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Old 6 Aug 2000, 19:51 (Ref:28757)   #1
Joe Fan
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Joe Fan should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridJoe Fan should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid

After picking up my 50th anniversary issue of Autosport, a British motorsport magazine that covers all motorsports around the world, I am now convinced that all the complaints and griping about the U.S. media being myopic are overblown in comparison. I typically see griping and complaints about American myopia on the Formula One bulletin boards I visit especially about ESPN's top ten driver ranking polls.

In Autosport's 50th anniversary issue, they had a special section where they summarized each year and included highlights. For each year, they nominated one individual (mainly drivers but a few team managers and owners) for the Hall of Fame. Even Bernie Ecclestone was named as their Hall of Fame candidate for the year 2000. After reviewing all the years, Autosport only picked three individuals that were from American based motorsports series. They were: A.J. Foyt in 1977, Richard Petty in 1984 and Rick Mears in 1991. Three, the same number of Rally drivers who made the lists. Mario Andretti made it in 1978 but he was racing in Formula One that year.

Woah! What about David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Fireball Roberts and Jeff Gordon, etc.?

Bruce McLaren was named their Hall of Fame candidate for 1968 but I guarantee you that David Pearson was a better overall driver than Bruce and all David did was win 16 races and finish 2nd 12 times that year while winning the championship. Certainly David's IROC performance in 1974 where he finished ahead of the F1 WDC champion Emerson Fittipaldi, 1967 WDC Denny Hulme and A.J. Foyt in a series that was contested in Porsche Carreras and all venues were road circuits should have clued these writers into the fact that there were better drivers in NASCAR than just Richard Petty. And what about Bobby Allison's winning the IROC championship in 1980 ahead of Mears, Andretti, Rutherford, Johncock, and Regazzoni?

Personally myself, I find it quite odd that Adrian Newey was named to the Hall of Fame in 1998. How successful would his teams have been without Beryllium compounds used in the McLaren engine which was made possible due to a $150+ million racing budget? What about Jeff Gordon's crew chief Ray Evernham in 1998? All he did was manage a team that won 13 out of 32 races in a racing series that operates with essentially equalized competition and tighter parameters in which to work in.

And Bernie Ecclestone for the Hall of Fame in 2000? Get real! What about Bill France Jr.? All he did with his "little" national series was negotiate the largest motorsports TV contract in the world today.
[Edited by Joe Fan on 6th August 2000]
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Old 6 Aug 2000, 20:13 (Ref:28762)   #2
Heeltoe6
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Sorry, but about BErnie E, getting the FIA to grant his company licensing of F1 for the next 100 years beats some 7 yr tv contract which nobody likes anyways

About the other drivers, though, you defeinetly have a valid point. You know them Brits though. Still mad that we broke away(j/k everybody )

Autsport is nothing but a mere tabloid, as danielsun said in the Touring car forum, not surprised about thier choices. The BRitsa are just as defensive/myopic/whatever about thier drivers as any other nation. Look at how they laud Jenson Button. Yes he's quite good. But Senna? Not yet.
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Old 6 Aug 2000, 23:16 (Ref:28822)   #3
John B
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Joe,

I don't have that magazine and therefore have no idea about the criteria for the selections - are they meant to honor the best performance in a given year, or a lifetime achievement award based on a significant race win? In 1984, Petty did little outside of his two wins and in 1991 Mears didn't have much for results outside of the 4th Indy win (Michael Andretti won eight races and the title). Certainly, if they are looking at the individual seasons, the American nominations don't make much sense. For example, Mears would be a logical choice for 1979 (Indy win and title) or perhaps 1981/82.

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Old 10 Aug 2000, 15:22 (Ref:29593)   #4
Joe Fan
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Joe Fan should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridJoe Fan should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
John, it appears to me that they picked the best seasons that most of the top F1 drivers had and when there were no clear cut favorites in F1 for a given year, they opted for F1 constructors, F1 team managers and then plugged a few of the greats from other series (Rally, IndyCar and NASCAR) when that failed. I always find these exercises interesting. I agree with a number of their selections but overall, they have missed the boat big time on quite a few. If Autosport thinks that Richard Petty was the only NASCAR driver that had talent worthy enough to be included as a Hall of Fame member, then that tells me all I need to know about their knowledge of motorsport--pretty shallow and myopic. Even if it were a negative oval bias, who in F1 was as tough of a competitor as Cale Yarborough or as crafty as David Pearson or Dale Earnhardt?
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Old 11 Aug 2000, 00:53 (Ref:29695)   #5
Crash Test
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Crash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCrash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Well I didn't see too many Australian drivers mentioned. But i think the cold truth is that they don't give a damm. I'm sure if you have a look a hall of fame compiled in the USA, it would have a very strong Nacar flavour, and the Europeans would either cry bloody murder or simply not care about it.
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