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The NASCAR Hall of Fame recently announced changes to its voting and induction process, only allowing three drivers per year and separating the voting into two separate committees. Currently, there is a plethora of Hall of Fame talent competing at the top level of NASCAR.
Here are six drivers currently racing that will be in the HOF once they hang up the helmet.
6. Martin Truex Jr.
26 victories and one championship may be borderline to get into the Hall. But just imagine what Martin Truex Jr.’s stats would look like if he hadn’t been bogged down at Michael Waltrip Racing and the pre-Cole Pearn Furniture Row Racing for so long?
23 of the 26 have come since 2016, including a season-high seven in 2019. As long as MTJ keeps just some of this up, he’ll be well on his way to the Hall of Fame.
5. Joey Logano
I know what you’re thinking: “How do you have the younger champion at Team Penske on this list but not the older one with more wins?” Well, in a word, it’s potential.
Joey Logano is six years younger than Brad Keselowski. Both have a championship, both will eclipse the 40-win mark in their careers, but I say Logano due to the length of his career he more likely than not has leftover Keselowski.
4. Kurt Busch
Although his championship campaign feels like forever ago (2004), his 31 victories and take no you-know-what attitude make him a Hall of Fame driver. Busch also is near the end of the road, with rumors circulating that he may retire in the next couple of seasons.
When he does, his legacy conversation will be re-ignited. The elder Busch brother will be the first to enter the Hall of Fame … we’ll get to his brother momentarily.
3. Kevin Harvick
This past Saturday, Kevin Harvick confirmed he’d signed a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing through the 2023 season. Previously, he was under contract through 2021. Count me among the people who thought that would be it for “The Closer.”
Not happening. And that should send shivers down the spines of Cup competitors in the garage. Although past his statistical peak, Harvick should be good for at least a couple wins each year until his contract expires. A championship, 49 victories, and two Xfinity championships is more than enough to get Harvick into the Hall. Thing is, he may go down as the third-best driver of his generation (maybe even fourth or fifth) behind a couple of guys...
2. Kyle Busch
Rowdy is for sure one of them. 56 wins, two championships, 200 top fives, almost 300 top 10s, 200+ wins across the national series, a multi-time championship Truck owner...is there anything this guy can’t do in NASCAR? (He’d tell you win the Daytona 500, but that’s a different story)
When it’s all said and done, Busch won’t match Jimmie Johnson’s mark of seven championships. But he may be regarded as the all-around better race car driver to some. And that’s not untrue. It seems no matter the discipline, competition, venue or other extenuating circumstance you throw his way, he delivers. With bravado. First ballot HOFer. Mark it down.
1. Jimmie Johnson
I understand the last couple years of Jimmie Johnson haven’t been, well, Jimmie Johnson-esque. But that aside, he’s the G.O.A.T. in my mind. I never saw Dale Earnhardt race. I never saw Richard Petty race. I’ve lived through the JJ era, and it’s been insane.
A record-tying seven championships, 83 wins, across multiple formats, iterations of race cars, etc. I mean, NASCAR literally changed the playoff format--MULTIPLE TIMES--to attempt to thwart Johnson’s dominance and championships.
Oh, and did I mention he won five consecutive titles from 2006-2010? He did this all with one crew chief (Chad Knaus, although the two have moved on from each other) and one organization (Hendrick Motorsports). Unanimous Hall of Famer, first ballot, no contest.
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