Today the NASCAR Hall of Fame has announced the 15 nominees for the Class of 2021, introducing the Modern Era and Pioneer Ballots for the first time. The list includes five first-time NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees – three on the Modern Era Ballot and two on the Pioneer Ballot.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Nomination Committee, which consists of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, selected the Modern Era Ballot and Landmark Award nominees. In addition, the new Honors Committee, largely comprised of all living Hall of Famers, Landmark Award winners and Squier-Hall Award winners, selected the Pioneer Ballot. Both committees’ votes were tabulated by accounting firm EY.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will consist of two inductees from the list of Modern Era nominees, and one from the list of Pioneer nominees – for a total of three new inductees in 2021.
Jeff Burton (21-time Cup Series winner), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (15-time most popular driver) and Carl Edwards (28-time Cup winner) join seven previous nominees on the Modern Era Ballot. Three-time Cup champion crew chief Jake Elder and renowned car builder Banjo Matthews join three previous nominees on the Pioneer Ballot, designed to honor those whose careers began more than 60 years ago (prior to 1961 for the Class of 2021).
Janet Guthrie returns as a Landmark Award nominee, rejoining Alvin Hawkins, Mike Helton, Dr. Joseph Mattioli and Ralph Seagraves. Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
Following are the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 nominees and Landmark Award nominees:
Modern Era Ballot
Neil Bonnett, won 18 times in the NASCAR Cup Series including consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories
Jeff Burton, won 21 times in the NASCAR Cup Series including the Southern 500 and two Coca-Cola 600s
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 15-time NASCAR Cup Series Most Popular Driver and two-time Xfinity Series champion
Carl Edwards, winner of 28 NASCAR Cup Series races and 2007 Xfinity Series champion
Harry Gant, winner of 18 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two Southern 500 victories
Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief
Larry Phillips, first five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR Cup Series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400
Kirk Shelmerdine, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief
Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
Jake Elder, three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief
Red Farmer, three-time NASCAR Late Model Sportsman champion; 1956 Modified champion
Banjo Matthews, built cars that won more than 250 NASCAR Cup Series races and three championships
Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR West Series champion
Ralph Moody, two-time NASCAR Cup Series owner champion as mechanical genius of Holman-Moody
Janet Guthrie, the first female to compete in a NASCAR Cup Series superspeedway race
Alvin Hawkins, NASCAR’s first flagman; established NASCAR racing at Bowman Gray Stadium with Bill France Sr.
Mike Helton, named third president of NASCAR in 2000; career included track operator roles at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway
Dr. Joseph Mattioli, founder of Pocono Raceway
Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company