OK, folks, that post in which I picked my choices included how I’d like to choose if I could, mainly because that’d allow me to pick Big E, and yeah, I know Wendell Scott wasn’t on the list but DAMN IT he should’ve been. All right, then—to my own real, true picks as input a little while ago over at NASCAR.com (and you should do the same if you want a chance to choose for yourselves, and why not?):
1) Bill France, Sr.—I’d have loved, absolutely loved to have voted for both Sr. and Jr. as a package, but that wasn’t among my choices. Well, that’s the Internet for ya. Or maybe it’s just sensible. The jury’s still out on Brian.
2) Lee Petty—the first to fifty wins, and father of Richard who won more than anyone ever will. I’d have voted for the Pettys as another package, but my wife interjected, “That’s why the categories are individual; I love Kyle, but is he Hall-of-Fame material?” See also 1) above.
3) Richard Petty—like, duh.
4) Red Byron—one of NASCAR’s first real stars, who made his fame driving machines you and I wouldn’t consider climbing aboard. He was that brave, and that talented.
5) Curtis Turner—the Tony Stewart of his day. If he doesn’t get in the first time around, it’ll be a reason to speculate as to why not. He was of course blacklisted by Bill Sr. (which would make it a strange sort of poetic justice for the two of them to be so enshrined, like bitter enemies ultimately buried together on the same battlefield), but returned to remind the racing community what he could’ve done had Bill Sr. allowed him to keep racing. Curtis might’ve owned the years when the factories pulled out, and who knows what else he could’ve accomplished?
Anyway, folks, just vote for your HoF favorites, and check out SPEED on announcement day. It’ll be exciting.
Also: here also is my second-5 list, based on the first-year list only: Dale Sr., Bill Jr., Bobby Allison, Richie Evans, and the aforementioned Wendell Scott. They’ll all be included and soon, just not soon enough for some of us.