MRN Staff Hall of Fame Picks

Fireball Roberts

Fireball Roberts is one of the favorites to go into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next. (Photo: ISC Archives)

Editor’s note: Dustin Long is one of the NASCAR Hall of Fame voters and will share his selections following the announcement of the 2014 class. Click Here to see Dustin's selections

The MotorRacingNetwork.com staff - Pete Pistone, John Singler and Jeff Wackerlin - gives their selections for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's fifth class as Voting Day begins today in Charlotte, N.C.

Pete Pistone

While I completely understand we’re talking about the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it is still my firm belief that people who performed at the highest level of the sport should be inducted at this early juncture.  There will be plenty of time for administrators, track promoters, sponsor reps, short-track standouts and even media members – many who have significantly contributed to the fabric of the sport – to be recognized.

However, the pinnacle of NASCAR is what’s now known as the Sprint Cup Series and with only a handful of folks finding their way into the Hall every year, the main stage should be what matters most.

The stars are the individuals that were either behind the wheel or made it possible for those cars to be on track.  Recognizable names attract fans to the Hall, not people who worked behind the scenes or in a business capacity.  There will be time to honor those individuals but not right now.  We’re talking about the Hall of Fame, not the 'Hall of Achievement.' "

So with that as a backdrop, here are my five selections for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2014:

Raymond Parks: NASCAR's first championship-winning car owner should not be overlooked any longer.  He's a pioneer of the sport and belongs in the Hall.

Red Byron: He won NASCAR's first race in 1948 and was the first champion in 1949, behind the wheel of Raymond Parks' racecar.  It’s hard to fathom how the driver that started it all has not yet been inducted into the Hall.

Fireball Roberts: With 33 career wins, including two Southern 500s and a Daytona 500 victory, it’s high time Roberts found his way into the shrine.

Dale Jarrett: Like his contemporary - Rusty Wallace - last year, Jarrett deserves to be a first-ballot inductee.  The 1999 Cup Series champion had 32 wins in his career including three Daytona 500s.

Curtis Turner: A true character who brought personality and flavor to the sport, Turner could also get it done behind the wheel in a big way.

John Singler

Red Byron: NASCAR’s first Cup Series champion deserves to take his place among the sport’s elites. Should have gone in before this.

H. Clay Earles: Owned and promoted one of the priceless jewels of our sport – Martinsville Speedway. This would be a nice bridge between the past and the present.

Rick Hendrick: His organization has more than 200 points-paying Cup Series victories, second only to Petty Enterprises.  Richard and Lee are in … Rick must be, also.

Jack Ingram: Left an imprint on the Busch Series in the same manner by which names like Petty and Earnhardt impacted the Cup Series.

Fireball Roberts: NASCAR’s first superstar.  Though he never won a Cup Series championship, he’s a Daytona 500 and Southern 500 winner.  His career percentage for top-five finishes was 45 percent.

Jeff Wackerlin

Fireball Roberts: The 33-race winner nearly made it into the 2013 class, which should make him a lock for 2014.

Benny Parsons: Parsons goes into the Hall of Fame for not only his driving achievements - 1973 Cup champion and 21-race winner - but also for his television work.

Red Byron: The winner of the first NASCAR Premier Series championship deserves to be in the Hall.

Jack Ingram: The original "Iron Man" put up Hall of Fame numbers in the Busch Series (now Nationwide) and Late Model Sportsman racing.  He won the first Busch Series championship in 1982 and another in 1985 to go along with 31 wins ... not to mention his Late Model Sportsman numbers that include three championships and 286 victories - 46 of which were NASCAR national championship races.

Dale Jarrett: I was torn between first-ballot nominees Maurice Petty and Dale Jarrett.  But Jarrett, the 1999 Cup Series champion who won 32 races including three Daytona 500s, gets my vote to join his father Ned in the Hall.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Hall of Fame

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