Happy Hour: Talking Hall of Fame (Hey, it was an off week!)

You know the drill. Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg. We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy. Right? Oh who are we kidding, this is NASCAR. No one is ever happy.

Did you have a great Easter weekend? It felt weird not having any racing at all, but it was a good chance to get some spring yardwork taken care of and relax and watch some basketball. And get a lot of Cadbury Creme Eggs at a severe discount on Monday morning.

Let's get rolling on a topic that is coming up shortly, actually. The 25 nominees for the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame class will be announced Wednesday, April 10.

I just read an article written by ESPN writer Ed Hinton that discussed a lot of the names that could go into the Hall of Fame, to prove the point that NASCAR will not run out of names. But one comment he made got me thinking. Hinton stated that Red Byron needs to be voted in soon and swiftly. However, his statistics were lackluster, besides the 1949 championship. He only made 15 starts, with two wins. Honestly, that is not HoF worthy. This leads to my questions: First, is Byron a future NASCAR Hall of Famer, and second, who not already on the list of inductees is worthy for consideration (like Davey Allison or Neil Bonnett)?
- Jason

Good question, Jason, but I'm not sure statistics are the best way for us to evaluate the drivers from NASCAR's infancy.

Of course, I say this as someone whose first NASCAR memory was Dale Jarrett winning the 1993 Daytona 500. But NASCAR history fascinates me, and from the stories I've heard and read, Byron deserves to be in. Much like Ted Williams in baseball, Byron lost five years of his career thanks to World War II. Granted, NASCAR hadn't been started yet, but that's five years of wins and tales to be added to the Byron legend that weren't allowed to play out.

Byron was one of the pioneers of NASCAR and had he been able to drive longer -- he was forced to retire early for health reasons, his stats would be more impressive. And for a sport that embraces its history so much, Byron would be a worthy selection.


Every time I see Toyota Racing Development shortened to TRD, I wince. I would think they could have planned that out a little better, because when I say TRD, it sounds like TuRD. Couldn't they have named it Toyota Development Racing, or Toyota Engine Development or anything else? When Busch blows an engine, I always say "it must have been one of those TuRD engines."
- Carl

Carl, I can't say I've ever thought of that myself, but we may just have ourselves a new chat meme for the next time a Toyota engine goes poof.

And now, for some more Warped Wednesday fun.

I believe you need to research Nascar a little more before you go and write an article about blocking. The subject matter on blocking is ridiculous, if they implemented what you have suggested, it would be the most boring racing ever
- Jacob

Wow, Nick: I think this has to be a record for number of readers who didn't get your Warped Wednesday column. You should keep a scoreboard in the office or something.
- Kevin (Oranje)

As Kevin pointed out, judging by the comments to that post, Jacob was not alone.

The blocking argument/controversy/whatever you want to call it seems totally manufactured and toothless. Preventing a driver from taking your position in NASCAR is, and always will be, something that exists.

Hell, just watch closely on Sunday for proof, especially in the closing laps at Martinsville. Drivers will take a half or even whole lane lower on the straightaways to prevent a faster driver behind them from diving down into the inside entering the next corner. That's blocking, isn't it?

Logano was protecting the lead on the final restart of the race, and he didn't swerve abruptly to chop Stewart off or force him to stab the brakes. Enough said.

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