The voting is over and the highly anticipated results are in. The 2011 class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame were announced Wednesday afternoon, ending months of speculation.
David Pearson, with an impressive 105 victories, was the first name announced. As he stood to acknowledge the honor he was rewarded with a chorus of cheers and a standing ovation.
As his image and accomplishments flashed across the video screen, we heard Richard Petty say “He was the best driver I ever drove against.”
Bobby Allison, with 84 wins and a championship in 1983 was the second name announced. It was hard to miss the big grin on his face as he was congratulated by those around him.
Lee Petty, the winner of the first Daytona 500 in 1959 and a three-time champion, was the third inductee to be announced. His son Richard simply said, “He was my hero.”
Next up was two-time champ Ned Jarrett who won 50 races in a career shortened by his early retirement at age 33. In a touching moment, his son Dale, went to this father’s side and gave him a congratulatory hug.
The final name added to the class of 2011 was one of NASCAR’s most successful car owners, Bud Moore. His career included 63 wins and two Sprint Cup titles.
These five legends will join the inaugural class of 2010 which was comprised of drivers Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson and Richard Petty, along with Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr.
The second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be inducted in a ceremony scheduled for May 2011.