HEDGER: The Long Look


KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Our annual visit to the Tarheel State as part of the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel turned into a great triple-play this year.

We hit the tiny Millbridge Speedway for the SPEED SPORT Challenge for mini outlaw karts Wednesday night following the NASCAR vote, with Friday’s highly anticipated World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series show at The Dirt Track at Charlotte yet to come.

The debate prior to the NASCAR Hall of Fame vote was intense as usual. Besides the passion and depth of thought evident in the statements from panel members representing all aspects of the sport, we were struck, as always, by the diversity of the views. Nowhere in racing is it more evident that what you see depends on where you’re standing.

One well known broadcaster offered the opinion that he came with a list of eight choices he needed to narrow to five for the ballot, but over the course of the conversation the list had ballooned to nine, then 11, and the decision was getting harder with every speaker. This was a pretty standard view as we discussed a slate with everyone nominated deserving of the honor but 15 of the 20 destined to wait at least another year.

Old friend Ken Squier may have put the situation in the best perspective, saying as we awaited the announcement of the winners that the difficulty in getting elected made the honor that much more significant.