There aren’t any circumstances under which I’d put two administrators and only three drivers in any hall of fame class. But that’s what NASCAR did Wednesday.
The organization’s first hall of fame choices include Bill France Sr., who assembled NASCAR, and Bill France Jr., who took over when his father left.
Brian France, the chairman of the board and CEO of the family business, was not elected.
But he will be. Bill France Jr., who took a regional sport national, also would have been. He could have waited a year. The first class needs more speed, more daring, more of the drivers who loved the sport and risked what they had to be part of it.
Specifically the class needs David Pearson (above). Pearson, out of Spartanburg, S.C., won three championships and 105 races. Only Richard Petty, who was elected Wednesday, won more races.
As dominant as Petty was, Pearson regularly filled his rearview mirror when he wasn’t in front of him. Pearson was a major talent, and he drove as if handling a race car was the one thing he was put on Earth to do.
It would have been fitting to honor him this week as NASCAR gathers at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Pearson won four races and a staggering 14 poles at the track.