The NASCAR Hall of Fame’s 2021 class, as well as the next recipient of the Landmark Award, will be announced today at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN during a special episode of NASCAR America.
The 2021 class is the first with the Hall of Fame’s revamped selection process that reduces the number of people in each class from five to three.
Two Hall of Fame inductees will be selected among 10 nominees in the Modern Era ballot. One inductee will be selected among five nominees on the Pioneer ballot. The Landmark Award recipient will be chosen from a list of five nominees.
Two of the nominees on the Modern Era ballot are NBC Sports analysts Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met virtually on June 9 to determine the class.
Here are the nominees:
Modern era (10): Neil Bonnett, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Harry Gant, Harry Hyde, Larry Phillips, Ricky Rudd, Kirk Shelmerdine and Mike Stefanik.
Pioneer (5): Jake Elder, Red Farmer, Banjo Matthews, Hershel McGriff and Ralph Moody.
Landmark (5): Janet Guthrie, Alvin Hawkins, Mike Helton, Dr. Joseph Mattioli, Ralph Seagraves.
Dustin Long: Ryan Blaney. He keeps running at the front like he has lately, he’ll win a race soon.
Daniel McFadin: Ryan Blaney. He’s clearly been faster over the last few races and more consistent, just as Team Penske as a whole has been compared to Joe Gibbs Racing.
Jerry Bonkowski: Ryan Blaney has definitely been on a roll of late with five top-five finishes in his last six starts. Conversely, Busch has six top fives in his last 10 starts. But if a race came down to the last lap and the two drivers battling it out, I give the edge to the defending and two-time Cup champ.
The 2021 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be announced at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday on NBCSN. Who would you have on your NASCAR Hall of Fame ballot?
Dustin Long: Modern Era: Kirk Shelmerdine and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Pioneer Era: Ralph Moody.
Daniel McFadin: Modern Era: Kirk Shelmerdine and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Pioneer Era: Banjo Matthews
Jerry Bonkowski: Modern Era: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ricky Rudd. Pioneer Era: Red Farmer.
Daniel McFadin: We haven’t heard from Logano on what his intentions were Sunday, but I’d be hard pressed to imagine he wasn’t trying to make Elliott’s night more difficult on some level. If it were me, I’d have waited until we were both competing for position or a win, as was the case between them at the end of the Bristol race. But Logano didn’t wreck him or even make contact. So I really don’t see the harm.
Jerry Bonkowski: Logano didn’t want to fall back even further. Pretty simple and standard stuff. As the old saying goes, “That’s racing.” Besides, given their past history, do you honestly think Logano would do anything to benefit Hamlin? No way. It was just a regular racing deal.
It had been 100 years and a couple of weeks since the American Civil War had ended, but Dick Hutcherson was made so mad by the end of the May 2, 1965 race at Bristol Motor Speedway, he felt the need to invoke it.
“I may be a damn Yankee, but I’ll always believe I won this race. No one will ever convince me I didn’t,” Hutcherson said according to “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: Big Bucks and Boycotts.”
“I think Robert E. Lee’s grandson was scoring the race,” he added.
They were strong remarks for Hutcherson, who was a native of Iowa.
The cause of his anger was that Junior Johnson, a native of North Carolina, had been declared the winner of the 500-lap race on the half-mile track. Hutcherson was scored as finishing second.
Johnson had gone a lap-and-a-half down when he lost a tire 265 laps into the race. Then he needed relief from Fred Lorenzen for 147 laps. After returning to the race, Johnson spent 117 laps making up time and then took the lead with 62 laps to go.
Hutcherson believed he had a one-lap lead before Johnson’s final driver change and a two-lap lead afterward.
“At the finish, Johnson was just barely back in the lead lap,” Hutcherson said.
After going over the scoring cards with NASCAR’s chief scorer, Joe Epton, Hutcherson’s co-owner, Ralph Moody, was content with the results.
Also on this date:
1954: Herb Thomas won a Grand National race at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway by one lap for his fifth win in the first 10 races of the season. The top five was swept by drivers in Hudson Hornets.
1971: After Buddy Baker passed Donnie Allison 11 laps from the finish and Allison’s engine expired a lap later, Baker went on to claim the win at Darlington by seven laps over Dick Brooks. According to “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: Big Bucks and Boycotts,” the race was the final one for the pairing of David Pearson and the Holman-Moody team. They split over a dispute about how much appearance money Pearson would receive for the May 16 race at Talladega.
1982: With drafting help from Terry Labonte, Darrell Waltrip passed Benny Parsons on the last lap to win the Winston 500 at Talladega.
1993: In a two-lap shootout following a red flag for rain at Talladega, Ernie Irvan went from fourth to first to claim the win. As the field approached the checkered flag, contact from Dale Earnhardt sent Rusty Wallace into a violent tumble that gave him a broken wrist, a concussion and a chipped tooth.
You can vote once per day. All votes will be tabulated with the top three nominees and submitted as the fan ballot during the voting panel meeting. Voting day typically happens the week of the Coca-Cola 600. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s is no update on when and how voting day will occur.
Modern Era Nominees
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Ricky Rudd, Kirk Shelmerdine, Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, Harry Hyde, Larry Phillips and Mike Stefanik.
Pioneer Nominees: Jake Elder, Red Farmer, Banjo Matthews, Hershel McGriff and Ralph Moody