Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waltrip Part Of An Interesting Hall Of Fame Group

Voting Update 4PM: Well, "ole DW" is in! Here are the new 5 inductees: Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, crew chief Dale Inman, modified champ Richie Evans and Glen Wood. Leaving this post up as the lead to get more comments on the Hall of Fame selections.

Here is the original TDP post before the selection:

It was one of those TV moments that was impossible to forget. Last fall, SPEED allowed nominee Darrell Waltrip to participate in the live telecast of the NASCAR Hall of Fame selection announcement. It was a big mistake.

The selection committee considered Waltrip's career racing stats, his current FOX television work and his role as a high-profile spokesman for the sport. When the names of those selected were read, Waltrip was not on the list.

This from AP NASCAR writer Jenna Fryer : "It was foolish for Darrell Waltrip to participate in the live broadcast of last year's NASCAR Hall of Fame voting day, when he was publicly humiliated by being snubbed from the five-member second class. Waltrip was stoic on the air, but as the color drained from his face as the inductees were announced, his exclusion clearly wounded him."

This from SBNation's Jeff Gluck: "Instead of looking at accomplishments and records, the Hall of Fame voters looked at their own personal biases and feelings. The theory here is that Waltrip, nicknamed Jaws for infamously flapping his gums, rubbed many people the wrong way over the years."

Tomorrow the process repeats itself and Waltrip is again on the list of nominees. This time, however, he is not a member of the SPEED telecast. Mike Joy will anchor the coverage with Ken Squier, Kyle Petty and Rick Allen on the panel. Randy Pemberton will handle the interviews.

While there are a total of 55 people who cast Hall of Fame votes, the TV and radio personalities include Dr. Jerry Punch, Joy, Petty, Barney Hall, Doug Rice, Allen, Dave Moody and Squier. It is widely held that this group is one of the strongest in favor of Waltrip's selection.

The other groups voting include NASCAR officials, track operators, and manufacturer representatives. From within the teams there are retired car owners, crew chiefs and drivers. A few of those key names include Ricky Rudd, Bud Moore and Buddy Parrott.

SPEED will begin the day at 3PM with a live preview show that will recap and discuss the nominees. The topic of selection criteria came up on this program last year and the discussion was quite lively. It seems that even among media folks, there are widespread differences of opinion about how to fill the hall.

At 4PM the selection show will begin. It has been Brian France announcing those names since the Hall of Fame opened. France has been very busy reorganizing many of the key pieces of his family business even as he continues to go through a very nasty public divorce. Several new key executives are now in Charlotte and ready to go.

Perhaps, TV viewers will finally get to hear from the new NASCAR PR chief Brett Jewkes. Unlike the comforting presence of the late Jim Hunter, Jewkes has yet to appear on television and introduce himself to the fans. It would be interesting to hear his opinion on the Hall of Fame as an executive relatively new to the sport.

Make no mistake, there is a very real possibility that Waltrip may once again not make the list. First of all, voters are looking at many nominees from NASCAR history long before Waltrip came to the sport. They include Red Byron, Tim Flock and Raymond Parks.

Secondly, while the strength of Waltrip's vote may be with the media, there is no way to gauge the relationship Waltrip has with the other voters. They may not be inclined to consider someone relatively young (64), in good health and still actively working in the sport while much older nominees are on the list.

While everyone will be waiting for the selections, the real drama once again will be whether one of the most high-profile TV personalities in the sport finally gets a Hall of Fame jacket with his name on it.

We welcome your comments on this topic and will use this post to blog about the two Hall of Fame shows on SPEED Tuesday afternoon. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Anonymous said...

Hard call.As a driver I'd say yes, as a newsmedia person I'd say no.

Anonymous said...

I am really torn on this one. Yes, DW belongs in the HoF, but do I want to put up with what that will cause? A big NO! You would think his tv ego could not get any bigger, but you know you would be wrong. Bless his heart. MC

PammH said...

