Welcome to Warped Wednesday. On this, we'll put out the rush to judgment mat, go a little too far and have a little fun. Will it be funny? Sometimes. Will it be crazy and largely unbelievable? Probably. Will not everyone get it? Definitely.
Just days after his dominating win in the final segment of the Sprint All-Star Race, the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel made a statement about Johnson's NASCAR prowess during Wednesday's Hall of Fame voting.
The panel, led by a prominent NASCAR figure who shall remain nameless because of the secret nature of the vote, petitioned NASCAR officials to hold a vote on Johnson's election today. The panel argued that there is no better time to acknowledge Johnson's dominance than while he was currently driving.
Also, the election of Johnson now saves the panel time down the road after Johnson's retirement. While Johnson has no plans of retiring anytime soon, any future Hall vote would be a formality, so this was simply a move to go through the motions and get the voting process over with.
Unlike Richard Petty and Dale Inman, Chad Knaus' Hall induction is also tied to Johnson's. (Inman was elected after Petty.) That was the day's lengthiest discussion, but it was ultimately decided that it'd be most appropriate that Knaus be inducted with Johnson.
But those two decisions aren't the most controversial. That distinction belongs to the contentious decision to allow Johnson and Knaus to skip the post-retirement waiting period. After three hours of debate, involving lots of screaming, cursing and enough flying spittle from those shouts to fill up a five gallon bucket, the panel voted 28-27 to induct Knaus and Johnson into the Hall of Fame immediately following their last race. Yes, there will be a separate Hall of Fame Lane set up next to victory lane for the induction ceremonies.
The panel also voted to not let the Fox graphic before the All-Star Race final segment anywhere near the Hall of Fame. A grassroots movement to create the NASCAR Hall of Shame formed, where the graphic and broken parts would live, but it didn't gain enough traction to be seriously considered.