(RaceTalkRadio.com; April 11, 2013)
OK NASCAR you made your point that you are still holding a grudge because Smokey Yunick outsmarted you so many times. But isn’t it about time to let bygones be bygones and at least nominate the man for the NASCAR Hall of Fame? Maybe some of us old time fans see this and that is one more reason for us not to venture out to the NASCAR Hall of Fame yet. Surely the owner of the “Best Damn Garage in Town” deserves to at least make the nomination list in your Hall of Fame.
Smokey Yunick was a genius with tools. Fifty-seven wins in what is now known as the Cup division in NASCAR along with two championships is certainly enough to establish the man’s NASCAR Hall of Fame credentials. But the numbers are only part of the story. The man himself inspired greatness in others and established the model that other Crew Chiefs emulated over the years.
This year the great Fireball Roberts is likely to be voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Once again as we are watching the video montage of his career we will see this man in the background in immaculate white overalls with that signature cowboy hat. He will look very familiar to all of us because many of the recent NASCAR Hall of Fame videos have featured this same gentleman in the video. How many of the great drivers from the early days of NASCAR would have never been discovered as legends if not for the amazing talent of Smokey Yunick preparing those cars?
Smokey Yunick was not politically correct and often ticked off the NASCAR brass. But his job wasn’t to kiss anyone’s rump it was to win races. Smokey didn’t invent the concept of “Playing in the Grey Areas of the Rules” but he raised it to an art form. My favorite Smokey Yunick story was the ultimate in your face to NASCAR. His car won and NASCAR tore the car down including taking out the fuel tank. NASCAR gave him a list of nine things to change on the car. Smokey said, “You better make that ten” and drove the car away without the gas tank!
NASCAR has made their point by snubbing the sport’s greatest mechanic for this many years. But this insanity has to stop. Come on NASCAR, if you are going to have almost every driver in the NASCAR Hall of Fame that Smokey Yunick helped make famous the least you can do is put him on the nomination list next year. No racing Hall of Fame is complete without Smokey Yunick and he has been named to over 15 of them already. The man invented many parts still in use today and was instrumental in the small block design of the NASCAR stock car engine. NASCAR’s snub of Smokey Yunick from the NASCAR Hall of Fame nomination list must end.
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