Presented as a public service, largely because the NASCAR HOF is here in Charlotte and most sportswriters have the analytical ability of a head of lettuce.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame picked its fourth class of five inductees yesterday. Selected were Rusty Wallace, Herb Thomas, Buck Baker, Cotton Owen, and Leonard Wood. The way the voting works is that the top five vote getters among 25 nominees are elected; the remaining 20 nominees stay on the ballot for the next year and five new nominees are added.

• Wallace (55 wins), Thomas (48 wins), and Baker (46 wins) were the drivers with the most top-division wins on the ballot. With their election, the top 12 retired drivers with the most wins — all 12 have at least 46 — are now in.

• While the pattern for drivers is clear (working its way down the list of winners, just like you’d expect), it’s less clear for race team owners. Rick Hendrick and Richard Childress were on the list of original nominees but haven’t been elected yet while Owen and Leonard Wood, who were only added last year for the third vote, are in. And yes, NASCAR politics has a lot to do with Hendrick and Childress not being in yet.

• NASCAR described this year’s voting as the closest yet because Buck Baker and Fireball Roberts tied for the fifth spot, with Baker winning the runoff. Much more interesting that the vote was much more spread out this year. Last year, those elected got about 68 percent of the total votes cast. This year, it was only 51 percent. Of the 54 possible votes, Leonard Wood and Herb Thomas each got 31, Rusty Wallace 28, Cotton Owen 27, and Buck Baker and Fireball Roberts 21 each. The remaining 19 candidates combined for 111 votes (41 percent off all votes cast) but averaged just under six votes each. Put another way, the typical voter used two of their five votes on people that didn’t finish in the top six.

• It’s always thought that the people that are listed as “also receiving votes” are next in line to get in. Last year, Jerry Cook, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks, and Herb Thomas fell in this category. Well maybe. Owen and Thomas did get in this year, Cook was seventh in this year’s voting while Parks wasn’t even among those listed as doing particularly well.

• In terms of giving a boost to Charlotte, this is about as good as it’s going to get for a long time. The quality and name recognition of the inductees will necessarily go down over time. The exception is when a recently retired star driver gets in. But we had that this year too — and some controversy that Rusty Wallace got in “too soon.”

• Richard Petty had the best quote on the selection: “We’ve got to be careful ’cause we can’t put all five dead people in at one time.” That’s a quite valid concern. Of the 20 people that are carried forward to next year’s ballot, only six are alive. And the youngest is Rick Hendrick, who turns 63 in July(!). Of course, having more nominee that aren’t eligible for social security would do increase the HOF’s relevance going forward.