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NASCAR Hall of Fame induction picks for 2019

NASCAR announced on Tuesday its latest class of 20 nominees for possible 2019 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next January. To see a list of all nominees, click here.

As usual, five individuals will be chosen from this list in May to be officially inducted in January 2019. Here’s my list. Note: I’m not on the voting committee, so the following list carries no weight, whatsoever.

I think Jeff Gordon is pretty much a no brainer — a given. He appears on the nominee list for the first time this time around, because this is his first year of eligibility. I’m pretty sure Gordon goes to the front of the line in year one and goes right into the Hall. He’s third on the premier-series all-time wins list with 93, trailing only Richard Petty and David Pearson, both already NASCAR Hall of Famers. His four Cup Series titles is fourth all-time, trailing only seven-time champs Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson. Petty and Earnhardt are Hall of Famers, already, and the only reason Johnson isn’t is because he’s not eligible, yet. Long story short — Gordon is the most successful driver in Cup Series history, both in terms of race wins and championships, not yet in the Hall of Fame but eligible to go in. Shouldn’t that put him in the front of the line the next possible opportunity? That next possible opportunity in 2019.

Now, that I have that out of the way, picking the other four inductees is much more difficult, but here it goes:

I’m going with another first-time nominee — Kirk Shelmerdine. Quite frankly, I’m at a loss as to why Shelmerdine wasn’t at least nominated before Tuesday, and I made a blog post, here, last year when the nominees for 2018 induction were announced. Shelmerdine is a four-time Cup Series champion, as he guided the aforementioned Hall of Famer Earnhardt to four of his record-matching seven Cup titles. Earnhardt’s titles with Shelmerdine atop the pit box came in a span of six years between 1986 and 1991. And while Shelmerdine was at Richard Childress Racing, he set records for youngest crew chief to win a Cup Series race and youngest crew chief to win a premier-series championship.

Actually, first-year nominees is a common theme with my projected induction list, because I’m calling for John Holman and Ralph Moody of Holman Moody fame to go into the Hall of Fame in 2019. I say these two guys go into the NASCAR Hall of Fame together. After all, how do you separate these two? If going in separately, which would go in first?

Holman-Moody won two premier-series championships in 1968 and 1969 as a race team with Pearson as its drivers, but beyond that, Holman-Moody was instrumental in Ford’s success in NASCAR’s top series from the 1950s through the 1970s. That’s a far-reaching influence, folks. Oh, and Holman-Moody’s Johnny Beauchamp was the first winner of the first Daytona 500 in 1959 for three days, until photographic evidence turned the win over to Lee Petty. That nugget of NASCAR history isn’t Hall of Fame worthy; just thought I’d throw it in.

I’m going to fill my final Hall of Fame induction slot with legendary NASCAR weekly racer Larry Phillips. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen Phillips race, but I’ve heard stories and checked out his stats, and they’re definitely NASCAR Hall of Fame worthy. This guy’s the only five-time NASCAR weekly racing champion. From what I’ve heard, Phillips won so much that when he showed up at the track, the real race was for second, second to Phillips. Remember, the Hall of Fame is for all series of NASCAR, not just the premier series.

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Posted by on March 8, 2018. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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