The newest class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be inducted in a ceremony Friday night at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center.
Former drivers Matt Kenseth and Hershel McGriff and former crew chief Kirk Shelmerdine are this year’s honorees. Also on the awards list is former NASCAR president and current vice chairman Mike Helton, who will receive the Landmark Award for outstanding contributions to NASCAR. The late photographer T. Taylor Warren will be honored with the Squier-Hall Media Award.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on Peacock beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Activities are scheduled to begin with the arrival of participants on the red carpet at 4:30 p.m. NASCAR’s digital and social media platforms will provide coverage beginning at 4:40 p.m. The Hall of Fame induction dinner — an invitation-only event — will follow at 6 p.m., and the induction ceremony — on Peacock — will begin at 8 p.m.
What: NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
When: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center
Where to watch: Peacock (https://www.peacocktv.com)
The Class of 2023 represents the sport from its earliest years (McGriff) to the years of domination by Dale Earnhardt (Shelmerdine) to the recent past (Kenseth).
The three inductees combined for 89 victories and five championships in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Kenseth drove for 20 seasons in Cup, winning the championship in 2003, the last season before the point system underwent dramatic change. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2000 and became a steady, reliable frontrunner. He scored 39 Cup victories, winning the Daytona 500 twice. Kenseth also was successful in the Xfinity Series, winning 29 times.
Kenseth’s big break came in 1998 when he was called on to substitute for Bill Elliott and finished sixth at Dover Speedway.
McGriff, 95, is the hall’s oldest inductee. He scored four Cup wins — all in 1954 — after deciding to try NASCAR racing because of his meeting with NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. during the 1950 Pan-American race in Mexico. McGriff and co-driver Ray Elliott won that five-day race across Mexico.
Although McGriff, a native of Bridal Veil, Ore., elected not to run the Cup Series full-time because of business and personal commitments, he was very active in stock car racing for decades on the West Coast, winning more than 30 times in what is now the ARCA Menards Series West.
Shelmerdine was a central figure in the soaring success of the late Dale Earnhardt. He was Earnhardt’s crew chief in Richard Childress Racing’s championship seasons of 1986, 1987, 1990 and 1991. He scored 46 Cup wins and 15 poles before leaving pit row to pursue a career as a driver.
With Friday’s induction of the hall’s 13th class, hall membership will reach 61.