Why I Love NASCAR: NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony by Chief 187™

Darrell Waltrip welcomed into the NASCAR Hall of Fame by Jeff Hammond.
Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR
The aftermath of the Induction of the Third Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame is fresh. The five newest inductees are aching in their face from smiling so much. The collective family of NASCAR is pleased with their selections and already the movement is on for the next year’s inductees. Before we move on, each man deserves another moment of glory.

So much has been made over the years of Richard Petty’s seven championships in NASCAR’s premiere series and of Dale Earnhardt tying that record, but one crew chief can boast more wins and Cups than these drivers, Dale Inman. As a crew chief he racked up 193 wins and an unparalleled 8 championships. He earned seven of those with Richard Petty and a final one in 1984 with Terry Labonte. Deserving of his spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, his place provides younger generations who never witnessed his greatness an education.

Again, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt are well-recognized for their respective seven championships in the NASCAR Cup Series, but inductee Richie Evans’ unbeatable nine championships (8 in a row and all within 13 years) are finally being touted for the phenomenon it was.  Known as the “king” of Modified racing Richie Evans takes a deserved spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Sporting a name synonymous with racing in NASCAR is Glen Wood who entered with the Class of 2012. His driving for fledgling Wood Brothers Racing set the stage for greatness. His four wins, all at Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., and fourteen poles during his active racing career 1953-64, kicked off an era of Wood Brothers’ presence as an indomitable force in NASCAR. What Trevor Bayne was able to accomplish in 2011 with the Wood Brothers was planted with Glen Wood.

Cale Yarborough will forever be known by casual NASCAR fans as the guy who got into the fist fight at the first flag to flag televised Daytona 500 in 1979. But hardcore NASCAR fans know he is the first three- time consecutive Cup winner, a record he earned from 1976-1978 and that stood for thirty years until Jimmie Johnson tied (and eventually surpassed) in 2008. His career spans decades, his victories,  83 of them, and captured poles, 69, impressive, his Cup runs, 3 wins and 3 runner-ups, unheard of, and his personality unmatched. Cale Yarborough is brash, rough, fiery, passionate, and relentless. A true superstar in NASCAR, Cale Yarborough definitely belongs among the elite of NASCAR.

Fittingly, the man Cale Yarborough named “Jaws” for his unstoppable mouth, Darrell Waltrip rounds out the Class of 2012. Sporting three Cups, eighty four wins, and an attitude that was and is at times unbelievable, Waltrip got away with much because of his raw talent and impressive string of wins. Certainly a formidable driver who earned his place, Waltrip now helms the Fox Sports broadcasts of the first half of every season since 2001. Like Ned Jarrett before him, Darrell Waltrips’ experience behind the wheel translates well into his calling the races. Insight, passion, and opinions flow from Darrell Waltrip lending authenticity and entertainment to each broadcast. For those who only know Darrell Waltrip in the booth, his much sought-after induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame is well deserved for his actions on the track.

Other sports have Hall of Fame inductions, esteemed history, and ceremonies, but none do it like NASCAR. Last year my family and I had the privilege of attending the NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum. We wandered the place with our three young children from opening until closing. I could have spent so much more time. NASCAR is determined to keep their history alive while chronicling their world in the present and future. A gloriously designed building, fluid displays, interactive media, and mix of fascinating history, including homages to all of the Inductees of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and modern-day characters that make NASCAR so popular today. The induction ceremony brings out NASCAR’s biggest names from every era, gives the greats of yesteryear a chance to be recognized, heard, and extolled. Humorous speeches, moving ones, and introductions creatively crafted weaved with fantastic footage make for one amazing evening! I have been quite vocal over the years of my love of history, NASCAR’s history, its veterans, and the physical NASCAR Hall of Fame. All in all, it is the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony that is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.

Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.

Why I Love NASCAR: NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony by Chief 187™ Why I Love NASCAR: NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony by Chief 187™ Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, January 23, 2012 Rating: 5