A few notes about the NASCAR hall of fame’s fifth class, which was announced Wednesday night in Charlotte and will be inducted in January 2014:
The five elected, in order of percentage of votes received from the panel: Tim Flock (76 percent), Maurice Petty (67 percent), Dale Jarrett (56 percent), Jack Ingram (53 percent) and Fireball Roberts (51 percent).
The next three top vote getters (and thus some of the favorites for the Class of 2016) were Jerry Cook, Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott.
It’s nice to see that Scott, who was the closest thing NASCAR had to Jackie Robinson, finished in the top eight this year and thus will be considered one of the favorites to make the Class of 2015.
NASCAR didn’t announce how anyone else finished, but by the information it did release it is clear that racetrack owner Bruton Smith was not among the top eight.
There are 54 voting members of the panel. I am not one of them. A 55th vote is tabulated from all the combined votes of the NASCAR fans.
The fans and I each had two of our favorites get in and three that did not. I wrote a column recently advocating Flock and Roberts (both of whom made it) but also Scott, Curtis Turner and Weatherly. Turner was the only one of my top five not to finish in at least the top eight.
The fans voted for Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Roberts (Jarrett and Roberts made it).
One other interesting note: voting can vary widely from year to year. Roberts actually tied for fifth last year before losing on an overtime tiebreaking vote to Buck Baker, which made people think he was a shoo-in to be among the top one or two vote-getters this year. Instead, he almost missed it again, squeaking in at No.5.