Just watched NN from early this morn. Sounds like Nate & Jenna both are voting for DW. That shows me neither of them have a sense of history of the sport, which is sad, imo. I'm hoping saner voices prevail.

GinaV24 said...

IMO, DW deserves at some point to be in the Hall of Fame for his accomplishments. However, while he continues to be active in the sport as a broadcaster and spokesman for Fox and Speed, I don't believe that it should be now.

Of course I also don't feel that inducting 5 at a time is the right way to do this considering at this rate, hell will freeze over before they ever catch up.

I did feel bad for DW last year since that kind of let down in public is extremely painful. DW never lacked for confidence or hubris for that matter. I am glad that he is making a better choice this year and NOT participating in the live event.

Anonymous said...

Darrell Waltrip is not synonymous with NASCAR. There are too many men who have played a larger role in the growth of NASCAR for anyone to state as fact that NASCAR owes DW.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, one other issue. Is there another France somewhere that can be voted, coronated?


Anonymous said...

I think it is a good decision to not have DW on the Speed broadcast this year, but he still has a relationship with those that are.

If he does get in, I think it will have been pre-arranged for him to join the program. If he doesn't, I think there will still be some awkwardness.

I believe DW's broadcasting style (over the top, hogging air time, all about me) may keep him out this year. As far as I know, he's the only one campaigning.

Look at the Champion Dallas Mavericks. The owner knew to "shut up" and let his team's performance do the talking. It worked. The Heat's bragging about me, me, me - not so well.

I used to like DW during the broadcasts. Not any more. Too much me, me. There is somthing to be said for humility, ie Ned Jarrett.

Couldn't sign in with google account so using anonymous by default. Had to republish my comments.

Spencer said...

i'm hoping Fireball Roberts or Red Byron gets in, Byron because he raced with no gloves, no power steering, and he had bum leg to go with it while winning the first championship

Zieke said...

I can't even begin to name the people that should make the HOF before Waltrip, mainly because of their genuine appreciation for what NASCAR meant and did for them, versus Waltrip's "it's all about me" attitude. Hopefully cool heads will prevail.

J-Dawg said...

So any panelist voting for Waltrip- he of 84 wins and 3 championships- has no sense of history? Someone has no sense of sense! He SHOULD be in this year.

Wisconsin Steve said...

Unlike last year, I haven't seen DW openly campaigning for his induction. His accomplishments on and off the track merit an induction, and probably this year. You may not like his broadcasting style (I don't, either), but his contributions to the sport as a driver, owner, TV analyst, and spokesman rival or surpass most other nominees.

Darrell Waltrip LOVES this sport, and I hope the sport will love him back later today.

Mike in Pittsburgh said...

The biggest thing he has going against him is that he is on fox and speed doing his Darrell show. That's left a sour taste in a lot of people's mouths. I think ten years ago he would have already been in but the boogity has turned a bunch of people off. I don't like the Darrell the broadcaster even though he was my driver back in the day.

KoHoSo said...

As much as I have come to detest DW's television presence and how much I dread how much he is going to gush over himself when he gets in, there is no doubt in my mind that, as a driver, he belongs in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Now...whether or not he belongs in this class of inductees over others that might warrant recognition before DW, that might be another question. I'd have to think about it a good, long time.

larry said...

I've always thought of the hall of fame as being for those who are no longer active in the sport. That would include current owners, broadcasters, promoters, and the like.

Anonymous said...

It's been my opinion since inception that Hall nominees should be at minimum those who are totally retired. Some on the list are not, Waltrip, Hendrick & Childress most prominently. Yes Waltrip is a retired driver & one of the best ever, but he is still working in NASCAR. They all deserve to get in... eventually. Too many other deserving NASCAR are retired & waiting.

A little bird tells me FOX wants to have a NASCAR Hall of Fame broadcaster in the booth next year.

Ziggy said...

eeeeeeeGads, Lookin at the 25 names on the list no way should DW get the nod this year. DW is too new & to active. I'm showing my age here but Glen "Fireball" Roberts, Curtis Turner, Dale Inman, Buck Baker & Herb Thomas deserve to be inducted NOW !!

