Only two men ever won more than 100 races in NASCAR's top series. Richard Petty is one. David Pearson is the other.
And one of them isn't going into the inaugural Hall of Fame class in Charlotte.
I admit being a bit prejudiced on the side of Pearson, as I spent half my childhood in Spartanburg and that's where Pearson is from. But Pearson is also one of the most gifted racers of any generation, and his record speaks for itself. The Silver Fox won 105 races -- second only to Petty's 200 -- and was one of the smoothest drivers of all time.
However, 40 percent of this first class that was announced Wednesday has been taken up by members of the France family, who basically created NASCAR and have run it for decades. Not only Bill France Sr. is in Class No.1 -- and I'd agree with that one, since he founded the sport -- but also Bill France Jr.
Now Bill France Jr. made some great contributions to the sport, steering it expertly through a period of explosive growth, and there's no doubt he should be in the Hall of Fame.
At some point. Like in Class No.2, in 2011.
But I think the first class should have contained four drivers, not three (Richard Petty, Junior Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Sr. all made it, and rightfully so). The drivers, after all, are who the fans come to see. They are the stars. Pearson, one of the greatest stars ever, deserved to be among them.
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