found.
1. A group of persons judged outstanding, as in a sport or profession
2. A building housing memorial items honoring illustrious persons
Recently NASCAR announced the five nominees who will be inducted into their Hall of Fame in January 2017. The newest inductees are: Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress and Mark Martin. Each of us have our own thoughts on whether or not this is the greatest class yet as Brian France called them when he made the announcement. My first thought about Raymond Parks was, “Why did it take so long?” I smiled when I heard Benny's name. I have yet to understand their process of whom they select. In my mind, there are so many others who should have been selected before the other three.
Since NASCAR opened their Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. in May 2010,
I have watched with interest as people are nominated each year and added to the list of others who have previously been nominated. After they are nominated, five from the accumulation of the ones nominated are inducted each year. None were grandfathered in at the beginning, so all who are currently in the Hall of Fame were nominated by a select 22-member committee. Once the nominees are selected, they are then added to the existing list from previous years. After that is when the voting by a 59-member committee (which includes the 22 nominators) takes place to select the five who will then be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Fans are allowed to vote numerous times for their choice and then one vote is allotted for that. At this time, I believe there are only 35 members who have been inducted into the Hall with the additional 5 mentioned above to be inducted in January 2017.
A pattern I have noticed through the years is that the choice of nominees and inductees seem to be selected based on a bias of favoritism rather than total merit. I have heard and read of cronyism by certain voting members. For instance, while watching a program on television I heard one of the media tell another media member that he had told someone who just became eligible that he was going to do everything he could to help him get elected this year. Is this the way it is done? Apparently they think so.
There are so very many people who were originally involved in getting the sport of NASCAR started and then help develop it into a popular pastime and a way for some to make a living. Many of these have been either deliberately overlooked or possibly not even thought of by either the nominating committee or inductee selection committee. I firmly believe that many who were involved in getting NASCAR started should have been grandfathered in when the Hall that first year it opened.
One of those that comes to mind immediately is Smokey Yunick. He was one of the most innovative car builders of all time, possibly the best ever. He was so far ahead of his time and some feel he was a genius at what he was able to accomplish with a motor. There are others out there but I especially wanted to use him as a perfect example as to how one of the best ever has been overlooked. I can't tell you if it has been deliberate or not, but rumor has always had it that there was no love lost between him and the Frances. There has always been and will always be speculation about their relationship or lack thereof.
I am sure each of you can add others whom you feel have been left out or neglected. Please feel free to comment and add your thoughts or suggestions in reference to others you feel should be considered. Please keep your comments clean. Thank you.