The Elusive Measure of Fame

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 9:22 a.m.

As luck would have it, more to dwell on than last week’s race has materialized in the wide, wide world of NASCAR.

If you’ve an interest in the desperate pursuit of Kevin Harvick, redirect your attention here.

Buddy Baker (Photo by ISC Archives via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, NASCAR announced its list of nominees for potential induction in its Charlotte Hall of Fame. Twenty are eligible for the Class of 2019. Five — Red Byron, Ray Evernham, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ken Squier, and Robert Yates — were elected by the blue-ribbon panel last year. The five who replaced them are Jeff Gordon, Harry Gant, John Holman, Ralph Moody, and Kirk Shelmerdine.

The fifteen holdovers are Davey Allison, Buddy Baker, Red Farmer, Ray Fox, Joe Gibbs, Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Bobby Labonte, Hershel McGriff, Roger Penske, Larry Phillips, Jack Roush, Ricky Rudd, Mike Stefanik, and Waddell Wilson.

By Monte Dutton

Among the notable omissions from the list of eligibility are Donnie Allison, Sam Ard, Geoff Bodine, Neil Bonnett, Harold Brasington, Darel Dieringer, Junie Donlavey, H. Clay Earles, Chris Economaki, Jake Elder, Bob Flock, Fonty Flock, Paul Goldsmith, Barney Hall, Ray Hendrick, Tom Higgins, Tommy Houston, Dick Hutcherson, James Hylton, Carl Kiekhaefer, Nord Krauskopf, Butch Lindley, Joe Littlejohn, Joe Mattioli, Banjo Matthews, Paul McDuffie, Billy Myers, Herb Nab, Ray Nichels, Ed Otto, Marvin Panch, Buddy Parrott, Jim Paschal, Pat Purcell, Tim Richmond, T. Wayne Robertson, Paul Sawyer, Ralph Seagraves, Jack Smith, Marshall Teague, Speedy Thompson, Red Vogt, Humpy Wheeler, Lee Roy Yarbrough, and Smokey Yunick.

I don’t have a vote, have never had a vote, don’t deserve a vote, and will never have a vote, so, that being the case, I’m going to reserve my privacy regarding for whom I would vote. The majority of those who do have a vote don’t disclose them, so why should I bore you with my useless preferences?

No previous inductee has been unanimously selected. I expect Jeff Gordon might become the first to earn that distinction, but it’s more a matter of the ballot being unburdened by the names of those who have been inducted ahead of him than a distinction on its own merits.

The panel will make its decisions based on a wide range of factors. Some will exercise nostalgia. Others will weigh morality. Most will concentrate on success. I don’t begrudge them that. The impact of a man on a sport relies on many considerations.

My only criterion is rather simple. I think anyone admitted to a hall of fame should be famous. It’s not a hall of victory or success or wealth. If it is, then call it that.

If you enjoy my insights about racing and other subjects, make a small pledge of support. Rewards are in place for pledges of $5 or more. If 1/10 of my followers and Facebook friends pledge $1 a month, I’d be set. Read all about it here.

If you yearn for my writing in larger doses, I’ve written quite a few books. Most are available here.

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
This entry was posted in NASCAR and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.