Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. ET, the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will be introduced, along with the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.
As a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel, here are the next five individuals I’d like to see nominated to the Class of 2018:
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This is a no-brainer. In 25 seasons, Joe Gibbs Racing has won 140 Premier Series races and four championships with three drivers — Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch. JGR also has the best XFINITY Series program in NASCAR. With fellow car owners Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick already in the Hall and Jack Roush a nominee, Gibbs absolutely belongs with them.
H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler
You can make a pretty good case that long-time Charlotte Motor Speedway president Wheeler was the greatest promoter in NASCAR history. It was Wheeler who helped pioneer innovations like track lighting at superspeedways, elaborate pre-race shows, building condos at tracks and making the all-star race into something huge.
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It’s always hard to measure the impact of a driver who died young like Allison did. That said, in a short time, Allison created an excellent body of work, winning 19 races in just 191 career starts. In both 1991 and ’92, Allison finished third in points, narrowly missing out on the ’92 Premier Series championship. Allison was a great talent and someone beloved by race fans.
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As a crew chief, Parrott (right) was atop the pit box when his drivers won 49 races. Parrott was the winning crew chief when Richard Petty won his 200th and final race in the 1984 Firecracker 400, and Parrott was crew chief for Derrike Cope when he won the 1990 Daytona 500. Parrott also was the pit boss for NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace, as well as Jeff Burton.
Realistically, this one might never happen. Yunick’s legendary feuds with the France family means he faces an uphill battle ever getting into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That said, he was one of the sport’s most brilliant mechanical minds and innovators, a true racing pioneer. And the fact that he was a rebel and a colorful personality makes him all that much more interesting.