Jeff Gordon. Four-time NASCAR champion. Three-time Daytona 500 champion. Four-time Brickyard 400 winner. Six-time Southern 500 victor. Three-time World 600 champion. Three-time All-Star race winner. Winner of 93 Cup races. He probably was the most automatic inductee into the Hall of Fame since Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. His was the opening name announced Wednesday for the Class of 2019.
Next, they turned to ownership, with Jack Roush and Roger Penske both given the keys. Roush has 137 victories as the man who owns the garage, putting Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch in their championship rides. Notable drivers Mark Martin and Carl Edwards also had great success in his cars. Penske has 105 wins to his credit, with Brad Keselowski bringing him his Cup title in 2012. Penske has claimed a few other motorsports accolades over the years, including ownership of 16 Indianapolis 500 winning entries. Among his drivers, you can include the names of Mark Donohue, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Al Unser Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi, Hélio Castroneves, and Rusty Wallace. I think you get the idea.
Two fallen drivers, Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki, are popular selections. Both were lost in aviation accidents in 1993. Allison won 19 times in just 191 career starts, winning 10 of them in 1991 and 1992 when he was third best in the standings both times. Kulwicki only won five times in his time, but he was the driver and team owner and took the Hooters No. 7 Ford to the championship the year prior to his death.
This week in Charlotte, they honored the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2019. This Memorial Day weekend, they will honor the troops. It is racing’s most celebrated 24 hours, with action starting at Monte Carlo, moving on to Indianapolis, then to Charlotte as NASCAR salutes some of the heroes, both those on active service and those who have made the supreme sacrifice, who make such days as this possible.
1. KEVIN HARVICK – 5 WINS – 484 Pts
Expects the future of NASCAR to look like the All-Star race did. I bet he does.
2. KYLE BUSCH – 3 WINS – 503 Pts
If you are a tender flower who screws up on his pit crew, you might want to reconsider things.
3. JOEY LOGANO – 1 WIN – 491 Pts
As long as Larson does not squeeze him into the wall again, then all will be well.
4. CLINT BOWYER – 1 WIN – 386 Pts
Let us remember 2Lt. Dale E. Bowyer (1921-1974), Distinguished Service Cross recipient.
5. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 1 WIN – 376 Pts
Defending champion recently visited with his Commander-in-Chief.
6. AUSTIN DILLON – 1 WIN – 241 Pts
Won at Daytona. All is good. See you in the Chase.
7. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 396 POINTS
Has a Hall of Famer owner. How cool is that?
8. KURT BUSCH – 393 POINTS
Has driven for two Hall of Fame owners. Top that!
9. DENNY HAMLIN – 380 POINTS
Drive fast on the track, drive much slower on Pit Road. That is a recipe for success.
10. RYAN BLANEY – 365 POINTS
Watch the Spider-Man animated series. Ryan would appreciate it.
11. ARIC ALMIROLA – 342 POINTS
Four Stewart-Haas drivers among the Top Dozen. How sweet it is.
12. KYLE LARSON – 336 POINTS
Don’t squeeze Joey. Don’t squeeze Joey. Don’t squeeze Joey…
13. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 286 POINTS
Got his start thanks to a Hall of Famer. Between them, they have 11 titles.
14. ERIK JONES – 285 POINTS
Until his boss makes the Hall of Fame, he is left with just 3 Super Bowl rings and 4 Cup titles.
15. ALEX BOWMAN – 271 POINTS
Traded in his car for a Coast Guard Response Boat this week. No points were awarded.
16. CHASE ELLIOTT – 266 POINTS
Just what we need, another Cup guy driving in the Xfinity series. Let the beat downs begin.
17. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 265 POINTS
It would be mean to suggest that he could get more attention if he dated a Monster Energy gal.
18. PAUL MENARD – 240 POINTS
Patrick County has its heroes, like the Wood Brothers and 1Lt. Leevi Barnard (1980-2009 in Iraq).
19. WILLIAM BYRON – 229 POINTS
He has the right car number to be a Hall of Famer.
20. RYAN NEWMAN – 225 POINTS
Come to think of it, Newman has also driven for a pair of Hall of Fame owners.