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts:

So election is a bit political. Life is like that. Even the election of a Pope is political and the voters are sworn "men of God". Don't expect any better from a panel of NASCAR voters.

Maybe if DW is passed over again he can spend some time reflecting on the drivers, owners and crew chiefs who made it possible for him to even be considered. There are a lot of deserving talents waiting in line at other Hall of Fames.

I'm not heartless, I'm sure it was awful to be up on stage just sure as shinola you were gonna get the call. TV set him up for it though. Surely someone thought DW was a shoe-in and it would make great TV to see him cry just like he did when Mikey won the 500. The lesson here is don't believe your own publicity. That cold dish goes by the name "humility".

MRM4 said...

It would seem that some that believe DW shouldn't go in did not see DW race in his prime or have let their dislike for him cloud their judgement. DW should be the first one to get in this year. There should be no question DW deserves to get in. The other no-question choices this year should be Cale Yarborough and Dale Inman.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Waltrip was snubbed because of rubbing people the wrong way. It's just not his turn yet.

This is only the second class. These are the founders of the sport. The men who were champions in its earliest days. Waltrip was a great driver, one of the very few best of his era... but his era was in the 1980s after NASCAR has already been established. I don't think he'll get in this year, either. He's a big figure in the sport, but there are a LOT of hall of famers who came before him who deserve their spot in line first, too.

The real story was not that Waltrip didn't get in - nothing sinister there - but it was his bellyaching and whining about it AFTER the fact. So much bellyaching about all he had done for the sport. Get in line, dude. Lots of people did a lot more for the sport than you.

Roadgeek Adam said...

If you remember, Rick Allen actually mentioned 3 of his thoughts on the Truck race, which surprised me he did.

My thoughts have always been Waltrip, Yarborough, Benny Parsons, Dale Inman and Leonard Wood. And that we should be doing 10 for the first 5 years then move on to 5 (the R&R Hall of Fame did something similar.)

Ironically I feel Ken Squier should've been among the 25 to choose from, but what can you do.

Anonymous said...

Yes he should be in there but not yet. Let those who have passed or those who have a greater chance passing in the first few classes. And that's for all not just DW.

I really felt badly for DW last year. A shame he had to sit through that. Having to comment while choking back tears.

Daly Planet Editor said...

This from reporter Jim Utter of

"I predict the #NASCAR media voting members will once again be shocked with the outcome of today's Hall of Fame vote."

I believe he might be referring to DW.

Anonymous said...

I am torn on this one too. I have always been the biggest of DW fans. He was one of the best and his stats back it up. I liked him as a broadcaster when he first retired, he is paid to talk now, and he talks as if he is paid by the word. I wish he would tone it down just a bit, but that is another story and should not be considered when the votes are cast. He has been a driving force in NASCAR both as a driver and as an announcer.

I do think though he should not be in this class, I would rather see some of the older guys who may not be around to see another class inducted. Older guys who really laid the foundation for the sport we call NASCAR. They deserve to go first. We all know DW will be there, but this is just not the time.

I also don't think Hendrick or Childress should be there yet either. And I believe there should have been UP TO 10 inductees each of the first three years and then up to 8 the next 2, then scale it back to 5. There are just too many important players in the sport to limit it to 5 a year.

Good luck to all the nominees and DW lets give it another couple of years, I don't think it will make your contributions to the sport any less important.

Anonymous said...

Waltrip deserved to be in the first two classes. It's a big deal. His numbers are some of the best in the sport and he is more deserving of an early hall birth before many other nominees on this list, regardless of what others may think. One can also argue a similar case for Cale. All bias aside based solely on numbers, to have Bobby Allison inducted, but not Waltrip, is a travesty.

OSBORNK said...

