Imagine, if you will, a nation divided between NASCAR fans and those who don’t follow the sport.
Taking this notion to heart, what would happen if our country split into two factions with the only difference among the populations being if you were a NASCAR fan or not?
How would this new, hypothetical “NASCAR Nation” survive? Would it even make it to sundown?
Would we split into different states based upon our driver allegiances? I think the state of Jeff Gordon sounds really cool, or being able to say with a straight face, “I’m a resident of the state of Richard Petty,” is what dreams are made of … at least for NASCAR fans.
With legions of fans from all walks of life and myriad of professions, I’m thinking our make-believe world would do just fine, thrive even.
What would our pro-NASCAR nation (since you’re reading this on a pro-NASCAR site, I’m including you as a resident of this newly minted utopia) be like? How would the infrastructure of this new country be constructed? Would it mimic what we currently have in place or would we alter it to appease our NASCAR-loving spirits?
Regardless of what new laws our newly formed government would adopt, one of the first things we would need to do is establish our own system of currency. To make it simple, we’d keep the same denominations but we’d have to change it up with who we’d put on our coins and paper currency.
Think about it this way: instead of shelling out a couple Benjamin Franklins to buy the newest gadget you might hand over a couple “David Pearsons.” Or instead of buying lunch at the race track with an Abraham Lincoln (a $5 bill for those without money on them) you would pull a “Bobby Allison” from your wallet.
To be honest, I’m already liking this new world.
As a member of this new nation, I’d like to propose a few suggestions of individuals (no current drivers) whom I believe would be worthy candidates to have their mugs put on our country’s currency. Read on to find out who I nominate for this honor.
(Note: If you think this article has anything to do with [or was inspired by] the recent news that Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, you’d be absolutely correct. Congratulations, Harriet! It’s well-deserved.)
Penny: Bill France Sr. — As the founding father of NASCAR, it only makes sense to put “Big Bill’s” face on the penny. He did almost as much for our sport as Honest Abe (the guy on the current penny) did for the U.S.
Nickel: Darrell Waltrip — I don’t have any unique reasons that tie Darrell to the $0.05 piece, but he is one of the best drivers in NASCAR history with 84 wins in the premier series. In my opinion, that should be enough to warrant his face on a coin.
Dime: Wendell Scott — In December 1963, Wendell became the first African-American to win a race in any NASCAR national series race. Although this is a huge milestone in our sport on its own, it’s even larger because it was almost 40 years before it happened again.
Quarter: Jeff Gordon — Jeff drove the No. 24 for 24 seasons, but we don’t have a $0.24-cent piece, so the quarter should work just fine. Wouldn’t it be cool for him to hand over a handful of “Gordons” when his son asks him for change to play at the arcade?
Half-Dollar: Ned Jarrett — “Gentleman Ned” won 50 times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, so he’d be the natural pick. With the amount of respect he receives from the fans, he’d fill JFK’s shoes quite nicely.
$1 Bill: Richard Petty — Richard has almost as many wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as there are $1 bills in circulation. Of course, I say this tongue-in-cheek, but you get the idea.
$2 Bill: Rusty Wallace — Rusty has 55 total wins in NASCAR’s premier series, 37 of them coming while at the helm of the No. 2 car. His 37 wins is the most among all past and present drivers of the No. 2.
$3 Bill: Dale Earnhardt — We would introduce the $3 bill into the mainstream and, of course, Dale would have the honor of being on the bill. Was there ever any question?
$5 Bill: Bobby Allison — Bobby trails only one person in NASCAR’s premier series when it comes to career top-five finishes with 336. I’d love to open my wallet to find a huge wad of “Bobbys.”
$10 Bill: Cale Yarborough — In 1978, Cale had one of his best seasons in NASCAR, winning his second of three consecutive titles and tying his career-best in wins with 10. His presence on the $10 bill is just perfect.
$20 Bill: Herb Thomas — Herb has the highest winning percentage among NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers with at least 100 starts in the series. His winning percentage is 21.05% — close enough to go on the $20 bill in our fictional land.
$50 Bill: Junior Johnson — Much like Ned Jarrett, Junior has 50 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, so he gets the nod for the bill. I wonder if he would’ve liked being paid for winning races in bills with his picture on it … kinda surreal in a way.
$100 Bill: David Pearson — David is one of the best drivers in NASCAR history and second in the record books with 105 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins. One-hundred-and-five wins … $100 bill … close enough for me.
$1,000,000 Bill: Bill Elliott — This is another new bill we’d introduce into circulation. With a nickname like “Million Dollar Bill,” Bill is the obvious choice here. Now only if I had a couple “Bill Elliotts” in my wallet, I’d be set for life.
If you were the director of the NASCAR Nation Treasury, who would you put on our new nation’s currency? Let us know below in the comments.