When it comes to all-time best NASCAR crew chiefs, Inman is in every conversation. He’s best known for being Richard Petty’s crew chief for three decades, over which they won 198 races together and a record seven NASCAR Cup Series titles (1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979). (Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson later tied the mark; 198 wins remains the standard among NASCAR crew chiefs.) That Inman was Petty’s cousin might have limited the appreciation of his talents. Further proof came a few years after leaving Petty Enterprises when he collected the eighth title with Terry Labonte in 1984. Consider, too, what it meant to be crew chief during Petty’s astonishing 1967 run of 27 victories. It’s impressive driving to that many wins in a season, but more so preparing a car capable of winning that many. Inman is credited with redefining crew chief duties to include race prep and driver/pit communication, among other innovations. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.
Frank Costin & Keith Duckworth (Cosworth)