I think DW could assure himself a place in the Hall of Fame it he would retire, shut up and go away. The Hall of Fame is for those who have gone before and not for those who are still hanging around. Like Richard Petty, DW hung around racing long enough for the new fans to remember them only as backmarkers who had special rules so they could make the field. He should have quit racing when he was still successful and he should have gotten out of broadcasting before he wore out his welcome and became an irritant.

Mïk said...

It is simply not Darrell's turn. He can wait while we go thru the backlog 5 at a time. There are many, many more who deserve recognition for their contribution to NASCAR before The Mouth gets in. He deserves to be there, just not yet.

Good Googly-mugly, Wendell Scott isn't even on the list. Neither is Ken Squier.

MRM4 said...

See, I don't get the line of thinking about letting in older guys in first just because they may not be around much longer. I get that, but is the HOF voting supposed to be the most deserving or some reward for those about gone? It can't be both.

Trust me, I was not a fan of DW when he raced. But his numbers speak for themselves. He has 84 wins and 3 titles, not many drivers can say that. I have been on a committee for a racetrack in my area that has a HOF. One thing that is brought up every year is putting people in that may not be around much longer. Now, this place has been around a long time and it's hard to come up with deserving people. But when you're starting out like the NASCAR HOF has, you have to go with the obvious ones first. Besides, Cale retired a few years before DW did. How come no one is saying it's not his time?

allisong said...

I agree with those who say that the pioneers of the sport should be given priority over those who came later. But, when the HOF inducted Bobby Allison last year, and even Earnhardt the first year, there is no longer any reason why DW shouldn't be in there. Those two were contemporaries of his, and DW's records are better in wins than Earnhardt, and championships than Allison.

Boy, that pains me to admit, because I really can't stand him as a broadcaster.

Spaw said...

I think NASCAR needs another lesson from the Baseball HoF here and establish an "Old Timers" committee. They erred originally by not inducting 8-10 in the first three years and then drop back to 5 in the fourth year. In that grouping they needed at least one from a different division, an owner or two, a mechanic or two and a press member.

Where is Ken Squier or Chris Economaki? I think every form of American auto racing owes some debt to Chris! Where are the legions of wrenches and genius type builders like Waddell Wilson and Smokey Yunick? When will those guys get in? When will be the time for Richie Evans?

I've been following or involved in racing since 1959 and although I missed the earliest times, I remember well the guys in the 60's who were every bit as big in their times. When does Freddie or Marvin or Fireball make it? Roberts' stats may not be as good as some but he was, as Ned Jarrett says, the first "Superstar" in NASCAR.

Lots of other problems too but now that they have entered by this path, there are going to be lots of hurt feelings along the way. I would still like to see 8 per year for awhile with 3 of the slots each year reserved for non Cup level drivers and others such as owners, mechanics, and media.

Won't happen though so..........


Anonymous said...

As someone else said, it is all political. If he makes it in, one will grow very weary of listening to announcer after announcer extolling how it was the right thing to do and we will be so sick of hearing about DW that by the time the chase gets here, fans will have gone elsewhere for entertainment. He does belong there, just not yet.


Rainy2228 said...

I disagree totally and won't bother stepping foot in that HOF....Glen Wood WITHOUT Leonard is a farce....Cale and DW this year??...No...Dale Inman, well, ok...Richie Evans, YES!!!!..but not having Mr. Raymond Parks is just....abominable...

jerry said...

HOF's are only good for debates. With that said I think they got it right this year.

So nice to see DW and Evans make it in.

AncientRacer said...

Well, three on my list got in. Cale, Inman, and Glen Wood. Three did not Red Byron, Tireball Roberts and Leonard Wood. I think Leonard is a lock for next time if ever a lock there was.

And the fact that a modified driver got in is a great thing even though I, personally, don't know that Division very well as it seems mostly a Northeast thing. I wish it was featured more so I could learn.

And DW made it. Maybe he will stop moping now, but if he does (which, of course, he will) he will become even more ... well ... even more Darrell. Nothing to be done for it, though.

GinaV24 said...

Congrats to Cale, Dale Inman and IMO it should have been the Wood BROTHERS, but congrats to Glen, too.

