By admin | January 20, 2012
By Richard Allen
The NASCAR Hall of Fame is quite new compared to those of other sports such as baseball and football. That, combined with the fact that only five nominees are admitted to the shrine each year, explains why a very small percentage of the sport’s historical figures are represented there. As a result, only the biggest of stars are on display in the Charlotte facility.
And since the Hall is somewhat behind in filling its honorary walls due to its newness, all the members to be inducted so far have been closely associated with either the founding of the sport or have participated at NASCAR’s highest level. But this Friday evening, former modified racer Richie Evans will take his place among the all time greats as the first non Cup level performer to be placed.
Throughout his career, Evans conquered NASCAR’s modified division like few have ever dominated any level of the sport. His victories total somewhere near 500 and between the years of 1978 and 1985 he won eight consecutive national titles. As a result of those impressive numbers, he was listed as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
The ‘Rapid Roman’ as the man from Rome, New York was dubbed combined with fellow Rome resident Jerry Cook to control modified racing on the east coast in an incredible way. These two drivers were the only two champions of that division between the years of 1971 and 1985.
Unfortunately, however, Evans’ time of domination would be cut tragically short when he was killed in a racing crash while preparing for the season finale event at the Martinsville Speedway in 1985. He was only 44 years old at the time of his death but had already left an indelible mark on his branch of the sport.
As stated before, no other driver from a lower division of NASCAR is enshrined in Charlotte. And since there are so many of the sport’s legends yet to be recognized, it could be a while before the next member from a lower division is inducted.
So, when Richie Evans is inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday evening, he won’t simply be representing himself and his own accomplishments. The legendary modified ace will be representing all the great short track racers throughout NASCAR history who never made it to the top level but still managed remarkable achievements.
I currently have 1835 followers on Twitter. If I reach 2000 by the day of the Daytona 500 I will host a ‘Pick the Winner’ contest for that race which will pay $50 to the winner. So, if you are already on Twitter follow @RacingWithRich for a chance to win. If you’re not on Twitter come on board and join the discussion.
Click the Twitter link on the left side of the page to follow.
Topics: Articles |