So DW made it in this year, congratulations, but try a little humility instead of tooting your own horn.

Anonymous said...

Well congratulations to everyone who made it. Would have been nice to see someone else in over DW but at least his heart can heal now

Roland said...

Who cares when they go in their all gonna get in at some point. Its not a competition, its a honor. Congrats to everyone who were chosen this year, even DW.

MRM4 said...

I guess Richie Evans getting in was the least to some.

Now, let's start the campaign for next year's shoe-ins: Raymond Parks, Red Byron, and Leonard Wood.

glenc1 said...

Just got home from the Swap to see the list. No spoilers, but be sure you see the end of Lewis' cup car run. And I was halfway back to the car before I could feel my feet.

I was pleased to see that Richie's induction kind of 'justified' the importance of those short track modifieds. Even though he was before my time as a fan, Richie's resume is incredible.

Yes! I shouted when they said Dale Inman. Glen Wood, also. I know it's odd to have the Woods in separately, but I think they had different specialties so it allows us to learn more about each as an individual. As for Cale & Darrell...well, I could have waited, but I can't say it was wrong. They won a lot of races, and this has always been a driver-centric sport--same reason we know more quarterbacks than defensive ends.

Let the DW gushing begin...not looking forward to that part, lol.

Roadgeek Adam said...

Now, let's start the campaign for next year's shoe-ins: Raymond Parks, Red Byron, and Leonard Wood.

Yes and Yes.

Fireball Roberts and Benny Parsons for Spot 4 and 5.

Replace Roberts with Chris Economaki or Ken Squier if either are put in the 5.

Anonymous said...

What about Marshal, Herb, Buck, Curtis, Smokey, Fireball and Little Joe? Those are the guys I want to see, the real men who raced for Glory and not much money.

Buschseries61 said...

Now that DW will be in the hall of fame, can they leave him on display during the FOX portion of the season? I'll take his brother as a replacement.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon, please use lower case letters and your opinion will be posted.


chuck said...

This is a good class.

It's obvious that 82% of the HOF voters feel differently about DW than the majority of posters to this site. I imagine most of his critics here are basing their opinions on his his tv work over the past 10 years and didn't see him or don't remember him during his driving career. He helped usher in the 'Wall Street' sponsors to the sport. Of course, Cale gave the nickname of 'Jaws' for a reason!

Anonymous said...

I've never been a fan of the HOF selection process. Just too much catching up to do with just a few inductees each year. I'm not sure DW should have gotten in this year. At least he's in and hopefully we can move on, but I suspect he will be unsufferable this weekend. Interesting that Ritchie Evans got in. I used to watch him a lot here in the Northeast. Ritchie, Ray Hendrick and Dutch Hoag were icons in the 60's.

Anonymous said...

actually, chuck, if you actually read the posts you'd see that most people would have honored people even OLDER than Dw, so your logic of them not remembering DW's career doesn't make sense. Nearly all of them just said they thought others should go in first, not that he doesn't belong there, but first put in people who preceded Darrell in racing history.

WB said...

If NASCAR rules state they must have five inductees each year, they need to change something to at least give the appearance these men are worthy. 50% for Evans and only 44% for Wood? Not good numbers. In contrast, Major League Baseball requires 75% of the vote for inclusion into it's Hall Of Fame.

85% - Cale Yarborough
82% - Darrell Waltrip
78% - Dale Inman
50% - Richie Evans
44% - Glen Wood

Zetona said...

Hey JD, this isn't on topic, but it's interesting. This article ( talks about the ratings increase thus far this season, and includes the following quote about NASCAR on FOX:

"Fox Sports chairman David Hill attributed the return of some viewers to NASCAR's decision to allow manufacturers to replicate the style of the cars they sell, such as Toyota's Camry, Chevrolet's Impala and Ford's Fusion. He said Fox's change in production philosophy and emphasis on drivers this year also helped."

I suspect that "emphasis on drivers" is what you've termed "hyper-tight coverage".